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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Thomas James Last Name: MORSS
Date of Death: 17/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Spitalfields
Rank: Driver Unit: Royal Field Artillery 147 Brigade
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial

Current Information:

Enlisted-London

Gallipoli 1915

On 25 April, British, Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsular . 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. It was an heroic failure.

The 29th Division and the Royal Naval Division landed at five separate beaches around Cape Helles.  Some were not defended, others were fiercely contested. Some ground was gained but within days the familiar pattern of trench warfare had set in. A similar pattern emerged further north where the ANZACS landed. The Turkish soldiers were much tougher fighters than 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. Another seven British divisions were sent to Gallipoli during the summer but little or no progress was made. In the end, a new Commander was appointed and plans to evacuate the entire force were drawn up. By January 1916, all British, Australian and New Zealand forces had left Gallipoli, leaving only behind the dead, over 56,000 of them.

But some never made it as far as Gallipoli. There were a number of deaths aboard the ships bringing the landing force from Egypt and there are over 50 names registered as dying on 16th April-17th April, 1915. They are also all men from the Royal Field Artillery and this date is more of an administrative one and very arbitrary. However, as they are all commemorated on the Helles Memorial we can presume that they were buried at sea. 

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