The Gallipoli Houses

 

 

 

HILL 10 CEMETERY

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the Gallipoli HousesSuvla - Hill 10 Cemetery

 

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IF STONES COULD SPEAK - SUVLA

 

 

I had seen what war really means, with its blood, death and destruction.  To hear the cries of the wounded and see the still huddled forms laid in all kinds of grotesque attitudes, boys and men who that morning had marched forwards so bravely and full of life, and were even now rotting in the glare of the sun, whilst swarms of flies were feasting on their blood and wounds, was to me a terrible nightmare that I shall remember as long as I live.

Private Ernest Lye quoted in "Defeat at Gallipoli", (London 2002), Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, p. 299

Hill 10 cemetery

 

 

 

private J. Finn

 

 



 

private Thomas Maher

Although private(s) Finn & Maher, both serving in the Munster  Fusiliers, could have died of many a cause, the chances are very high that the extreme weather conditions, prevailing in the last days of November 1915, were the origin.  Guy Geddes, commanding officer of the MF at that time describes the situation as follows :

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… requesting me to come up the line as they did not understand what was happening.  There was a loud roar and before I could reach the front line –not 200 yards from battalion HQ- the rain came down like a waterspout, a solid sheet of water, unbelievable except to those present.  The communication trenches were a raging torrent and impassable, and one had to proceed overland.  So sudden was this phenomenal incident that men were literally drowned in their trenches, being unable to get out in time.  The trenches crumpled as if made of paper.  During the height of the flood a pony, a mule, a pig and two dead Turks were swept into the trenches.  By daylight on the 27th the water had subsided to a depth of four feet. Towards evening the wind shifted towards the North and it became bitterly cold.  Then came snow and a blizzard.  On the morning of the 28th our situation was deplorable. Many lay dead from exposure.  At 4 a.m. the GOC ordered a withdrawal  … the battalion was reduced to a few officers and 68 other ranks.  At nightfall the whole battalion to a man answered the call for volunteers to go and collect arms and equipment from the trenches.

 Guy Geddes quoted in "Gallipoli", (London 2000), Michael Hickey, p. 328

Hill 10 cemetery

 

 

 

 

 


 

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At Anzac … casualties from frost-bite and exposure numbered only 414…But in the Suvla valley the sufferings were terrible. Over 200 men died in the open trenches from exposure, literally frozen to death. Between November 30th and December 8th, of 15,791 casualties evacuated, some 12,000 were due to the weather".

"The Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services in the War of 1914-1918", Volume I, (Australian War Memorial, 1930), A.G. Butler, p 440.

Last updated : 20/08/07

 

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