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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Arthur John Last Name: COPPIN
Date of Death: 23/05/1915 Lived/Born In: Poplar
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers1
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Age-30

19, Rook Street, Poplar

Gallipoli 1915

On 25 April, British, Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsula. The plan was that these forces would soon defeat a demoralised Turkish army, knock Turkey out of the war, open up the Mediterranean to the Russian navy and threaten Austro-Hungary from the south. None of these things were achieved despite nine months of hard fighting in terrible conditions. The fighting soon degenerated into trench warfare with the Allies unable to break out of their toe holds on the tip of the Helles peninsular and at ANZAC Cove. The Turkish soldiers were much tougher fighters than they had been given credit for and they were of course fighting an invasion of their homeland. The terrain, a series of steep rocky ridges and deep gullies made the fighting much more difficult  and during the hot summer of 1915, the flies arrived in biblical proportions. By January 1916, all British, Australian and New Zealand forces had left Gallipoli, leaving only behind the dead, over 56,000 of them.

After the Second Battle of Krithia, fought between the 6th and 8th May, 1915 and which was a costly failure, it was decided to wait for much needed reinforcements before trying to capture Krithia and  the heights of Achi Baba once more. In the meantime all units were ordered to hold and strengthen their positions and to make what inroads they could into the enemy positions.

1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers of 87 Brigade, 29th Division had been at Helles since the landings  and had been heavily involved in the fighting since then. In mid-May they were temporarily attached to 29 Brigade of the Indian Corps on the extreme left of the line. Here on 22nd May, 1915, the enemy attacked in the afternoon and took possession of an advanced post and parts of the line but after 4 hours of fierce fighting the Turks were driven out. 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers  suffered over 100 casualties in this action and were relieved from this position the next day, 23rd May, 1915.

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