Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles in Gallipoli: 5 October to 11 October

Location: AGHYL DERE (Anzac)

Date: 05.10.15
Two enemy guns located on top of ridge to left front of right of ? and pointed out to Brigadier. Day quiet. Two officers patrol sent out at dusk in direction of 92Z1and 92Z2. The former reported enemy outpost in old position, the latter did not come across enemy but found body of dead Gurkha and brought in identity disc; also body of dead Turk and horse. Trench routine as before. Quiet night and day.14 ex-wounded and sick arrived from Mudros. 14 men to hospital.

Date: 06.10.15
Day very quiet except for persistent sniping from Sandbag Ridge. At 17.00 bombardment of ridge started but shells dropped short, one at least in our lines, wounding 3 men of the M.G. section. Officers patrol went out at dusk to bring in white flag noticed in front of our ? post. This was done and found copies of a Turkish document attached thereto. Patrol reported all quiet to our front. Night uneventful. Trench work as usual. R.E. continued barbed wire. 2 men to hospital.

Date: 07.10.15
Battalion relieved at dawn by 1/5 Bedfordshires and proceeded into divisional reserve. Lieutenant Gibson and 20 men left behind for special work during night. 3 Officers of 16th Reg. reported for duty with the battalion divisional fatigues during day, otherwise day occupied in settling down. At dusk Lieutenant Gibson and party proceeded to attack outpost previously referred to, under cover of machine guns. Attack failed 1 man killed and 1 wounded. Lieutenant Alford and 5 men to hospital. 7 ex-sick and wounded returned from Mudros.

Date: 08.10.15
Arrival of Lieutenant Laurence and draft of 25 men from 3rd Battalion. Fatigues as usual during day. Orders received to move next day from Bivouac to one previously occupied by ? Ground inspected by C.O and found to be in very dirty condition. Fatigues continued as usual. 5 men to hospital.

Date: 09.10.15
Morning spent in cleaning up new camp. Battalion moved in about 14:00. Two fatigue parties on road making. 3 men to hospital.
(see notes below)

Date: 10.10.15
Battalion paraded for Divine Service at 08.30. Fatigues as usual during day and night. 7 men to hospital.

Date: 11.10.15
Routine fatigues as usual. Bombing course restarted. Lt Salmon and 4 men to hospital.
(see notes below)

11th London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles); bomb and bayonet attack 1915

11th London Regiment (Finsbury Rifles); bomb and bayonet attack, 1915 © IWM (Q 53973)

More Information

On the 9th October the mentioned reorganisation of the camp was possible because the Ottomans were reorganising too. Several of their regiments were exhausted by the fighting and needed to be withdrawn and replaced. They were also suffering from the dysentery epidemic.

Their generals were content to strengthen and develop the defensive positions  which had by and large served them well. Kemal Ataturk, who became the first President of Turkey after the war, was in command of the sector where the Finsbury Rifles were now based.

The 11th October was a momentous day for those at Gallipoli, though few of them knew it. At long last, stories of what was really happening were being listened to in London. The politicians and field marshals were asking whether the expedition was remotely worth the suffering and loss. General Sir Ian Hamilton, the Commander-in-Chief, received a message. ‘What would the cost of withdrawing from the Peninsula be?’ Hamilton was horrified. He cabled back that he would lose half his force in an evacuation. This snap and wrongheaded response probably sealed his fate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s