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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: James Arthur Last Name: BOWYER
Date of Death: 26/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Highbury
Rank: Corporal Unit: Royal Munster Fusiliers1
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:



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 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 26th April, the day after the landings, the troops ashore at V Beach were charged with the task of an uphill attack on the village of Sedd el Bahr and Hill 141. Despite their state of exhaustion after the landings, troops from 1st Hampshire, 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers and 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers, all 29th Division, had captured their objectives by mid afternoon. There had not been many Turkish soldiers defending the village but their well-sited guns resulted in many casualties among the attacking troops.

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