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Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli
First Name: Nathan Last Name: BENJAMIN
Date of Death: 12/07/1915 Lived/Born In: Spitalfields
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Naval Division Chatham Battalion
Memorial Site:

Current Information:


17 Newman's Buildings, Pelham Street, Spitalfields

Served as Jack DAVIS

Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli

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 an heroic failure.

By the end of June 1915, there had been three attempts at Helles to capture the village of Krithia and the heights of Achi Baba beyond it and all three had failed at great cost of human life. Then at the end of June, in the action of Gully Ravine the left flank of the allied line had been pushed forward along Gully Spur and Gully Ravine, although at great cost to most of the assaulting battalions. There had been a similar advance by the French along the right flank of the line that straddled the peninsular, so now it was deemed the right time to push the centre of the line forward. New divisions from Britain were on their way and would be arriving at the end of the month so this would be a limited operation whilst waiting for these necessary reinforcements

The action of Achi Baba Nullah   12th-13th July, 1915

The Royal Naval Division was the preferred choice for this action but the Corps Commander, Lieutenant-General Hunter-Weston, was told they were too worn out and so in their place he deployed the newly arrived 155 and 157 Brigades of 52nd (Lowland Scottish) Division, neither of which had been in action before. The other brigade of the division, 156 Brigade, had been sacrificed at the Battle of Gully Ravine and now Hunter-Weston was to do the same to these two. It was the usual story. The Turkish front line was reached easily enough but then the Scots ran into fierce opposition from the enemy support lines. Orders had been confused or simply not received and some battalions overran their objectives, only to find themselves stranded in no-man’s-land. Communications broke down and confusion reigned from the top down. Some trenches were captured but the enormous number of Turkish and British dead littering the battlefield turned it into a horror show. The following day some troops upped and left their trenches and began streaming back to their own lines and the exhausted Royal Naval Division was sent up to bolster and hold the line. The casualty list was appalling on both sides. The British lost over 3000 men in return for only small gains.

On the afternoon of 12th July,  the Royal Marine Brigade of the Royal Naval Division was moved forward to the Eski Line in support of the afternoon attack by 157 Brigade, an attack that soon ran into trouble especially on the left where two companies of the Plymouth Battalion were sent forward to reinforce. As soon as they arrived the Scottish troops withdrew but they were quickly rallied and sent forward again. As a result of this Hunter-Weston came to the conclusion that the 52nd Division were not up to the task and decided to commit the Royal Naval Division to the attack. In the afternoon of 13th July the Chatham, Portsmouth and Nelson battalions went forward but they could do no more than to reach the positions already held by 52nd Division where they sustained a number of casualties.  One of these was Nathan Benjamin.

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