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Dead Mans Gully - Suvla


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#1 Krithia

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

Ok, this is one area that I am not 100% sure of its location ... can anyone help me locate Dead Mans Gully? I beleive it is somewhere between Green Hill and Scimitar Hill, can anyone throw any more light onto this?

Attached File  Copy of Dead Mans Gully.jpg   63.68KB   17 downloads

Thanks, Krithia

#2 Ianander

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:31 PM

Hello Krithia , I found this reference to dead mans gully.

Walker's Ridge to the sea. The Nek was a natural bridge between the two lines in this section. While the right section of the position taken over by the A.M.R., in conjunction with the W.M.R., looked across Monash Gully to the "back yards" of Pope's and Quinn's held by the infantry, the centre and left confronted, at a distance that varied from 50 to 100 yards, one of the strongest points of the Turkish line. It was what might be termed a self-contained position, because there was no definite line of communication across Monash Gully to Pope's and Quinn's. Incidentally, Pope's was similarly situated in respect to Quinn's, Dead Man's Gully, which neither side could hold, intervening. These gaps in our line added to our difficulties, but they were not so dangerous as they would appear, seeing that they could easily become death traps for an advancing enemy. The great difficulty of Walker's Ridge was that the area of ground held by us was so small that a second defensive position could not be established. One point on the right of our line was not more than 30 yards from the cliff face, and the left was not much better for rear defences. The only means of reinforcing the Ridge from the beach was via the one steep track that led up the one possible spur. At this time part of our line had "dead ground" in front, which necessitated the driving of saps to give better observation and field of fire. Towering behind the Nek on the Turkish side was the Chessboard and Baby 700. Summed up it was far from being a comfortable position. Its insecurity was typical of the general insecurity of the whole Anzac position.

I hope this helps you
Best reguards
Ian

#3 Ianander

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 06:41 PM

Hello Krithia I think Dead man's gully is near to Dead mans ridge.

The Christening of Dead Man's Ridge.
As dawn approached, a message came back that the wounded were lying up in a gully between Pope's and Quinn's, and a party of New Zealand Engineers started to cut a track up an old watercourse to get the wounded out. They pushed on past the two battalions of the Naval Division, and asked them to use their entrenching tools on improving the track. The men, glad to do something to relieve the strain of waiting, set to work with a good will, knocking off the corners and hooking in the sides, until there was quite a passable track to get the wounded men away.

The scene at the top of that gully will never be obliterated from the minds of the survivors. Men were lying all over the place, in every depression and behind every bush. These men had landed on April 25, had fought unceasingly for over a week on scanty rations and with very little sleep. Little wonder that they were exhausted, but it must be said that, apart from the men who were delirious, there was little murmuring. Hollow-eyed and with pinched faces, these Australians and New Zealanders waited doggedly. There were no wild cries of "Stretcher bearer," or "Water," or "Reinforcements." These men realized that every available man was fighting; that the doctors and orderlies were overwhelmed with casualties; that water was scarce, and no one was available to carry it; and that reinforcements would come when they could be spared.




Cheers


Ian

#4 Krithia

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 07:49 PM

Hi Ianander,

Thanks for the info, I have not read the passage about digging out an old watercourse to get to the wounded, however I think this is another "Dead Mans Gully" to the one I am trying to track down. Its not uncommon on Gallipoli for certain areas to share the same name, e.g. two Daisy Patches, two Azmak Dere etc, but this one is definitely up at Suvla and, sometimes is associated with the Yeomanry attack on Scimitar Hill.

Thanks again, but keep looking ... Krithia

#5 Ianander

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Posted 08 November 2010 - 11:17 PM

Hello Krithia I have found some maps , I don't known if you have seen them
I Will keep looking for you , If I find something I will get in touch

http://archivemaps.c...gross/gross.htm

Best reguards
Ian

#6 Thales

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 02:41 PM

Krithia

I have seen that image before - give me a day or two and I will see if I can track it down, or find it on any maps

All the best
John

#7 michaeldr

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:54 AM

Steve,

The same photograph appears in Ray Westlake's 'British Regiments at Gallipoli' [ISBN 0 85052 511 X] with the added information that it was "taken by a member of the 1/1st County of London Yeomanry in August 1915"
I hope that this can help ID the location

regards
Michael

#8 michaeldr

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:27 AM

Westlake quotes from S F Hatton's 'The Yarn of a Yeoman' and this may also be from where he got the photograph (see op. page 32)
In the text Hatton refers to Dead Man's Gully on page 75
"Back to the front-line trenches again, this time at Tint's Corner, in front of which was the famous Dead Man's Gully."

Posted Image

Continuing to quote from Hatton
"…In front of the trench in the gully, and up the hill-side were thousands of unburied and rotting bodies, lying in fantastic attitudes, there seemed to be at least one a yard and in many places they were piled into little heaps. The stench was appalling, and the flies from all these putrefying corpses came over in their swarms and settled everywhere…"

regards
Michael

Edited by michaeldr, 10 November 2010 - 09:47 AM.


#9 bluedog

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:50 AM

Michael

That would tie in well with the Yeomanry trying to outflank the Turks and
come in on a right hook to Scimitar Hill only to be enfiladed by Turkish
gunfire from Ismael Oglu.

Peter

#10 bluedog

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:53 AM

Michael

Just remembered , drove down a farm track in that area in June this year.

Did not know its significance at the time.

Peter

#11 michaeldr

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:15 AM

That would tie in well with the Yeomanry trying to outflank the Turks and
come in on a right hook to Scimitar Hill only to be enfiladed by Turkish
gunfire from Ismael Oglu.


Peter

Indeed, Hatton also mentions this enfilading fire just a few pages earlier
The general area can be seen here with L to R, Brown Hill, Green Hill and then further across, the W Hills (Ismail Oglu Tepe)

Posted Image


All the best
Michael

Edit - Brown Hill, Green Hill and then further across, the W Hills
Where did I get 'Brown' from? It's Chocolate Hill!

Edited by michaeldr, 10 November 2010 - 03:30 PM.


#12 Thales

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:46 PM

This is quite an interesting image as there are two versions of it. There is the Westlake version which was posted by Steve and there is a very similar shot taken from a slightly different perspective which I have seen in a regimental museum. Interesting because by the time the Westlake version was taken the gully had been wired. The regimental museum version has the caption 'Dead infantrymen & yeomen lie amidst the scrub on Scimitar Hill'. I have always had an open mind about this as by the time the Yeomanry were at Suvla, the only occasion on which they would have had access to Scimitar Hill would have been in the thick of battle and no-one hangs around in those circumstances taking photographs. I have yet to see a contemporary close up of Scimitar despite other units being in the area earlier in August though if anyone knows of any I would be more than interested to hear more.

As might be expected with the level of expertise on this forum, the previous contributors have been on the right tracks in homing in on the area around Tints Corner. I have found Deadman's Gully on a trench diagram which post dates the Scimitar Hill action see the crop in the attachment which shows Deadman's Gully to be in Section A, Subsection 61, ESE of Tints Corner (apologies for the poor quality of the image). This has a strong personal resonance for me as my father was to my certain knowledge in the trenches in this area, and as a member of the Dorset Yeomanry who survived the onslaught of 21 August, could well have helped in the construction of the nearby Dorset Sap.

As for the feature itself, it looks very much like a water course or a sunken track. Tracks are shown with dashed lines on the diagram, so it is most probably the former though I note that a sunken road is mentioned in the Lovat Scouts account (on p25) so there is an element of doubt. Maybe this is the one used earlier this year by Peter?

I am fairly sure that I have seen a letter from a Shaftesbury man (and close friend of my father's) in the Dorset Yeomanry to his parents in which Deadman's Gully is mentioned, or alluded to I will explore further. If so it caused considerable disquiet to those on guard duty at night as the Turks sometimes sent listening patrols down it. This could explain the wiring in the Westlake image.

John

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#13 Krithia

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:01 PM

Michael/John,

You guys are the best, I think you are spot on with this one. Below is another photo, what do you think, Kavak and Teppe Tepe in the background, looking in a northerly direct? Scimitar Hill would be to the right, hidden by the bushes. Both are original photos that came to me with some other COLY photos of the area .... plug,plug ... to be published next year in a Suvla book.

Attached File  Dead Mans Gully August 1915.jpg   65.61KB   4 downloads

Rgs Krithia

#14 michaeldr

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:16 PM

Quote from John - As for the feature itself, it looks very much like a water course or a sunken track. Tracks are shown with dashed lines on the diagram, so it is most probably the former
To my ears, the use of the word Gully is more suggestive of a water course, rather than a track, [but not infallibly so (where I come from a 'gully' is also a kitchen knife <_< )]

Steve, your picture quiz questions are getting harder! Is there a date sequence to these photographs they (the 1/1st County of London Yeomanry) were at Tint's Corner opposite Dead Man's Gully from 25th September, so was this before or after?
There appears to be a rustic two storey building does this offer any clue? If the photograph is from the same time as DM'sG, then is it perhaps Owl Barn (sometimes given as 'Owls Barn') which per John's map was opposite the mouth of the gully?

regards
Michael

#15 Krithia

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:23 AM

Hi Michael,

I think it may be late August or September, but I haven't the war diary/Westlake to hand. The other photos in the collection are also Middx Yeomanry and are of Piccadilly Circus (Karakol Dagh area), dugouts on Chocolate Hill and trenches on Green Hill. It appears to be summer so I would guess no later that October 1915?

I think it must be time to turn in, it doesn't matter how hard I try, I cannot see any buildings in the photo ... please help me out!

thanks, Steve

#16 michaeldr

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 07:58 AM

I cannot see any buildings in the photo ... please help me out!

Posted Image

Steve,
Does this help - What do you think now - It looks like a building to me

regards
Michael

#17 michaeldr

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:13 AM

The other photos in the collection are also Middx Yeomanry and are of Piccadilly Circus (Karakol Dagh area), dugouts on Chocolate Hill and trenches on Green Hill.

'Owls Barn' gets a mention in Westlake's account of the 1/1st City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) 3rd-8th October.
I also note that in September the 1/1 City, the 1/1 and 1/3 County were all reorganized (due to casualties) as the 4th London Regiment, 2nd Composite Mounted Brigade. However, Westlake does not mention how long this arrangement lasted

regards
Michael

#18 Martin G

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:52 AM

Hi - i am late to this thread. Thales' map shows a sketch of trenches which directly relate to trench maps held in the National Archives - the 1:10,000 series dated Sep, Oct and Nov 1915, Sheet 105 & 106. There is an old communication trench that runs from the tip of the Turkish front line trenches (where there was a strongpoint - possibly the building? Black & White house?) roughly NW towards the British front line at Tint's corner/Hetman Chair. The Turkish trenches come to a very distinct horn or point at the strongpoint. The comms trench ended up in no-man's land. It is a few yards from Owls Barn (also shown on some of the maps). All three maps show this comms trench and it runs exactly along the edge of a number of fields where the drainage channels would have originally been.. It is immediately above the "a" in Hetman on these maps... Overlaying these maps on Google Earth would indicate that the grid ref for the centre of the trench is 4017'12.35"N 2616'56.23"E - if anyone can tell me how to reduce the size of photos to below 100K I will post the images (or send me your email and I will forward)

From AS Hamilton's account: "At dawn on 3rd October the double-squadron took over from the 3rd County the right arm of the front line, with the loss of Osborne killed carried on with its extension towards Black and White House. Where Turkish snipers wer ensconced. This extension had already reached Dead Man's Gully which although partially cleared in the rear was full of bodies in the front, right up to the parapet and most of them British. Advantage was taken of heavy mists to bury many, but the smell was always bad and there can be little doubt that water drwan from the shallows was tainted. No-man's land varied from 150 to 400 ydsin width and in it was a detached post of a Sergeant and thirteen men at Owls Barn..."

The Turkish strongpoint from which the trench runs caused immense problems on the 21/22 Aug for the Yeomanry and is recorded in all the War Diaries of the Yeomanry and Infantry units that attacked the area. There are also numerous accounts of how the drainage ditches channelled men across the line of attack. The ground here is particularly flat and affords little cover from the W Hills, the MGs positioned on Hill 60, and of course the stong point. I walked this area extensively in July. The field boundaries have stayed exactly the same since 1915. Today there is a dirt track with a parallel drainage ditch still running along the edge of the fields along the exact alignment of the original trench. The area (in July) is covered in sunflower fileds which obscured some of the view. I have photos of the whole area. In my view the picture is taken facing the strongpoint - The barbed wire would indicate it is facing the Turks. Perhaps a rather risky photo for the photographer to take.

The area is also of personal interest as my grandfather fought over the exact ground with the Derbyshire Yeomanry. The 3rd Notts & Derby Mouted Bde's line of advance went straight across this ground. The DY, Sherwood Rangers Yeo and Shouth Notts Hussars War Diaries all mention this area and the key features.

MG

#19 Thales

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 10:57 AM

Michael
For the moment I am keeping an open mind about the 'building' as I think I can trick my eye tinto believing that the outline is just patterning of the background. However, if you are right, then the shot must presumably have been taken facing the opposite direction which might put Chocolate Hill and Lala Baba into play? Would that make sense? The trench diagram does show two lines of wire.

However........... Exciting development. In re-discovering some of my father's Gallipoli photographs only last night (having forgotten they existed up until now!), I found a picture of him in the front line trench somewhere in Section A and there is a building in the background. This may throw some light on the discussion if only to show the type of building in that area. It was published originally in either the Illustrated London News or The War Illustrated (I am not sure which). He told me about it many years ago but I never realised he had a copy in his possession. I will do a scan and post in an hour or so.
John

#20 Martin G

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:07 AM

Following my last....the area today (google earth map) with the 1915 trench map overlaid. The pin is at: 4017'12.35"N 2616'56.23"E

MG

Attached File  DMG Overlay.jpg   63.43KB   4 downloads

#21 Thales

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 11:59 AM

Well done, Martin - I see you are still honing your very impressive skills with the overlays! Having looked at my scans of the trench maps you mentioned in your first post and with the help of the overlay in the second all becomes a lot clearer.

From the trench diagram I posted (which is incidentally dated 20 November, 1915), it is now clear that the horseshoe shaped wiring at the E end of Deadman's Gully is protecting the redoubt at Hetman Chair - the configuration of the Turkish trenches around the redoubt on both map and diagram correspond. On the assumption that Steve's second image is taken in the same feature i.e. Deadmans Gully, it looks increasingly likely that the building? in question is a two horse race - Owl Barn or Well House. White House and Deadman's Cottage would be too far south and Cater's House probably too far to the west. However it is tempting to speculate that the picture is indeed taken facing east and that the feature / house is a blockhouse at the Hetman Chair redoubt. In that case, Steve's hills in the background could be W Hills and the southern spur of Scimitar.

It is interesting to see the development of trenches between September/October and November. Dorset Sap and Munster Lane (both forward of the old front line at Tints Corner) were presumably intended to cover a percieved weak point at Deadman's Gully and it is now much easier to see why the sentries in the Dorset Yeo were so apprehensive at nightfall as they would have been out on a limb while work was in progress.
John

#22 Thales

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

First of all, acknowledgement to Martin once again for the overlay, and I hope he will not mind me availing of his good work by despoiling it with my scrawl.

To try and clarify several things for myself, I have noted some of the features we have been discussing as per attachment. A is Well House - the position can be fixed with some certainty by reference to the overlay. I am a little bit unsure about the exact position of B (Owl Barn) as the outline of the woods has changed slightly in the intervening years but it cannot be too far away from my mark. C is the Hetman Chair redoubt. Munster Lane is only shown on the overlay as far as its junction with Halsey Sap.

Am I on the right tracks?

John

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#23 Martin G

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:14 PM

However it is tempting to speculate that the picture is indeed taken facing east and that the feature / house is a blockhouse at the Hetman Chair redoubt. In that case, Steve's hills in the background could be W Hills and the southern spur of Scimitar.

John



I have looked at my photos from July, and in particular a long 180 degree panorama taken of the skyline from Yeoman's Knoll (just 300m NW of Dead Man's Gully) . The skyline in the 1915 photo is exactly the same as the skyline looking directly East towards W Hills (right, darker) and Hill 112 (Left, lighter). Scimitar Hill would be out of view just to the left (north) The distinctly lighter part is the gully or re-entrant that runs East-West to the very small saddle between the W Hills and Hill 112. It remains rocky and distnctly lighter to this day as the vegetation can not grow on the eroded steep slopes of the re-entrant. The skyline matches the 1915 photo extremely well. I think the 1915 photo is looking East of North East from Dead Man's Gully....... This would eliminate Owl's Barn as an option for the building and support the possibility that it is the redoubt.

The panorama is taken from a pointt less than 300 yards from Dead Man's Gully and this is the best match by far. I also have photos looking from W Hills and Hill 112 looking back towards Dead Man's Gully, Hetman Chair, Tint's corner etc. and also looking down the eroded re-entrant towards the same area. All my photos exceed the 100K limit and I can't for the life of me work out how to compress a 500KB photo to below 100KB....

MG

#24 michaeldr

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:21 PM

Martin,

It's exciting to read of your thoughts on this and your photographs would be extremely useful here. Try using a service such as I have been using (Photobucket) where the photographs are automatically re-sized for you

regards
Michael

#25 Martin G

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 01:52 PM

I am a little bit unsure about the exact position of B (Owl Barn) as the outline of the woods has changed slightly in the intervening years but it cannot be too far away from my mark. Am I on the right tracks?

John


John - this might help to pin Owl Barn. It is located 4017'14.13"N 2616'52.63"E directly N of the "e" in Hetman Chair.... If we are right on the location of Dead Man's Gully, it is effectively at the NW end of the gully. Any photo including Owls Barn and the gully would have been taken from no-man's land looking backwards (NW), but then the only hills would be the very far distant Kiretch Tepe whith its distinctive razor edge. The skyline does not fit this view. MG

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