This article is about the Beach Cemetery, ANZAC and will look at some of the soldiers buried there. I have also written other articles about Gallipoli and guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:
Beach Cemetery, ANZAC, Gallipoli
The Beach Cemetery ANZAC, Gallipoli is one of the most visited Commonwealth cemeteries on the Gallipoli. This is a beautiful cemetery, but care should be taken as there is a very steep drop from the cemetery onto the beach. The Beach Cemetery was the only cemetery on Gallipoli where I saw a constant stream of visitors, some stopping only to see the grave of John Simpson Kirkpatrick before leaving. The Beach Cemetery Gallipoli contains the graves of 391 Commonwealth servicemen of whom 369 are identified. The cemetery was in use from the day of the landing at ANZAC Cove (25 April 1915) through summer and autumn with the last soldier buried being Driver John Eviston, Australian Army Service Corps who died of wounds on 16 November 1915. Of those buried here, 316 of the dead served with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).Buried in the cemetery is John Simpson Kirkpatrick who is an important part of the ANZAC legend and was known as ”the man with the donkey”. You can read more here: John Simpson Kirkpatrick. Someone had placed a sprig of wild rosemary, which grows across the battlefields, on Simpson’s grave. Simpson’s grave is located just to the right of the steps and there’s usually a remembrance cross or flower on the grave. The Beach Cemetery, ANZAC also contains the grave of Major Charles Herbert Villiers-Stuart, 56th Punjabi Rifles who was killed in action by a shell when sketching near Anzac Cove on 17 May 1915. Major Villiers-Stuart had joined the 56th Rifles in November 1898 and was acting as Lieutenant-General Birdwood’s chief intelligence officer when he was killed. In Villiers-Stuart’s confidential report for 1913-14, his commanding officer described him as ”Reliable, self-reliant and energetic. Loyal and zealous and above the standard of his rank in professional ability. A first class officer”. Major-General F. Campbell, who inspected the 56th Punjabi Rifles that year wrote ”A first rate regimental officer. Sturdy and reliable”.Also buried in the cemetery are three soldiers of the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps (CPRC). This unit was a Volunteer Corps regiment created in 1900, with its headquarters in Kandy, Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka). The CPRC drew its officers and men from the British population of the island who worked on the rubber and tea plantations in the central highlands of Ceylon. On the outbreak of war, approximately 250 men of the CPRC volunteered for service abroad, and they landed in Egypt in December 1914. About 60 were commissioned into the Indian Army while in Egypt, and the rest would serve at Gallipoli where they acted as General Birdwood’s escort and on guard duties.Also buried in the Beach Cemetery ANZAC is Lieutenant Brian Walton Onslow, 11th King Edward’s Own Lancers (Probyn’s Horse) who was killed in action while serving as Aide-de-Camp to Lieutenant-General Birdwood. In Onslow’s confidential report for 1913-14, he was described by his commanding officer as ”A very promising, reliable officer, with plenty of commonsense. A keen horseman”.Close to the Beach Cemetery ANZAC is the Ari Burnu Cemetery, which is very picturesque and you can walk down the steps there and onto North Beach. I would recommend climbing the steep path to Plugge’s Plateau which is nearby as it gives impressive views over the surrounding area.