Cap badge 1/8th Bn. Hampshire Regiment ( The Isle of Wight Rifles) WW1

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€ 15,00
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Posted to the 54th Division April 1915 replaced the 4th Suffolk, joined the 4th & 5th Norfolk regiments and the 5th Suffolk regiment in the 163rd Brigade under Brigadier General Brunker. First moved to Bury St. Edmunds then soon moved to Watford were the division was being concentrated they spent two months waiting for transport mules. They headed for Gallipoli on July 30th leaving from Liverpool on the Cunarder Aquitania which reached Lemos inside a week. The 1/8th boarded smaller vessels for transport to Sulva Bay where they dismembarked on August 9th with 25 officers and 750 other ranks were present. The 8th being sent to fill a gap between the Tenth and eleventh divisions. The 8th did not have any idea of the ground or the situation and what was expected of them on August 11th G.H.Q. sent orders for the 54th to move forward that evening to the foot hills of the Tekke Tepe ridge in readiness to attack at dawn. Under protest of the ninth division the operation as postponed 24 hours, on the afternoon of the 12th the 163rd brigade moved forwardthe objective was some huts about a mile ahead of its outpost line. They had to cross open grazing land which had a few dotted trees and patches of cultivation with some ditches.

The 163rd Brigade had three battalions in front line the 8th Hamps being in the center the 5th Norfolks on the right and the 5th Suffolk on the left, the 4th Norfolk being in support behind the left. A battery of 18 pounders, two mountain batteries and some naval guns to provide artillery support. As the Infantry the gunners had little idea of the enemy's dispositions and without definate targets could be of little use.

At 4.40pm the brigade started off and made fare progress but casualties started mounting up and as the battalions pushed on they began losing touch with each other the brigades line had become disconnected most of the 5th Norfolk taking some of the 8th Hamps with them diverged to the right many of them penetrating deep through the scrub into the Turkish position, where they were overwhelmed, there bodies being discovered half a mile beyond the front line after the armistice ( TV show called All the Kings Men is about this ). The Hampshire pushed on for about 1000 yards over very ruff gound machine guns on the left halting them near the Anafarta Ova wells. Here along a ditch the leading men established themselves, but being only a handful they could not hold the ground and moved back rallying in a sunken track where about 800 men from all the battalions of the brigade were eventually collected with others further back where the 4th Norfolks on the left had began entrenching. Here they held on until 14th Aug. consolidating the position on the right contact had been made with the 53rd Division but the left was still open. The Turkish forces attempted a an advance on the 14th Aug which gave the Hampshire machine guns a chance to repulse the effort to flank the left, that night the 5th Essex arrived to relieve the battalion which withdrew to its original position.

Eight officers and 150 men had been killed or missing, 140 had been wounded, 20 of the missing where later found wounded in hospital. The Brigade for the moment was incapable of another offensive and ws ordered to take over the trenches on the Kiretch Tepe ridge behind the 10th Division. The 54th replaced the 10th astride Kiretch Tepe Sirt Here they spent two days being sniped at and had some losses here. A spell in Lala Baba, in reserve which allowed for bathing, from here the battalion moved to its new sector under General Birdwood's command early in September to allow the 13th Division joining the Ninth Corps, to which it properly belonged. This brought the 8th Hampshire to the Rhadodendron Spur, Damarkjelik Bair Sector. 'Anzac'. The 54th found its new positions fairly well consolidated and the 8th Hampshire spent 3 months in this sector first going to Hill 60 where the smell of unburied bodies was very offensive. There was some bombing and sniping here, the battalion recorded 30 casualtys most early in September its strengh in mid September being just over 400 all ranks, the 8th where attached to the 161st Essex Brigade in exchange for the stronger 7th Essex as their own brigade

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