Published By Ben Hillidge
Suvla Bay. 1/1 Bn. Herefordshire Regiment. 9-13 August 1915.
1/1 Bn Herefordshire Regiment sailed from Imbros at about 11pm on 8 August 1915 bound for Suvla Bay where they arrived early in the morning of the next day. At 7.00am they began disembarking and were transferred by steam launch and cutters to C Beach. The weather was fine the seas smooth. Almost immediately on arrival they were involved in the action to capture Chocolate Hill as support troops. On 11 August, the day after the assault had started, they were ordered to advance across the Salt Lake, under heavy shrapnel fire. They reached the far side of the lake and dug in for the night and the next day. At 2.00pm on the 13 August they were moved forward to relieve the 1/7 Bn Royal Welsh Fusiliers (see 1/7 Bn RWF, Chocolate Hill) which had been in the lead troops for the assault on Chocolate Hill. The battalion was relieved that evening and moved back to Lala Baba. For their part in the action the battalion was mentioned in despatches having attacked with impetuosity and courage between Hetman Chair and Kaslar Chair about Azmak Dere.
The battalion then spent the next 3 days at C beach and at Azmak Gully. They were also detailed to dig a new trench line in the forward area which they occupied on 16 August. The War Diary records – ‘This was a trying day for the men being for many hours under fire without being able to reply’. At 8.00pm they were ordered forward, they arrived at their destination at 2.00am to find only a shallow 200 yard trench, many men had to take cover under hedges, in ditches and in old trenches, again there was heavy rifle fire and sniping. The next day the shelling abated but the sniping continued, the men were tired out. Nevertheless they were ordered to advance another 200 yards and dig in, ‘The battalion got out of the trenches in one long line (Quite absurd!) and lay down to wait’ (War Diary), however, the order was cancelled and instead they were told to take over trenches to their left and occupied by 6 Bn RWF. The RWF though had received no orders so stayed in their position and the Herefords remained where they were. A company from the Border Regiment then arrived at 1.00am the next morning causing overcrowding in an already exposed position. Regardless here they remained until 21 August when they were withdrawn to the rear area. Casualties for the period 8-21 August were- Officers 2 KIA & 9 wounded, ORs 20 KIA and 124 wounded.
GOOGLE MAPS centres on C Beach, Sulva Bay, the Salt Lake just inland and Chocolate Hill, the ground beyon the Lake. The sketch below was drawn from the high ground above the northern shore of the lake
For more information on 1/1 Battalion Herefords. and accounts of the landings and subsequent actions in August 1915 – Herefordshire Regimental Museum
References and Sources WAR DIARY 1/1 Bn Herefordshire Regiment.
B&O 1915 Gallipoli. Suvla Bay. 1/1 Bn Herefordshire Rgt. 9-13 Aug 1915.