Monday, 14 December 2015

The Ayrshire Experience of Gallipoli

Our final speaker, before the Christmas break, is Tom Barclay.  Tom is, I'm sure, well known to many of you and has certainly assisted many of our members in their local and family history researches.
Tom is the Local History Librarian at the Carnegie Library in Ayr and has an extensive knowledge of the history of our county.

Tomorrow night (Tuesday 15 December 2015) he will be speaking of the experiences of Ayrshire troops during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War 1.

British, Australian, New Zealand and French troops had landed on the Gallipoli  Peninsula in April 2015.  One of the aims of the campaign was to knock the Turkish Ottoman Empire out of the war,  open up Black Sea supply routes to Russia and gain access to Serbia along the River Danube.

Scottish troops of the 52nd Lowland Division were heavily involved in attacking the Turkish defences at Cape Helles on the Gallipoli Peninsula. These included the 4th and 5th Territorial battalions of the Royal Scots Fusiliers (Ayrshire’s county regiment).

Later in the campaign reinforcements for the 52nd Division included men of the Ayrshire Yeomanry, Ayrshire's Territorial cavalry unit. They left their horses behind and served as infantrymen.

Most of Ayrshire's WW1 memorials carry the names of local lads who fell or died of wounds while serving in Gallipoli.

We look forward to hearing Tom giving us further information on this controversial action of the Great War