Thursday 1 July 1915 – We Lost 206

by greatwarliveslost

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross

During operations South-West of Krithia, on the Gallipoli Peninsula when it is essential that a portion of a trench which has been lost should be regained, Captain Gerald Robert O’Sullivan (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers), although not belonging to the troops at this point, volunteers to lead a party of bomb throwers to affect the recapture. He advances in the open under a very heavy fire, and, in order to throw his bombs with greater effect, gest up on the parapet where he is completely exposed to the fire of the enemy occupying the trench. He is finally wounded, but not before his inspiring example lead his party to make further efforts, which results in the recapture of the trench. Previously on the night of 18th June, 1915 Captain O’Sullivan saved a critical situation in the same locality by his great personal gallantry and good leading. For his efforts Captain O’Sullivan will be awarded the Victoria Cross. He will be killed later this year.

Owing to hostile bombing, some of our troops are forced to retire from a sap in the Southern Zone of Gallipoli. Sergeant James Somers (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers) remains alone on the spot until a party brings up bombs.  He then climbs over into the Turkish trench, and bombs the Turks with great effect.  Later he advances into the open under very heavy fire and holds back the enemy by throwing bombs into their flank until a barricade can be established. During this night he frequently runs to and from our trenches to obtain fresh supplies of bombs.  By his great gallantry and coolness Sergeant Somers is largely instrumental in effecting the recapture of a portion of our trench which has been lost. He will be awarded the Victoria Cross for his efforts on this night into the next morning. Sergeant Somers will die as a result of an accident while demonstrating the use of gas in May 1918.

 Today’s losses include:

  •  A man shot at dawn
  • Two men whose brothers will also lose their lives in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  •  Private William J Turpie (East Surrey Regiment) is shot at dawn at age 24 for desertion. Turpie enlisted on 9th September 1914 in response to Kitchner’s call.  When he went missing his battalion was serving in the Ypres Salient.  He is the first of very few deserters who made it back to England before being taken into custody.
  • Private William Eric Martin (Royal West Kent Regiment) is killed at age 24. His brother died of wounds last November.
  • Private Arthur William Morley (London Regiment) is killed at age 19. His brother will be killed next February.