James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants
Note that the maps on this page are not the same

Gallipoli: The Battle of Sari Bair

On 15 July at about 8 pm Brigade HQ and some of its battalions boarded small steamers to reach Cape Helles on the southernmost tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula (Gethin's brother landed at Sulva Bay on the east coast). Brigade HQ was aboard the River Clyde, a collier that had been converted to become a landing vessel. 40th Brigade arrived at about 2 a.m. on 16 July. Gethin and Brigade HQ moved up to the HQ of 13th Division. The troops marched to Gully Beach, thence to the trenches where they remained until relieved on 28 July. As on the Western Front, their time in the line at Cape Helles involved periods in the fire trenches and periods in reserve before returning with Brigade HQ, to Gully Beach. The River Clyde picked them up from "V" beach (map) on 30 July and transported them back to Mudros on Lemnos.

On 2 August, Brig. Gen. J.H. Travers, Gethin (still Brigade Major), the Brigade Supply Officer and 8 ORs returned to Anzac. The rest of the Brigade arrived over the following two days. Anzac was the region to the north west of the Peninsular. The advance party moved inland to McCay’s Hill. Their objective was to capture the Sari Bair ridge (map). 40th Brigade formed the left covering force, with orders to protect the left flank of the main attack. It had to make a night march of two miles northward along the coast, then wheel half-right, and in a night attack capture Damakjelik Bair, a ridge which formed the lower end of one of the main spurs of Sari Bair.

At 8 p.m. on 6th August 1915 the advance started. The southern slopes were captured soon after midnight. Whilst moving along the coast over very broken and difficult ground littered with boulders and prickly scrub, parts of the Brigade were delayed by becoming intermingled with the 4th Australian Brigade; the Australians, who formed the left attacking force, due to assault the peak just north of Chunuk Bair had arrived too early. Otherwise, good progress was made. 40th Brigade had reached the nullah of the Aghyl Dere, a deep streambed north of the main Anzac position and its deployment position, when it was fired on from a trench on the far side. The trench was charged and carried with the bayonet. The men then wheeled to their right in the darkness, and by 1.30 a.m. having dealt with several parties of Turks on the way had secured their objective on Damakjelik Bair, taking about 200 prisoners.

The next day the men of the Brigade could observe the main attack on the other section of the ridge, Chunuk Bair.