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Home Campaign Tour the Gully The Spurs VCs Visit Gallipoli French Sector
Home Campaign Tour the Gully The Spurs VCs Visit Gallipoli French Sector

Gallipoli 1915

Cape Helles

There are 31 Commonwealth War Grave cemeteries and over 50 Turkish graves and burial grounds on the Gallipoli peninsula as well as the distinctive French cemetery at Morto Bay.

There can no doubt be detailed debates about precisely which cemeteries specifically relate to Gully Ravine, because it is an artificial divide to compartmentalise the fighting at Helles. This list below in my opinion is the most obvious an logical.

Turkish cemeteries and graves

Many of the Ottoman/Turkish cemeteries on the Gallipoli peninsula are symbolic or partially symbolic. This is because mass burial or cremation was the norm, and individually named interments were relatively rare.

Nuri Yamut (Sargiyeri Sehitli)

This simple mausoleum-style memorial was conceived and built by the officer whose name it carries. Lieutenant Colonel Nuri Yamut  was the commander of Gelibolu II Corps here, where over 10,000 Ottoman soldiers died in the vicinity at the Battle of Gully Ravine alone. Nuri Yamut reputedly sold two of his houses in Istanbul to fund the monument. There are mass burials here, but they are not named.  A rough but drivable track runs east and then south east along the western side of Gully Ravine from here, eventually reaching a further huge crescent-shaped memorial built over what was the front line in June 1915.

The image on the right above is admittedly non-descript, but a closer look reveals a shallow depression where the lighter grass is. This is the remains of a mine crater from the later stages of the campaign. It was probably British.This is the area where Alfred Smith won his VC, at the cost of his life.  This lies just outside the memorial wall on the southern side.

Zigindere Dressing Station

The road west from the village of Alcitepe to Nuri Yamut passes Son Ok (see below) and then enters a deep hair pin turn as it crosses the very top of Gully Ravine. The location is easily identified by the huge statue of a Turkish Soldier who stares back down the gully towards the sea from the rise on the left. This is a hugely important place in the story of the courageous Turkish defence of Gully Ravine.

On the north side of this dip, behind the inevitable souvenir stalls, is a quiet and well laid-out memorial garden, built in 1948. There are some actual interments here, but it is largely symbolic.

The Turkish defenders had an advanced first aid and dressing station here, and thousands of wounded were treated.  Vast numbers of Turkish dead were buried in mass graves in this vicinity but their specific locations and identities are now lost..

This is a memorial which I would recommend visitors from all nations spare time to stop and reflect at.

Son Ok

Translated as ‘Last Arrow’, Son Ok is a small roadside obelisk memorial on the left as one leaves Alcitepe towards Zighin Dere Dressing Station and Nuri Yamut.  Bult in 1948 It remembers gunners who held this area.

Allied CWGC Cemeteries

Pink Farm

Sotiri Farm as it is known in Turkish takes it name from the distinct reddish tint to the soil in the area.  This was a working farm when the allies overran it and today there is still a farm here, albeit slightly south east of the original. During the campaign there were three cemeteries in this area, and in 1919 other smaller burial areas such as Gully Beach and Gully Farm were drawn in here. There are now 602 servicemen buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 250 of the burials are unidentified, but special memorials commemorate 219 casualties known or believed to be buried there. The woods around the cemetery and across the road to the west hide many now-shallow trench systems.
Slightly unusually the cemetery has it back to the road. It is possible to follow the signed track round to the ‘front’ and this is a good place to leave a car for a walk down to Gully Beach and in to the ravine.

Twelve Tree Copse

This is a large allied cemetery lying just to the north of Alcitepe, and takes its name from the woodland that still extends south east of the burial ground. Rather surprisingly for such a significant location, there is no designated parking. If you are visiting and approaching from Alcitepe, pass the front of the cemetery and round the sharp right turn, and once you pass the back wall and have woodland on your right look for a track where you can park under trees and safely off road.

There are 3360 soldiers buried or commemorated here, with over 900 having been originally interred at Geoghegan’s Bluff and moved here after the conflict. There is also special a memorial to New Zealand soldiers who fell with no known grave outside the Anzac area. It contains some 180 names.

If you want to explore the upper end of Fir Tree Spur, for example the Boomerang, Cawley’s Crater and the ground over which the Cameronians advanced, this is a good place to start from.  If you walk south from the cemetery along the road, after about 400 metres you will come to a track that runs towards these areas, between field boundaries.

A significant burial is that of Alfred Victor Smith VC, who gave his life to save his colleagues by throwing himself on a  grenade, in fighting in late December at Fusillers’ Bluff.

Locations of war time cemeteries in and around the gully which have since been cleared

Geogeghan’s Bluff

Gully Beach H29

Y Ravine

Cemeteries in the vicinity of Gully Ravine