1st/6th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers


May 1915 - December 1915

In March 1917, all men serving with TA ( Territorial Forces ) Units were re-numbered.
Each Unit was given a block of numbers to allocate to their men.
The LFs were given the following blocks to Battalions respectively :-
200001 240000 5 BN Lancs Fusiliers
240001 280000 6BN Lancs Fusiliers
280001 305000 7BN Lancs Fusiliers
305001 330000 8Bn Lancs Fusilier.

While researching local history around Hebden Bridge,West Yorkshire, I came across a story that may be of interest to you (and my apologies if you have heard it already). The poet Ted Hughes wrote a poem about WW1 called 'Six Young Men', which was apparently inspired by a photo of six friends taken shortly before the war.They were apparently friends of his father,William Henry Hughes, who I believe served with 1/6 Lancashire Fusiliers in Gallipoli and Ypres, and they enlisted in the same regiment. He survived the war, but (according to the poem) the six men in the photo were killed.
As far as I know, no one has identified any of the six men: I would love to find out who they were, but this is probably an impossible task.

Six Young Men

The celluloid of a photograph holds them well -
Six young men, familiar to their friends.
Four decades that have faded and ochre-tinged
This photograph have not wrinkled the faces or the hands.
Though their cocked hats are not now fashionable,
Their shoes shine. One imparts an intimate smile,
One chews a grass, one lowers his eyes, bashful,
One is ridiculous with cocky pride -
Six months after this picture they were all dead.

All are trimmed for a Sunday jaunt. I know
That bilberried bank, that thick tree, that black wall,
Which are there yet and not changed. From where these sit
You hear the water of seven streams fall
To the roarer in the bottom, and through all
The leafy valley a rumouring of air go.
Pictured here, their expressions listen yet,
And still that valley has not changed its sound
Though their faces are four decades under the ground.

This one was shot in an attack and lay
Calling in the wire, then this one, his best friend,
Went out to bring him in and was shot too;
And this one, the very moment he was warned
From potting at tin-cans in no-man's land,
Fell back dead with his rifle-sights shot away.
The rest, nobody knows what they came to,
But come to the worst they must have done, and held it
Closer than their hope; all were killed.

Here see a man's photograph,
The locket of a smile, turned overnight
Into the hospital of his mangled last
Agony and hours; see bundled in it
His mightier-than-a-man dead bulk and weight:
And on this one place which keeps him alive
(In his Sunday best) see fall war's worst
Thinkable flash and rending, onto his smile
Forty years rotting into soil.

That man's not more alive whom you confront
And shake by the hand, see hale, hear speak loud,
Than any of these six celluloid smiles are,
Nor prehistoric or, fabulous beast more dead;
No thought so vivid as their smoking-blood:
To regard this photograph might well dement,
Such contradictory permanent horrors here
Smile from the single exposure and shoulder out
One's own body from its instant and heat.


this is a photo of the 6 Young Men

Sent in by Chris Barnett

George Kemp
Lord Rochdale

In Memoriam
Died on 05/06/1915

Private Herbert Turles
Private Edwin Broxton
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Two Middleton Territorials were killed on this day during 'The Third Battle of Krithia'

Another son of Middleton to lay down his life in the Dardanelles was Private Edwin Broxton, son of Mrs. Broxton, Hanson Street, Middleton. He was one of the famous 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers who fought at the Dardanelles, and he was killed on June 5th, 1915. Broxton who was 19 years of age, joined the Territorials in 1913. He was employed as a piecer at the Albany Mill.

Private Herbert Turles, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Turles, Boardman Lane, Rhodes, was killed on June 5th, 1915. Turles, who was employed by the Heaton Mills Bleaching Company, joined the army in 1914. He was a member of the Little Heaton Social Club.

Unfortunately both soldiers have no known grave, so their names are on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.

Please note we have a correction to the above

We have had an e mail from : Thomas Bradley who's great great grandfather was Sgt James Dean

Good Morning Gentlemen,

I was hoping you would be able to correct a small error on the site contained with in the page below about the 6th Bn.

In the section about Redoubt you talk about 2 brothers who were killed on the same day listed as Arthur and John. This is a mistake as Arthur’s brother was SGT James Dean #6847, my great great grandfather. The included picture is also unrelated to Arthur, I have included a picture of Sgt James Dean in my email. If you are able to correct this it would mean a great deal to me and my family.

Some more history you may be interested in about Sgt James Dean.

United Kingdom
Serjeant, 6847Lancashire Fusiliers
KIA Gallipoli 07/08/1915
Buried Redoubt Cemetery XII. A. 12.

In a letter written to a local paper - Sergeant James Dean, of Wood Street, Middleton, adds: "We had a terrible time. We made a general advance and took some of their trenches and our battalion was in the thick of it from start to finish. How I got through safely I do not know."
Tragically, the married 30-year-old was to die just two months later. His 23-year-old brother Arthur, who lived at the family home on Grimshaw Lane, was killed on the same day. The brothers now rest side-by-side in Redoubt Cemetery, Gallipoli.

He left a widow, Elizabeth nee Lovatt, and a 5 year old daughter, Florence (my great grandmother).

I have been lucky enough to inherit all of James’ medals and his death coin, as well as a great deal of his original training material for pre-deployment to the front including infantry training manual, parade training manual, translation booklet, bible and more.

If you have any questions or anything you can share with me, please let me know. I would love to know what the trophy in the picture was for.

Thank you,

Tom Bradley

Our thank to Tom for the above information


Died on 08/05/1915
Sergeant James Burgess
Private Percy Beaman
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Two Middleton Territorials died on this day in 1915, in 'The Second Battle of Krithia' at Gallipoli.

Sergeant Burgess lived at Shaw Street, Middleton, and worked at the J.W. Lees Brewery.
Major Heywood, writing to the widow, said "I am writing to you to convey the great sympathy not only of myself, but of the officers and n.c.o's and men of B Company, in the great loss you have sustained. You will no doubt have heard how gallantly he died when in action, and I can assure you that we are all very much the poorer for his loss".

Sergeant Burgess, who suffered badly from rheumatism was told that he did not have to go into action on the day of his death. Nevertheless he had chosen to go over the top with his friends.

Private Beaman lived on Church Street West, Rhodes.
The report of his death in the Guardian was as follows.
This soldier enlisted on September 14th, 1914. He was 21 years of age. The deceased soldier was employed at Rhodes Works and was connected with All Saints Church.

And that's all we knew of Percy, until we were fortunate to come upon Lt Norman Holden's war diary, that his family passed on to the LF Museum in Bury.
His entry for this day in 1915;

"There must have been many deeds worth the VC that day" he wrote. "Take for instance Percy Beaman of my platoon. You will read the papers 879, Beaman P. Private, killed in action. No one will know of the wounded he gave water to in the thickest fire, or the sudden fall with a chest wound, of how in spite of this, he tried to get to an NCO, badly wounded, and how he received the second and fatal wound while looking after him."

A quote from Private Briggs, from Middleton, describing this battle, in a letter to the Guardian.

"I lost a lot of my best friends that day. It was a day I shall never forget as long as I live. I have often heard people talk about 'hell' but I never thought I should see it."

Both Percy Beaman and Sergeant James Burgess have no known grave, and are commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Turkey.

Died on this day 04/03/1916
Private George Sanderson
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Private Sanderson, of Reservoir Street, Middleton, died in Egypt in March 1916.
His mother had a letter from a chum who wrote. "Just a line in remembrance of your son, George who was well known, and well liked in his platoon, and all the boys send their deepest sympathy. We want you to keep up your pluck, as we all know it is hard for a mother to do so when she has lost one of her sons. I'm glad to say he was a good lad and a willing lad, and he has died a brave soldier.' The chaplain wrote. "The battalion had been for some weeks at an outpost in the desert, and it was here that your son was taken ill. He was operated upon for appendicitis, it was the only chance to save his life, but unfortunately he died after the operation."

Private Sanderson is buried at Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

A sad tale today, a Middleton Territorial who endured and survived the Gallipoli Campaign and the evacuation to Egypt, only to die of appendicitis.
His brother, Edwin was killed in 1918

Died on 13/01/1917
Private David Smethurst
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private David Smethurst of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who was taken prisoner on February 12th, 1916, died on January 13th, 1917, at Angora, Asia Minor, from typhus.
News of his death was received by Mrs. Smethurst at 51, Church Street, Rhodes, where she resided with her five children.
Peculiar circumstances surround this case, as this is the second time Mrs. Smethurst was called upon to mourn the loss of her husband.
He was officially posted as killed in action on August 7th of 1915, such noticed being excepted as proof of his death, when singular to say, the family were startled to receive a postcard dated August 18th of 1915 saying that he was alive.
Both Mrs Smethurst and the children recognised the handwriting at once. After that time he wrote home on several occasions, his last letter being received a month prior to his death. In civil life he was in the employment of Mr H. Walker, builder and contractor, Rhodes.

I'm not too sure on the date of his capture, as he was probably took prisoner at Gallipoli in 1915.
As the 1/6th were at camp in Egypt in February 1916.
He is buried at Bagdad Cemetery in Iraq, within a group of burials that died in captivity in Angora, and who were brought into the cemetery after the war and those whose bodies couldn't be identified have their names on the Angora Memorial that's situated within the grounds.
As you can imagine, Bagdad Cemetery is in a state of disrepair due to vandalism and neglect.

Died on 03/01/1918
Private John Stockport
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private John Stockport, of the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, was missing on or about January 3rd, 1918, and his mother who resides at 17, Bradshaw Street, Middleton Junction, has since received word that her son must be presumed to have been killed on that date.
This soldier who was 22 years of age and employed by the Junction Spinning Company, as a piecer and enlisted on May 8th, 1915, and after service in Egypt proceeded to France on March 1st, 1916.
He was connected with the Spiritualist Church, Gilmore Street.

Private Stockport has no known grave and his name is inscribed on the Loos Memorial, France.

Mrs. Stockport suffered greatly in the war, as well as John, she lost another two sons in 1918, Albert and Robert.

Albert Stockport's son, Clifford was killed in 1942 serving with the Royal Navy in WW2.

Died on 10/11/1915
Private Arthur Foxall
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Private Arthur Foxall, aged 24, of the 1/6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Foxall, Cross Street, Rhodes, was reported missing and afterwards killed whilst fighting in the Dardanelles.
He joined the battalion at the outbreak of war being at that time employed at the Newton Heath Carriage Works. He was attached to the Rhodes Boys Brigade. From letters which Mrs. Foxall received it appeared that Private Foxall lost his life to a mine which the Turks exploded.

Private Foxall was one of three brothers killed in the Great War.
Cross Street was renamed Foxall Street in memory of these brave men.

Arthur has no known grave and his name is on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

Three of the brothers went to Gallipoli with the 1/6th, there would have been 4, but one was ill in hospital at the time of mobilisation.

Died on 11/08/1918
Corporal Fred Collinge
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

I don't know too much about this soldier other than he was an original Middleton Territorial, who marched out of the town 100 years ago this week, an unlucky soldier as he went throughout the whole Gallipoli Campaign and the battle of Passchendaele, only to die of wounds nearly four years after leaving the drill hall.

Corporal Collinge is laid to rest at Fins New British Cemetery in France.

Died on 15/10/1918
Private Joseph Newton
2/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private Joseph Newton of the Lancashire Fusiliers died as a result of dysentery at Metz on October 15th, 1918. He was connected with the Middleton Parish Church and Grammar School.
He enlisted on June 10th, 1915, and went to the front on February 27th 1916.
A comrade who was in captivity along with Newton spoke of the shocking treatment received from the Germans. He said that his comrade was put in a coffin and "I think they gave him a decent burial as they do all prisoners who die.
I must tell you how sorry I am that nothing could be done to save him but perhaps it is for the best, for he would have been in misery for the rest of his life, as I could tell by the way he suffered."

Private Newton is laid to rest at Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz.
He was reinterred there from nearby German P.O.W cemeteries after the wars end.

Died on 15/09/1917
Sergeant Walter Hosker
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Sergeant Walter Hosker, aged 20, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Hosker, 70, Pool Bank Street, Rhodes, was killed on September 15th, 1917, whilst fighting with the Lancashire Fusiliers.

He had been in the Territorials, and left his employment as a gardener to Mr. R. Boral, when mobilisation took place in August, 1914.
He went through the Dardanelles campaign and then onto France. The late sergeant was connected with All Saints Church, Rhodes. Sergeant Berry wrote to the parents. "I had only been talking and joking with him a few hours before, and later on I heard that he and a lance corporal had been wounded. As neither of them had written me, I began to get a little anxious, and a day later three people came to me telling me that they had been killed. We were always the very closest of chums ever since mobilisation, and if ever three pals stuck to one another it was Walter, Fred, and I.
I cannot tell you how lonely I feel without his company, but we must all do our best to bear his loss with as light a heart as possible, for we all at the present time must be prepared to make sacrifices for the common good. My own brother died of wounds received in action only two months ago, so you will be able to judge the state of my present feelings."

Sergeant Hosker as well as his chum, Lance Corporal Fred Britton, aged 19, from Morton Street, Middleton, have no known grave, and their names are on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Ypres, Belgium.

Photo is of the Middleton Territorials at Egypt prior to going to Gallipoli.
Walter is most probably amongst those shown

Died on 04/07/1915
Private John Whitworth
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private John Whitworth of the 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, whose home address was Factory Street, Middleton, died on July 4th, 1915 from wounds received in action at the Dardanelles on May 5th.
From Egypt he was conveyed to hospital at Netley, suffering from severe wounds in the head, and he was buried in England with military honours.
His widow and children were present at the funeral. The late soldier was 43 years of age, having joined the regulars as a young man and afterwards rejoined the 6th Battalion at the outbreak of war.

May 5th was the day the 1/6th were in action for the first time at Gallipoli, known as the 'Second Battle of Krithia'
Private Whitworth is buried at Netley Cemetery in Hampshire.

Netley Military Cemetery is a permanent military cemetery, the property of the Ministry of Defence. The cemetery was at the back of the Royal Victoria Military Hospital and was used during both wars for burials from the hospital.

The cemetery contains 636 First World War burials.

Died on 05/06/1915

Private Herbert Turles
Private Edwin Broxton
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Two Middleton Territorials were killed on this day during 'The Third Battle of Krithia'

Another son of Middleton to lay down his life in the Dardanelles was Private Edwin Broxton, son of Mrs. Broxton, Hanson Street, Middleton. He was one of the famous 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers who fought at the Dardanelles, and he was killed on June 5th, 1915. Broxton who was 19 years of age, joined the Territorials in 1913. He was employed as a piecer at the Albany Mill.

Private Herbert Turles, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, son of Mr. and Mrs. Turles, Boardman Lane, Rhodes, was killed on June 5th, 1915. Turles, who was employed by the Heaton Mills Bleaching Company, joined the army in 1914. He was a member of the Little Heaton Social Club.

Unfortunately both soldiers have no known grave, so their names are on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli.

Died on 04/06/1915
Private Frank Connolly
Private Thomas Connolly
Lance Corporal Robert Graham
Private Fred Gordon
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

4th June 1915, the local Territorials, the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, were in action this day, in a battle that is known as 'The Third Battle of Krithia' at Gallipoli.

Among the dead were two brothers 19-year-old Private Frank Connolly and 26-year-old Thomas, both of Sadler Street, and who had joined up together at the start of the war. Another brother James had been invalided home sometime before after serving in France while a fourth brother had died in a tram accident in Middleton four years earlier.
Their mother died a few months later, most probably from a broken heart.

Both brothers as well as Private Gordon and Lance Corporal Graham have no known graves, their names being on the Helles Memorial.

Died on 02/05/1918
Sergeant James Keefe
Labour Battalion, formerly of the 6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Sergeant James Keefe, of the Labour Battalion, who resided at 27, Old Hall Street, Middleton, died on May 2nd, 1918. The late soldier was 50 years of age, but enlisted right away at the outbreak of war and was posted to the Lancashire Fusiliers.

He was afterwards transferred to the Labour Battalion, and contracted a severe cold which culminated in pneumonia during leave. When a young man he was in the Royal Field Artillery for throughout the Boer War. At the time of joining up he was employed in the colour shop at the Rhodes Works. He was connected with St Peter's Church, and was captain of the Boys Brigade. A very impressive funeral was conducted by the Rev Father Hanrahan.

Sergeant Keefe is laid to rest at Boarshaw Cemetery, Middleton.

His son, Private James Keefe also fought with the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers at Gallipoli.

In Memoriam
Died one hundred years ago
March 21st 1918.

Private George Allinson
Private John Beet
Private Charles Boardman
Private Thomas Brown
Sergeant Major Alfred Clarke
Private John Gregory
Private Ammon Hunt
Private James Kirkman
Captain Henry Leater
Rifleman Sam Longson
Private Tom Rostron
Private Richard Stott
Private Thomas Steeple

Private Thomas Steeple, aged 36, of the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, who resided at Boarshaw Road, Middleton, was killed in the 1918 fighting. This soldier, who was employed by R.K. Lee and Co., enlisted on September 6th, 1914.
He went through the Dardanelles campaign. Steeple was connected with Providence Church, and was a member of the Sunday Football League.

Private Steeple has no known resting place, his name is on the Pozieres Memorial, France.

A lot of Middleton casualties today as
March 21st 1918, was the date of the great German offensive, which after a massive bombardment that fired over a million shells in under 5 hours. They then swept through the British lines, killing over 20,000 British troops and wounding over thirty thousand.

Died on 12/08/1915
Private Thomas Ratcliffe
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private Thomas Ratcliffe of the 1/6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers, made the great sacrifice at the Dardanelles on August 12th, 1915.
He was 23 years of age, and resided with his mother in James Street, Middleton. He had been in the territorials two years. Ratcliffe was employed by the Whitefield Velvet Company.

Another Middleton Territorial today, Private Ratcliffe is laid to rest at the Redoubt Cemetery at Gallipoli.

Died on 06/09/1917

A very sad day in the history of Middleton, now largely forgotten, this should be on every local school curriculum or commemorated somewhere at least.
After leaving Gallipoli, the local Territorials, the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, find themselves on the Western Front for the first time, the place was Ypres, Belgium.

The men from Middleton killed that day.

Private Ernest Ashton
Private William Berry
Corporal James Boardman
Private John Foxall
Private Cooper Gosling
Private Alfred Halliwell
Private Oswald Heywood
Corporal Edmund Holden
Private Ernest Howard
Private James Keary
Private Harold Lovatt
Private Frank Mellor
Private Harry Nugent
C.S.M William Reed
Private Herbert Richardson
Private Wilfred Sheppard
Private Fred Simpson
Private John Simpson
L/Corporal James Stafford
Private James Timms
Private Thomas Worsley

125 Brigade, consisting of the 1/5th and 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers, with the 1/7th and 1/8th in support, attacked the positions known as Iberian, Borry and Beck House Farms. Starting at 7.30 a.m. a company of the 1/6 managed to take Beck House but the two companies attacking Iberian Farm came under machine-gun fire from the southern slopes of Hill 35. At 10.45 a.m. the Germans launched a bombing counter-attack which re-took Beck House, killing or capturing all but two of the Fusiliers. This in turn exposed the other companies to fire from Hill 35 and forced them to withdraw to their original positions.

Private Harry Nugent, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, whose home address was 5, Heaton Street Rhodes, was killed in action on September 6th, 1917. This young soldier was only 20 years of age, and joined the Army in June 1916.
In April 1917, he went to the front
where he was killed. He was previously employed by Messrs. O. Ashworth & Co and was associated with All Saints Church and School, having been a teacher in the school. He was also a member of the Middleton Division St John's Ambulance Brigade, having obtained his First Aid certificate there.

Private Nugent is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

Click on the cutting to enlarge

The photos of a home made plaque dedicated to the Fusiliers.
Its made up of silk panels,very dirty and fraying at the edges. shows the Prince of Wales, the King, Prince Alberts own 11th Hussars
Loyal North Lancashire regiment 20th Hussars Lancashire Fusiliers(20th)
Flags of Italy, Portugal, Union Jack, Belgium, France and Russia.
no clue to the soldier apart from the campaigns he was in.
I found this at my local tip is on the Hants/Dorset border.nr Christchurch and Bournemouth , the plaque is 20" x 6"
so someone has no sense of history!!
I thought I would sell it on ebay, as it will go to a genuine collector. (Joe will be watching E bay for this item)
Simon Dance
Simon has now sent this item to Joe as it did not sell on E bay so it could be saved for the Regiment Thank you Simon

Click on the ones below they will enlarge

Fred Fielder was KIA at Gallipoli, he was the grandfather of Graham Tattersall

PrivateService No:10067

Date of Death: 07/08/1915

Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers 1st/6th Bn.

Panel Reference Panel 58 to 72 or 218 to 219.


2nd Lt P S Sutcliffe

Pte J Rothwell

18 years old Pte J Rothwell was spared the horrors of WW1 by contracting the Flu in 1918 when training at Bridlington.
He recovered in the Voluntay Aid Detachment hospital Bridlington and was then sent for training as a driver to 1050 Company Army Service Corp.

Letters home from Gallipoli
sent in by
David Platt

Letter from Corporal George H Power, B Company,1st 6th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers to his parents.

"We left the citadel at 9.30 p.m. on May 1st, carrying two hundred rounds of ammunition and three days' rations of bully beef and biscuits per man. All the way to Cairo station we were singing ragtimes and cheering everybody we met. As we passed through the centre of the town we received a splendid reception from the European population, and we acknowledged this by singing "Tipperary" until we were all hoarse. At 10.30 we steamed out of Cairo, and everybody on the train said "Goodbye Cairo, and good riddance". Alas for the vain hopes of the "Terriers"
We arrived at Alexandria about 4.30 a.m. on Sunday May 2nd, and went straight aboard a Chinese boat with a Celestial crew. About 3 p.m. the Rev. Denis Fletcher of Rochdale came aboard to have a last look at his flock. He was travelling by another boat. We left Alexandria at a moment's notice about 5 p.m. We should have waited for an escort, but as troops were urgently required at Gallipoli we were hustled off. We had a glorious sail. The water was like a mill pond, and the boat was as steady as a rock. On the second day out we sailed through numerous small rocky islands, one of which had a volcano on it. These islands seemed devoid of any life or vegetation, and rose steeply out of the water. Just before dusk on the second day out we passed the island of Crete. On Tuesday morning we were informed that several Turkish submarines were knocking about in the vicinity, but no one seemed to trouble about them. Fortunately they did not spot us. At 5.30 in the afternoon we could distinctly hear the guns of the Fleet bombarding the Turkish position. At 6.30 we arrived at our destination and anchored near a large number of boats of all sizes and shapes.
We stayed aboard all night, and we could see the big guns of the fleet a few hundred yards from us pounding the enemy. At frequent intervals the Turks sent up star shells, which illumined the water for about half a mile. As soon as the star shell bursts the enemy spots its object and pours a few shrapnel shells in while the light keeps up. On Wednesday morning our boats moved near the shore, and the tenders came along to take us to shore. Everybody was greatly excited, and at last we were well on our way to the shore. The Turks, however, spotted us, and sent a few shells to remind us that there was a war on. One of the shells dropped right over our tender and fell into the sea a few yards from us. Nobody seemed to mind, however, and I saw one fellow waiting with his camera for the next shell to burst. At last we landed on an improvised jetty, and the first thing I saw when I stepped ashore was a grave.
As we marched to our base we passed two of the famous French 75mm guns. On our right as we landed were the remains of a town and fort which had been badly knocked out of shape by H.M.S. "Lizzie" and her pals. We reached our base at last, and we were told to make ourselves comfortable in holes about five feet square and two foot deep. Each of these holes was the home of four men. We decorated our hole with heather, and on the front we placed a sign indicating that our home was "Ivy Cottage". Captain Scott complimented us on making ourselves at home so soon.
However, we were not allowed to enjoy home life long, as the order came that the sixth must relieve the Scottish Borderers in the first line of trenches (the firing line). We set off at dusk to march five miles, but every few yards we all had to drop flat as a star shell burst over our heads. If the Turks had spotted us we should have had a few real shells about our ears in no time. As it was we reached the trenches without casualties and settled down, some to sleep and some to watch until dawn. When dawn broke the snipers made themselves troublesome, and anyone putting his head up above the trench was sure to have a bullet skimming past his ears. I put my helmet up on the top of the trench, and in less than two minutes it had a hole through it. We spotted a sniper in a tree, and I tried a ranging shot at eight hundred yards. The shot passed right through the tree, but the man did not drop out. Lieutenant Hornby then went out with several fellows, and found the sniper strapped in a seat in the fork of the tree. At eleven o'clock in the morning word came for a general advance, and we all left our trenches for the open. Then the fun started. We had no cover and the Turks were on a steep hillside. They simply poured lead into us from machine-guns and rifles, whilst their artillery blazed at us with shrapnel. What I cannot understand is that none of our fellows seemed at all afraid. They cracked jokes etc.
We occupied the extreme left of the line of advance, the regulars the centre, and the French the right flank. What surprised me most of all was that I did not feel at all frightened. I just lay there and blazed away as hard as I could. We advanced again and this time half of our platoon fell over a barbed wire entanglement hidden in the heather. Of course, the Turks knew the exact range of this obstacle, and they simply mowed our chaps down with their machine guns. However, all that were left of us advanced until we came to a bit of cover, when we lay down and blazed away again.
We had been in this position for a few minutes when the Turks spotted us. Then the fun began. They turned their machine guns on us. I knew a machine gun could fire five hundred to six hundred rounds per minute. So you can imagine we had a hot five minutes of it. I went on firing and every bullet that missed me made me think that the next one would be mine. I fell to thinking what it would feel like and whether I should be killed outright or not. Yet I did not feel a bit afraid, and I remember being rather sarcastic with the chap next to me for not firing fast enough.
Then my turn came. The bullet went in my left shoulder blade. The doctor has since told me that it went right round my heart and lodged in the muscles of the stomach. At the time it just felt as if a huge weight had fallen on my back and crushed it. I soon found that I could not advance, and I could not get up, so I wriggled out of my equipment and tried to crawl. This I found too painful, and I lay a few minutes waiting for the next bullet to come and finish me off. However, a chap in B Company spotted me and came across. He put me on his back and carried me out of the firing line, but when he got to the barbed wire he could not lift me over. So he stood up in a heavy fire and held the wire up whilst I crawled under. Then he picked me up again and carried me back to the trenches. Here he left me and went back to the firing line. He is a Shaw lad, and used to go to the P.S.A. He is called Bob McCourty, and lives in Greenfield Lane.
I laid in that trench for seven hours before I had my wound bandaged up. A sergeant has since told me that when he passed me I was singing "Tipperary", and asking for water. However, when darkness came Bob McCourty and Doctor Brentnall (of Rochdale) carried me a mile and a half before we came to a stretcher party, who took charge of me and carried me down to the base on the beach. There I was bandaged up. I slept on a stretcher all night, and was "starved to death". After I was knocked out the Sixth (Rochdale) Battalion pressed on and about tea-time took the first line of Turkish trenches on the left. We suffered heavily in doing so, however.
Some of the regulars who took part in the same engagement as we did, were present at the retreat of Mons, and they say that the Mons affair was a picnic compared with the fighting at Gallipoli. So you see we had a regular royal time.
On Friday morning Mr Fletcher (the chaplain) came along to the hospital base, and was very nice with me. However, when the Turks started shelling the wounded at the hospital base he seemed a bit scared. I was taken on a tender and aboard ship for Alexandria. On the voyage I made friends with the chief engineer, who came round to have a look at us all. As I was confined to my bunk he came every day with cakes, oranges, Woodbines, books, etc.
We arrived at Alexandria on Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning we were conveyed in hospital trains to Cairo. On the five hour train journey we were provided with tobacco, cake, lemonade, tea, etc.
The first person I met Cairo station was "Tommy". We ere conveyed in motor ambulances to Luna Park Improvised Hospital, and We are still here. I had an "X-Ray" examination last Sunday, and am now awaiting my turn for an operation. I shall have the bullet fixed on my watch chain as a memento when it is extracted. "Tommy" has been very good to me since I came back. He has provided me with a new kit out of his own, as I left all mine on the field. I can walk about all right now, and feel fairly well. The wound has healed up splendidly".

Rochdale Observer 9th June 1915

In Memory of

9074, 1st/6th Bn., Lancashire Fusiliers
who died age 20
on 06 May 1915
Son of John Taylor, of 228, Drake St., Rochdale.
Remembered with honour


Letter from Private George Jones, D Company 1st 6th (Rochdale) Battalion
Lancashire Fusiliers to his mother.
"I hope you are in good health and above all in the best of spirits. I guess it fairly gave you a knock when you heard that we were going on active service, and I daresay you would be upset to hear that I had been wounded. But I don't want you to get downhearted, for I have been very lucky to get off with what I have got. I have had some very near shaves, but am getting better, though I will be here in hospital for a week or so yet.
We didn't half get it rought (sic) when we landed. The Turks began by trying to stop us from landing. They commenced shelling us as we reached the shore, but I think the 'Lizzie' silenced them, for after she began firing we never heard another shot from that direction. Anyhow we got into a warm corner when we got into the trenches, Our Tom and Albert were all right when I came away, but that is three weeks since now and since then I have heard nothing about them, I will just go through my experience of the firing line. We left the Citadel on May 1st and embarked the following day (Sunday). We arrived at the Dardanelles on the Tuesday night and landed on the Wednesday morning. Next we went into the firing line, getting there about midnight and relieving the regulars who had been in nine days. That was our first night without sleep. Our Tom's company formed up as our reserve. He was in the second line of trenches, and I was in the firing line. Up to then our battalion had had no casualties. However, the order came down the line that at 11 o'clock that day (Thursday) we must jump out and attack the Turkish positions. So at last the whistle blew all down the line. I jumped out, and we managed to occupy a culvert 300 yards from our trenches. Then we were only ten yards from the Turks, but when I looked round to see how many had arrived out of our platoon of 36 there were only 12 and our officer. I was among the lucky 12.
Then my sergeant told me to see whether we were getting reinforcements, but no sooner had I raised my head than a bullet just caught the top of one of my ears and, passing, stuck in the side of the culvert. I managed to get that bullet as a souvenir, but I lost it again. Our officer next told us that we must fix bayonets and push on. Then I thought we were in for a bayonet charge, but when we crawled to top of the ridge we found that the Turks had hopped off.
Consequently we occupied the ridge, but I shall never forget what followed, for the Turks had the range dead on it, and we had little more than a foot of earth as cover. I never before made myself as small as I did just then. Their machine guns kept taking the top off our cover as fast as we piled up the dirt, and shrapnel burst over us continuously. It was this that made a lot of our men go down. I managed to make my place safer with my entrenching tools, and then kept there for the rest of the day.
At dusk a regular battalion came up with pick and shovel to enable us to dig ourselves in properly, and the officer told those who had been there all day to go into the reserve trenches and get as much sleep as possible. Then I crossed the ground over which we had advanced to see whether out Tom and Albert were all right. I found then both. Albert was in a trench where he had been put to look after the spare parts of a machine gun. Tom and I then went to have a sleep in the reserve trench, and as we went saw the Red Cross party taking away the dead and wounded. Whilst asleep I was hit by a sniper, the bullet striking the bottom of my foot and coming out at the side. I was, however, so numb with cold that I fell asleep again. When next I awoke I found that I could not stand, so my officer told me to go down to the base. First-aid dressing followed, and I determined to have some tea, but to my surprise I found that my mess tin had been riddled by bullets. Then I was got away to the boats and on to the hospital ship.
We are now fighting the Turks for England's bread to come through the Dardanelles. Our attempt to force the Dardanelles is one of the greatest military feats in history, for it is such a strong place, but I think we shall gain our end. Then the war will not last long, for there are many thousands of Russians waiting to be equipped to fight with England, and when they join us no power on earth can stop an invasion of Germany"

Rochdale Observer 19th June 1915
Letter from Private H Barker from 1st 6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
to his father.
"You will have read in the papers by now of the advance made on August 6th and 7th It probably read well to people in England, but it only needs one to go throught (sic) it to realise what it is. The ball started rolling about two o'clock on Friday (the 6th), when our big guns gave them a two hours' bombardment. At the end of this the left flank of our line got over the parapet and succeeding in gaining three lines of trenches at small cost. We were then warned to get ready to do our bit for the day after (the 7th). We had to go over at ten o'clock in the morning and our orders were to take a couple of trenches. This we did but the cost was terrible. The Turks had got to know somehow what was coming off, and they concentrated a great number of troops in the centre - the position we held.
We had no difficulty in taking the first trench, and very little in the second, but it was what was waiting for us that played havoc with our chaps. The Turks' next trench was only ten yards away, the smallest distance that any two forces have ever fought during this campaign. It was simply swarming with Turks. They were three or four to one of us and they straight way started to try and drive us out. This they could not as we stuck on to that trench as no one would ever dream we could. I have often wondered before I came out here how the British soldier was any braver than his enemy. But I shall wonder no more as there was not a lad wearing khaki that did not play his part in that trench. Rifle fire was out of the question, but it was the only thing we could do, to pump a hail of lead over their parapet to stop them coming over the top until a supply of bombs came to hand. In the meantime the Turks threw hundreds of bombs into our lines, doing awful damage to our boys. It was not long before a large number of bombs came along to us, and then we had a chance to get our own back, and you can bet we took the chance. It was manslaughter on both sides.
We lost eleven officers (including three captains and the adjutant), so this will give you an idea of the number of men we lost, and we were only there forty-eight hours before we were relieved. I am saying only, but it looked like a month to us, as every second was spent in killing off Turks. We had nothing to eat and could not sleep a wink; there was plenty to eat sent up, but we had not time to take it. I shall remember those two days for as long as I live. We lost a lot of good lads, both of the 1st and 2nd/6th. I don't know how many more attacks I shall have to go through, but I don't think it will be possible to go through one worse, no matter how long the war continues".

Rochdale Observer 4th September 1915
Letter from Sergeant G Brooks C Company 1st 6th (Rochdale) Battalion
Lancashire Fusiliers to his brother

"I dare say you will have heard all about the three days' battle we have had, which occurred on the 6th, 7th and 8th of August. It was the worst we have experienced so far, for they gave us no rest the whole time, and did their best to get back the trenches they had lost. But they have failed so far. We have, however, had a lot of casualties, but I came out of it as well as could be expected, as the bullets were flying pretty thick as we advanced. I got a minor wound in the wrist on the night of the 8th, but I have kept out of hospital so far. I am having it attended to by the doctor. I was hit by a piece of one of the Turks' bombs. The same bomb knocked out one man on my right, so I can think myself rather lucky.
We had a lot of our officers and non-commissioned officers killed. We lost our Adjutant, Captain Spafford; our Quarter-Master, Captain Griffiths, and also Captain Clegg of the A Company. Our Company lost somewhere about 50, and we were one of the lucky ones. We have two still missing, so you can judge for yourself what we lost in the whole of the East Lancashire Brigade. We came out of the firing line on the night of August the 10th, and we were not at all sorry to do it as the brigade was completely done up. We had had no sleep for the whole of the three days, and very little to eat. We were more like men who had been on the tramp without a wash for months. We looked a pitiful lot and it will take the brigade some time before they get over it. The General, however, did not think us completely shattered, for we have been in the firing line since, having relieved the 29th Division on the 19th August. Then, however, we only had three casualties - one killed and two wounded. Now we are down at the rest trenches, but I don't think we shall be long before we are up at the front again as they seem to be pushing things a bit more now. There are very few signs of a coming furlough here at present.
I will try to describe a little of the battle to you. The advance started on the 6th on our left, which was held by the 29th Division. They got on very well for I believe they had very little opposition. Then it came our turn. We were in the centre. We advanced the night before as far as our own reserve trenches and got into the firing line on the morning of the 7th August. Our battalion started their bombardment which lasted somewhere about an hour and then the fun commenced. Well over the top we went and then off as if the "Divil" was after us. On we went to the nearest cover we could find, which, in this case, was the Turks' first line. But we lost a lot before we got there.
The ground was strewn with dead and wounded, but we couldn't do anything for them, for we dare not stop or it would mean a lot more casualties. So they had to stop until the stretcher bearers got to them, which was only after we had cleared the front. Sometimes that means hours or even days.
The first trench we took was full of dead Turks. The next one we took was one of their communication trenches. There we had to stop as we were before a murderous fire. So we had to convert their trench into a firing line for ourselves. This is where we lost a lot of men, as we had no cover at all to speak of until we got our sandbags up.
We are now holding the position which we took from the Turks on the 7th August, but they have made us work hard to hold it. They are still trying to force it from us, but I don't think they will succeed, for once we get hold we are made to stick".

Rochdale Observer 18th September 1915

A Rochdale Member of the Public Schools Unit Lancashire
Dated 7th December 1915
Last Wednesday we went into the trenches for five days, coming out last night. When we were there the weather wasn't very cold, but we had plenty of rain and the trenches were in a horrible condition, with mud and water in plenty. The first three days we were in the support trenches, and we soon got wet through, but didn't get waders until the third day. The first night we spent in fatigues and didn't get any sleep at all. We were drawing rations from the reserves, taking them up to the firing line etc. The communication trenches up to the firing line were flooded and could not be used, so everything had to be taken over the top under cover of darkness. Every time a flare-light went up or a machine gun started we had to remain perfectly still.
The second night in the supports found me on guard. We hadn't a very happy time during the night as it rained continually and our little dug-out was flooded. During the day, however, we had a snip job, escaping all fatigues. The third night in the trenches was much better, as we had an undisturbed time in a small dug-out. It was made to hold one, but three of us managed to squeeze in. It was comfortable for a time and we made up for lost sleep. During the day in the support trenches there wasn't much to do, except fatigue work, such as drawing rations, pumping, and cleaning the trenches, On Saturday night we went up to the firing line to relieve the men there. We were served out with waders - and we needed them, for the journey was through mud, ditches, etc. On Sunday and Monday we were in the firing line. The artillery was pretty active, but there wasn't much doing in the infantry line - bar snipers.
We were behind barricades, a sort of trench above ground. A few yards behind were the original trenches, now full of water. Even our trenches, off the ground as they were, were in an awful state. Men were on fatigue, during the day bailing out water and mud. We were in an isolated part of the line, the trenches on either side being flooded and could not be held.
On two occasions I took messages to our neighbours through deserted trenches. The water was waist deep in parts, right over the top of the waders. The nights in the firing line were the worst. We had no dugouts or shelters of any description, so it was difficult to sleep. During our term on duty we had one or two casualties.
We came out of the trenches last night and are now billeted in a deserted house behind the firing line. We are supposed to be in reserve for a few days, after which we move to some unknown destination for special training. We should not see the trenches again this side of Christmas".
Rochdale Observer 18th December 1915.
"Credit to Rochdale Link4Life"

8432 Lcpl Harry Wrigley
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers
Born Shaw [Oldham Lancashire]

My grandfather is the Lpl in the photo this was taken before they went to Gallipoli

Enlisted 28th feb 1911 Aged 17 years 7 months

Served B company No 15 section

Landed Gallipoli 5th may 1915

Discharged permanent class B Feb 1916 Enlisted Royal Artillery as Gnr 1916

sent in by Mark Wrigley Harry's grandson

"Found on W Beach by Mark Wrigley May 2009"
I will be going back to Gallipoli next May to follow in the footsteps of the 1/6th Battalion walking from W beach up to Gully Spur,the folling days around Krithia and the Vinryard.

The SS Nile on Route to Gallipoli

The 1/6th Bn The XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers were on the SS.Nile

The 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers of the 125th Brigade,The East Lancashire Division began to embark at Alexandria on 1 May 1915.
The first transports left next day, and the last on 6 May. 14,224 men of the Division landed at Cape Helles.
The Division was involved in three notable attempts to break out of the Helles bridgehead to capture the dominating heights
around the village of Krithia. These attacks took place on 6-8 May (in which only the Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade of the Division took part),
4 June and 6-13 August. The last of these is known officially as the battle of Krithia Vineyard,
which gives some impression of the relatively small areas being contested so violently.
It was undertaken not only to try to capture ground but to divert
Turk attention from a large British landing further up the coast at Suvla Bay – an enterprise which failed, and ultimately led to the decision to evacuate the hopeless position on Gallipoli.
By mid August the East Lancashire Division, through battle casualties and sickness, was down
to little more than one third of its normal establishment.

This is one of Danny Daniel's Grandfather.

The photos shows J.H.Mitchell on the left of the photo,the photo
was taken in 1908, he would have been about 13 or 14 years
old.The scroll was sent to the family who apparently would never
believe he was dead. He would have left Egypt between the dates
May 1st and May 6th 1915, going by the date of his death I would
presume he was killed at the battle of Krithia.
Vineyard grave
number G54 Lancashire Landing Cemetary
Initials: J H
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Lancashire Fusiliers
Unit Text: 1st/6th Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 12/08/1915
Service No: 8847
Additional information: Son of Frank and Cicely Mitchell, of 3, Sun Wood Cottages, Walsden, Todmorden.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: G. 54.

Danny Daniels

Letters and postcards of
Capt. Spafford

More to follow on this story

Private David Smethurst
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers

Private David Smethurst of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who was taken prisoner on February 12th, 1916, died on January 13th, 1917, at Angora, Asia Minor, from typhus.
News of his death was received by Mrs. Smethurst at 51, Church Street, Rhodes, where she resided with her five children.
Peculiar circumstances surround this case, as this is the second time Mrs. Smethurst was called upon to mourn the loss of her husband.
He was officially posted as killed in action on August 7th of 1915, such noticed being excepted as proof of his death, when singular to say, the family were startled to receive a postcard dated August 18th of 1915 saying that he was alive.
Both Mrs Smethurst and the children recognised the handwriting at once. After that time he wrote home on several occasions, his last letter being received a month prior to his death. In civil life he was in the employment of Mr H. Walker, builder and contractor, Rhodes.

I'm not too sure on his date of him being captured, he was probably took as a prisoner at Gallipoli in 1915.
As the 1/6th were at camp in Egypt in February 1916.
He is buried at Bagdad Cemetery in Iraq, within a group of burials that died in captivity in Angora, and who were brought into the cemetery after the war, and those those bodies who couldn't be identified have their names on the Angora Memorial that's situated within the grounds.
As you can imagine, Bagdad Cemetery is in a state of disrepair due to vandalism and neglect.




with extracts from
"Todmorden and the Great War 1914-1918, a Local Record"
by John A. Lee
Published by Waddington & Sons Todmorden 1922

"These found glory in the plain path of duty"

Fus Albert Saunders MM
1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.

Presentation Gold Watch
by Public Subscription from the the people of Todmorden to Fus Albert Saunders MM 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers.
"In recognition by the people of Todmorden for his gallantry bringing in numerous wounded men whist under fire at Ypres.
He had already survived the action at Gallipoli"
(this watch is now owned by Joe Eastwood see locker page 3)

Private John W. Child, D.C.M.

1st/6th. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
He was awarded the D.C.M. for gallant conduct on 4th June 1915 south of Krithia, (Dardanelles) Gallipoli,
for volunteering to attack a redoubt, and holding it with 4 other men until relieved ten hours later. He had previously been mentioned for gallantry.
Private Child died from his wounds on 4th August 1915, shortly after having earned his distinction.
His medal was presented to his father in the Town Hall, Todmorden, on 30th November 1915.

Company Sgt. Major Bradshaw Allister D.C.M.
1st/6th. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
He was awarded the D.C.M. for good leading of his platoon on 4th June 1915 south of Krithia, (Dardanelles) Gallipoli
under heavy rifle and shrapnel fire, to take a Turkish trench. He cleared one flank himself, killing eight Turks.
He survived the war and was presented with his medal at Todmorden Town Hall on 30th November 1915.


Sergeant Arthur Taylor
Lancashire Fusiliers
Sergeant Taylor was killed in action in France 13th June 1917, aged 20 years. He was born, one of twins, in 1896, the son of
Joshua and Mary Taylor. Mary did not survive the birth. Arthur's twin sister was Lily, and his older brothers and sisters were
Robert, Betsy Hannah, Matilda, Robert and Annie. Annie lived to celebrate her 100th birthday some 75 years after Arthur died.

When the news of Arthur's death arrived the family was devastated. My mother, who was five years old at the time,
could remember the day clearly.
His older brother Robert locked himself in an outbuilding on his farm at Clinton and wouldn't come out for two days.
His mother's unmarried sister, Fanny, who had helped to bring him up, was never the same again and it was said she died of a broken heart.

He is also remembered with pride in the Cloughfoot Chapel burial ground Peace perfect Peace
Mary wife of Joshua Taylor of Cloughfoot who died 22nd September 1896 aged 38 years.
Elizabeth Ann wife of the above who died 10th August 1913 aged 60 years
Also Sergeant Arthur Taylor Lancashire Fusiliers the beloved son of Joshua and Mary Taylor who was killed in France 13th June 1917
in his 21st year. Also Joshua Taylor who died 9th February 1919 aged 63 years

Sergeant Taylor has no known grave. He is remembered at Loos Memorial, Pas de Calais, France,
which commemorates over 20,000 men
who have no known grave. 172 of these memorials are for men from the Lancashire Fusiliers.

Sergeant Alfred Hamer, D.C.M.
1st/6th. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
He had been twice previously commended for gallantry and was awarded his medal for conspicuous gallantry on 6th. May 1915 on the Gallipoli Peninsula, when he led a half platoon during the attack with great ability and courage. On several occasions he carried messages under heavy fire.

Private Richard Allen, D.C.M.
1st/6th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
He received his medal for gallantry while on sentry duty at an advanced post south of Krithia on June 4 th 1915, noticing movements in the scrub,
and boldly going into it on his own initiative under heavy fire. He found a Turkish machine gun with an officer.
He took the revolver from the officer and brought in the machine gun. He was presented with his medal at
Todmorden Town Hall on 30th November 1915.

Private F. Hewson, D.C.M.
Lancashire Fusiliers
He received his Distinguished Conduct Medal for setting a fine example to all ranks of initiative, leadership, and fighting
spirit during an attack east of Serre on 21st. March 1918.

Corporal Hubert Palfreyman
1st/6th. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers
Corporal Palfreyman died at the age of 21 during the Battle of Ypres. His body was never found. He is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium, which bears the names of almost 35,000 officers and men whose graves are not known, and is one of 4 memorials
to the missing in Flanders. Hubert is also remembered on his family gravestone at St. Paul's Cross Stone.
In Loving memory of Corporal Hubert Palfreyman son of George and Mary Palfreyman of Summerfield Road.
Killed in action at Ypres September 6th 1917 aged 21 years.

Gallipoli: 'We will keep the flags flying'
Martin Purdy and Ian Dawson
26/ 5/2005

IN 1977 John Bagot, the then editor of the Middleton Guardian, was asked about his memories of growing up in the town. This was his reply...

"One thing that has always stuck in my mind was during the First World War. As a boy I saw a postman sitting on the kerb at the top of Cheapside, crying and sobbing like a child and wiping his tears away with a big red and white handkerchief. He had been delivering war office (death) telegrams to nearby cottages.

"As he cried the women in their houses were screaming, except one white-faced, shawled and clogged old lady who sat on the flags next to the postman and simply held his hand."

What the late John Bagot describes so vividly is the news returning to the town of the catastrophic local losses at Gallipoli in 1915.

As reported last week, around 250 Middleton territorials had volunteered for service overseas at the outbreak of WW1. They became part of the 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers battalion and we pick up their story as they enter the maelstrom of the campaign to defeat the Turks on the small peninsula of the Dardanelles called Gallipoli.

The disaster of the campaign has been well documented over the years, not least by the Australians. Their sacrifices, fighting for the first time under their own colours, resulted in a huge step towards the establishment of Australia's own national identity and international recognition.

However, the fact is often overlooked that the British and French were just as deeply committed. We suffered 65,000 dead and wounded, the French 27,000 and the Australians 26,000.

The invasion of Gallipoli was planned after the Turks entered the war on the side of the Germans in late 1914. If the straights of the Dardanelles were conquered, we could have warships in Constantinople in days and deliver a quick and resounding blow to the Turks, while also opening another vital link with our Russian allies via the Black Sea.

In principle, the idea (in which Winston Churchill, then at the Admiralty, was a major player) was sound. In practice, things went wrong from the start.

It had initially been hoped that the navy could deal with the clearing of the straights themselves and sail victoriously into Constantinople. They would bombard resistance at the gateway to this narrow sea waterway (Gallipoli) and surge through. However, brave resistance and mines foiled the scheme and a call was made for a land force to deal with the Turkish troops fighting so tenaciously.

On April 25, 1915, 30,000 allied soldiers would be landed on Gallipoli, but many never even reached the beach. A regular, or professional, battalion of The Lancashire Fusiliers was dropped in the shallows only to run into belts of barbed wire laid below the waterline. While trapped on the wire, they were slaughtered by machine gun fire from the cliffs surrounding the bay. The battalion was to win six Victoria Crosses "before breakfast" in successfully fighting for control of the beach head.

Among these professional soldiers were a number of Middleton men who survived the landing, but the likes of Private Herbert Simpson, of Mills Hill Road, and Lance Corporal John William Horrocks were to pay the ultimate sacrifice later in the campaign

Despite some early signs of promise, and a number of lost opportunities, the situation on Gallipoli soon came to mirror the stalemate on the Western Front - men sat in trenches just a few dozen yards apart and mounting costly attack and counter-attack against heavily defended positions.

The only hope now was that sheer volume of numbers might tip the balance; and so it was that the 42nd East Lancashire Division, including the Middleton Territorials, found themselves moved from Cairo and rowed ashore in the evening of May 5.

Unlike their professional compatriots, the landing of the Lancashire territorials passed without incident. But their good fortune wasn't to last, as the Middletonians found themselves rushed into front-line trenches and going "over the top" within less than 24 hours.

"In the morning, about 11 o'Clock, we made an attack across open country but we were swept down by heavy machine gun fire and we lost heavily," writes Private Walter Hosker to his father at Pool Bank Street, Rhodes.

Corporal William Aspden, another Middleton man, who worked on the trams at home, writes to his wife: "By gum, it was like hell. Bullets were whistling all around me and shells were bursting. It was murder. Our officers are a credit to England."

The 1/6th Lancashire Fusiliers (made up of the Middleton lads and fellow part-time soldiers from Rochdale and Todmorden) gained 400 yards of ground; the greatest advance made by any unit that day. More importantly, the ground was held.

Still, it had proved costly and four Middletonians were among the dead, with many more wounded. Among the fatalities were Percy Beaman, a 21-year-old parishioner of All Saints Church who lived at Rhodes, and Sergeant James Burgess of Middleton Junction, who worked at JW Lees Brewery.

Around 50 more local lads were to follow in their footsteps before the year was out, and a large number of them were to be killed just weeks later, on June 4, attacking the same objective as this first bloody charge - the small village of Krithia.

Krithia was an important strategic objective that lay just below the commanding heights of Gallipoli. From there you could see what was going on on most of the peninsula.

This time the Middleton men would have to charge across about 100 yards of open land through artillery and machine gun fire and into belts of barbed wire. It was carnage and 10 local men were to die, including the Connolly brothers - Frank was aged just 19 and Thomas was 26. They lived in Sadler Street with their parents and siblings.

Private Walter Hosker picks up the story of the attack: "We captured and killed some thousands in a bayonet charge. At night the Turks tried to retake this trench and came up in droves with fixed bayonets shouting 'Allah, Allah'. We fixed our bayonets and jumped out of the trench and charged."

Sergeant James Dean, of Wood Street, Middleton, adds: "We had a terrible time. We made a general advance and took some of their trenches and our battalion was in the thick of it from start to finish. How I got through safely I do not know."

Tragically, the married 30-year-old was to die just two months later. His 23-year-old brother Arthur, who lived at the family home on Grimshaw Lane, was killed on the same day. The brothers now rest side-by-side in Redoubt Cemetery, Gallipoli.

The Dean brothers were among 22 more local men killed repulsing a ferocious Turkish attack in August on a position called, for obvious reasons, The Vineyard.

Now it was personal, and far from being disheartened Sergeant Ruckman, another Middletonian writing to a friend at Wood Street, sums up the feeling... "Some of the lads call us 'The Fighting Sixth'. We are getting quite used to our little hole in the ground, but it is awful out here and no matter where we are we are under shellfire.

"All the lads are going hunchbacked with ducking, but we are getting used to it and the boys are game. If Middleton will keep the homes going, we will keep the flags flying and keep the fighting name."