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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Edwin George Last Name: BURGIS
Date of Death: 30/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Barnes
Rank: Sergeant Unit: Royal Naval Division Chatham Battalion
Memorial Site: 1. Beddington & Wallington Memorial 2. Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Age-48

92 White Hart Lane, Barnes

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 Austo-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 gulleys 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.

On 25th April 1915, the Royal Naval Division carried out feint landing at Bulair, whilst the 29th Division landed at Cape Helles beaches. On 28th April, the Chatham and Portsmouth Battalions landed at Anzac Cove (Ari Burnu) and came under the orders of the 1st Australian Division.

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