Friday, 4 December 2015

The Bedfords Leave Gallipoli

 Lemnos (from The History of the Fifth Battalion, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (TA))

Saturday 4th December 1915: The adjutant of the 1st/5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, dubbed the Yellow Devils for their bravery in action on 15th August, left the Gallipoli peninsula yesterday. Orders to embark were received at 6.30 last evening and they embarked for Mudros on the island of Lemnos an hour before midnight. They are expected to disembark about 8.30 this morning and to march to a camp at Portianou on the other side of the bay. Their sojourn on the peninsula lasted 115 days.

Source: X550/6/8

(1) Gallipoli was evacuated gradually from the beginning of December until 9th January 1916. The withdrawal was, ironically, the best planned and executed thing in the whole campaign and casualties were surprisingly low. The whole campaign is reckoned to have cost 174,828 Ottoman casualties (56,643 killed) and 27,169 French of whom 9,798 were killed. 142 men from Newfoundland became casualties of whom 49 were killed and 4,779 men from British India, of whom 1,358 were killed. These men are often forgotten as Gallipoli has become associated almost solely with Australians and, to a lesser extent, New Zealanders. 28,150 Australians and 7,473 New Zealanders became casualties, of whom 8,709 and 2,721 respectively were killed. British casualties amounted to 120,246, of whom 34,072 were killed.

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