Canadians at Gallipoli 1915-1916

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    Battalion Colours
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    Canadians at Gallipoli 1915-1916

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:33 am

    In early 1915, a year before the famous battle of the Somme, the Newfoundland Regiment was sent to Egypt on its way to its very first commitment in the theatre of war, Gallipoli. This would be the place where the Regiment came close to being wiped out for the first time.

    The Newfoundland Regiment landed at Suvla Bay on the Gallipoli peninsula on the night of September 19th 1915 in order to reinforce the hard-pressed British 88th Brigade of the 29th Division.

    From the beginning the Regiment had a hard time; day and night the Turkish army, in control of the high ground surrounding the beach, poured a constant stream of artillery and sniper fire down upon the line. Casualties mounted day by day and the constant enemy fire made re-supply difficult. Food and water shortages were common.

    In spite of the hardships the Regiment played an important part in advancing the line and was awarded two Distinguished Conduct Medals and a Military Cross during the fighting.

    With the coming of winter conditions went from bad to worse.

    On November 26th a severe storm struck the Regiment a nasty blow. Three days of torrential rain and driving sleet washed away trenches and supplies and as the temperature fell rapidly the rain turned to snow.

    With food and water running short and little or no shelter even the hardy men of the Newfoundland Regiment, who were no strangers to bad weather, began to succumb and several died of exposure.

    By December 10th the Regiment was down to a quarter of its original strength.

    Toward the end of the Gallipoli Campaign the “Newfoundlanders”, as they were called, were given the job of holding the Turkish forces. They formed part of a defensive line and the fighting was “hellish” for a number of weeks.

    Eventually, on December 20th, the British decided to withdraw from Suvla and the Newfoundland Regiment was sent to Cape Helles to assist in the final exodus of British forces.

    By then only 170 men were left.

    The “Newfoundlanders” were among the very last troops to depart.

    After the bloody and deadly Gallipoli engagement the Regiment began the task of rebuilding the tattered remnants of the unit in preparation for there next major engagement, at the Somme, and the now famous battle of Beaumont Hamel.

    The Newfoundland Regiment alone has the distinction of having fought at Gallipoli. No military units, from what was Canada back then, made it to the Dardanelles.

    Ever since Newfoundland and Labrador became a part of Canada in 1949, what those brave troops did has been considered a part of Canadian history.

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    Re: Canadians at Gallipoli 1915-1916

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:40 am

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    The front line at Sulva Bay 1915 with Company B. Pictured are Captain Alexander (left) and Captain Nunns (Right).

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    Re: Canadians at Gallipoli 1915-1916

    Post by Battalion Colours on Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:44 am

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    Captain Frew , Medical Officer at Sulva Bay in 1915.

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    Re: Canadians at Gallipoli 1915-1916

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