James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Illness v losses in action

By 20 August the Battalion was consolidating its position and establishing Battalion HQ in a place called Lone Tree Gully. Losses amongst the officers necessitated a reshuffle and Morgan became one of three officers attached to C Company. Operations in the trenches continued; these included clearing the scrub that lay in front of them. At least twice in September, when the Battalion was in Australia Valley (map), one of the deep streambeds to the north of the Anzac Sector, Morgan was dispatched to liase with the Australians. Casualties mounted rapidly, as much from disease as from enemy action. By the end of September 1915 the Battalion’s total losses in the six weeks they had been on the Peninsula were:


Officers:
ORs

killed
3
22

Died of wounds
1
6

Died
1

Wounded
8
116

Sick
7
210

Morgan was given the rank of acting Major while he worked at the headquarters of his unit from 21 August 1915 to 21 October 1915. The shortage of men on the Peninsular was becoming all too serious. In the first fortnight of a three-week stint in the trenches, sixty men had reported sick, more with stomach troubles than with dysentery. In the month of October the Battalion lost a further four officers and eighty-three ORs, largely through illness. Morgan himself reported sick on 19 October. By mid-November the strength had fallen below three hundred, and a further restructuring of the Battalion was necessary. The winter brought new health problems, chills, rheumatic ailments and frostbite; there was also the ever-present problem of lice. On 5 December 1915 Morgan's name appeared in a Sunday Times list of former ‘Varsity blue sportsmen killed or wounded in action. It stated that he “has been invalided home owing to serious ill-health. Everybody hopes the old Welsh international will regain his wonted strength and skill later.” Early in December 161st Brigade withdrew from Gallipoli.