Sunday 8 August 1915 – We Lost 1,953

by greatwarliveslost

Lemon Squeezer hat

Lemon Squeezer hat

Four days into her second patrol E11 (Lieutenant Commander Martin Nasmith) sinks the Turkish battleship Heireddin Barbarossa.

The Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS India (Commander William George Ainslie Kennedy) is sunk by U-22 in the Norwegian Sea while on the Northern Patrol.  There are one hundred sixty casualties including AB Walter James Farrier who is one of three brothers who will be killed in the Great War, while one hundred forty-one survive. Engine Room Artificer Robert Beaumont Stone is also lost just six days after his brother was killed on the Western Front. The Armed Boarding Steamer HMS Ramsey (Lieutenant Harry Raby RNR) intercepts a steamship flying the Russian flag, but which is actually the German Auxiliary Minesweeper Meteor. After being crippled by point-blank gunfire, Ramsey is struck amidships by a German torpedo and sinks. Five Officers, including the Commanding Officer and fifty-four ratings are lost, and a further four officers and thirty-nine ratings taken prisoner. Tomorrow the Meteor will encounter superior British forces and scuttle herself, Ramsey’s crew returning home in the Undaunted.

Shortly after 03:00 following a naval bombardment of the peak, the Wellington Infantry followed by the Gloucestershire Regiment reach Chunuk Bair virtually unopposed. The preceding barrage has driven most of the Turkish defenders away as the ground is too hard and rocky for deep entrenchments. Chunuk Bair will prove hard to defend. It is only possible to scrape shallow trenches among the rocks. The peak is exposed to fire from the main Turkish line on Battleship Hill to the south and from Hill Q to the north. If the original plan for the offensive had worked, Hill Q would have been in Allied hands. Lieutenant Colonel CecilAllanson’s battalion of Gurkhas reached it briefly the following day but they are in no position to offer relief to the troops on Chunuk Bair.

By 05:00 the Turks are counter-attacking against the Wellington Infantry. The slope of the hill is so steep that the Turks can get within 20 metres of the trenches without being seen. The New Zealander fight desperately to hold off the Turks, firing their rifles and those of their fallen companions until the wood of the stock is too hot to touch. When the Turks get up to the trenches the fighting continues with the bayonet. The Turks overrun part of the New Zealand trench and take prisoners. In full daylight, reinforcements are only reaching the summit at a trickle. The fight rages all day until the trenches are clogged with the New Zealand dead. Around 17:00 The Turks have recaptured the east side of the summit and are reinforced from Helles. As darkness falls the fighting subsides and the Wellington Infantry is relieved. Out of the 760 men of the battalion who have reached the summit, 711 have become casualties. Malone had resisted sending his men on a suicidal charge when told to follow the Auckland Battalion on 7th August. A day later the outcome is the same. The New Army battalions have suffered also with 417 casualties among the Welsh Regiment troops and 350 in the Gloucestershire Regiment including all the officers of the battalion. For the wounded the suffering is only beginning. Some take three days to travel from the higher reaches of Rhododendron Spur to the beach, a little over a kilometer away.

At Suvla Bay Stopford is satisfied with the results of the first day. This morning he signals Hamilton: “Major-General Hammersley and troops under him deserve great credit for the result attained against strenuous opposition and great difficulty. I must now consolidate the position held.”  The British staff has estimated that it will take the Turkish divisions at Bulair 36 hours to reach Suvla — they could be expected to arrive this evening. Hamilton is dismayed by the lack of progress so far and the absence of any drive from Stopford or his subordinates. He has already dispatched Captain Aspinall to discover first-hand what is happening at Suvla. Aspinall is accompanied by Lieutenant-Colonel Maurice Hankey, Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence, who is to report on the progress of the campaign to the British Cabinet. When he receives Stopford’s signal, Hamilton decides to see Suvla for himself, travelling on the yacht HMS Triad.

Aspinall and Hankey initially find the ease and inactivity at Suvla encouraging assuming it means the fighting is now moved to the hills. Once on the beach, they are warned to keep their heads down as the front line was only a few hundred yards away — and that Stopford is still aboard the Jonquil. Aspinall finds Stopford “in excellent spirits”, well satisfied with progress. When Aspinall points out that the men have not reached the high ground, Stopford replied, “No, but they are ashore.” Aspinall and Hamilton both converge on the light cruiser HMS Chatham, the flagship of Rear-Admiral John de Robeck who commands the landing fleet. Finally, this afternoon nearly two days after the landing, Hamilton gains a clear picture of events. Accompanied by Aspinall and Commodore Roger Keyes, he crosses to the Jonquil to confront Stopford who had finally been ashore to consult with Hammersley. Stopford and Hammersley plan to order an advance the following morning but Hamilton insists that an advance be made immediately so at 18:30 the 32nd Brigade is ordered to march two and a half miles to the Tekke Tepe ridge.

When his detachment is relieved after twenty-four hours under continuous attack Lieutenant (Acting Captain) William Thomas Forshaw (Manchester Regiment) volunteers to continue the direction of the operations in the north-west corner of ‘The Vineyard’.  Three times during this night he is again heavily attacked, and once the Turks get over the barricade, but after shooting three with his revolver, he leads his men forward and recaptures it.  When he rejoins his battalion he is choked and sickened by bomb fumes, badly bruised by a fragment of shrapnel, and can barely lift his arm from continuous bomb throwing.  It is due to his personal example, magnificent courage and endurance that this very important corner is held.

For the most conspicuous bravery on this night at Lone Pine Trenches Lieutenant William John Symons (Australian Infantry) will be awarded the Victoria Cross.  He is in command of the right section of the newly captured trenches held by his battalion and repels several counter-attacks with great coolness.  (See 9th August)

At Lone Pine Lance Corporal Leonard Keysor (Australian Infantry) successfully bombs the enemy out of a position from which temporary mastery over his own trench has been obtained.  He is again wounded in this action.  Although marked for hospital, he declines to leave and volunteers to throw bombs for another company that has lost its bomb thrower.  He continues to bomb the enemy until the situation is relieved.  For his actions on this and the previous day he will be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Today’s losses include:

  • A man killed trying to recover his Colonel’s body
  • Three battalion commanders
  • A man killed by ‘friendly fire’
  • A man who will have two sons killed, one each World War
  • The inventor of the ‘lemon squeezer’ hat which will be adopted by the entire New Zealand Army later in the war
  • An All-Blacks Rugby player
  • An Australian Rules footballer
  • A champion runner
  • The Assistant Master at Wanganui Technical College
  • Multiple sons of Justices of the Peace
  • Multiple sons of members of the clergy
  • The son of a Jurist
  • The oldest ANZAC killed on Gallipoli
  • A 15-year old boy
  • Multiple examples of brothers killed together
  • Multiple examples of men who will have two brothers killed in the Great War
  • Multiple examples of man who will have one brother killed in the Great War

 Today’s highlighted casualties are:

  • Lieutenant Colonel William George Malone (Wellington Infantry) is killed in action at Chunuk Bair at age 53. He is a barrister and senior partner at Malone, Anderson and Johnston and had unsuccessfully stood for parliament on one or two occasions. He invented the “lemon squeezer” hat which was made the regimental hat in 1911. It mirrored the outline of Mount Taranaki/Egmont and allowed rain to run off it. In September 1916 the hat will be adopted by the entire New Zealand army. It is now believed that Colonel Malone was killed by ‘friendly fire’; a shell fired either from a British warship, or from within the old Anzac lines.  He has two sons who will lose their lives in the service of their King and Country. The first Lieutenant Edmond Leo Malone will be killed in April 1918 the second Captain William Bernard Malone will be killed in December 1943.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Frank Milton Rowell (commanding 3rd Australian Light Horse) dies at sea on HMHS Gloucester Castle of peritonitis at age 39.
  • Lieutenant Colonel William George Malone (Wellington Infantry) is killed at age 53.
  • Private Arthur Vivian Carbines (Wellington Infantry) is killed trying to recover the body of his Colonel.
  • Major Charles John Venables DSO (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 50. He is the son of Addington Venables, the Bishop of Nassau 1893-1876. He served in the South African War where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
  • Major Frank Chapman (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed in action at Rhododendron Ridge on Gallipoli. At age 57 he is the oldest member of the Anzac to be killed at Gallipoli.
  • Captain Edward Berry Carpenter (Plymouth Battalion Royal Marines Light Infantry) died of wounds off Gallipoli at age 29. He is the son of the Reverend Edward Stanley Carpenter Vicar of Highcliffe and Private Secretary to ‘Sir’ Laurence Guillemard of the Home Civil Service.
  • Captain Charles Percy Gwyer (Welsh Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 32. His brother will be killed in August 1918.
  • Lieutenant Clement Marshall Cazalet (New Zealand Infantry and staff officer to Brigadier General Johnston) dies of wounds. He is an interpreter in French, German and Russian. His Brigadier will be killed in August 1917.
  • Lieutenant Joseph Bagnall Lee (Munster Fusiliers) dies of wounds received the previous day on Gallipoli at age 27. His brother will be killed in the sinking of RMS Leinster in October 1918.  They are sons of the late Edward Lee JP.
  • Lieutenant George Leonard Purcahs Brookfield (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 22. His brother will die of wounds next June.
  • Lieutenant John Sinclair Bain (Wellington Infantry) dies of wounds. His brother was killed previously.
  • Second Lieutenant Thomas Marshall Percy Grace (Wellington Infantry) is killed at age 25. He played Rugby for the Maori team against Australia in 1912.
  • Second Lieutenant Francis Gawan-Taylor (York and Lancaster Regiment) is killed at age 22. His is the son of His Honour Judge H Gawan-Taylor. His brother will be killed in April 1917.
  • Second Lieutenant Arthur Ewart Jones (Welsh Regiment) is killed in action on Gallipoli at age 28. He is the son of the Reverend William Jones.
  • Sergeant Walter Cecil Riley (Auckland Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in October of next year.
  • Sergeant Albert Joseph Downing (Wellington Infantry) who played five Test Matches and twenty-six games for the All Blacks Rugby team is killed in action at age 31. He is the first New Zealand rugby player killed in the Great War.
  • Sergeant Sydney Melville Okey (Wellington Infantry) is killed. His brother will be killed in September of next year.
  • Sergeant Bertrand Innes Auchterlonie (Australian Infantry) is killed in action at age 21. He has two brothers, one of whom will be killed on Gallipoli in October of this year the other will be killed in August 1918.
  • Corporal Frank Te Kauru Best (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 25. He is the grandson of ‘the Honorable’ William Swanson.
  • Corporal John Geoffrey Persse (Australian Infantry) is killed. His brother will die on service as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy at sea in November 1918.
  • Lance Corporal John Auguste Emile Harris (Australian Infantry) is killed at Lone Pine. His father writes after the war that he was fifteen years old.
  • Lance Corporal Archibald Taylor (Wellington Infantry) is killed at age 20. He is the assistant master at the Wanganui Technical College.
  • Two Privates serving in the Wellington Infantry will be killed today and lose brothers in September 1916. Privates Henry Guy Fearon and Private Thomas William Robinson (age 21) are both killed.
  • Privates and brothers Alfred Harphan (age 24) and Franklin Corlett (age 22) are killed together.
  • Brothers and Privates Harold and Herbert Wheeler (Australian Infantry) are killed while serving together on Gallipoli.
  • Private Edward Denslow (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 28. His two brothers will be killed in August 1917.
  • Private James Tod Aitken (Australian Infantry) is killed at age 33. He is a former Australian Rule footballer who played for Geelong.
  • Trooper Alex Duncan McKay (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 31. He is the son of J M McKay JP.
  • Trooper George Lloyd (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed. He is the running champion of both the Auckland and Wellington Civil Service Clubs.
  • Trooper Charles Benjamin Harrison (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed. His brother was killed last month.
  • Trooper George Alexander Douglas (Auckland Mounted Rifles) is killed at age 28. His brother will be killed tomorrow.
  • Private Sydney Herbert Stokes and his brother Private James Fawcett Stokes (Wellington Infantry) are killed in action at Chunuk Bair, Anzac. Sydney is killed at age 26 while James is a year younger.
  • Another set of brothers killed today in the Wellington Infantry are Lance Corporal Clement Mellor killed at 21 and Private Arthur Foster Mellor killed at 30.
  • Private Henry Capel Pritt (Auckland Infantry) is killed at age 46. He is the son of the late Reverend Lonsdale Pritt Archdeacon of Waikato.
  • Private Edward Clement Andrews (Auckland Infantry) is killed at age 34. His brother will be killed in June 1916.
  • Rifleman Arnold Edwin Fearson (New Zealand Rifle Brigade) dies of wounds. His brother will die of wounds in September 1916.
  • Private John Spicer (Welsh Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 19. His brother was killed last May. Private Charles Ernest Beard (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 23. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
  • Private Victor Lawson Wellavise (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed at age 18. His brother will be killed in October 1918.
  • Private George Harry Elliott (Gloucestershire Regiment) is killed on Gallipoli at age 24. His brother will be killed in March 1918.
  • Private Frederick John Bush Parker (Coldstream Guards) is killed at age 18. He is the son of the Reverend Frederick Talbot Parker Vicar of Knowle.
  • Private Frederick Sanger (London Regiment) dies of wounds at age 22. His brother was killed last May.