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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Frederick Last Name: MERRITT
Date of Death: 21/07/1915 Lived/Born In: St. Luke's
Rank: Private Unit: Royal Welsh Fusiliers8
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Enlisted-Finsbury Barracks

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. The enemy did not take this lying down and up until 5th July, they tried desperately to regain lost territory but to no avail. There had been a similar advance by the French along the right flank of the line that straddled the peninsular, and on 12th July there had been a partially successful attempt to push forward the centre of the line in the Action of Achi Baba Nullah. But this was the limit of offensive actions in July. New divisions from Britain were on their way and would be arriving at the end of the month and further attacks would have to wait for these necessary reinforcements. In the meantime it was a matter of holding the line and through a series of small attacks and raids trying to undermine, often literally, the Turkish positions.

8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers arrived in Gallipoli on 16th July, 1915 as part of 40 Brigade, 13th Division. Between 20th and 25th July they were in the front line in the Worcester Flat sector. Frederick Merritt died of wounds on 21st July, 1915, but as yet there is no information as to when and where he was wounded.

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