4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli

This article is about the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli and is one of a number of articles I have written about Gallipoli. I have also written guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:

The 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery

The 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery, Gallipoli is located down a steep path from the main road which runs the length of the Sari Bair Ridge. The cemetery is signposted from the road and the path leading to it is well-maintained but care should be taken the cemetery is approximately 300 metres away from the road.

The 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery derived its name from the fact the 4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force buried its dead there during the opening months of the campaign. After the war, the cemetery was enlarged with burials from the surrounded area including from the 3rd Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery. The 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery contains 116 burials of which 109 are identified and all but three, who served with the Royal Marines, were serving with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps when they died. The men buried in the cemetery died between the 25 April 1915, the day of the landings and 12 June 1915.

One of the men buried in the cemetery is Lieutenant-Colonel Astley Onslow Thompson VD, 4th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. The post-nominal letters VD signify that Thompson had been awarded the Volunteer Officers’ Decoration for long service in the Volunteer Force (the forerunner of the Territorial Army). Thompson was killed in action on the 26 April 1915 while leading the 4th Battalion in an attack on Lone Pine. Thompson’s body wasn’t recovered until the next month and was initially buried in a trench before being reinterred in the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery. The cemetery also contains the grave of Colonel H. N. McLaurin, Commander of 1st Australian Brigade who was killed by a sniper on 27 April 1915. The hill on which McLaurin was shot was named after him.Thompson 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery

I found the epitaph below for Private George Richard Prideaux who was killed in action on the 19 May 1915 aged 18 to be particularly moving. You can view his service file by clicking here: George Prideaux. George was from the Numurkah, Victoria and was a drover by trade when he enlisted on 25 October 1914. George was 6 foot, 1 inch in height and weighed just under 190lbs (86kg) which for the period would have marked him as exceptional well built and he would have towered over his contemporaries. George was initially buried in the 22nd Parade Ground Cemetery and reinterred into the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery after the war.Prideaux 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery