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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Stephen Last Name: SHELDON
Date of Death: 09/08/1915 Lived/Born In: North Kensington
Rank: Sapper Unit: Royal Engineers 85th Field Company
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:

Age-23

Kensal Road, North Kensington

 

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.

Stephen Sheldon lost his life on 9th August, 1915 while serving in Gallipoli with the 65th Field Company of the Royal Engineers which was attached to the 10th Division, but as yet there is no information concerning the circumstances of his death. 10th Division had landed at Suvla on 7th August and  were involved in the fighting there with some units taking part in the unsuccessful attempt just further south to break out of the Anzac beach head.

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