Posted by: sommecourt | 25/04/2009




Ninety-four years ago my grandfather, Bertie Samuel Reed, rowed the men of 1st Lancashire Fusiliers into ‘W’ Beach at Gallipoli. A Leading Stoker, he spent most of his time in the boiler room of HMS Implacable but volunteered for the operation. His undying memory of the day was seeing the water run red with the blood of the Lancashire Fusiliers, as they were caught on the Turkish barbed wire on the beach. He later spent a lot of time ashore during the campaign, and as a child I used to play with his entrenching tool which I found in a tool shed at my grandmother’s house in East Ham. Two other members of the family served there too; both in the 1st Essex; Thomas Sainty landed on ‘W’ Beach later that day and was killed in May 1915, and Dan Boyles, my great uncle, landed in July (having served in France 1914/15) before being wounded in the Krithia Vineyard. Gallipoli today is a beautiful battlefield to visit – but beauty tinged with sadness.


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