on the button Issue 34 - Page 14

A mission to Gallipoli by Jodie Chillery 100 years ago on Turkey’s Dardenelles Straits, the ill-fated campaign of the first world war at Gallipoli began, the intention was to work a way up to past Istanbul toward Russia to create an Eastern front. The efforts of the Australian and New Zealand forces and the losses they suffered are well documented. But the battle of Gallipoli was also significant for at least three of Arlesey’s residents back in 1915, and there are now several relatives of Gallipoli veterans living in the village today. The campaign lasted for 258 days and over 500,000 men were lost, but what was it all about and what did we discover on our trip to the Peninsula last year as part of the Arlesey Remembers You project? For those that aren’t familiar with the project, to mark the centenary of the beginning of WW1, Arlesey launched an ambitious project last year, to place a bespoke poppy cross on the individual grave of every soldier listed on our War Memorial. One, Private John Bowskill who rests in St Peter’s Church yard was wounded in Gallipoli, but made it home and survived some years after, until his injuries finally got the better of him. The remaining two are listed as having a memorial in the war graves of Turkey. Soon enough as word spread several people who were already planning to holiday out there volunteered to place the crosses. But it emerged that the battle site is not on the conventional tourist trail, is a six hour drive from Istanbul and not particularly well situated for day trippers! So as the months passed and crosses were laid on the well trodden paths of the Western Front, Arlesey church yard and even Israel, those that rested in Turkey were looking like they might not get a visit. Until, my father, Chris, happened upon an idea. He remembered a conversation with his mother, my grandmother who is 93, about an Uncle of hers who she’d never met. He had died at the battle of Gallipoli. We did a bit of research and sure enough Great Uncle Herbert, or Able Seaman Herbert Jestico was buried at the Lancashire Landings Cemetery near the tip of the peninsula. He was in the Sussex Howe Bn. Division a Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He died in Turkey on 21st May 1915 aged just 18. We agreed that Y