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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Alfred John Last Name: WOODROFFE
Date of Death: 16/08/1915 Lived/Born In: Pimlico
Rank: Lance Corporal Unit: Royal Munster Fusiliers 7
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Age-47

6, Lupus Street, Pimlico

 

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 7th Royal Munster Fusiliers battalion of 30 Brigade, 10th Division landed in the northern part of Suvla Bay on 7th August where some mines laid on the beach caused a few casualties. Once ashore, they were one of the battalions that began the advance up the Kiretch Tepe Sirt ridge of hills running along the northern side of Suvla Bay. On 15th August they took part in a divisional attack along the crest of the ridge and reached a line running from The Pimple to the Gulf of Saros. On the following day, 16th August they pulled back to the line held the previous day but here they came under heavy fire and fell back further to a line behind Jephson’s Post. Alfred Woodroffe was killed in action on 16th August.

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