The Gallipoli Houses

SILENT WITNESSES
 famous battlefield locations - Helles

 

 

 

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from left to right : daisy patch, fir tree wood, twelve tree copse

the first authentic hotel on the Gallipoli peninsula

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battlefield reminders and relics in gallipoli

the Gallipoli HousesHELLES-famous battlefield locations

 

 

 

 

Towards its middle was a small cultivated field, devoid of any cover and carpeted by a rich growth of white daisies, interspersed with red poppies, known as the Daisy Patch or Daisy Field. The Turks, with at least two machine guns, held the wood and many snipers hid in the growth ready to pour fire into any advancing troops. The open field of fire enabled them to wreak destruction among the advancing troops, the machine guns sweeping the ground like a hose firing at any movement, near or far. The 5/Royal Scots attacked the wood at 10:00 that morning and were able to secure a footing, which turned out to be a death trap, on its southern fringe. What they discovered was a wood full of snipers, body and rifle painted green, camouflaged with twigs and branches from the trees, so much so that they resembled trees and bushes. Heavy casualties were suffered by the Scots whilst attempting to take the wood, but after numerous acts of bravery the Royal Scots were forced to withdraw. At 17:00 the 1/Essex, 1/Borders and the Dubsters attacked the wood, managing to advance as far as 300 yards into it. Unfortunately after three determined advances into the wood, all were driven out with heavy casualties.

"Gully Ravine-Gallipoli", (Barnsley 2003), Steven Chambers, p. 33

 



 

 

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So, there we were, those of the first wave, pinned down and marooned. I looked back and saw the utterly senseless atack launched across the Daisy Patch become even more appalling. More and more New Zeelanders were ordered to follw us. I saw a couple of groups start to make the formal attack and some came on and dropped, and a third group came on and everyone droped, and a fourt started off and four or five dropped and the rest finally turned and hopped back into their holes. I thought, well, at least that lot have sense; they have saved their lives. They were expected to make zig-zag dashes across a wholly open area exposed to

 

 

 


 

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Map detail reproduced from "Military Operations: Gallipoli", Volume II - maps & appendices, (London 1929), Brigadier-General Cecil F. Aspinall-Oglander.

last updated : 17/04/08

 


 

enemy rifle and machine-gun. Yet again I watched every single man in one party fall as he was hit so that none reached the spot where we had shallow cover. The grassy daisy-covered space soon became a pathetic field of dad. Other lines followd and, except for those men who swiftly returned to cover, the same fate awaited all who tried to reach us and fell. I was aghast at the utterly wanton waste of valuable lives.

Joe Gasparich (AIB) quoted in "Voices of Gallipoli", (Auckland 1988),  Maurice Shadbolt, p. 83-84

 

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the daisy patch