Helles - The Helles memorial

The Gallipoli Houses





The Helles memorial is both the Memorial to the Gallipoli Campaign and to 20,763 men who fell in that campaign and whose graves are unknown or who were lost or buried at sea in Gallipoli waters.  Inscribed on it are the names of all ships that took part in the campaign and the titles of the army formations and units which served on the Peninsula together with the names of 18,985 sailors, soldiers and marines from the United Kingdom, 248 soldiers from Australia and 1,530 soldiers of the Indian Army.

Transcribed from the plaque near the entrance of the Helles Memorial

The Helles Memorial

The Helles Memorial from the air


the Gallipoli houses



memorials and cemeteries in gallipoli

The last letter by Bonny Nevinson to his mother



back to if stones could speak







Lieutenant J. B. Innes




Second Lieutenant Humphrey Kaye Bonney Nevinson




 deep.  Commander Parsons was standing on one of the short ladders that were provided to unable us to get over the parapet, looking at his watch and glancing at us beside him, with a comforting smile on his face.  “Five minutes to go men.” Then another glance at us-“Four minutes …three minutes …two minutes… one minute, men. Are you all ready ? Come on then, men, follow me.” Over we went into the withering machine-gun fire.  Poor old Lieutenant-Commander Parsons was killed in the first seconds and many fell back into the trench.

"Gallipoli 1915", (London 1977), Joe Murray, p. 94-95



Lieutenant-Commander R. S. Parsons

The Helles Memorial

One of the battalions in the 163rd Brigade was the 8th Hampshires, still known by its old volunteer name, The Isle of Wight Riffles.  They had come ashore at Suvla on 10 August and spent two days in reserve.  There was little to encourage them as they prepared for action; 2000 wounded were lying out on the open beach awaiting evacuation and there was little to be done for them; many died there.  On the afternoon of the 12th they were summoned to attack the Turks.  Bugle-Major Peachey raised a silver bugle to his lips and sounded the “advance”; the sun, flashing on his instrument, betrayed him to the enemy and he was the first to fall.

"Gallipoli", (London 2000), Michael Hickey, p. 300





Brigadier-General Anthony Hugh Baldwin

Captain Jenkinson’s death was, I believe, described later in the Times as one of the greatest losses to science since the war began.  He stood quite alone in England, if not in the world, in his own subject, embryology, and had recently embarked on a course of highly specialized investigation in that subject, in which he was a pioneer.  I later met some officers who told me that their hope, when at Oxford, had been that when they had taken their degrees in science, they might be able to attend his lectures.  He had such a quiet, modest nature that I fear none of us at the time realized his reputation. He had recently been gazetted captain, but said nothing about it, preferring to act as a lieutenant.

"With the Twenty-ninth Division in Gallipoli", (London
1916), Reverend O. Creighton, p. 125

Captain John Wilfred Jenkinson




Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St. Clair Tisdall


… Mustafa Kemal’s right wing, descended like an avalanche over the flank of Chunuk Bair and on to the Farm.  There were so few survivors here that no clear account can ever be given of what happened.  Baldwin fell in close combat alongside his brigade major.

"Gallipoli", (London 2000), Michael Hickey, p. 286





On Thursday (*), after lunching with the R.F.’s, I went up to J 12 to try and see if I could discover the bodies of any of the missing officers.  I took a guide with me, who said he knew where they had fallen.  I went up by Gurkha Bluff and through J 11A –a long communication trench running along the top of the cliff, parallel with the





Lieutenant Thomas George Eustace

On Thursday (*), after lunching with the R.F.’s, I went up to J 12 to try and see if I could discover the bodies of any of the missing officers.  I took a guide with me, who said he knew where they had fallen.  I went up by Gurkha Bluff and through J 11A –a long communication trench running along the top of the cliff, parallel with the sea for quite 1000 yards, to J 13 and beyond, which was our main gain.  The Turks had retaken J 13 and part of J 12, which were difficult for us to hold, but we have held J 11 A and dug a diagonal trench from the junction of J 11 A and J 13 back to J 11, which is now the firing line. Between J 11 and J 12 the ground was littered with dead.  A number of Turks had got cut off and

were lying mixed up with our own dead.  I went down J 12 and looked through a periscope.  A lot of firing was going on and bomb throwing, so it was impossible to do much, but I was shown where Eustace and Ayrton probably were.

"With the Twenty-ninth Division in Gallipoli", (London
1916), Reverend O. Creighton, p. 150

(*) 1st July 1915



Major Bromley had come out as adjutant to the 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers.  He had been ship’s adjutant on the A____ on our way out and managed everything exceedingly well, showing every one unfailing courtesy.  This was the second time he had been wounded.  He had been C:O: as well as


Major Cuthbert Bromley

Another of Unwin’s party was Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Tisdall of the Anson battalion, Royal Naval Division.  Seeing the distress of the soldiers caught on the boats down below he joined Unwin in the water. Tisdall, a parson’s son, had a brilliant academic and sporting career behind him at Cambridge and everything to live for. He now made repeated attempts to resue men off the beach, where they were crying out for help, and pushed them to safety in cutters, helped by volunteers from the River Clyde’s crew.  He survived

adjutant for some two or three weeks previous to the 28th.  He had an absolutely cool head and never seemed in the least perturbed or worried, and saw to everything himself.  He was very powerfully built, a splendid gymnast and swimmer.  His wound was not serious, and he recovered from it in Egypt and set sail on the Royal Edward, where he was put in command of all troops on board some time in August.  The Royal Edward was torpedoed on its way to Mudros and sank.  Bromley, so I have since been told, started to swim, but a boat collided with him and stunned him, and he was drowned.  In my opinion he was one of the finest soldiers in the Division.

"With the Twenty-ninth Division in Gallipoli", (London
1916), Reverend O. Creighton, p. 149-150


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An extract from "The London Gazette," No. 29985, dated 15th March, 1917, records the following:-"On the 25th April, 1915, headquarters and three companies of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers in effecting a landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape Helles, were met by





very deadly fire from hidden machine guns, which caused a great number of casualties. The survivors, however, rushed up to and cut the wire entanglements, notwithstanding the terrific fire from the enemy, and after overcoming supreme difficulties, the cliffs were gained and the position maintained. Amongst the many very gallant officers and men engaged in this most hazardous undertaking, Captain Bromley, Serjeant Stubbs, and Corporal Grimshaw have been selected by their comrades as having performed the most single acts of bravery and devotion to duty.



At a quarter-t-twelve we were ordered to show our bayonets above the parapet and to cheer loudly.  A great and glorious cheer rang along the whole line as if to say :”Look out, Johnnie.  We are coming after you if there are any of you left.”  Or was it to tell them to hurry up and get those machine-guns in position? “We will make an excellent target for you, and to make certain that you get the reception ready, we will not come for another fifteen minutes.”
We got the answer at once.  The whole enemy line burst into rapid fire – machine-guns swept our parapet and their artillery blanketed our support trenches.  They had not been destroyed, but where still there and ready for us.
The next fifteen minutes seemed like fifteen years. Our trench was about five feet


unscathed, but was doomed to die only weeks later on the peninsula.  His posthumous Victoria Cross would not be gazetted for almost another year. The citations which gained Unwin and Tisdall their VC’s were unique, for many of the testimonials supporting them were found on bloodstained scraps of paper found later in the boats amongst the dead, having been written on the spot by the dying men they were trying to save.

"Gallipoli", (London 2000), Michael Hickey, p. 300


cont@ct us









wondered if my watch was wrong. 5.20, silence : I waited three minutes to be certain, great as the risk was. Then off we dashed all hand in hand, a most perfect advance, and a wonderful sight ... At the top we met the Turks : Le Marchand was down, a bayonet through the heart. I got one through the leg, and then, for about ten minutes, we fought hand in hand, we bit and fisted, and used fifles and pistols as clubs, blood was flying about like spray from a hair-wash bottle.  And then the Turks turned and fled ....

Dairy of Major Allanson quoted in
“Gallipoli”, Robert Rhodes James, p. 289

(*) Chunuk Bair, 9th August 1915











Francis Henry Bryan, Army Service Corps, 18th Labour Company, died on 13th August 1915, aged 66 ... probably the oldest casualty of the campaign.


Most distressingly of all, many men in D Company saw their popular commander Poole Hickman killed at midday, after which Major Harrison from A Company stepped into the breach  Leaping forward to take charge and striding bravely ahead while waving his cane, he shouted : "I will lead you, men." A few seconds later, he too was caught in the blast of an explosion from a grenade on the edge of an enemy trench.  Captain Tobin, who was next to take charge of the company, was shot through the head a couple of minutes later.  Thus the command structure of the Dublin Pals disappeared in a few minutes of savage fighting.

"Field of Bones", (Dublin 2006), Philip Orr, p. 122-123.



A few minutes later some of the pals saw another young colleague being hit by enemy fire.  One witness only knew this particular soldier as 'a young chap called Elliott who played footer'.  The man in question was in fact T.C.M. Elliott from Strabane in County Tyrone.  He had been a medical student at Trinity College and not only a talented sportsman but an excellent marksman in the university gun club.  He jumped three feet into the air when hit, crumpled to the ground and then started crawling back to the Irish lines, when he was hit again.  He died quickly, in full view of his colleagues who were unable to rescue him because of exceptionally heavy gunfire.

"Field of Bones", (Dublin 2006), Philip Orr, p. 122-123.

At an angle of about 35 degrees, and only 100 yards away, were the Turks ... I had only fifteen minutes left, the roar of the artillery preparation was enormous; the hill was almost leaping underneath one. I recognized that if we flew up the hill (*) the moment it stopped, we ought to get to the top. I put the three companies into the trenches among my men, and said the moment they saw me go forward carrying a red flag everyone was to start.  I had my watch out, 5.15.  I never saw such artillery preparation; the trenches were being torn to pieces; the accuracy was marvellous, as we were only just below. (At) 5.18 it had not stopped, and I

The last commander officer to die in the Gallipoli Campaign :

"Lieutenant Colonel Francis Hercules Walker, Commanding Officer, 7th (Service)  Battalion, The Prince of Wales's (North Staffordshire Regiment), Colonel Walker had served in the Tirah Campaign of 1897-8 and was killed at Fusilier Bluff, Cape Helles on 7th January 1915", period picture reproduced from "British Regiments at Gallipoli", (Barnsley 1996), Ray Westlake, p. 83

... a fleet sweeper carrying part of the main force namely Brigadier General Napier and 88 Brigade staff, two platoons 4/Worcesters and two companies 2/Hampshires, not realising the true position at V, crept in and waited offshore for some small boats to take

Last updated : 14/03/06

them to the beach. Because so many of these boats had been badly damaged, they had to wait for some time.
The Little boats, thses unsung heroes, ran the gauntlet of devastating fire time and time again in an effort to assist the wounded and dying soldiers on the beach.  The crews, despite facing instant death, staunchly continued this work without respite. Eventually one came along with only space for General Napier, the commander of the main force, his staff and a few soldiers.  As they approached the shore an officer on the SS River Clyde shouted frantically that it was impossible to land.  General Napier yelled back: "I'll have a damned good try".  Undeterred Brigadier General Napier jumped into a lighter, a larger boat filled with men that was closest to him, and shooted at them to pull hard for shore.  No effort was made to carry out his command, and it was then that he realised with a sickening heart that all the men were dead.
The General and his staff managed to reach the steam hopper close to the beach, but after fifteen minutes, under terrible fire, buth Brigadier General Napier and his Brigade Major Captain Costeker, were killed.  It was a waste of two of the most valuable and experienced men present that day.

"Helles Landing-Gallipoli", (Barnsley-2003), Huw & Jill Rodge, p.142.




The last letter by Bonny Nevinson to his mother, reproduced from "Gallipoli 1915 - Pens, Pencils and cameras at war", (London 1985), Peter H. Liddle, p. 110

Leading the second wave of this day was Lt.-Col. J.C. M’Neile with is adjudant, Captain J.C. Lang, both of them cool, intrepid men.  “Thr survivors of the charge, never tired of telling what a magnificent example the Colonel, who had endeared himself to all ranks, was to his comrades that day”  (Lt. Sorley Brown)  "Come away, Borderers! Don't be beaten!" was the stirring cry of Captain A. Wallace as he continued to advance, although badly wounded and with blood streaming down his face, until he was hit again, this time to fall a dying man. Lieut. J.B. Innes had one of his arms shattered by a

bursting shell. He got his cousin, Lieut. W.K. Innes, to cut it off, asked for a cigarette,  and continued to cheer the Borderers on until he died from loss of blood.
"History of the 52nd Lowland Division", (Glasgow 1913), Lt.-Col. R.R. Thompson, p. 92