This article is about the Shrapnel Valley 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:
Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli
The Shrapnel Valley Cemetery contains the graves of 683 Commonwealth soldiers who died during the Gallipoli Campaign. Of these 683 men, 85 are unidentified and there are 23 special memorials to casualties known or believed to be buried in the cemetery. The Shrapnel Valley Cemetery is just off the road near ANZAC Cove and there is a path behind the cemetery running to Plugge’s Plateau Cemetery which I highly recommend visiting. The path to Plugge’s Plateau is steep but well maintain and gives excellent views looking towards Suvla Bay.
The Shrapnel Valley Cemetery was used for burials from the day of the landings, 25 April 1915 through to December 1915. The majority of soldiers buried in the cemetery were serving with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps when they were killed. After the war, the Shrapnel Valley Cemetery was used to concentrate burials in the surrounding area. Believed to be buried in the Shrapnel Valley Cemetery is Second Lieutenant Thomas Hatfield Evans, 3rd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force who was killed in action on 26 April 1915. I noticed that Evans’ epitaph records that he was late of Bovingdon, Hertfordshire which is a village close to where I live. Evans was born in Huyton, Lancashire and emigrated to Australia where he worked as a machinery agent. Evans enlisted on 3 September 1914 at Randwick, New South Wales. You can read more about Evans in his service record here: Lieutenant Thomas Hatfield Evans.Another special memorial in the Shrapnel Valley Cemetery is to Private Charles Sclater Brittenden who had been born at Christchurch, New Zealand. Charles Brittenden was working as a carpenter when he enlisted at Randwick, New South Wales in August 1914. It was Brittenden’s epitaph ”Who Dies If England Lives” which caught my attention. The following letter was written in response to a request for more information by Charles Brittenden’s father, as to the location of his son’s grave, by Lieutenant-Colonel William McKenzie in September 1921:
I remember you son very well, as also the sad happening on the date in question. I gave your son a Christian burial, in a small cemetery at the head of Walkers Road, just at the entrance of Wire Gully. There were some forty other Anzacs buried in this place, and I had a cross erected over these, but of course, these crosses were used by the Turkish soldiers, after the evacuation, for firewood, which was very scarce on Gallipoli, hence the difficulty of finding your son’s grave. The following particulars would assist the searchers to locate your son’s body.
The cemetery is on the left hand side, at the top of Walker’s Road, 30 yards from where the 4th batt. Headquarters was located for some three months. This left hand side presupposes that the searcher would be walking up from the beach.
I trust that these particulars will enable the Authorities to locate the body, and so bury your boy in one of the Official cemeteries that have since been set aside.
You can read more about Brittenden in his service record here: Charles Sclater Brittenden.