This article will provide an overview of Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli one of the lesser known cemeteries on the peninsula. I have also written guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:
Skew Bridge Cemetery, Gallipoli
The Skew Bridge Cemetery, Helles contains the graves of 607 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the Gallipoli Campaign. Of the 607 burials, 351 belong to soldiers who are unidentified though there are a number of special memorials to soldiers known or believed to be buried there. The cemetery was created in May 1915, used throughout the campaign and was expanded after the war by concentrating other cemeteries in the area. The cemetery derived its name from a small bridge off the Krithia – Sedd el Bahr Road. In the contemporary map of the area below, Skew Bridge can be seen on the right-hand side
Coming from Krithia the cemetery is on the left-hand side and is signposted on the Alçıtepe (Krithia) – Seddelbahr Road. There are minibuses which ply this route which can be flagged down as its a few miles walk from Alçıtepe. The Redoubt Cemetery can also be found just off this road.Skew Bridge Cemetery contains a number of graves and special memorials of interest, including that of Drummer Joseph Aloysius Townsend, 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment who was killed in action on 18 May 1915, aged just fifteen. There are seven fifteen-year-olds commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who lost their lived at Gallipoli. Another headstone is for Sepoy Ajab Singh, 14th King George’s Own Ferozepore Sikhs who died on 14 May 1915. This is a rare headstone to a Sikh soldier and one of only two on Gallipoli. It is custom for Sikhs to be cremated after death but sometimes due to battlefield conditions or error they were buried instead. The sad epitaph on the special memorial to Private Albert Edward James caught my eye.
Occasionally, epitaphs contain information concerning how a serviceman met their death. Above is the headstone to Private Albert Prince, Plymouth Battalion, Royal Naval Division who was killed in action on 15 July 1915. Prince was ”Shot Rescuing A Comrade” and the line above records he was Mentioned in Despatches. In 1915, the only posthumous awards were Mentioned in Despatches and the Victoria Cross. It is probable that Prince was Mentioned in Despatches for the rescue of his comrade.
Also buried in the cemetery is Lieutenant-Colonel John Arnold Cuthbert Quilter who was killed in action on 6 May 1915 during the Second Battle of Krithia. Quilter was the commanding officer of the Hood Battalion, Royal Naval Division when he was killed and had previously served in the Second Boer War. It was Quilter who threw an olive wreath on the coffin on the poet Rupert Brooke when he was buried on Skyros on 23 April 1915.