Saturday, 25 April 2015

Gallipoli 25th April 1915, 100 years on.. The WW1 War Records of my Great Grandfather...



Last year one evening when i visited my late father in the nursing home he handed me a folder...
"I think you will want a read of this son, of a very brave man in our family"  Dad said...
My Second Cousin has been doing family researching and received an historical of my Great Grandfather Archibald Love McKinnon`s war records...
fourteen/eighteen/research war record...






Call to arms...
All over Great Britain young men like my great grandfather often along with their  friends eagerly signed up  after listening to Lord Kitchener's Call to Arms, to get in on the action before it was all over by Xmas 1914... whole streets of men often signed up and joined the same regiments...
Lord Kitchener's famous  poster...

As we know the war would not be over by Xmas 1914 but would drag on over a 4 year bloody stale mate.
The Gallipoli Campaign starting with Anzac landings on April 25th 1915 after a failed Naval assault.
It was planned to secure Russia`s  Sea route by capturing Constantinople (modern Istanbul)  when Turkey entered the war joining the Germans would fail after a 8 month slaughter and operations were moved to Egypt.
Gallipoli pics...








The Gallipoli Campaign claimed over 100,000 lives between both sides and many more injured, and no doubt lived with the mental scars of their experiences of war...
Wounded troops going home...


Some of many who never returned home..



Wiki link Gallipoli Campaign


My Dads Grandfather was one of hundreds of thousands of men who fought through the horrific slaughter of WW1... He fought in the Gallipoli campaign,

Extracts from the Service record;
The Records give an insight into the Operations with Officers reports and maps showing the miles of trench systems, Reports of patrols, casualties, and Archibald's involvement where he is mentioned, or his unit is mentioned.

The 4th Battalion  of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was created for the new Territorial Force (TF), on 1st April 1908. Originally formed for Home defence it would later serve overseas. Headquartered in Kilmarnock Ayrshire it had a number of drill halls in the region. One was in Kilwinning where Archibald lived in 1911 and was used by `B` Company. Archibald enlisted on 20th January 1915.

Royal Scots Fusiliers badge...



Into battle;
Archibald arrived at Gallipoli on 6th June 1915 having sailed with the Battalion from Liverpool on the ship `Mauretania` on 21 May 1915.
The `Mauretania`



Transferred to HMS `Reynard` his unit landed at `V` beach and came under fire when the beaches were shelled several times that evening, shells coming were from the front line and several miles away across the Dardanelles. They were stationed at the beach until late on 9th June,
Map of the Gallipoli Peninsula 1915...



Gallipoli peninsula today...



`V` Beach today..


Onto the Front Line...
Ordered to hold the front line the 1/4th  and 1/5th Royal Scots Fusiliers (RSF) occupied a labyrinthine of trenches which were in full view of the Turkish front line. The Records mention the trenches made little sense with no signs  and few maps to navigate. Guides sent to bring the RSF into position got lost, and The trenches were under constant sniper fire.
On 11th June a heavy bombardment killed Captain A. Logan and one man. and wounded 21 men.

The records create a scene that must have caused great fear to Archibald and his fellow soldiers. the stench of dead decaying bodies in the searing heat, lice, rats, disease, must have been hell...

Trenches at Gallipoli...




Over the top;
The records state it is not clear when Archibald Love Mckinnon was trapped behind Turkish lines but it indicates probably on 12th July 1915 when after a British bombardment, the Battalion went `over the top` in four waves as part of a much larger assault in which most of the Division took part.
`The attack was quite successful` says the war diary with `C` Company capturing another trench and advanced 250 yards on a 1000 yard front.

13 Officers had become casualties along with 49 men dead, 150 wounded and 62 missing, It is possible that Archibald was among the latter, many of whom later reported.

The battalions position on the day was to the right of 157th Brigade, east of the Achi Baba Nullah in the vicinity of  `Hyde Park Corner` on the map below...

Trenches around Krithia and Achi Baba Nullahs..



Service Documents and maps;





Officers Daily reports are included, here is one for 12th 13th  July 1915...

 The report printed out...



Many maps included too...





Discharge from the army;
There is no information with regard to Archibald`s evacuation home or his condition, but he was discharged under Kings Regulations 392xvi on 31 December 1915

Silver War Badge;
Archibald was awarded the `Silver War Badge` for his services. The badges were numbered individually numbered; Archibald`s was 514572. He was not awarded it until 1920, which rather defeated the object of giving the man something to use to show publicly that he had served.
He did not need to apply for his campaign medals as they were sent automatically. Archibald qualified for the 1914-15 star and the British War and Victory Medals, a standard combination for men who went overseas in 1915. They were normally dispatched to the man in 1919 (the Star) and in 1921.
Sadly i don`t think the medals are still in possession by a family member...

My Great Grandfather died before my mum met my father and  married,  Dad said he was a kind man and a popular person in the family's home town of Kilwinning.
Archibald Love McKinnon in civilian life in Kilwinning after WW1...

Dad said as a child his Grandfather never talked to him about his experiences in those trenches, not many of these brave men did, they will always be remembered for what they did for our country...

WW1 Souvenirs...
I was given two items owned by my late father last week when along visiting mum, a WW1 British Officers 1917 compass and a 1918 whistle given to him when he was young by a man who served in WW1 that dad used to go fishing with when he grew up in Ayrshire.
One item that could have saved lives and one that could send men to their deaths over the top.




Next time you pass a WW1 War Memorial stop and take a few moments and read some of the names of the fallen, these men gave everything for us to be here today in a free life...

                                   









Friday, 24 April 2015

Midweek rides, Wee ride up the Ridge Road...



Thursday was a roaster for April!, despite a fog bank out at sea it remained calm and for that got real  warm under the blue sky in the late afternoon,
Time i got home from work and done some stuff it was 6pm when i went for a wee cycle on the Surly KramPug 29+.  It was still warm enough for T shirt weather as i popped up the local Garleton Hills Ridge Road to the Masts...


A lot of potato fields around here this season...




Good to descend this, but today i hiked-a-bike up it...





And rejoined the old hill road at the Grange, fortified house...





Up towards Barney Hill and bone dry at the gate!, usually a bit of a mess here from cattle...


Amazing light...



And views from the top... 2 miles east and i am on the coast,  2 miles west and all this...




A bomb back down the Ridge Road track from Barney Hill and heading for home,
No need to drive far to ride your bike in East Lothian when you can ride somewhere from home and have a fun couple of hours...



I shot some film with the compact camera, and the Go Pro chest cam,
Song is `6 Underground`  by  Sneaker pimps
Surly KramPug 29+ Ridge Road, April 15 from coastkid71 on Vimeo.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Midweek catch up; The Spring Drought continues...



Still only one evenings heavy rain this month,  still cool at nights with a touch of air frost but things are warming up as the days grow longer...


And lovely to see flowers and buds opening when out and about...


Fields of crops are groing quickley...


Going to get real yellow around here soon...


Early evenings and out cycling...





With the dogs too!...


Horse Chestnut has come out this week...







Holly Hedge...



Ground is bone dry...


Lol   :)















Into the light...





:)






Out tyred...




:)


Primrose...





Kai the Rescue Springer is settling down and enjoying life...


Even Mowgli likes to play with him now!...



Another clear sky early commute...



And big skies up on the hill at work...





Irrigation on now and weather feels like it`s about to start warming up, grass is starting to grow on the course, so time to get the fertiliser on the greens. Washed in with the irrigation and ready for the fore casted rain on Friday...


Home time and a detour home on the Surly KramPug-great 29+ conditions on the trails...



Moles are back in Francis`s paddock...



Some Duffis Mole traps will soon catch them...





Home under Cherry blossom...








Loads of dust on country roads from Lorry's ...


Lovely evenings get cooler as the sun sets...


Chiminea and a cider to finish the day off...








More soon...