Heavy Artillery at Anzac Cove, 1915

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by crabby, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. Was wondering if a spotter or historian somewhere could help.

    I have a photo of a gun my great-grandfather crewed, along with his account. Can anyone ID the type of gun?

    He claims to have been on the only piece of heavy artillery behind the Anzacs (not too far behind, as they were only 150 yards from the Turks). In August his gun fired the round to start the attack on Lone Pine.

    Nowhere in any accounts on Gallipoli is there any mention of British Gunners at Anzac - though his account claims 40 volunteers from the Royal Garrison Artillery (Coys based in Malta) were at Anzac Cove, with another 40 going to Cape Hellas.

    He arrived at Anzac Cove on the 30th June according to his account, which places his gun before any 6 inch howitzers are due to have arrived at Anzac according to what I've read - but accounts etc indicate it is some form of 6".

    So... ummm help?


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  2. Sorry, no help on the gun... but it made me think fondly of my great grandfather, who was a sapper at Gallipoli.

    In one diary entry he writes, simply: "Under heavy fire all day. Made jam."

    Such a triumph of understatement & British reserve.
  3. Yep, have been reading my Grandfather's account of 42. He was sailing from Glasgow to Alexandria - the long way round - and one of the entries in his diary is merely "Ship bombed today. Darts contest started"

    If you've not read it I really recommend "Gallipoli" by Carlyson as a starting point - opinionated but gives character detail of the major players - strategic problems and accounts of the landings and all the major battles + conditions.
  4. Most interesting about the Brit Arty...

    My grandfather was an ANZAC at Gallipoli. I never met him, he died in '29.

    He left Ireland to cut sheep or shear cane or something, and didn't get back home for a while. He was captured in 17 on the north west front, and because it was so hard to move men and materiel around, wasn't able to get back to Blighty till late 19 or early 20.

    He was then told that he would have to take ship to Aus to demobilise, since he was in the Aussie Army. A letter from his mother to the Irish MP in Kerry persuaded all concerned that he could just as well sign the paers in London.

    Oh wot a laverly war :D
  5. shouldn't that be british preserve :D
  6. Try contacting Will Townsend the sec of the RA Historical Society. He is at HQDRA Larkhill and ought to either tell you or know a many who can..
  7. Could be a 6in 30cwt howitzer. Another option could be the 6in 26cwt howitzer, but that wasn't fielded until the Fall of 1915. Based on the flare of the muzzle, I would say its the 30cwt.
  8. Ill go with ABN on this BL 6 INCH 30-CWT HOWITZER, the 26cwt was introduced at the end of 1918.
  9. Yep 6" 30 CWT Howitzer. A collection of sad books does come in handy occasionally!
  10. Thanks - that's useful. It also means a couple of accounts I've read may be wrong about the arty support at anzac cove - based on dates supplied by my great-grandfather and something else I've now managed to find (online)

    As a side note I think it's a really sad photo, seeing all those crosses in the background. My Great-Grandfather had lost 20 of his 25 men by August as casaulties. The 7th light horse infront of their gun lost huge numbers in their time there.
  11. Don't jump down my throat, for being late but just to confirm the Gun is a BL 6in 39cwt Howitzer.
    I have a copy ofTwentieth Century Artillery by Ian Hogg, which I bought in a sale Waterstones Man airport 5 quid and on P 61 there be your 6inch howitzer complete with 'Flared' barrel end and hydro spring recoil system.
    Introduced in 1896 for Brit army from an Indian Army design.
    Aprox 120 made and replaced by 6in 26cwt howitzer.
  12. Why would I jump down your throat? Thanks for the ID.
  13. Well not everyones as polite as you.
  14. I have an untitled photo of what appears to a 6 inch 30cwt how being landed at Anzac Cove... there appear to be Anzac troops and British gunners watching. Could this be the how in question ?
  15. In my ignorance I had thought that 6-inch 30 cwt had only a siege mounting and could not fire from a field carriage. But I'd agree its a 6-inch 30 cwt ordnance.

    The next question is what makes you think it was at ANZAC cove?

    14 Siege Bty with 4 x 6 inch How landed at Helles and joined 29 Div on 1 Jun 1915. There's nothing nothing to suggest that any other 6 inch btys were at Gallipoli, even when the UK force reached 9 divisions the only RGA 'heavies' were 14 Siege and 90 Hy (with 60-pr) Btys both originally with 29 Div. The French had a couple of 155mm but the pic isn't them!

    What people forget is that ANZAC troops were detached to Helles for the 2nd battle of Krithia in May-Sep 1915 . I'd suggest the picture of a 6-inch How was taken there and not ANZAC cove, it's a common assumption that if troops were Aust it must be ANZAC Cove. The ANZACs at Krithia included 1 (NSW) FA Bde (1, 2 & 4 Btys), 6 Bty AFA and 3 Bty NZFA. Also at Krithia was the Composite Divsion under GOC of the Naval Div, comprising RN Bde, 2 Aust Inf Bde and NZ Bde.

    Of course there were RGA at ANZAC cove, the corps troops - 7 Indian Mtn Bde with 21 and 26 Mtn Btys - total 12 x 10 pr.