This article is about the Chanak Consular Cemetery and is one of a number of articles I’ve written about Gallipoli. I’ve also written guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:
The Chanak Consular Cemetery
The Chanak Consular Cemetery is a small cemetery maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the Turkish city of Canakkale. The cemetery contains burials from the 1860s and is typical of the small cemeteries found scattered throughout the Muslim world, where foreign Christians were interred. The Chanak Consular Cemetery is located just over a mile away from the ferry terminal, close to the town’s stadium. Unfortunately, this was one of two cemeteries relating to the Gallipoli Campaign which I have been unable to visit. The Chanak Consular Cemetery is kept locked and you must obtain the key from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission officer five minutes walking distance from the cemetery. The contact information can be found here: Chanak Consular Cemetery. When I phoned the office I got no answer, hopefully, you will have more luck! Chanak Consular Cemetery contains the graves of 38 Commonwealth burials from the First World War and one from the Second as well as a variety of civilian graves. One of the terms of the Armistice of Mudros, which Turkey signed with the Allied countries on 30 October 1918, was the occupation of the forts in the Dardanelles. The vast majority of graves date from this period of occupation when medical units were stationed in Canakkale. Four of the graves belong to men who died in the First World War, three of whom were crew members of the ill-fated British submarine E-15.
E-15 tried to pass through the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara but grounded beneath Fort Dardanus which opened fire. Lieutenant-Commander Theodore Stuart Brodie was in command of the submarine and was killed by shrapnel and is buried in the cemetery. Six other crew members were killed by chlorine gas which leaked from the submarine’s batteries when they were exposed to seawater due to the shelling. The rest of the crew were taken prisoner. The crews’ bodies were initially buried on a nearby beach before being reinterred in the Chanak Consular Cemetery after the war. Three crew members of the E-15 are buried in the cemetery:
- Lieutenant-Commander Theodore Stuart Brodie.
- Able Seaman Frederick John Cornish.
- Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class Ernest Valletta Hindman.
The post-war burials belong to men who died of sickness or in accidents and include:
- Private Herbert H. Holland 2nd Battalion The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) who died of heart failure on 16 November 1918.
- Driver Sidney Shipley 120th Horse Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps who died of pneumonia on 5 December 1918.
- Private Alfred Smith – 9th Battalion The King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment) who died of pneumonia on 21 March 1919.
The cemetery also contains the grave of Basil Wood Bourne who died near ANZAC Cove while on a pilgrimage to Gallipoli in 1965. Basil Bourne had served in the 3rd Battalion Australian Imperial Force during the campaign.