Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles in Gallipoli: 12 October to 18 October

Location: AGHYL DERE (Anzac)

Date: 12.10.15
13 men returned from Mudros. Orders received to relieve 1/5th Beds following day. Fatigues as before. 13 men to hospital.

Date: 13.10.15
Battalion paraded before dawn and proceeded to relief of 1/5th Beds in firing lines. Relief completed by 06.30. At about 10.00 B Squadron of Suffolk Yeomanry arrived for instructions. One troop allotted to each company, the men to be posted with our groups. Sandbag Ridge bombed about 15.30 with some effect; 3 direct hits being made. No reply by enemy. During afternoon a Turk gave himself up and was sent to Bde. under escort. Quiet day and night. Nil report from Patrol listening post, one man wounded and 10 to hospital.

Date: 14.10.15
Lines inspected by Brigadier General Hodgson during morning. Sandbag Ridge shelled about 16.00, poor results. Our lines shelled in return at 16.15, no damage done, 3 shells failed to explode and one sent to Bde. Day otherwise quiet, also night. Two patrols out, neither came into touch with enemy. Two men wounded. One officer and 8 men to hospital (Lt H.G. Brown).
(see notes below)

Date: 15.10.15
Very quiet day/night. Patrol returned with nothing to report. Digging continued along trench line and routine as usual. 6 men to hospital.

Date: 16.10.15
Whole garrison stood to arms at 03.30 and at 04.00 a demonstration was made along the British line with a view of drawing enemy fire; experiment a complete failure. Day quiet. Patrol at night came into contact with party covering considerable body of enemy engaged in putting up wire entanglement across Aghyl Dere near 92Z3 (n.b. all trenches were numbered for easy reference) and were fired upon and ? on returning. No casualties. D Squadron Suffolk Yeomanry reported during day for instructions. B Squadron now acting independently. 4 men to hospital. Lieut. A.F. Harding reported from Mudros.
(see notes below)

Date: 17.10.15
Very quiet day. Patrol sent out to place where patrol was attacked previous night. Returned with valuable information as to ? and construction of a new trench. Routines as usual. One man to hospital.
(see notes below)

Date: 18.10.15
A few shells dropped near lines between 15.00 and 16.00, no damage done. Day otherwise uneventful. Patrol went out towards Sandbag Ridge and reported all quiet to our front. Orders received to prepare new rest camp, in connection with re-organisation of firing line. Ground inspected and found very foul and dirty, part used as a burial ground. 2 men to hospital.

More Information

On the 14th October General Hamilton was dismissed and replaced by General Sir Charles Monro, a soldier who had commanded 3rd Army on the Western Front. Monro was sent immediately to Gallipoli to report on what should happen next.

On the 16th October the Finsbury Rifles must all have been pleased to see the reinforcements from the Suffolk Yeomanry.  The Suffolks were originally cavalry: ‘A squadron’ is the cavalry equivalent of an infantry company. Perhaps at this point D squadron would have numbered 150 or so men. They had left their horses behind for this campaign.

On the 17th October General Hamilton left Gallipoli. It seems likely that rumours of his dismissal had reached the Ottoman High Command and they probably guessed that the invasion of Gallipoli was now unlikely to be reinforced or pursued with any real vigour. Certainly there were no more major battles anywhere on the Peninsula. One authority (Erickson 2010) estimates Turkish death rates in battle anywhere on Gallipoli, from then on, at 300 a month, far, far below those in the horrific slaughter between April and September.

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