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Azmak Cemetery, Suvla Azmak Cemetery, Suvla
First Name: Charles Edward Granville Last Name: VERNON
Date of Death: 15/08/1915 Lived/Born In: South Kensington
Rank: Captain Unit: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers5
Memorial Site: South Kensington, St Stephen

Current Information:

Age-31

34, Rosary Gardens, South Kensington

Azmak Cemetery, Suvla

 

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.

By July, 1915, and after much fierce fighting, stalemate had set in at Gallipoli both at Cape Helles where the British and French had landed and at Anzac Cove where the Australian and New Zealand Corps were unable to break out of their beach head. Fresh troops were needed and they were on their way in the shape of four divisions from Britain and things were put on hold until they arrived.

The plan for August was for a landing at Suvla Bay to the north of Anzac Cove whilst at the same time, the ANZAC Corps, reinforced by some of the new British troops would effect a breakout from Anzac Cove and establish a line across the peninsula. Whilst this was going on the troops in the south at Helles would stage a number of diversionary attacks. But it all went horribly wrong and much of the reason for this can be explained by inadequate planning and leadership. Nobody seemed to know what they were supposed to be doing and Lieutenant-General Stopford, in charge of the Suvla landings was particularly out of his depth. The landings at Suvla failed to link up with the forces at Anzac and the breakout from there did not happen despite valiant efforts by all concerned. The loss of life on all fronts was again enormous. L.A. Carlyon’s excellent  book “Gallipoli” gives a superb yet chilling account of the events.

During the night of 6/7th August, 11th Division landed at Suvla and the following morning 10th Division, including the 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers of 31 Brigade, began landing. 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers remained in reserve in positions west of Lala Baba until 12th August when they moved across the bay to join up with the rest of the brigade for an attack on Kiretch Tepe Sirt, the ridge of hill stretching along the northern side of Suvla Bay. This took place on 15th August and 5th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, on the left of  the  brigade front were given the objective of pushing forward to a small knoll on the southern slope of the ridge, about 400 yards short of Kidney Hill. They began their move at 1.15pm and at first made good progress. But their advance was not supported and when they met heavy fire they came to a standstill and eventually were ordered to withdraw to their starting line. One of their many casualties sustained during this operation was Charles Vernon.

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