Gallipoli tour

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8 Baby 700 Cemetery

Up the road to Chunuk Bair beyond Anzac, and off to the right, is Baby 700 Cemetery. During the campaign this was Turkish territory except for a few hours on 25 April 1915. Visitors to the cemetery, Charles Bean wrote, could ‘look towards where Tulloch fought, and know that almost certainly among the graves at their side lay the relics of Lalor and possibly those of Mordaunt Reid’. These were Australian officers who led their men up here from the beach at dawn, their objective being Chunuk Bair. But ‘Baby 700’ hill, and the inland slope of Battleship Hill beyond, was as far as they got, for the Turks fought off any further advance.

Enlarge AWM G01887, Water bottle at Battleship Hill
The bullet-damaged Australian water bottle found by Charles Bean near Battleship Hill, Gallipoli, in 1919. [AWM G01887]

That day the battle ebbed and flowed over Baby 700. Captain Eric Tulloch, 11th Battalion (Western Australia), with Lieutenant Leslie Mordaunt Reid, led a party past the right of the cemetery and along the inland slope of Battleship Hill. From there the sunlit waters of the Dardanelles were visible. Turkish fire forced Tulloch’s men to ground and, after fighting there for about half an hour, they withdrew to Baby 700. Mordaunt Reid was severely wounded, crawled away and was never seen again. Tulloch’s advance was as far towards Chunuk Bair as any Anzac came on 25 April 1915. In 1919, Bean found an Australian water bottle with a bullet hole on Battleship Hill, evidence that this was where Tulloch had reached.

Enlarge Baby 700 Cemetery
Baby 700 Cemetery, Gallipoli, 2006.

At Baby 700 Cemetery a Special Memorial indicates that among the remains of the 493 soldiers buried here are those believed to be of Captain Peter Lalor, 12th Battalion (Western Australia and Tasmania), aged 30. ‘Little Jimmy’ as he was known, was the grandson of Peter Lalor, the leader of the Eureka Rebellion at Ballarat, Victoria, in 1854. As the senior surviving officer of his battalion on the spot, Lalor ‘was the person to whom everyone looked’ and that day he fought for hours in the area behind Baby 700. In mid-afternoon, as the situation deteriorated in front of him, Lalor rose to lead his men forward, and spoke the words, ‘Come on the 12th’, and fell dead from a Turkish bullet.