Action at Krithia Vineyard, Gallipoli, 6th August 1915

The 4th Worcestershire, having taken part in the initial landings at Cape Helles on 25th April, advanced up the peninsula towards the village of Krithia.  Three attempts to take the village were made in April, May and June, and in further fighting Lt James won the Regiment’s first VC on 3 July.  After this the front stabilised about 3/4 mile short of Krithia at its nearest point.

Veteran of the 4th Battalion

Veteran of the 4th Battalion

The Battalion went into reserve at Gully Beach on 28 July and prepared for another attack by the 29th Division between the Krithia Nullah and the Gully Ravine.  At 0400 6 August the attacking troops left the beach and moved forward to the assembly trenches.  The Battalion had been made up to full strength by fresh drafts and went into action over 800 strong.  There was plenty of time to make final preparations, for the attack was not to commence until the cool of the evening.  Midday passed amid heat and buzzing flies.  At 1420 the British heavy artillery opened fire.  Instantly the Turkish guns replied and high explosive shells burst all along the British trenches.  The British field artillery and machine guns joined in the fire preparation, and the attacking troops left their trenches at 1550.

Krithia June-August 1915

Krithia June-August 1915

The Battalion went forward in four waves.  For the first 50 yards all went well and losses were not heavy until the crest of the low rise in front was reached.  As the successive waves topped the rise and came in full view of the enemy, they were struck from both flanks by a hail of machine gun bullets.  The platoons rushed on, but under that deadly fire the ranks withered away.  The remnant charged the trenches and in many cases leapt in, fighting hand to hand until overpowered by numbers.  About 30 of the Worcestershires formed a stronghold in the enemy trench and held out for three hours.  After expending nearly all their ammunition, 12 survivors made their escape under cover of darkness.
By dawn a large number of the wounded had been brought in and the Battalion was relieved.  The remnant of the 4th Worcestershire went back to Gully Beach, to reorganise and reckon their loss.  It was found that the casualties numbered 16 officers and 752 other ranks.

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