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SCIMITAR HILL

the first authentic hotel on the Gallipoli peninsula

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battlefield reminders and relics in gallipoli

the Gallipoli Houses

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The attack (*) took place on August 21st , and in terms of numbers was the greatest battle fought in the campaign. The 29th Division advanced from a point near Chocolate Hill towards Scimitar Hill, the 11th Division attacked the W Hills, while a composite Anzac force of 3,000 men under Cox attacked Hill 60. The offensive was timed for early afternoon so that the men would advance with the sun behind them, but a totally unexpected and unseasonable mist fell shortly after noon, and the battle was fought in a veil of swirling haze and stifling heat. By 4 p.m. the main attack had been completely held up, and de Lisle ordered Peyton’s Yeomanry to ‘push through’ to the objective.

They left the shelter of Lala Baba and marched across the Salt Lake in open formation, seven yards between each men. The light was beginning to fail, but the Salt Lake silhouetted every man. The shrapnel began to burst over them. When the remnants reached Chocolate Hill at about 6.30 p.m. they were ordered forward blindly into the fearful gloom. It was almost dark when they began to climb Scimitar Hill.

"G
allipoli”, Robert Rhodes James, p. 308-9

(*) battle of scimitar hill

 

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 last updated : 20/08/07

“We thought it was ridiculous to try again.  One fellow said, I’m too bloody tired to go.” We had to try and struggle.  It was a fruitless thing.  We were obeying orders-we had to.  It was not more frightening than any others, we were all afraid.  You must be when you are facing machineguns.  We did try and make the attack (*) not because we wanted to but because it was our job as soldiers.  We were met by withering machine-gun fire.  I was hit and fell.  They had to retire agian and I was there between the lines in the blazing sun,  I was hit at midday.  I put my field dressing on, I knew it hadn’t hit the artery or otherwise I would have died – blood would have ben pumping out – and it missed the bone.  I cut the khaki drill off and my knee was exposed and it went black with the sun.  What I was afraid of was that the Turks had a habit of bayoneting the wounded and was scared stiff.  One of my old Sunday School Friends, Ernest Galloway, spotted me.  He’d been searching the place.  I was very weak, I’d been out eight hours. I said : “It’s through here”.  He said : “I’ll stand you up”.  Then I fainted and he carried me three hundred yards, and I was ten to eleven stone, until he found a stretcher.  He put me on it and said : Bye Bye lad. I’ll see you again sometime”  He was killed...”

Corporal Ernest Haire quoted in Defeat at Gallipoli, Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, p. 275

 
(*) attack on Scimitar Hill on 10th August

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