100th Anniversary of the end of Gallipoli

Alan Davidson, The Picture Library Ltd
Written by admin

A century ago, thousands of soldiers from all over the Commonwealth struggled ashore on a narrow beach at Gallipoli at the start of an ill-fated campaign that would claim more than 130,000 lives.

In 1915, under British orders, troops from Australia and New Zealand (Anzacs) embarked on an allied expedition to capture the Gallipoli peninsula.

By colonising the peninsula it was hoped that Anzacs would open up the waters to the allied naval forces. From there, troops aimed to conquer Constantinople, now Istanbul.

But from the time the first boats landed before dawn on April 25, it was clear the campaign would be a catastrophic failure.

Over the course of the eight-month mission, 11,500 troops died for precious little gain.


gallipoli map

The Gallipoli campaign has become synonymous with heroism of Australian and New Zealand troops – but more British and Irish soldiers were killed than Anzacs.

The first wave of attacks happened at dawn on April 25, 1915 with Allies swarming ashore into the teeth of the Turkish defences.

An estimated 559,000 Allied troops were sent over during its eight months, comprising 420,000 British and Empire troops, 80,000 French, 50,000 Australians and 9,000 New Zealanders.

Approximately 58,000 died. There were 29,500 dead from Britain and Ireland,12,000 from France, 11,000 from Australia and New Zealand and 1,500 from India.

It is thought there were more than 250,000 casualties, either wounded or sick from the horrific conditions. Heat, flies, dysentery, poor sanitation and finally intense cold proved deadly.

Despite the huge cost, the campaign had no significant effect on the outcome of the war

Some 86,000 Turkish troops are reported to have been killed during the conflict.

The last Allied troops were withdrawn on January 9, 1916.


As a mark of respect today, HM the Queen laid a wreath, which read ‘In memory of the glorious dead’ and signed by ‘Elizabeth R’, at the Sandringham Memorial Cross

Alan Davidson, The Picture Library Ltd

Alan Davidson, The Picture Library Ltd

Alan Davidson, The Picture Library Ltd

Alan Davidson, The Picture Library Ltd