The Gallipoli Houses - the first "hotel de charme" on the peninsula

w-beach / Lancashire Landing

 

 

 

the first authentichotel on the Gallipoli peninsula

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"Turkish shells falling on W(est) Beach",  picture reproduced from "The Dardanelles, an epic told in pictures", (London-1917), p. 29

 

"Aerial view of "W" and "V" beaches, Gallipoli," picture reproduced from “The Naval memoirs of admiral of the fleet, Sir Roger Keyes”, (London 1934), Roger Keyes, p. 427

 

 

The sea was like glass, but as the picket boats drew off to get into formation our boats heeled over dangerously, and one of the men remarked to the Cox, “I’ listed to get killed, not to get drowned” . As the tows got to a safe distance from the ships the shelling began again, the guns lifting their fire as we approached the shore. When the water began to get shallow the picket boats called out ‘Slip’, for the tow ropes to be cast off, and we began to approach the shore under the oars of the naval ratings. There were five to each boat. Not a sign of life was to be seen on the Peninsula in front of us. It might have been a deserted land we were nearing in our little boats. Then crack! The stroke oar of my boat fell forward, to the angry astonishment of his mates. The signal for the massacre had been given: rapid fire, machine guns and deadly accurate sniping opened from the cliffs above, and soon the casualties included the rest of the crew and many men. The timing of the ambush was perfect; we were completely exposed and helpless in our slow-moving boats, just target practice for the concealed Turks, and within a few minutes only half of the thirty men in my boat were left alive. We were now 100 yards from the shore, and I gave the order ‘Overboard’. We scrambled out into some four feet of water, and some of the boats with their cargo of dead and wounded floated away on the currents, still under fire from the snipers. With this unpromising start the advance began. Many were hit in the sea, and no response was possible, for the enemy was in trenches well above our heads.

captain Richard Willis (walking stick willis) quoted in "Helles Landing-Gallipoli", (Barnsley-2003), Huw & Jill Rodge, p. 86-87

 

"1/Lancashire Fusiliers landing at W beach. Captain "walking stick willi" in the centre", period picture reproduced from "Helles Landing-Gallipoli", (Barnsley-2003), Huw & Jill Rodge, p. 87

We ambled on and finally reached "W" beach, the place where the sea end and the land begins. Once there was a little sand, now it is a scrap-iron dump in the middle of a horse and mule fair.  Each animal had a host of attendants, or so it would seem from the number of nicely-bronzed chaps that are here-abouts; we could do with a few of them a couple of miles inland.  I know they don't know where the firing line is, but we know it well -too will in fact.  We would be pleased to act as expert guides.

"
Gallipoli 1915", ( London-1977), Joe Murray, p. 107-108.

last updated : 16/02/08

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