Australia and the Gallipoli Campaign

January–April 1915

25 January 1915

1st Australian General Hospital opened in the Heliopolis Palace Hotel, Cairo, Egypt.


4 March 1915

The 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade — 9th (Queensland), 10th (South Australia), 11th (Western Australia) and 12th (Tasmania, with some South Australia and Western Australia) Battalions — accompanied by 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 3rd Field Ambulance and part of the Australian Field Bakery, landed on Lemnos approximately 96 kilometres from the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey. They had been sent there to become part of an occupation force should the British navy succeed in capturing the forts along the Dardanelles.


18 March 1915

Warships of the British and French navy failed to silence the guns of the Turkish forts at the Dardanelles. Shortly afterwards the decision was taken to invade the Gallipoli peninsula with a combined force of which the Anzac Corps would be part.


1 April 1915

The Anzac Corps in Egypt received orders that it was to move to the front.


12 April 1915

Units of the Anzac Corps began arriving on Lemnos.


13-14 April 1915

The British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth took senior Anzac Corps officers and battalion commanders to view the coast of Gallipoli and to select landing sites.


25 April 1915

Between 4.30 and 4.45 am the 3rd Australian Brigade — 9th (Queensland), 10th (South Australia), 11th (Western Australia) and 12th (Tasmania, with some South Australia and Western Australia) Battalions and the 3rd Field Ambulance — landed on Gallipoli around Ari Burnu point. The rest of the Anzac corps came ashore throughout the day. By the evening, despite strong Turkish counter-attacks, the Anzacs held a narrow triangle of land roughly 2 kilometres long at its base on the coast and extending to just under a kilometre inland at its widest.

Charles Bean, Australia’s official war correspondent during the Gallipoli campaign and later official war historian, said that all the evidence available indicates that the first Australian ashore at Gallipoli was Lieutenant D Chapman, 9th Battalion (Queensland), of Brisbane. Chapman was killed in action at Pozières, France on 8 August 1916.


26 April 1915

By 3 am on 26 April more than 1700 casualties had been evacuated from the area of the Anzac landing, mainly via the beach to the south of Ari Burnu which became known as Anzac Cove.

The Hobart Mercury reported unofficial sources in Athens to the effect that landings had been made at three points on the Gallipoli peninsula. The fact that Australian troops were involved was not mentioned.


27 April 1915

Between 27 and 29 April, Turkish counter-attacks failed to drive the Anzacs into the sea. The small area of the Gallipoli peninsula that they now held became known as Anzac. The area on the southern tip of the peninsula, captured by British units on 25 April, became known as Helles.


29 April 1915

The first hospital ship to evacuate wounded from Anzac — the Gascon — reached Alexandria, Egypt. Of the 548 casualties carried, 14 died on the voyage which took one and a half-days.

First casualties from Gallipoli reached No 1 Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis. Sister Constance Keys, Australian Army Nursing Service, wrote:

I don't know if the news is known in Queensland yet but the greatest number of men we came over with are either killed or wounded. The whole battalion was practically cut to pieces … The hospital train came in right behind the Palace — nine long carriages painted white with the Egyptian Star and Crescent on the side.

The Australian submarine, AE2, was sunk by a Turkish torpedoboat, the Sultan Hissar in Erdek Bay in the Sea of Marmara. This submarine was the first allied warship to successfully navigate the Dardanelles. The AE2's crew were captured and spent the rest of the war in Turkish prisoner-of-war camps.


30 April 1915

The Hobart Mercury reported that on 29 April at Melbourne the Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, had issued the following statement about the Gallipoli landings:

Some days ago the Australian War Expeditionary Forces were transferred from Egypt To the Dardanelles. They have since landed.