Timeline of Australians and the Gallipoli Campaign

 

Australia's involvement with the Gallipoli Campaign began in late 1914 when the first contingent of Australian troops disembarked in Egypt. In March 1915, an Anglo-French fleet failed to sail through the Dardanelles on the Gallipoli peninsula's southern shore. The fleet had hoped to bring Constantinople under fire in an attempt to cripple Germany's ally, the Ottoman Empire. To help the navy, the Allies landed infantry on Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Their soldiers made little headway. An attempted break out in August failed. By winter 1915, high command decided to evacuate Gallipoli. The campaign cost the Allies more than 141,00 casualties, including over 8000 Australians. Some quarter of a million men of the Ottoman Empire were killed or wounded.

Events leading up to the campaign

2 August 1914

Ottoman Empire signed a secret treaty with Germany against Russian Empire.

3 August 1914

The Australian Government decided that in the event of war it would offer the United Kingdom (UK) a military force of 20,000 men and place the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under the control of the British Admiralty.

4 August 1914

British Empire and its dominions declared war on the German Empire and its allies.

6 August 1914

Major-General William Throsby Bridges appointed to command the proposed Australian military force. Bridges eventually chose the name for the new force - Australian Imperial Force (AIF).

10 August 1914

AIF voluntary recruitment commenced.

13 August 1914

Australian Red Cross established to raise funds to purchase comfort supplies for Australian service personnel overseas. Throughout August and September 1914, variously named 'patriotic funds' were formed in all states to raise money to send extra food and clothing to service personnel overseas.

31 August 1914

The First Lord of the British Admiralty, Winston Churchill, asked the Chief of the British Imperial General Staff to draw up a plan 'for the seizure of the Gallipoli Peninsula by means of a Greek army of adequate strength, with a view to admitting a British fleet to the Sea of Marmara'. The Greeks produced a detailed plan for the capture of Gallipoli that would involve approximately 60,000 troops.

Churchill felt that the Ottoman Empire was unlikely to remain neutral between Britain and Germany and that the Turks would enter the war on the German side.

1 September 1914

From 1 September to 9 December 1914, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) seized German New Guinea and nearby German-ruled island territories.

27 September 1914

A British naval force at the entrance to the Dardanelles ordered a Turkish torpedo boat to turn back. The Turks then closed the straits, laid mines, switched off the lighthouses and put up warning signs along the cliffs.

28 October 1914

The Ottoman Empire entered the war as an ally of the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary.

1 November 1914

The first convoy of the AIF and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force departed for Europe from Albany and Fremantle in Western Australia.

3 November 1914

British warships, on orders from London, opened fire on Turkish forts guarding the entrance to the Dardanelles at Sedd-el-Bahr (Gallipoli peninsula) and Kum Kale (Asiatic coast of Turkey). The magazine in Sed-el-Bahr exploded, destroying all the heavy guns in the area.

9 November 1914

HMAS Sydney, one of the naval escort ships for the first convoy, engaged the German light cruiser SMS Emden off the Cocos Islands. The Emden was forced to run aground.

21 November 1914

Australian Hospital Ship Kyarra left Brisbane carrying, among other units, a contingent of Queensland nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). Sister Agnes Isambert wrote:

All my dear ones to see me off. Such a crowd at the wharf. Dear Mother kept up bravely

3 December 1914

Units of the AIF began disembarking in Egypt. They were sent to Mena Camp where training commenced. It had been decided to hold the Australians and New Zealanders in Egypt because proper camps in England were not ready to receive them.

13 December 1914

In Sari Sighlar Bay, south of the town of Çannakale in the Dardanelles, the British submarine B11 torpedoed and sank the Turkish battleship Messudieh in difficult conditions. The commander of the B11, Lieutenant Norman Douglas Holbrook, was awarded the Victoria Cross and the members of his crew received other bravery awards.

21 December 1914

Major-General William Birdwood took command of the Australian and New Zealand units in Egypt. These units were formed into an army corps of three divisions — 1st Australian Division, the New Zealand and Australian Division and a mounted division. The corps was known as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This was abbreviated later to 'ANZAC' and those who served in it became known as 'Anzacs'.

4 January 1915

The Russians defeat a large Ottoman army in the Caucasus at Sarikamish. The battle was fought in a temperature of -30°C and more than 30,000 Turks froze to death.

13 January 1915

The British War Council took a decision that 'the Admiralty should prepare for a naval expedition in February to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula, with Constantinople as its objective'.

15 January 1915

The French submarine Saphir sank in the Dardanelles near the town of Çannakale.

25 January 1915

1st Australian General Hospital opened in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.

16 February 1915

Two British Marine battalions were sent to the Aegean to provide landing parties to demolish the Turkish guns at the Dardanelles forts.

19 February 1915

British warships began a naval bombardment of the outer forts of the Dardanelles, but little damage was done to the forts.

25 February 1915

The Royal Navy resumed bombardment of outer forts with more success.

26 February 1915

Between 26 February and 3 March, detachments of Royal Marines landed at Turkish forts at Kum Kale on the mainland and at Sedd-el-Bahr on Gallipoli. They put many Turkish guns out of action.

1 March 1915

Between 1 and 17 March, British fishing trawlers failed to clear the Dardanelles of mines.

4 March 1915

Royal Marines sent ashore at Sedd-el-Bahr met strong resistance and were evacuated. The battleship HMS Majestic shelled the village and reported, 'in a few minutes there was in place of a village a smoking ruin'.

Australians landed at Lemnos, approximately 100km from the Gallipoli peninsula:

  • 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade - 9th (Queensland), 10th (South Australia), 11th (Western Australia) and 12th (Tasmania, with some South Australia and Western Australia) battalions
  • 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station
  • 3rd Field Ambulance
  • part of the Australian Field Bakery

They were to become part of an occupation force if the British Royal Navy succeeded in capturing the forts along the Dardanelles.

6 March 1915

The Turkish navy minelayer Nusrat set a line of 20 mines in Erenkoy Bay. These mines were responsible for sinking three British and French ships during the naval bombardment of the Dardanelles on 18 March.

7 March 1915

On 7 and 8 March, British warships bombarded Kilid Bahr and Fort Dardanos with little result.

11 March 1915

General Ian Hamilton, appointed to command a proposed Constantinople Expeditionary Force (later changed to Mediterranean Expeditionary Force). The force comprised the British 29th Division, the Anzac Corps, the Royal Marine Division and a French corps.

13 March 1915

Field Marshal Lord Kitchener gave General Hamilton his final instructions. Hamilton was told to undertake military operations 'only in the event of the Fleet failing to get through after every effort has been exhausted'.

On learning that the Dardanelles forts were short of ammunition, the British broke off secret negotiations with the Ottoman Empire aimed at a Turkish withdrawal from the war. British agents had been authorised to offer the Ottomans up to £4 million for such a withdrawal.

18 March 1915

Guarded by other warships, 18 British and French battleships attacked the Dardanelles forts. One officer wrote that 'it looked as if no human power could withstand such an array of might and power'. The attack failed. Three battleships were sunk and three disabled with a total loss of life of more than 700 sailors.

The Turkish batteries were extremely low on shells and the Ottomans were apprehensive that the British and French would renew their naval attack the next day. However, the Allies did not renew the attack.

Shortly afterwards, the Allies decided to invade the Gallipoli peninsula with a combined force that included the Anzac Corps.

1 April 1915

The Anzac Corps in Egypt received orders that it was to move to the front.

12 April 1915

Units of the Anzac Corps began arriving on Lemnos.

13 to 14 April 1915

The British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth took senior Anzac Corps officers and battalion commanders to view the coast of Gallipoli and to select landing sites.

17 April 1915

The British submarine E15 was driven ashore by a strong current while trying to pass through the Dardanelles. A Turkish shell penetrated her conning tower, killing the captain and six of the crew.

20 April 1915

More than 200 ships were assembled in the harbour at Mudros, Lemnos, in preparation for the invasion of Turkey.

23 April 1915

A final pre-invasion report circulated by British General Headquarters on Lemnos read, in part:

It is the general opinion that the Turks will offer an energetic resistance to our landing, but when once we are firmly established on the Peninsula it is thought possible that this opposition may crumble away …

English poet and a member of the Royal Naval Division bound for Gallipoli, Rupert Brooke, died on the Greek island of Skyros. These are among the most famous lines of his poetry:

If I should die think only this of me;
That there's a corner of some foreign field
That is forever England.

The landing at Gallipoli

25 April 1915

Between 4:30am and 4:45am, the 3rd Australian Brigade — 9th (Queensland), 10th (South Australia), 11th (Western Australia) and 12th (Tasmania, with some South Australia and Western Australia) Battalions and the 3rd Field Ambulance - landed on Gallipoli around Ari Burnu point. The rest of the Anzacs came ashore throughout the day. By the evening, despite strong Turkish counter-attacks, the Anzacs held a narrow triangle of land roughly 2km long at its base on the coast and extending to just under 1km inland at its widest.

Charles Bean, Australia's Official Correspondent during the war who went on to become Australia's Official Historian of the war, said that all the evidence available indicated that the first Australian ashore at Gallipoli was Lieutenant Duncan Chapman of the 9th Battalion (Queensland), from Brisbane. Chapman survived the Gallipoli Campaign, but he was killed in action at Pozières in France on 8 August 1916.

Early on the morning of the landings, General Hamilton wrote:

Almighty God, Watchman of the Milky Way, Shepherd of the Golden Stars, have mercy upon us … Thy will be done. En avant [forward] — at all costs — en avant.

At 4:30am troops of the British 29th Division began landing at beaches on Cape Helles at the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula while further north Australian troops landed at Ari Burny. French forces launched a feint against Kum Kale on the Dardanelles southern shore. By the end of the day, strong Turkish counter-attacks confined the British to two small pockets of land on the tip of the peninsula at Cape Helles and the Anzacs - the New Zealanders landed later in the day - to a strip of rugged country overlooking Ari Burnu. Both sides suffered heavy casualties.

26 April 1915

By 3am, more than 1700 casualties had been evacuated from the area of the Anzac landing, mainly via the beach to the south of Ari Burnu, which later became known as 'Anzac Cove'.

Between 25 and 28 April at Helles, British troops consolidated their position from the initial landing beaches to form a line across the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. However, on 28 April, at the First Battle of Krithia, they failed to take the village of Krithia which had been an objective for the first day or to make any headway against the Turks up the peninsula.

At Anzac, Turkish forces led by Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal counter-attacked and held on to the high ground at Baby 700 and 400 Plateau. The Australians and New Zealanders were unable to advance.

Early battles at Gallipoli

27 April 1915

Between 27 and 29 April, Turkish counter-attacks failed to drive the Anzacs into the sea. The small area of the Gallipoli peninsula that they now held became known as 'Anzac'. The area on the southern tip of the peninsula, captured by British units on 25 April, became known as 'Helles'.

French forces evacuated Kum Kale and took over positions on the right of the British line at Helles.

28 April 1915

Battalions of the Royal Naval Division began a temporary relief of Australian units at Anzac. On 28 April, one shrapnel shell from the battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, containing 24,000 bullets, wiped out a whole Turkish company as it charged against some demoralised British troops at Helles.

29 April 1915

The first hospital ship to evacuate wounded from Anzac, the Gascon, reached Alexandria, Egypt. Of the 548 casualties on board, 14 died on the voyage over 1.5 days.

First casualties from Gallipoli reached No. 1 Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis. Sister Constance Keys, Australian Army Nursing Service, wrote:

I don't know if the news is known in Queensland yet but the greatest number of men we came over with are either killed or wounded. The whole battalion was practically cut to pieces … The hospital train came in right behind the Palace — nine long carriages painted white with the Egyptian Star and Crescent on the side.

The Australian submarine AE2 sunk by a Turkish torpedo-boat, the Sultan Hissar, in Erdek Bay in the Sea of Marmara. This submarine was the first allied warship to successfully navigate the Dardanelles. The AE2's crew was captured and spent the rest of the war in Turkish prisoner-of-war camps.

30 April 1915

The Hobart Mercury newspaper reported that on 29 April at Melbourne, the Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, had issued the following statement about the Gallipoli landings:

Some days ago the Australian War Expeditionary Forces were transferred from Egypt To the Dardanelles. They have since landed.

When the first news of the landing reached New Zealand, a half-day holiday was declared and impromptu services were held.

3 May 1915

First Gallipoli casualty lists appeared under the heading 'Roll of Honour, Killed and Wounded' in newspapers around the country.

5 May 1915

The Turks begin shelling Anzac Cove from a new position behind their lines. The Australians called this Turkish battery 'Beachy Bill'. During the campaign, Beachy Bill is said to have caused over 1000 casualties at Anzac Cove.

6 May 1915

Between 6 and 8 May, the British, with French, Australian and New Zealand forces, fought the Second Battle of Krithia at Helles but the Turkish lines held and the village did not fall.

Allied operations and Turkish counter-offensives in May

8 May 1915

The Australian 2nd Brigade (Victoria) - 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions - attacked Turkish positions at Krithia in the British area at Helles. The attack was unsuccessful. Charles Bean wrote:

The stone houses of Krithia were still 2000 yards away, but in advancing 1000 yards the brigade, already reduced at Anzac to 2900 men, lost in one short hour another 1000.

9 May 1915

A party from the 15th Battalion (Queensland, Tasmania) crept out at night and captured the Turkish trench in front of Quinn's Post, a key position at Anzac. Next morning, they were driven back with many men wounded as they ran for the Australian line. Lieutenant Francis Armstrong from Brisbane was killed as he tried to climb out of his trench to rescue the wounded.

Chaplain William McKenzie, Salvation Army, recorded his first burial after arriving on Gallipoli:

It was pleasing to be able to bury the Col.'s body [McKenzie did not specify who the Colonel was] the first night I was in the firing line and we buried him at 9 pm in an exposed position and for safety I had to kneel in a crouching position to conduct the service. He had been dead a fortnight.

12 May 1915

The battleship HMS Goliath was sunk by three torpedoes from the Turkish destroyer Muavenet-I Millet. Goliath's Captain, Thomas Lowrie-Shelford, and 570 of his crew were lost.

1st Australian Light Horse Brigade arrived during Turkish shelling at Anzac Cove. These light horsemen came without their horses and were used as infantry in the trenches of Anzac, as were other light horsemen who arrived later.

15 May 1915

On the nights of 15 May and 27 May, Major Percy Overton of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and others scouted from No. 1 Outpost on Anzac up the valleys towards the heights of Chunuk Bair. Overton's reports indicated that the area was lightly defended and that it might be possible to attack the Turks there and capture the heights. Such an operation could turn the tide at Gallipoli and deliver an Allied victory. From these scouting expeditions, the plan for the August Offensive at Anzac was born.

Major-General William Throsby Bridges, commander 1st Australian Division, was wounded in the thigh by a Turkish sniper in Monash Valley. He died on 18 May on his way to Egypt aboard the hospital ship Gascon. His last words were:

Anyhow, I have commanded an Australian Division for nine months.

17 May 1915

Corporal Joseph Slack of the 15th Battalion (Queensland, Tasmania), a miner from Wellington in New South Wales, heard the noise of picks tunnelling underground towards the Australian position while lying on the floor of a forward 'sap' at Quinn's Post. This was the first indication of mining operations at Anzac. The Turks aimed to tunnel close to an enemy trench and then use an explosion to break into it.

18 May 1915

Reverend Oswin Creighton, a chaplain with the British 29th Division at Helles, wrote of the Turks:

The Turkish positions only get stronger every day. … They are magnificently well-led, well-armed and very brave and numerous.

19 May 1915

A major Turkish attack meant to drive the Anzacs into the sea failed when the Turks were killed in their thousands.

Captain Albert Jacka earned the AIF's first Victoria Cross of the war.

At Anzac, during a major Turkish counter-attack, Karm Singh, a member of the 21st (Kohat) Mountain Battery, Indian Army, remained at his post passing messages although his eyes had been penetrated with shrapnel pellets.

24 May 1915

Joseph Murray, Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division, wrote of one of the main challenges facing the soldiers at Helles:

As one opens the tin [of jam] the flies are so thick that they are squashed in the process. One never sees the jam; one can only see a blue-black mixture of sticky, sickly flies. They drink the sweat on our bodies and our lips and eyes are always covered with them.

A truce allowed the Turks to bury their dead lying in no-man's-land between the trenches. Because of the summer heat, the bodies had begun to rot and the smell was overpowering.

25 May 1915

The German submarine U21, torpedoed and sank the battleship HMS Triumph as the ship guarded the ship-to-shore transports off Anzac Cove. General William Birdwood, commander of the Anzac Corps, wrote that the Triumph:

suddenly turned just like a fish diving, and went straight to the bottom. It was really rather an awful sight and most solemn

After the sinking of the Triumph, Admiral John de Roebuck recalled the British battleships to the comparative safety of Mudros harbour. British war correspondent Compton Mackenzie wrote:

The sense of abandonment was acute … every man had paused to stare at the unfamiliar emptiness of the water … it is certain that the Royal Navy has never executed a more demoralising manoeuvre in the whole of its history.

26 May 1915

Commencement of a factory at Anzac Cove to make periscope rifles. This device allowed a soldier to aim and fire at the enemy from his trench without showing himself. The periscope rifle was invented by Lance-Corporal William Beech of the 2nd Battalion (New South Wales), from Sydney.

Turkish snipers opened fire down Monash Valley from a new trench near the Nek. 50 Australians were hit until a field gun knocked out the trench.

Four destroyers arriving at Anzac Cove with troops were shelled. The shelling killed four soldiers and a seaman and wounded 41 others, of whom seven later died. As a result, daytime landings ceased. After this, all troops and animals were landed at night.

27 May 1915

Night attack by the British destroyer HMS Rattlesnake and men of the 9th Battalion (Queensland) under Lieutenant Maurice Wilder-Neligen on a Turkish trench near the beach at Gaba Tepe. The purpose of this, and subsequent attacks, was to make the enemy think that a major offensive would be launched from the southern positions of Anzac.

Submarine U21 torpedoed and sank the battleship HMS Majestic as the ship guarded the ship-to-shore transports off 'W' Beach, Helles. With the sinking ship, 49 sailors drowned.

29 May 1915

The Turks attacked and broke into Quinn's Post after exploding a mine close to the Australian front line. After heavy fighting, the enemy was driven out and the position restored. During the fighting, Major Hugh Quinn of the 15th Battalion (Queensland, Tasmania), from Charters Towers and Townsville in Queensland, was killed. The post was named after him.

2 June 1915

Major-General Alexander Godley, commander of the Australian and New Zealand Division, addressed the Australian 4th Brigade - 13th (New South Wales), 14th (Victoria), 15th (Queensland, Tasmania) and 16th (Western Australia, South Australia) Battalions - in Reserve Gully. The brigade had been in action since the landing of 25 April and Godley said to them:

I have come here today to tell you with what great pride and satisfaction I have watched your performances during the last five weeks … Yours is a fine record and one which you yourselves and Australia should be proud of.

Allied operations in June and July

4 June 1915

At Helles, the British launched the Third Battle of Krithia on what was described as 'an exquisite summer's day'. Although the British broke through the Turkish lines towards Krithia, this advantage was not followed up and the Turkish line held. The British suffered more than 4500 casualties, the French more than 2000 and the Turks declared more than 9000 dead and wounded.

6 June 1915

Sergeant Lawrence's diary:

We had a glorious swim after dusk. The Turk guns seldom fire after dark … the beach is just crowded — all men though. I came home and wrote to the family and then to bed.

7 June 1915

First Australian Hospital Ship, HMAT Kyarra, left Suez, Egypt, carrying wounded back to Australia.

8 June 1915

Sergeant Lawrence's diary:

Each man has to cook his own rations, get his own firewood and everything … Our rations are as follows: breakfast — tea and sugar, no milk, six biscuits per day (hard as Hell too), a small piece of cheese, a quarter pound jam and one rasher of bacon. Lunch — tea only. Tea — stew or bully beef and tea, no milk.

9 June 1915

1st Australian Field Bakery, which had been working at Lemnos, moved to the island of Imbros, approximately 24km from Gallipoli. The bakery sent 14,500 rations of bread every day on a trawler to the troops on Anzac until the end of July, when it was joined by British bakery units.

15 June 1915

Corporal Alec Riley, 42nd (East Lancashire) Division, wrote from Helles:

We itched and scratched until we were tired with scratching. We turned our clothes inside out, and ran the burning ends of cigarettes up the seams. The crack of a frizzled louse was one of the sweetest sounds we knew.

18 June 1915

At MEF Headquarters on Imbros island, General Hamilton and his staff celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo with a special dinner of crayfish.

19 June 1915

A pier was completed at Anzac Cove for landing stores and equipment. The pier was built by the 2nd Australian Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers. It was called Watson's Pier after Major Stanley Watson of the 1st Division Signal Company, who supervised the construction.

21 June 1915

At Helles, French forces launched an attack on the Turks at Haricot Redoubt and Kereves Dere. The French, for little progress, suffered more than 2500 casualties and the Turks reported more than 6000 killed and wounded.

23 June 1915

Eight bathers at Anzac Cove were hit by Turkish shellfire. One man came out of the water with an arm almost severed.

28 June 1915

Between 28 June and 5 July, Turkish forces at Helles attacked British positions at Gully Ravine. In 8 days, the Turks suffered more than 16,000 casualties, including more than 10,000 killed.

Six Australians of the 9th Battalion (Queensland) were made prisoners-of-war by the Turks after a failed diversionary attack in the southern sector of Anzac from Holly Ridge. Three of these men survived captivity.

3 July 1915

A medical report from the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station at Anzac Cove noted:

Dysentery is becoming very acute, and cases of extreme collapse are occurring.

7 July 1915

Cholera inoculations began at Anzac.

8 July 1915

The 10th Battalion (South Australia) left Anzac for a 3-day rest period on Imbros island. Captain Nott, the battalion medical officer, wrote:

A perfect holiday picnic

11 July 1915

Death at Helles of Lieutenant-Colonel Hasan Bey, commander of the Turkish 17th Regiment, 5th Division. He was killed by a wounded French soldier. Hasan's last words were supposedly:

Don't kill the Frenchman; he did his duty.

12 July 1915

British forces at Helles launched an attack, the Action of Achi Baba Nullah. Some Turkish trenches captured but no significant headway was made. A battalion of the Kings Own Scottish Borders lost more than 300 men killed and 200 wounded. At the end of the day, one senior British officer wrote:

(the troops in one sector) could not be induced to go forward

13 July 1915

Between the end of June and 13 July 1915, British forces advanced 500 yards (457m) at Helles, at a cost of more than 17,000 Allied casualties and over 40,000 Turkish casualties. One British soldier wrote that the Helles battlefield:

looked like a midden and smelt like an open cemetery

Between 13 and 17 July, the Australian 8th Battery (Western Australia) and 3rd Field Artillery Brigade had a daily duel with Turkish guns.

17 July 1915

On 17 July, the No 1 gun was hit, killing two Western Australians from the 8th Field Battery:

29 July 1915

No 3 Australian General Hospital arrived on Lemnos to treat wounded Australians from Gallipoli. The hospital equipment arrived on another ship 3 weeks later.

30 July 1915

Colonel Neville Howse, Assistant Director AIF Medical Services, reported on the condition of the men of the 1st Australian Division before they were to take part in the major August Offensive. Howse wrote that the constant strain, the limited quantity of water and the climatic conditions, together with a type of diarrhoea that was producing anaemia, had undermined the men's health. 30% of the men were unfit, and the rest were not fresh and unlikely to be able to withstand prolonged strain.

August Offensive

3 August 1915

During the nights of 3 to 5 August, an extra 20,000 soldiers of the British 13th Division were secretly brought ashore at Anzac for the proposed August Offensive.

5 August 1915

Lieutenant Commander Edward Cater of the Royal Navy, the officer in charge of the Anzac landing site, died at Anzac Cove. Cater was much admired by the Anzacs for his bravery under fire. He was killed as he rushed along one of the landing piers to assist the men trying to land from a damaged steamboat.

6 August 1915

At 2:30pm at Helles, elements of the British 29th Division attacked towards a feature known as 'the Vineyard'. This attack, like that by the Australians at Lone Pine at Anzac, was aimed at holding down Turkish reinforcements from the main thrust of the August Offensive - the night march up the Sari Bair range to take Chunuk Bair and Hill 971 and the British landings at Suvla Bay.

Little progress was made in the Vineyard attack and the British 88th Brigade lost over 2000 men.

Along with Australian, New Zealand and British units, the 29th Indian Brigade — the 14th Sikhs, and 5th, 6th and 18th Gurkha Rifles — made their way from North Beach into the Sari Bair range and up towards Chunuk Bair and other peaks.

At 5:30pm, units of the 1st Australian Division attacked Turkish trenches at Lone Pine.

At 6:00pm, the Turkish front line at Lone Pine fell to the Australians and fierce Turkish counter-attacks began.

At 8:30pm, the regiments of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles attacked up the valleys leading to the heights of the Sari Bair Range - Chunuk Bair and Hill 971. After this successful assault, three columns of infantry - the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, the 29th Infantry Brigade of Sikhs and Gurkhas and the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade - began making their way up these valleys to attack the heights.

At 9:30pm, British units begin landing at Suvla Bay.

7 August 1915

British forces make little headway at Suvla, and Allied forces in the Sari Bair range also failed to seize their objectives.

Between 4:30 and 4:45am, four waves of men of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade attacked Turkish trenches at the Nek. They were cut to pieces. Charles Bean wrote:

The flower of the youth of Victoria and Western Australia fell in that attempt.

At 4:30pm, unsuccessful diversionary attacks were made from Quinn's Post and Pope's Post.

At 10:15 and 11am, New Zealand and Indian units attacked towards Chunuk Bair but fail to capture the peak. The 4th Australian Brigade became lost in the foothills leading to its objective - Hill 971 - and dug in. British units failed to make any progress at Suvla Bay.

8 August 1915

The New Zealanders, backed up by British units - 7th Battalion, Gloucester Regiment and 8th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers - captured Chunuk Bair. Fierce Turkish counter-attacks throughout 8 August failed to drive them off.

British forces made little progress at Suvla.

A unit of Gurkhas briefly captured another summit to the north of Chunuk Bair, known as 'Q', but were driven off by the Turks.

The 4th Australian Brigade failed to make any progress towards Hill 971.

The Royal Australian Navy Bridging Train (RANBT) landed at Suvla Bay to assist the British force with the construction of piers, the control of water supplies and other tasks. The unit was based at Kangaroo Beach and was among the last to leave at the evacuation in December 1915. One of them wrote:

Bridging Train tourists, seven bob a day
Unloading lighters at Suvla Bay,
If they should grumble, the jaunty would say
Away to the guard shed, and stay there all day.

9 August 1915

The New Zealanders hold Chunuk Bair and then were relieved by British units.

In 3 days of fighting at the defence of Lone Pine, seven Victoria Cross medals were awarded to AIF soldiers, including:

  • Corporal Alexander Burton of the 7th Battalion (Victoria); killed in the action
  • Captain Frederick Tubb of the 7th Battalion (Victoria)
  • Corporal William Dunstan of the 7th Battalion (Victoria)
  • Private John Hamilton of the 3rd Battalion (New South Wales), from Penshurst
  • Captain Alfred Shout of the 1st Battalion (New South Wales), from Darlington; killed in the action

A party of the 6th Gurkha Rifles, led by Major Cecil John Lyons Allanson, take Hill Q to the north of Chunuk Bair. They are forced to retire when shelled by their own artillery. A supporting force under Brigadier-General Anthony Hugh Baldwin got held up in the battle confusion in the valleys below Chunuk Bair and Hill Q, and failed to reach the Gurkhas.

General Hamilton visited Suvla to encourage his troops to advance. However, Turkish reinforcements were now arriving in strength at Suvla, and an attack beat the British back from the key position of Teke Tepe.

10 August 1915

Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal led Turkish soldiers in counter-attack against British troops on the peak of Chunuk Bair. The British lost the heights and the August Offensive failed.

11 August 1915

After passing through the Dardanelles, the British submarine E11 began a 29-day patrol in the Sea of Marmara and up to Constantinople during which it accounted for, according to a naval report, a:

battleship, a gunboat, six transports, and an armed steamer, as well as twenty-three sailing vessels

12 August 1915

A British advance at Suvla towards the Tekke Tepe Hills was repulsed by the Turks. The Reverend Charles Pierrepont Edwards was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for his bravery in bringing in wounded men under heavy fire during this attack.

13 August 1915

Flying a plane from the British seaplane carrier HMS Ben, My Chee, Flight Commander Charles Humphrey Kingsman Edmonds torpedoed and sank a Turkish transport ship lying off Bulair, north of Gallipoli.

A German submarine sank the transport ship, Prince Edward, with the loss of 861 British soldiers.

15 August 1915

British units advanced at Suvla against the Turks on Kiretch Tepe Ridge. Little progress was made, and the attackers suffered more than 2000 casualties.

By this date, the 10th Battalion (South Australia) estimated that 45% of its soldiers had been evacuated from Gallipoli suffering from acute diarrhoea.

17 August 1915

General Hamilton informed Lord Kitchener that the August Offensive had failed. He requested 45,000 reinforcements to bring units already on Gallipoli up to strength and another 50,000 to make further offensives possible.

19 August 1915

The first units of the Australian 2nd Division - the 17th (New South Wales) and 18th (New South Wales) Battalions - arrived at Anzac. One Australian wrote about these strong and healthy new arrivals:

Great big cheery fellows, whom it did your heart good to see.

21 August 1915

Beginning of the attempt to take Hill 60. A mixed force of Australian, New Zealand and British units attacked the flank of Hill 60 and gained some ground.

The British advanced at Suvla against Turkish positions at Scimitar Hill and the so-called 'W' Hills. An Anzac force attacked Hill 60 in stifling heat and a swirling mist. The attack was a failure with more than 5000 British casualties. Many wounded men perished in scrub fires ignited by the bursting shells.

Winston Churchill summed up the battle:

The British losses were heavy and fruitless ... On this dark battlefield of fog and flame Brigadier-General Lord Longford, Brigadier-General Kenna VC, Colonel Sir John Milbanke VC, and other paladins fell.

This was the largest action fought on the Peninsula, and it was destined to be the last.

22 August 1915

The newly arrived 18th Battalion (New South Wales) failed to break into the Turkish positions and lost half its men killed or wounded.

While trying to rescue a wounded English soldier near Hill 60, two men were hit by a Turkish sniper and later died:

When Gillison's son and daughter-in-law visited his grave in the Embarkation Pier Cemetery in 1964, Joan Gillison wrote:

Here, in a sense, our pilgrimage ended.

25 August 1915

Major Davidson, Royal Army Medical Corps, at Helles wrote of the Gallipoli Campaign:

Four calendar months since we landed on Gallipoli and not much progress made yet.

27 August 1915

Renewed attempt to take Hill 60. Between 27 and 29 August, a mixed force of Australian, New Zealand and British units again attacked Hill 60, gained some ground, but failed to take and hold the main Turkish position.

29 August 1915

A combined British, Anzac and Gurkha force failed to take Hill 60 at Suvla.

Second Lieutenant Hugo Throssell of the 10th Light Horse Regiment (Western Australia), from Cowcowing, was awarded the VC for his outstanding bravery on 29/30 August at Hill 60. Throssell's VC was the 9th awarded to members of the AIF at Gallipoli.

2 September 1915

The transport ship Southland, carrying Australian and some British troops, was torpedoed on its way to Lemnos. The AIF lost 32 men, most being drowned.

3 September 1915

Major-General William Throsby Bridges, commander of the 1st Australian Division, was buried in the grounds of the Royal Military College at Duntroon, Canberra. He had died of wounds received at Gallipoli on 15 May 1915. Bridges was the first commandant of Duntroon, and the only Australian soldier who died overseas in either of the world wars whose body was returned home during the course of the war.

7 September 1915

On Wattle Day, the Governor-General Ronald Munro Ferguson unveiled in an Adelaide park the 'first official monument to the fallen heroes'. It was inscribed:

Australian Soldiers Dardanelles April 25 1915

20 September 1915

Private Griffith Owen of the 28th Battalion had a lucky escape. While standing on the fire-step of his trench observing the enemy line, he felt a blow to his chest. He look to find that a bullet had penetrated his greatcoat, jacket and a wallet in his pocket. The bullet lodged itself harmlessly in a small Bible he always carried.

4 October 1915

The 28th Battalion (Western Australia) is relieved after 24 days duty in the front line trenches. During that relatively quiet period at Gallipoli, the battalion suffered many casualties: 13 killed, nine died of wounds, 46 were wounded and 35 evacuated sick.

8 October 1915

The first severe autumn storm lashed the Gallipoli peninsula from the south-west. The storm caused considerable damage at Anzac Cove, particularly to the water supply.

Evacuation of Allied troops from Gallipoli

12 October 1915

Asked for his opinion as to the consequences of a British evacuation of Gallipoli, General Hamilton wrote:

It would not be wise to reckon on getting out of Gallipoli with less loss than that of half the total force ... we might be lucky and lose considerably less than I have estimated.

14 October 1915

The Dardanelles Committee dismissed General Hamilton as commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. The position was given to General Charles Monro.

21 October 1915

Vera Deakin, daughter of ex-Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, established the Australian Red Cross Missing and Wounded Enquiry Bureau in Cairo, Egypt. For the rest of the war, the Bureau handled thousands of enquiries from Australian families seeking information about wounded and missing soldiers.

25 October 1915

Private James Martin of the 21st Battalion (Victoria), from Hawthorn, died from typhoid fever on board the hospital ship Glenart Castle. Martin, aged 14, is thought to have been the youngest Australian soldier to die in the Gallipoli campaign.

31 October 1915

General Monro cabled Field Marshal Lord Kitchener, advising a complete withdrawal from Gallipoli. In a subsequent cable on 2 November, Monro estimated that an evacuation could lead to a casualty rate of 30 to 40% of the force and an equal amount of war material.

4 November 1915

Lord Kitchener, refusing initially to accept the advice to evacuate, dismissed General Monro and appointed Lieutenant-General William Birdwood as commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Kitchener then left London to see Gallipoli for himself. Shortly afterwards, he reconsidered his removal of Monro and appointed him to a new command that left him, in effect, once more in charge of the Gallipoli operations.

15 November 1915

Winston Churchill, one of the main architects of the Gallipoli Campaign, resigned from the British Government and went to serve with the British Army in France.

22 November 1915

Lord Kitchener advised that Gallipoli should be evacuated. This would involve taking off more than:

  • 93,000 troops
  • 200 guns
  • over 5000 animals
  • vast quantities of ammunition and stores

27 November 1915

On 27 and 28 November, severe rain and thunderstorms, which turned into blizzards, hit Gallipoli. More than 280 men died and there were 16,000 cases of frostbite and exposure.

7 December 1915

Although local planning had been proceeding since 22 November, the British Government finally gave approval for the evacuation of the Anzac and Suvla positions. Helles was to be retained for the moment.

9 December 1915

The Anzac garrison had been reduced to 36,000 men. Between 9 and 18 December at Anzac, a further 16,000 troops and equipment were evacuated. Movements mainly occurred at night.

12 December 1915

From this day on, most of the remaining troops on Anzac became aware that a full withdrawal was in progress. Charles Bean wrote:

The cemeteries of Anzac were never without men, in twos and threes or singly, 'tidying' up the grave of some dear friend, and repairing or renewing little packing-wood crosses and rough inscriptions.

18 December 1915

Over 2 nights from 18 to 20 December, the remaining 20,000 Australians and New Zealanders were withdrawn from the Anzac area. Colonel John Paton was in charge of the 'rear-guard' on the last day. There were virtually no casualties. Right until the end, the Turks were unaware that a major evacuation was taking place.

25 December 1915

On Lemnos after the evacuation, Australian troops celebrated Christmas away from home. Major Ernest Harris of the 21st Australian Infantry Battalion, from Jeffcott, wrote to his wife Rose:

Each man was given a 'Christmas Billy' — and I can assure you they opened them as eagerly as children at home do open their Christmas stockings … Just one thing hurt very much — it was the picture on the outside of the billy, showing a Kangaroo on the map of Gallipoli, with his tail knocking a Turk into the sea and underneath the words 'THIS BIT OF THE WORLD BELONGS TO ME'.

27 December 1915

The British Government ordered the evacuation of Helles.

2 January 1916

Sergeant John Robins, of the 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, was shot at dawn on the beach at Helles for 'Wilfully disobeying an order given by a superior officer in the execution of his duty'.

On 2 and 3 January, French forces were evacuated from Helles.

6 January 1916

On hearing of the coming evacuation, Joseph Murray of the Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division, at Helles, wrote:

I was extremely angry as I had for a long time cherished the hope that I would leave this inhospitable graveyard, defiant and with my head held high. I could not admit, even to myself, that we had been beaten after the sacrifice of so many men … to desert our fallen comrades and sneak away in the dark without a fight is a revolting thing and the thought of it nauseates me.

7 January 1916

Turkish forces at Helles launched a major attack on the remaining 19,000 British troops. The attack was preceded by a furious artillery bombardment. Many Turkish soldiers, realising that the British were leaving the peninsula, refused to leave their trenches and the attack failed.

8 January 1916

On the night of 8 to 9 January, 17,000 British soldiers were evacuated from Helles. This brought the 3-week evacuation to a close, and marked the end of the Gallipoli Campaign. In just over a week, 35,000 soldiers, 3689 horses and mules, 127 guns, 328 vehicles and 1600 tons (1451t) of stores had been taken off Helles. Approximately 508 horses and mules were slaughtered or left behind.

10 January 1916

Turkish newspapers reported that:

the whole of the Gallipoli Peninsula is now free from the enemy. They are driven out of Sedduülbahir (Sed-el-Bahr)

Commemoration of Gallipoli Campaign veterans

1 April 1916

The Victorian Department of Education's magazine, The School Gazette, advised that the first anniversary of the landing of the Australian troops at Anzac on 25 April 1915 would be commemorated in all state schools on 20 April. This date was chosen because 25 April fell on a Tuesday during the Easter school holidays in 1916.

13 April 1916

The Victorian Department of Education's magazine, The School Gazette, advised that a bronze medallion commemorating the landing at Anzac on 25 April 1915 was available for school children to buy at a price of six pence. On one side was the head of the King George V surrounded by the inscription 'For King and Country'. The other side featured the word 'ANZAC' surrounded by a wreath, below which were the words 'Lest We Forget - 25 Ap. 15'.

25 April 1916

The following 'In Memoriam' notice appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper:

BUTTON — Killed in action, on April 25, at the Dardanelles, Lance-Corporal F. Button, 4th Battalion, beloved husband of Daisy Button, aged 33 years.

He felt it was his duty
To take a noble part.
There was no fear of danger
In his loyal and brave young heart.
In a soldier's grave he is sleeping,
Our loved one, the dearest and best.
In our hearts we will miss him for ever,
Though we know he is only at rest.

Inserted by his loving wife and two children, Daisy and Violet.

Thousands of similar notices were inserted in newspapers throughout Australia.

In 1916, Acting Prime Minister, George Pearce, officially named 25 April as Anzac Day. It was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and New Zealand, including a commemorative march through the streets of London, involving over 2000 Australian and New Zealand troops.

15 February 1919

Between 15 February and 10 March 1919, Charles Bean revisited Gallipoli for research purposes. In 1948, Bean published an account of this visit, entitled Gallipoli Mission.

25 April 1935

On the 20th anniversary of the landing, Tasman Millington, the Australian-born supervisor of the Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries on Gallipoli, scattered on the beach at Anzac the ashes of the ribbons of wreaths burnt in Australia. He sent back to Australia earth from Lone Pine in the urn that had brought the ashes to Gallipoli.

20 August 1984

A new Gallipoli Gallery at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra was opened by the Governor-General, Sir Ninian Stephen, in the presence of 240 Gallipoli veterans.

25 April 1985

The Turkish Government officially recognised the name 'Anzac Cove' on Anzac Day in 1985.

25 April 1990

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and New Zealand Governor-General Paul Reeves travelled to Turkey, along with 59 of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans and many Australian and New Zealand tourists for a special Dawn Service at Gallipoli.

9 December 1997

Albert Edward 'Ted' Matthews died in Sydney. Matthews had been the last-surviving Australian of the approximately 16,000 men of the Anzac Corps who landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. In his eulogy for Ted Matthews at St Stephens Uniting Church in Macquarie Street, Sydney, the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, said:

Ted Matthews had been among the last of the Australians to go, leaving on the night of December 19, 1915. He was therefore at Gallipoli from the beginning until the very end, and his passing marks a final break in a living thread that united us Australians with the complete Anzac epic.

16 May 2002

The final surviving Australian participant in the Gallipoli Campaign died. Alec Campbell was born on 26 February 1899. He lied about his age to join the AIF because he was only 16 years and 4 months. He landed on Gallipoli about 6 weeks before the evacuation.

25 April 2015

The 100th anniversary of the Landing at Gallipoli was commemorated.


Last updated: 5 May 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Timeline of Australians and the Gallipoli Campaign, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 24 October 2020, http://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/ww1/where-australians-served/gallipoli/timeline
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