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Helles Memorial, Gallipoli Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
First Name: Edward Thomas Last Name: JAMES
Date of Death: 25/04/1915 Lived/Born In: Brondesbury
Rank: Private Unit: Essex1
Memorial Site: Helles Memorial, Gallipoli

Current Information:


75, Netherwood Street, West Hampstead


Gallipoli 1915

On 25 April, 1915, 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.

The 29th Division and the Royal Naval Division landed at five separate beaches around Cape Helles.  Some were not defended, others were fiercely contested. Some ground was gained but within days the familiar pattern of trench warfare had set in. A similar pattern emerged further north where the ANZACS landed. The Turkish soldiers were much tougher fighters than had been given credit for and they were of course fighting an invasion of their homeland. The terrain, a series of steep rocky ridges and deep gullies made the fighting much more difficult and during the hot summer of 1915, the flies arrived in biblical proportions. Another seven British divisions were sent to Gallipoli during the summer but little or no progress was made. In the end, a new Commander was appointed and plans to evacuate the entire force were drawn up. By January 1916, all British, Australian and New Zealand forces had left Gallipoli, leaving only behind the dead, over 56,000 of them.

The 1st Essex battalion of 88 Brigade29th Division, landed on “W” Beach on 25th April, 1915, in support of 1st Lancashire Fusiliers. Around midday an attempt to advance and join up with 1st Lancashire Fusiliers was stopped by heavy Turkish fire but later that afternoon 1st Essex and 4th Worcestershire took Hill 138 and the redoubt beyond. One of their casualties during the fighting on 25th April was Edward James.

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