This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Disaster at The Nek

Tpr Robert Kerr, courtesy of Kim Phillips,

Spirits of  Gallipoli website

An early recruit to the AIF in 1914, Robert Kerr, a commercial traveller of Brewster St, Essendon was assigned to 8 Light Horse Regiment.  When the campaign opened at Gallipoli, it was quickly apparent by the terrain and the danger from Turkish bombs that horses could not be used, and they were left behind in Egypt.  The Light Horsemen became Infantrymen.

The British generals were keen to break through the stalemate on Gallipoli and created an elaborate plan of feints, diversions and charges in August 1915.   The 8 LHR part in the plan involved a bayonet charge at The Nek against Turkish machine guns.   Of course it would work!

Rod Martin takes us through the plan, and explains why it didn't work.  The stupidity of the British Officer Class might have had a bit to do with that. (My interpretation, but I think Rod would agree.)

Robert Kerr was a part of the charge which was seen to be so stupid that some of the men were said to have left their guns behind, and went bravely to their deaths.   Read Rod's story about Trooper Robert Kerr.