1916 – Final Evacuation and the Irish at Gallipoli.

Final evacuation from the ill-advised Gallipoli invasion which saw the death of 3,500-4,000 Irish soldiers fighting either in Australian, New Zealand or British uniform. An estimated 44,000 allied soldiers died. As with most Irish who fought in WWI, their sacrifice received scant recognition by parochial Irish government until 2010.

Of the 1,100 of the 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers who landed on 25 April where ‘the water of the bay ran red with blood,’ the Military History Society of Ireland, states that only 11 would survive the entire campaign unscathed. The botched campaign forced the resignation of Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty.

Liam Clancy’s rendition of Eric Bogle’s masterpiece And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda sums up the horror of the campaign.


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