Did you know that the Gallipoli Association (GA) has started a battlefield study of the Helles sector?
This is an important project as the Gallipoli battlefield is rich in the archaeology and artifacts of the campaign. Traces of trench systems, collapsed tunnels, stores dumps, bivouacs, dugouts, and craters abound the landscape. But, as each year passes, the archaeological record fades; as vegetation grows denser, trenches are filled in, and the plough takes its toll. Most concerningly, civil projects threaten to obliterate entire sites of historical importance. It is vital therefore, for the GA’s objectives to be fully realised, that comprehensive records be made of these historic sites before they are lost.
Geographical the GA has defined boundaries of study, labelled Zones A-F. Studies of Zones A and D were completed during 2022/23; Zones B, C, E and F are planned for 2024-26. The French and Turkish sectors will follow suit.
The plan for each Zone is to conduct a systematic search to record any archaeological remnants of the campaign’s past. This record of sites will be presented digitally for posterity on an interactive web platform (in the form of layered maps – supplemented by detailed reports) using a multitude of technology including GPS/GIS, digital photography, site drawings, drone and LiDAR. This interactive platform will be hosted on the GA website for members. Member updates will be published regularly on the website, newsletters and in The Gallipolian. So, there is no better time to join the Gallipoli Association!
Where possible we hope to show at least one of the new sites during the annual Battle Honours GA’s battlefield tours so visitors can see the site first-hand. They will hear the story of the site, from discovery, its historical significance and where to find more information on the website.
To support this, we also plan to compile the following on the website: A glossary of official and unofficial names
Places mentioned in the literature and narrative accounts of the campaign
The movements of the British and Turkish firing-lines,British/French boundaries (as at specific dates), Divisional boundaries (as at specific dates)
Battlefront boundaries/divisional boundaries for the battles of 4 June, 28 June, 12/13 July & 6/7 August
Locations of specific small actions, Locations of battlefield cemeteries
Locations of individual battlefield burial places, Locations of the battlefield burial places of Member’s relatives
From nearly 100 identified sites, some of the highlights include original CWGC cemetery locations, such as Romanos Well and Y Beach Cemetery. Also identified is a Turkish/German AA position, a deep artillery officers dugout, and the battlefield sites of Backhouse Post, The White House, Clapham Junction, Leicester Square, Grey Tree Farm, Walmer Castle, and a 40 metre stretch of original British trench line that dates to May 1915.