Helles - V-beach cemetery

The Gallipoli Houses

 

 

V-BEACH CEMETERY

v-beach cemetery and Seddülbahir castle

v-beach from above

The sight that met our eyes was indescribable.  The barges now linked together and more or less reaching the shore were piled high with mutilated bodies – and between the last barge and the shore was a pier formed by piles of dead men.  It was impossible to reach the shore without treading on the dead, and the sea round the cove was read with blood.

2nd Lt R.B. Gillett quoted in "Defeat at Gallipoli", (London 2002), Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, p. 93

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Air Commodore Samson came flying over Sedd-El-Bahr at this moment, and looking down saw that the calm blue sea was absolutely “red with blood” for a distance of 50 yards from the shore, “a horrible sight to see”. Red ripples washed up on the beach, and everywhere the calm surface of the water was whipped up into a ghastly discoloured foam bu thousands of falling bullets.  The sun was shining brightly.

"
Gallipoli", (Ware 1997), Alan Morehead, p. 120

the first authentic hotel on the Gallipoli peninsula

turkish trenches above v-beach

the Gallipoli houses

 

 

memorials and cemeteries in gallipoli

 

IF STONES COULD SPEAK - HELLES 

 

back to if stones could speak

 

 

Dear Mrs De Lusignan,

I am writing to express my deepest sorrow for your loss and to let you know that he died like a gallant gentlemen. He and I and 100 men had a special job apart from the rest of the Battalion. We had to land round the south side of Sedd-El-Bahr and Captain Johnston to the north of it. I sent him to the left with a party of men to join up with Johnston who I afterwards heard was held up with the Battalion on the beach and never reached the village at all, while I went right according to orders.
By midday we were kicked out of the village back to the fort at the end of it. His party was also out numbered and a wounded man lay in the middle of the street being sniped to death when


 

the cemetery at v-beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the dear old prince tried to pull him back into cover and was at what no one else dared to do it. I feel sure you would like to know the splendid manner of his death. I heard all this from one of his men who survived. I feel very much for you and also for myself because he was a friend of mine.

Yours very sincerely,

John Mood


Transcription of a copy of a letter send to Raymond De Lusignan’s mother by Captain Mood, 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers, from the Anglo American Hospital, Cairo, 8th May 1915, where Mood was recovering from his wounds. (Austin Fennessy - private collection)

On 26th April 1915 subsequent to a landing having been effected on the beach at a point on the Gallipoli Peninsula, during which both Brigadier- General and Brigade Major had been killed, Lieutenant- Colonel Doughty-Wylie and Captain Walford organized and led an attack through and on both sides of the village of Sedd el Bahr on the Old Castle at the top of the hill inland. The enemy's position was very strongly held and entrenched, and defended with concealed machine-guns and pom-poms. It was mainly due to the initiative, skill and great gallantry of these two officers that the attack was a complete success. Both were killed in the moment of victory.

"The London Gazette", No 29202, 23rd June 1915.

 


Captain Garth Neville Walford

 

 

 

 

 

The Reverend William Joseph Finn

Lieutenant  Raymond de Lusignan


 

 

 

 

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Although the date on his headstone is 24th April 1915, the Irish WW1 Memorial record, Book One, page 37 has the following record :

9534
Pte Thomas Duffy
1st
Battalion,
Royal Munster Fusiliers

born St. Michael's
Limerick

KIA, April 25th 1915.

private T. Duffy


Last updated : 04/12/06


 

 

 

 

As the boats drew nearer to the beach the awful hail of machine gun and rifle fire, together with shrapnel, took its toll. Father Finn, in the same boat as the Commanding Officer, leapt over the side to go to the assistance of wounded and dying men. His clothes were ripped with bullets and he was hit. Despite the pain he endured, he was seen crawling about the beach talking quietly to the RDF and trying to give Absolution to those close to death. This was not without the greatest difficulty, as one account states, as he had to hold his wounded right arm up with his left. He suffered from loss of blood and eventually exhaustion, end eye witness accounts attest that within a short time he was killed by shrapnel.

"Helles Landing-Gallipoli", (Barnsley-2003), Huw & Jill Rodge, p. 134

 

 

 

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"original grave of Captain G. Walford amid ruins at Sedd El Bahr,", period picture reproduced from "Helles Landing-Gallipoli", (Barnsley-2003), Huw & Jill Rodge, p.146

The Rev. William Joseph Finn was the first priest to be killed in the First World War, ironically on a Sunday :

O the boys are all in tears
In the Dublin Fusiliers –
They have lost the friend of years
Father Finn.

from a poem
by
Bertrand Shadwell