Battle of Gully Ravine, Gallipoli

Fri, 07/02/1915

The Battle of Gully Ravine began at 1045 hours on 28 June 1915 and became the scene of vicious and bloody fighting as the Turks began a series of counterattacks on the night of 1–2 July. Two soldiers of the 1st Battalion, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Captain Gerald O'Sullivan and Serjeant James Somers, were awarded the Victoria Cross for recapturing a trench taken by the Turks during a counter-attack.

An extract from the 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers' War Diary for the 29 June 1915 includes an informative sketch map of their position in Support Trench J11 with an account of that day's fighting and actions where the Turks attacked the Dublin Fusiliers, capturing Trench J12:

4am: Enemy again counter attacked heavily, and portion of Dublin Fus who were digging new trench from J11 to J12, retired into J11 temporarily, but were rallied and drove enemy from new trench dug during the night.

Gallipoli Sketch Map

2pm: Batt ordered to take over J11 from the Gurkhas.

The War Diary entry for 1 July contains more detail on the fighting for

Continued improving trenches and digging sap from J12 to J11.

11.30pm: Enemy made bomb attack on J12 from Gully, driving back the Gurkhas and thus leaving the Inniskillings left flank exposed. At this time B Coy were lying out in advance of new sap as covering party while C Coy were digging under cover of sandbags and iron plates. Part of B Coy retired across open into support trench in rear of new saps, others filed into J12 which they found unoccupied. D Coy under Captain Edden and 2 platoons of A Coy under Captain O’Sullivan sent up from J11A to retake J12 and counterbomb at sap head. These companied headed by bombing parties covered by men with fixed bayonets, three times drove the Turks out of J12, being successful after the 3rd attempt. At dawn the few remaining Turks in J12 (beyond the barricade) being enfiladed by rifle fire and bombs climbed over parapet into the open and attempted to reach Gully but were mown down by Inniskilling and Borders machine guns and rifle fire from B Coy in new sap. Turks then sent reinforcements from the Gully up J12 as far as the barricade and Inniskillings and Gurkhas consolidated the regained portion of J12. Casualties during the night: 1 Officer killed, 4 wounded. 5 Rank and File killed, 33 wounded.

The Inniskillings received a congratulatory telegram, on 2 July, from Major General Beauvoir de Lisle, GOC 29th Division, stating: ‘Well done Inniskillings’.

(Please click on the thumbnail image below to examine the detail of the sketch map.)