This page is about Hill 10 Cemetery 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:
Hill 10 Cemetery, Gallipoli
Hill 10 Cemetery, contains the graves of 699 Commonwealth servicemen who died at Suvla during the Gallipoli Campaign. Of the 699 burials, 150 belong to men who are unidentified which is very low by Gallipoli standards. The Hill 10 Cemetery was created after the war by concentrating cemeteries in the surrounding area including the 88th and 89th Dressing Stations and isolated graves. Hill 10 Cemetery is slightly off the road which leads from ANZAC Cove to Suvla Point and is signposted. This is a remote area and it is unlikely that you will see a visitor in this or any of the other Suvla cemeteries. Apart from the occasional car and a shepherd with their goats, the area is quiet compared to ANZAC Cove.
The cemetery is named after a very small hill, Hill 10, on which it stands to the north of the Salt Lake. British soldiers began to land at Suvla Bay shortly before 10 pm on 6 August 1915 and Hill 10 was captured early the next day. The burials date from the day of the landings until 19 December 1915, though there is a special memorial to a soldier who died on the 27 April 1915. Of the soldiers buried in Hill 10 Cemetery, all served with the British Army except for two Australians and eight Newfoundlanders. The contemporary map below shows the location of Hill 10 with each side of a square measuring one kilometre (1,093 yards).Below is the headstone of Second Lieutenant Edmund Yerbury Priestman, 6th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment who was killed in action on 19 November 1915. A book was published containing letters Priestman had written to his family in 1916 With a B.-P. Scout in Gallipoli. Priestman was a keen scout and the B.P in the book’s title refers to Baden-Powell who founded the Scout Movement. Priestman was killed in action defending a post he had established on the night of the 18-19 November 1915.In the photograph below the Sari Bair range can be seen on the horizon on the left. To the right of the cemetery looking towards Suvla is a path which takes you round to Suvla Bay and comes out near the cut, separating the bay from Lala Baba. If you come out of the cemetery and turn right, you can follow the road towards Green Hill Cemetery and Chocolate Hill.Another soldier buried in the cemetery is Corporal George Samuel Batten who was killed in action serving with the 5th Battalion, Dorsetshire Regiment on 17 August 1915. The 5th Battalion was raised at Dorchester shortly after the outbreak of the war and George was one of the early volunteers, enlisting at Sherborne. The 5th Battalion had landed at Suvla Bay as part of the initial invasion force on 7 August. During the campaign, 234 officers and men of the Battalion died at Gallipoli but only twelve have known graves with the rest commemorated on the Helles Memorial. After the Allied forces evacuated, many graves which were marked were lost when their wooden crosses were used as firewood by the Turkish soldiers. The photograph of George was kindly sent by Andy Ransom, the grandson of George’s niece. It was “A family photo, cut to fit in the locket his mother always wore following his untimely death”.
Also buried in the Hill 10 Cemetery is Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Marion Welstead, commanding officer of the 9th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. Welstead had retired from the army in 1908 but was recalled on the outbreak of war and was killed sho after landing at Suvla Bay. The Latin phrase chosen for Welstead’s epitaph is frequently found on First World War headstones and translates as: It is sweet and glorious to die for one’s country.
If you’d like to learn more about the Suvla Campaign I can recommend Suvla: August Offensive by Stephen Chambers. Stephen Chambers has written a series of books on the Gallipoli Campaign and I take them with me when I visit the battlefields.