Nineteen year old Percy was one of the first from the Shire to enlist after volunteer recruiting began in Australia enlisting on 10 August 2014. He was allocated to the 8th Infantry Battalion embarking from Melbourne on board HMAT Benalla on 19 October 1914. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving on 2 December. Percy spent most the entire trip in hospital with piles and later in isolation because of measles. Percy took part in the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915, as part of the second wave. Ten days after the landing, the 2nd Brigade was transferred from ANZAC to Cape Helles to help in the attack on the village of Krithia. The attack captured little ground but cost the brigade almost a third of its strength. Percy was one of the casualties of this campaign, he was killed in action on 2 May 1915.
LEST WE FORGET – ANZAC DAY
Today we commemorate the ‘Landing at Gallipoli’ when 24 servicemen from the Surf Coast Shire went ashore at the Gallipoli Peninsula. They fought the soldiers of the Ottoman Army, mainly up on the ridges well beyond the beaches. The first group ashore landed at dawn; they were the so-called ‘covering force’ whose task was to drive the Turkish defenders into the hills. These men were from the other States. The men from the Shire were part of the main force that went ashore later.
Pte. Leslie Charles BAILEY (Torquay Improvement Association) and Pte. William Jacob FULLER (Connewarre) both from the 5th Battalion died at the landing on this day 100 years ago. LEST WE FORGET.
Their bodies were never recovered for burial, or, if recovered were not identifiable. They are commemorated at the Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 24), Gallipoli, Turkey.
Lest We Forget – April
Private Leslie Charles BAILEY, Apollo Bay was Killed in Action, Gallipoli Pensinsula on 25/04/1915. He is remembered at The Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli
Private William Jacob FULLER, Connewarre was Killed in Action, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey on 25/04/1915. He is remembered at The Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli
Private Alfred Ernest GREEN, Deans Marsh was Killed in Action, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial
Private Charles Leslie Wallace ANDERSON, Ceres was Killed in action, Ballecomt, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial
Private Sydney Gordon CHALLIS, Connewarre was Killed in Action, France on 11/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial
Private Henry Donald McLEAN, Jan Juc was Killed in Action, France on 18/04/1917. He is remembered at Villers-Bretonneux, Australian National Memorial
Trooper George Thomas CLARK, Modewarre was Killed in Action, Gaza, Palestine on 19/04/1917. He is remembered at Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine
Private Richard Thomas Henry STRIPLING, Freshwater Creek died as a result of illness while a prisoner of war, in Turkey on 30/04/1918. He is remembered at The Basra Memorial, Iraq
Private Noel James BLACK, Wurdale died as a result of disease, in the Langnicourt sector, France on 26/04/1919. He is buried at Grevillers British Cemetery
On this day….. April 1915
On 4 April 1915, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) received orders to hold itself in readiness to leave Egypt. The forces departed Egypt in early April, assembling on the island of Lemnos in Greece, where a small garrison had been established in early March. After arriving on 12 April a number of basic practice landings were undertaken. During the Gallipoli campaign 97 residents left for overseas with 89 of them landing at Gallipoli / Dardanelles, with 21 of these in the initial landings. There were two soldiers killed in action at the initial landing. Overall 26 residents died as a result of the fighting on this peninsula from being a POW (1), killed in action, died of their wounds or died as a result of disease.
On This Day… March 1915
Once the fighting on the Western Front in France and Flanders settled into siege warfare that defied attempts by both sides to break through, some British politicians became entranced by the idea of attacking Germany ‘by the back door’. Despite pre-war Naval planning that suggested a passage of the Dardanelles Straits was impossible, the lure of an easier route to the defeat of Germany became irresistible. The pro-‘Westerners’ in the high Army command were overruled and eventually acquiesced.
The planning of the Gallipoli operations was makeshift to say the least, but it was based on land operations only being required in support of a naval breakthrough of the Dardanelles Straits.
The naval attempt to bombard the Turkish guns and forts failed, as did a half-hearted attempt to push through the Straits minefields. The Royal Navy now called on the army to capture the guns from the land side, and the door was thus opened to disaster. A Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) composed of British Empire and French troops was hastily assembled in Egypt. Among the British Empire forces were the men of the AIF (Australian Imperial Force) and the NZEF (New Zealand Expeditionary Force) who had been training in Egypt when the decision to invade Turkey had been taken.
The Naval bombardment of the Straits Forts (9 February – 16 March)
The Naval attempt to force the Straits (18 March)
Lest We Forget – February
Pte. John William Thompson, Freshwater Creek, died of Bronchial Pneumonia in England 6/2/1919, buried at St. John the Evangelist Churchyard, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire
On This Day… Jan 1915
January 17, 1915 – The initial Turkish offensive into Russia is thwarted as the Turkish 3rd Army suffers a defeat by the Russian Army of the Caucasus near Kars. The Russians then begin a multi-pronged invasion of the Ottoman Empire from the Caucasus.
January 19, 1915 – Germany begins an aerial bombing campaign against Britain using Zeppelins.
January 31, 1915 – Poison gas is used for the first time in the war as Germans on the Eastern Front attack Russian positions west of Warsaw. Although the Germans fire 18,000 gas shells, they have little effect on the Russians as frigid temperatures prevent the gas from vaporizing.
On this day…..1914
August 4, 1914
Britain declares war on Germany
Australia pledged a force of 20,000 to be placed at Britain’s disposal.
Volunteer recruiting begins in Australia
August 17 – 26
Within a week of recruitment opening 13 young men with a connection to the Surf Coast signed up for what they believed to be an adventure and service to the country. Aurthur Reginald Taylor (Torquay); William Richard Grant (Deans Marsh); Murray Charles Storrer (Torquay, Anglesea); William McAdam (Modewarre); Albert Edmonds (Bannockburn); Edward Vienet (Ceres); Thomas Doyle (Connewarre); Herbert Marendaz (Mt Duneed); Percy Graham (Connewarre); John Cantwell (Freshwater Creek); Leslie Bailey (Torquay)
Rupert Vance Moon enlisted in the AIF
Albert Jacka travelled to Melbourne and enlisted after his initial enlistment papers were lost.
The Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) seized German New Guinea and nearby German-ruled island territories
The first soldiers from the Surf Coast embarked from Melbourne aboard –
HMAT A24 Benalla – John Cantwell, Percy Graham, Thomas Doyle, William McAdam, Albert Edmonds, William Grant
HMAT A20 Hororata – Edward Vienet
HMAT A18 Wiltshire – Murray Storrer, Herbert Marendaz
The First Division of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) sailed from Albany, Western Australia, for Egypt.
HMAS Sydney destroys the German raider SMS Emden at the Cocos Islands, Indian Ocean.
Australian troops in Egypt