Kidney Hill, Gallipoli.

Sunday, 15 August, 1915 - Saturday, 21 August, 1915
Gallipoli Suvla Bay
Map of the Suvla area, Gallipoli.

The attack on Chocolate Hill had inflicted eight officer and 92 other rank casualties on the 6th Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. They were withdrawn on 10 August to rejoin the 10th (Irish) Division where they met up with their sister battalion, the 5th Battalion, at a position in front of Kiretch Tepe Sirt. An attack on its 'Kidney Hill' feature by 30 and 31 Brigade was ordered for 15 August and the 5th Battalion's objective was the spur known as Kidney Ridge; the 6th Battalion was in reserve.

Below, Commander 31 Brigade, Brigadier F F Hill, speaking to a man wounded by shrapnel and being taken away on a stretcher, Suvla. This man was standing near the General when he was wounded.
(© IWM Q 13625)

IWM Q13625Shortly after 1200 hours the 5th Battalion advanced as far as the plain some 500 yards short of the hill. The area was beyond the range of naval gunfire support and the amount of allied artillery support was inadequate. Approaches across the plain at the foot of the hill were well observed and covered by enemy artillery and machine guns. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Vanrenen, was killed and the Second-in-Command had no sooner taken command when he too became a casualty. Further gallant attempts to cross the plain were fruitless and the casualties mounted. At 2000 hours the Brigade Commander ordered a withdrawal and a return to the ground occupied at noon.

Command had now fallen to Captain Adams who ordered the collection of the wounded before falling back. By midnight over 100 wounded had been recovered but because stretcher bearers were unable to operate so far forward the Inniskillings had to carry their comrades in groundsheets the 600 yards back to the noon line. The recovery was completed by 0400 hours on the morning of 16 August; in all six officers and 28 other ranks had been killed, 14 officers and 230 other ranks wounded and 78 were missing. This was more than half the total strength that had landed at Suvla Bay. The 5th Battalion remained in these trenches, where it sustained further casualties from Turkish artillery fire, until it was withdrawn on 21 August. Such was the rate at which senior officers became casualties that when the Battalion withdrew it was commanded by a Lieutenant.

Click on The Gallipoli Campaign for links to more stories about our former regiments at Gallipoli.