Anzac - The Kesik Valley Cemetery

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... we are now more aware of the exploits of the 27th Regiment which was the first to counterattack the Anzac line at 8.30 on the morning 25 April 1915.  It was this attack that prompted Colonel Sinclair-MacLagan, the commander of the 3rd Australian Brigade, which was the first to land, to direct the next brigade ashore to move south to meat this threat instead of occupying the high ground on the northern flank as originally intended.
It was this lack of troops on the northern flank facing the high ground of Chunuk Bair which made Ataturk's counterattack with 57th Regiment so effective.  It was the second of what in boxing terms was a left and right punch, the first by the 27th Regiment drawing in the Anzac defenders, the second by 57th Regiment exploiting the weakness and leading to the fall of the vital ground of Baby 700 thus ensuring that until August the Anzacs would be preoccupied with holding on, rather than attacking.
However because the 27th Regiment did not belong to Ataturk's 19th Division, the importance of its actions were downplayed.  It is only now
that Cefik Bey's doings are being given their due prominence.  He was the first to attack at 8.30 in the morning and his actions were critical to Ataturk's later success.

"Gallipoli revisited", (2006), Christopher Pugsley.

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Presentation of silver & gold medals of war & privilege to the standard of the 27th Regiment for loyal & distinguished service during the Ariburnu battles in Çanakkale











"The Regiments' commander Lt-Colonel Şefik Aker (seated in the middle)" picture reproduced from "Çanakkale, Ariburnu Heros", Izmir 2006, Nebahat & Cemalettin Yıldız, p. 66

“Presentation of silver & gold war medals & privileges to the 27th Regiment for loyal & distinguished service during the Ariburnu battles in Çanakkale.” picture reproduction from "The War Magazine", (Istanbul - 2004), p. 87


Counter-attacks by the 27th and 57th Regiments on 25th April 1915

The first report reflecting the extent of the Anzac landing reached the 9th Divisions’ HQ at 05h20.  At 05h45 the Divisional commander informs  Lt-Colonel Mehmet Chefik Bey, commander of the 27th Regiment, of the situation and tells him to send reinforcements to the area.  At 05h50 Chefik Bey sets off for the Kabatepe-Ariburnu area with two batallions (2000 men strong) and a machine gun detachment.  At 07h00 Chefik Bey reaches Anderson Knoll and from this position he can see -for the first time- the enemy who occupies Lone Pine.  He decides to move North along the Third Ridge At 07h40 he reaches Hill 165 –a dominating hill just South of Scrubby Knoll- where he waits for his forces to rassemble. This proved to be a wise move as it kept his men not only out of the line of fire of the Navy, but also avoided his batallions being encircled by a superior force positioned on a more dominating hill.  From this point, at 08h00 Chefik Bey launches his first counter attack and pushes the enemy back to Mortar Ridge-Lone Pine Line.

translated from
"The Çanakkale War - the homeland is beyond the trenches", (Istanbul 2006), Gürsel Göncü-Şahin Aldoğan, p. 40-41



translated from "The Çanakkale War - the homeland is beyond the trenches", (Istanbul 2006), Gürsel Göncü-Şahin Aldoğan, p. 44

(*) Late morning and early afternoon of the 25th April


Last updated : 01/12/06




detail of a Turkish map reproduced from "A brief history of the Çanakkale Campaign in the First World War" (June 1914-January 1916), (Ankara 2002),  The Turkish General Staff Directorate of Military History.

In the meantime the 27th Regiment was holding the central and left flank and were concentrating on pushing back the enemy who was holding the Lone Pine – German Officers Trench line.  With the strong and concentrated attack of the 57th Regiment along a narrow terrain on their right, the 27th Regiment could take a breath.  Nevertheless, fighting along this line continued till around 16h00 with much hand to hand fighting taking place in Owen’s Gully. Just before sunset a major counter attack was launched by the Turks and the Australians had to withdraw to the Southern slopes of Lone Pine.


cont@ct us

The original cemetery is on the eastern slope of Kesik Dere, with the first burials taking place in the early days of the campaign.  Fallen soldiers from the 27th and 57th Regiments were the first to be buried here, while later in the fighting soldiers from the 64th and 18th Regiments who were killed while serving in this section of the line were also buried in this cemetery.

"Gallipoli Battlefield Guide", (Istanbul 2006), Gürsel Göncü & Şahin Aldoğan, p.47