Courtney’s and Steel's Post Cemetery

Cemetery Details

Location Eceabat, Gallipoli, Turkey
Co‑ordinates N40.2353255, E26.2893056

By C E W Bean  (The Official History of Australia in the War, Vol I. page 284-285):
"Courtney's Post was a steep, scrubby recess in the gully side."
Steel's Post was next to it on the south-west:
"a steep niche ‘of which the top was a sheer landslide of gravel where a man could scarcely climb on hands and knees’.

The Anzac and Suvla cemeteries are first signposted from the left hand junction of the Eceabat-Bigali road. From this junction travel into the main Anzac area.

At 11.1 kms from the junction Eceabat-Bigali, the cemetery will be found on the left hand side of the road.

This cemetery lies west of the road along the former front line on MacLaurin’s Ride, occupying what was Steel’s (or Steele’s) Post, the southerly of the two positions.   Both places were taken on 25 April 1915, and held against sometimes ferocious attack until the evacuation in December 1915.

It is named for Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Heron Steel OBE of the 14th Battalion (often spelled Steele’s, but official spelling is Steel’s).

Courtney’s Post is named for Lieutenant Colonel R E Courtney CB. VD, who commanded the 14th Battalion, which arrived in this location on 27 April 1915.

There are 225 Commonwealth Servicemen of WWI buried and commemorated in this cemetery (160 of whom are unidentified).   There are ‘6’ identified Australian burials, and 58 ‘Special Memorials’ to others believe to be buried there (54 Australians, 2 Royal Marines, 1 Royal Navy seaman and 1 New Zealand soldier).

The eastern wall of the cemetery is about where the Australian frontline trenches were.

The road is the narrow ‘no-mans land’, the Turks throwing bombs and siting machine-guns often in positions behind the Australians. Where the cemetery is now was a warren of trenches and tunnels, stretching back for 25 metres where the ridge slopes away steeply.   At the back ridge, was a shanty town of tunnels, trenches and shelters; much of this part of the ridge was washed away.   The positions were held first by men of the 11th Battalion, then on 27 April 1915 by the 14th Battalion.

Many of the men known to be buried in this cemetery are from the bitter fighting of the first two weeks of the campaign (including sailors turned soldiers).

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.

The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as ANZAC.

Thank you to Garrie Hutchinson for his information.

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  20/2/2015.  Lest we forget.



Showing 8 people of interest from cemetery

GOOLD , Pierce Arthur

Service number 930
3rd Infantry Battalion
Born 21 Feb 1877


Service number 524
Lance Corporal
14th Infantry Battalion
Born 1882

HOWAT, Alfred Charles

Service number 219
14th Infantry Battalion

FRASER, Walter Warwick

Service number 319
14th Infantry Battalion
Born 1895

SHELDON, Frederick Laurence

Service number 387
14th Infantry Battalion
Born 1895

ALLEN, George Herbert

Service number 1328
14th Infantry Battalion
Born 19 Sep 1894

WATKINS, Harold Thomas

13th Infantry Battalion

THOMPSON, Horace William Blair Leo

Service number 719
Second Lieutenant
11th Infantry Battalion
Born 30 Aug 1887

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