28 September 2019 : Gallipoli Association Annual Conference
28 Sep

10.30 : Chairman’s opening address

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Speakers and their topics (in order of appearance – we reserve the right to change):

10.45 : Unheard or Ignored Voices? British Pre-First World War Intelligence on the Dardanelles' with Yusuf Ali Özkan 

Born in Turkey, Yusuf is currently a PhD researcher at Brunel University London, focussing on intelligence and military history between the late 19th and the first half of the 20th century. Despite the voluminous literature on the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915, scholarly attention has not substantially and systematically focused on the intelligence dimension of the 1915 decision to force the Straits and the subsequent operations on the Peninsula. This talk explores British intelligence activities and assessments on the Dardanelles before the outbreak of the First World War, and how intelligence impacted upon decision-making in 1915. British intelligence departments had collected remarkably accurate information and produced numerous – largely pessimistic – assessments concerning the Dardanelles. This talk argues that the decision-makers of the War Council in 1915 deliberately ignored assessments penned during the pre-war era. The main reason for ignoring previous intelligence reports is the belief that the proposed operations in 1915 were so different and the technology of the day in naval gunnery and battleships had so improved.

11.15: 'Echoes from the Deep: The Wrecks of the Dardanelles Campaign' with Savaş Karakaş 

'Echoes from the Deep' is a unique documentary and record of the filming of shipwrecks lost during the Dardanelles Campaign. It records the stories of these 31 ships and submarines and their complete history, from launching to sinking, of the Ottoman, British, French and Australian registered vessels, as well as two later submarine wrecks which were all lost in the Dardanelles Straits, Aegean Sea and the Marmara Sea. Savaş was born in 1968 in Ankara and holds a BA in Economics. His TV career started in 1995 and is today an award-winning documentary producer/director, keeping track of his grandfather who fought at Gallipoli in 1915. The most famous of his many documentary productions focusing on the shipwrecks of the Gallipoli Campaign are ‘Gallipoli: History in the Depths’ (1998), ‘Gallipoli: War beneath the Waves’ (2006), ‘Echoes from the Deep’ (2013) and ‘Midilli (ex-SMS Breslau)’ (2018). His quest was to seek out all the battleships and supply vessels that were on active service in the Dardanelles during 1915 and that were later left, forgotten in the depths of the sea. 

13.00 : 'The Gallipoli Historic Site Directorate and its work on the Peninsula' with Aslıhan Kervan

Based in Eceabat and founded in 2014, the Gallipoli Historic Site Directorate is responsible to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This talk is about the mission, aims and activities of the Directorate, highlighting and discussing one of its latest projects, which is the new Ariburnu Walking Route (Ariburnu Yürüyüş Güzergahı). Apart from co-organising workshops on aspects of the Gallipoli Campaign, she has served on the editorial boards of various published books and is part of the Directorate Museums Workgroup, which administers six different museums and exhibitions on the Historic Site.  Born in Izmir, Aslıhan Kervan has a degree in history from the Ege University there. As a historian, she has been working for the Gallipoli Historic Site since 2015 and is also currently doing a Master’s degree in military history at the Onsekiz Mart University in Çanakkale. 

13.25 : 'Baby Steps at Gallipoli, 1915' with Peter Hart

A familiar figure in Gallipoli circles, both literally and leading tours on the Peninsula, Peter Hart has been the Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive since 1981. He has written several books on Gallipoli and the Great War. He will give a talk showing how Gallipoli caught the British Army unprepared for modern warfare. On the Western Front they were struggling with little sign of being able to combine infantry, artillery and cavalry to any real effect. But Gallipoli was even worse: poor force generation, dreadful command and control, and an underestimated well-led enemy in the Turks meant they were struggling from the start. Yet some interesting advances in tactics were made in the 8-month campaign! The use of landing craft, mining operations, early ‘bite and hold’, concentration of artillery resources and improving staff work were all noteworthy. But there was a long way to go before the All Arms Battle of 1918 emerged.

14.20 : 'The Nottinghamshire Yeomanry in the attack on Scimitar Hill' with Wayne Birch

“We are to takTickets £35.00 each (including lunch)e a redoubt, but I don’t know where it is and I don’t think anyone else knows either,” said Boer War VC veteran,  Lieutenant Colonel Sir John Milbanke, the CO of the Sherwood Rangers, “but in any case we are to go ahead and attack any Turks we meet.”  These words echo the uncertainty of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry prior to the action on Scimitar Hill, when they took part in the 2nd Mounted Division's attack during the August offensive in Gallipoli. Another one of the Gallipoli Association’s Museum Champions, Wayne served five years with the Sherwood Rangers Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry until 1989 and then spent 30 years working in IT before taking early retirement. He is the Volunteers Coordinator at the Queens Royal Lancers and Nottinghamshire Yeomanry Museum and an avid military historian. Wayne also accompanied the pupils of Brune Park School on their GA Bursary tour to Gallipoli in June 2019.

15.30 : 'The Mystery Woman of Gallipoli - Findings of New Research' with Brian Cleary 

Brian has a degree in history from the University of York.  Although his subsequent career path took him in a different direction, he has always maintained a strong interest in military history.  Professionally, Brian spent many years as a chartered Town Planner and specialised in public inquiry and court work. He is currently writing a book on the extraordinary lives of Dick and Lilian Doughty-Wylie and, like many others, has been intrigued by the story of a woman visiting Dick’s grave at Gallipoli in 1915.  Brian set out to look again at the evidence for the story and has undertaken extensive research into primary source material held by The National Archives, The Imperial War Museum and several other collections. Some of this material has not been considered before. The paper will present the findings of this research and the conclusions that can be made.

16.25 : '126 Days At Suvla Bay – A Territorial Battalion’s Story' with Andy Taylor 

The Herefordshire Regiment was a single battalion Territorial Regiment. They had their baptism of fire at Suvla Bay when 750 men landed at C Beach. The pre-war soldiers and 1914 volunteers were soon to find out what the war really meant! One of the Gallipoli Association’s Museum Champions, Andy joined the Regular Army and was commissioned in 1977 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst into the Royal Corps of Transport. He completed operational tours in Northern Ireland, Iraq/Kuwait and The Balkans. After retiring in 2008, he became inter alia the Curator and a trustee of The Herefordshire Regimental Museum. He is a keen military researcher and considered one of the authorities on the Herefordshire Regiment. As curator, he regularly does talks on military matters to local interest groups and schools.

Tickets £35.00 each (including lunch)

To book email conference@gallipoli-association.org


RAF Club, 128 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London W1J 7PY
28 September 2019 : Gallipoli Association Annual Conference, secretary@gallipoli-association.org
28 Sep 2019 10:00