1914 – 1918  GALLIPOLI

About The Book

Fourteen unique stories of First World War service men from the South West towns of Western Australia.

Includes Gallipoli snipers , incredible bravery at the major battles, amazing survival and painful tragedy.

A number of the stories follow the lives of those men who returned home and made significant contributions to their local communities.



Favourites for readers are sure to include the Irish priest who disobeyed orders to be amongst the first Australians to land at Anzac Cove, the blinded soldier who became a successful cabinet maker for more than 50 years, the two local South West farmers who identified as the two leading rifle shots in the First Division Australian Infantry Forces, and the Rhodes Scholar whose extraordinary life was tragically cut short in the bayonet charge at The Nek Walkers Ridge Gallipoli on 7 August 1915.

This charge was a featured re- enactment in the Australian movie “ Gallipoli “.

This book also features Honour Rolls for the 143 South West soldiers who lost their lives at Gallipoli and the 8 men who received honours and awards.

What’s inside


Battles of Gallipoli

Brief Descriptions 


Cheops Pyramid

Photo with Soldiers


Gallipoli Honour Roll

Honours & Awards


14 Unique Stories

Bravery & Honour


Gallipoli Honour Roll

Lives lost in battle


Remembrance Poem

By the Author

Chapter 1


South West Men Prominent At The Front
The British Army had started planning for the Gallipoli Campaign from early 1915. General Ian HAMILTON was appointed Allied Commander, being sent to Egypt to prepare a force of more than 70,000 men for battle to defeat the Turks. This force was known as the Mediterranean Expeditionary Forces, comprising a joint Corps of 25,000 Australian & New Zealand soldiers (ANZAC), together with units from the British, French, Indian and Newfoundland Armies.

During March 1915, the 11th Battalion from Western Australia (WA), was the first unit transferred from Egypt to a main base camp at Mudros Harbour on the Greek island of Lemnos, approximately 100 kilometres south west of Gallipoli. They underwent additional training and landing rehearsals to prepare for their arrival at Gallipoli. During the afternoon of 24th April 1915 the Anzacs boarded troopships, destroyers and battleships for the overnight voyage to the battle zone.

The British Army landed at Cape Helles, whilst the Anzacs landed at the Ari Burnu headland later known as “Anzac Cove.” Whilst at Gallipoli, our South West soldiers were to feature in a number of major battles against the Turks. Ferocious Turkish resistance resulted in protracted trench warfare. Brief details are included below:-

( 1 ) Anzac Cove landing: 25th April 1915
The first wave of men who landed were fired on by up to 200 Turks, who were closely set in position. Most of the Anzac casualties on the first day were those who were scrambling up the bush entangled gullies, leading up from the beach to the ridges. To help understand the horrendous cauldron of arms fire directed at our men during the landing, we refer to the following eye witness accounts:-

(i) Captain Thomas Steane LOUCH (from Albany WA) wrote an extensive letter on Anzac Day 1970, to his sniper mates from Bunbury WA, Mervyn Ephraim “Dick” CLARKE (Refer Story No. 3) and Thomas Hayward ROSE (Refer Story No. 11) in which he stated:-

“Our Brigade is the landing party for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps; that means that we go in first and try to clear the way for the others.”

“It was just light enough for us to see the outline of the land, but our approach was not seen by the Turks, until we were about two or three hundred yards from the shore.” “A Turkish Machine Gun emplaced on the forward slope of what was afterwards called ‘Plugge’s Plateau’ opened fire.”

“Our boat grounded just round the corner of Ari Burnu and came under fire from the direction of the Sphinx. We leapt out and waded ashore, water up to our waists. As instructed we shed our packs, lay down and awaited orders. Colonel JOHNSTON who had taken cover beside me , said we had landed in the wrong place. A bullet spattered into the sand just clear of our noses. The beach had no cover so we lugged our box of ammunition up the hill in front. Half way up, when we stopped for breath in a sandy washaway, we saw the first shell to be fired by the Turkish battery near Gaba Tepe.”

(ii) Major Chaplain John FAHEY DSO, had spent 5 years in the Parish of Yarloop, from 1909- 1913. His precise and vivid description of his memory of the Dawn Landing is chilling reading (Refer Story No. 5.)

Eleven South West soldiers were killed in action during the Dawn Landing on 25th April 1915.

Unique Stories


This book acknowledges the outstanding contribution of South West soldiers in the Great War 1914-1918, with a focus on education for school age children who celebrate the commemorations of Anzac Day and Remembrance Day in ever increasing numbers.

Every student in Australia is taught a very brief account of what happened at Gallipoli; the horror of what occurred on that fateful day. This book brings humanity to the madness; the histories of our soldiers who bravely fought, with accounts and letters of what they experienced on the ground. A truly humbling testament to the brave West Australians who gave their lives for our freedoms.

Damian Ots

About the author.

Jeffrey PEIRCE has spent the past 12 years identifying, researching, documenting and publishing the war service histories of more than 3000 men and women from the South West towns of Western Australia in the Great War 1914-1918.

Whilst publishing details on a number of very successful websites he uncovered a diversity of astounding individual stories to be honoured by a new series of books.

His first book features inspirational and emotional stories of fourteen service men and their actions at Gallipoli.

A number of stories focus on those men who survived the horrors of war to make significant contributions to their communities on return home.

Jeffrey is committed to publish further amazing stories that in future books will include actions on the Western Front in France and Belgium, Light Horsemen in Egypt and the Middle East as well as volumes dedicated to the Nurses and First Nation soldiers who enlisted from the South West.

Jeffrey was very proud to have been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Australian of the Year Awards Local Hero Category. This award nomination was in recognition of his innovative development of the website.

 Jeffrey’s four earliest websites, three on local military history and one featuring the Bunbury Cemetery Heritage Walk were sought by the State Library of Western Australia for inclusion on their Pandora Archives and confirmed as significant contributions to Western Australian Heritage.

Jeffrey A Peirce