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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Albert Edward Last Name: BARNES
Date of Death: 17/08/1915 Lived/Born In: Crouch End
Rank: Rifleman Unit: London11
Memorial Site: 1. Upper Holloway, St John 2. Clerkenwell, St Mark 3. Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Age-25

81, Shaftesbury Road, Crouch Hill

 

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. It was a 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.

The 54th Division including the 11th London battalion of 162 Brigade was the last to arrive at Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay from 10th to15th August, 1915. On 15th August, 162 Brigade supported an attack by 10th Division on Kiretch Tepe Sirt, the ridge of hill stretching along the northern side of Suvla Bay. Their task was to protect the right  flank of 10th Division and did not anticipate much fighting. This proved to be incorrect. There had been no time to reconnoitre the difficult ground over which the brigade would advance and they had no information concerning the probable whereabouts of the enemy. 5th Bedfordshire led the way with 10th London and 11th London following in support. At first things went well but as they approached Kidney Hill they came under increasing rifle and machine gun fire. Along with elements of 10th Division they managed to occupy Kidney Hill but unable to go any further they dug in and consolidated this position where they remained until relieved on 19th August. One of the many casualties suffered by 162 Brigade during this operation was Albert Barnes of 11th London who was killed in action on 17th August.

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