Development Note's201213 - mostly copied from 9bn Assoc
Remember it was 4:30am, dark and very difficult to see with any clarity. It is generally accepted that the boat carrying A and C company personel of the 9th Battalion AIF grounded on the beach first - but - who, from that boat, actually stepped ashore first?
- These 18 names who were reported to be in the boat. In addition there were two extra names given in the letter. Since we have the Reynolds letter which indicates he landed with Bostock and Bostock is on the Harvey list, it must also be included. In the end we have 21 names. I've listed them with their respective company. See details of the individuals here...
Captain Arthur Graham BUTLER, Headquarters
Lieutenant Duncan CHAPMAN, C Company
1109 Private James Dundee BOSTOCK, A Company
627 Private William CLEAVER, E Company
1010 Lance Corporal Frederick Charles COE, C Company
315 Private Eli COLES, C Company
362 Private William Arthur FISHER, C Company
389 Private Frederick Young FOX, C Company
70 Private Harold Reginald HANSEN, A Company
328 Lance Corporal Thomas Arthur HELLMUTH, C Company
296 Lance Corporal James Claude HENDERSON, C Company
295 Private Cecil HOLDWAY, C Company
311 Private William JARRETT, C Company
386 Private David KENDRICK, C Company
319 Private Benjamin Hugh KENDRICK, C Company
404 Private Walter Edward LATIMER, C Company
289 Private Robert McNeil Crawford McKENZIE, C Company
292 Private Samuel Aubry McKENZIE, C Company
316 Private William Alexander POLLOCK, C Company
1171 Private Archibald Henry REYNOLDS, A Company
317 Private William James RIDER, C Company and
388 Private Frederick THOMAS, C Company.
- AN EXCERPT FROM DENIS WINTER'S BOOK, 25 APRIL 1915 - THE INEVITABLE TRAGEDY, UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND PRESS, 1994.
"The question of who was first ashore became another contentious issue soon after the landing. The Sydney Mail proposed Joseph Stratford, a New South Wales man who had enlisted in Queensland's 9th Battalion and died during the first day. Lismore claimed the honour for its son and a school in Queensland was named after him. But Duncan Chapman, another 9th Battalion man, claimed priority in a letter dated 24 June 1915: "My boat was the first to land and, being in the bow, I was the first man to leap ashore." Bean supported Chapman and mentioned Frank Kemp, a sergeant scout, who corroborated the story. But since the tows landed on both sides of a peninsula with only the dimmest glimmer of dawn to illuminate the scene, it is difficult to discover a solid basis for any claim on this score."
In later years I was to serve as the Secretary of the 9th AIF Association, at the behest of LtCol John Simson, and I took ale many times with Jim Bostock who steadfastly claimed that he was the first ashore on that fateful day. For some more detail see here.
[Maj Peter Newland RFD Retd]
- …some additional notesSome additional notes on this subject from Kev Gillett's web site, link here published on Sunday 25 Apr 2010. Some portions of that link are reproduced here.
I’ll be giving this address at the National Memorial Walk in Enoggera Barracks this morning at the Dawn Service.
"In that original convoy were local Queensland boys from the 9th Battalion, 1st AIF. Their good name, Battle Honours and subsequent deeds are held in trust today by the 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment. It is fitting that we in Queensland place due importance on our local lads for not only are they among us in spirit and with their descendants but they were the very first ANZACs ashore at Gallipoli on that terrible morning ninety five years ago.
If the 9th Battalion was first ashore as a unit then we may well ask who amongst the 9th battalion boys was first ashore
We can never know for certain. C. E. W. Bean, official historian, concluded it was probably a Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, 9th Battalion.
The Queenslander wrote home:
‘I happened to be in the first boat that reached the shore, and, being in the bow at the time, I was the first man to get ashore.’
One of his men later confirmed this. Chapman was killed at Pozieres, France on 6 August 1916.
Bean, Chapman and the guy in the boat have been generally accepted as correct and 33 years ago today, as a young subaltern, I stood at the bar of 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, and heard it from the horse’s mouth . I spoke to two other men who were in Chapman’s boat and they backed the claim. Jim Bostock and Bill Clever were both in their mid to late seventies and were discussing who among them was the first ashore after Chapman .
These two old soldiers, both taller than me, one with a DCM, and one, a Pl Sergeant to Chapman, drank schooners with rum chasers . Discretion became the better part of valour and I declined the rum and undertook not to mention Vietnam…..not ever…..at least not while I was in their company. How could I – I was literally standing between two pages of sacred military history – I could only be a listener, a bystander.
Neither was I as tough as some of the younger ANZACs
Pte Gray came to the Regimental Doctor saying that he had received a wound at the Landing and, though he had been to hospital, it was again giving a little trouble. He had endeavoured to “carry on,” but had at last been forced to see if the doctor could advise a little treatment.
The medical officer found that he had had a compound fracture of the arm, two bullets through his thigh, another through diaphragm, liver and side; and that there were adhesions to the liver and pleura. He was returned at once to Australia, where he was eventually discharged from hospital and, re-enlisting, returned to the front in the artillery.
In today’s climate there are many historians who with the ink fresh on their BA (Whatever) degree, rested from years at school and in an air conditioned office write of the Myth of Gallipoli. They write of the folly of the landing, the abilities of the British Commanders and the fact that we were fighting for another power and not our own sovereignty.
And they totally miss the point. It is not always about winning; It is not always about the commanders; but it is always about the men..their courage…their mate ship…their lives……their sacrifice.
If we follow our Queenslanders; on this morning 95 years ago 1,100 1st/9th soldiers landed at Gallipoli. In that famous first boat, along with LT Duncan Chapman was the CO Col Lee, Major Robertson, Major Salisbury, Captain Ryder, The Regimental Medical Officer Dr Butler , the aforementioned Jim Bostock and Bill Clever and others whose names history has misplaced.
The doctor was Kilcoy born and Ipswich grammar educated and he had lost some of his stretcher bearers in the deadly fire of the first couple of minutes and in Clarrie Wrenches book “Campaigning with the fighting Ninth” it is said that this fact made the doctor very angry.
So angry that he yelled “Come on men we must take that gun” and started climbing the cliff with his revolver in hand. Soldiers followed, the gun was spiked…….the Turks bayoneted.
This is the RMO we are talking about. The doctors assault force dashed from the disabled gun to the next trench, the line growing stronger as the troops caught up with the rampaging medico.
“On and on we went up the cliff to the summit where we had to pause “for sheer want of breath”
Looking below we saw the British ships shelling the Turkish positions, while the Turks replied by shrapnel over the landing place. Boat after boat was smashed under our eyes and the occupants mangled or drowned
The sight maddened us; “on Queenslanders” came the cry and with bayonets fixed we rushed for the Turkish position. Then we saw the enemy coming up in force. Taking advantage of every bit of cover available, we emptied our magazines into them again and again. The Turks fell like leaves but still more come. Men dropped and our numbers began to weaken.
Where are the others? Have we come too far? were questions in the minds of all
I don’t know about you but if that had been my first 30 minutes at war my reply to the first question would have been a resounding YES
After these first heady hours Dr Butler dusted off his Hypocratical oath and over the next five days treated or interred 515 Queenslanders.
In the lottery of life and death that was Gallipoli this figure was second only to the 7th for casualties at Gallipoli.
Not surprisingly the good doctor was awarded the DSO and a couple of MIDs
The 1st/9th went on to earn the following battle honours that generally read like the chapter headings of the official military history of the Australian Army in WW1
Landing at Anzac, Anzac, Defence of Anzac, Suvla, Sari Bair, Gallipoli 1915, Egypt 1915-16, Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Broodeseinde, Polygon Wood, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Lys, Hazebrouck, Amiens, Albert 1918, Hindenburg Line, Epehy, France and Flanders 1916-18
I have stood in the mess at Kelvin Grove and talked with the original Anzacs as they looked at the colours and described how they were won……..how their small contribution mattered……..how their mates are still there.
It will stay with me forever!
Over all, had our erudite scholar penning books on the myths of the 1st AIF followed the Queenslanders at Gallipoli and then on to the Western Front he may have had occasion to pause at the gravesides of 1,022 of their soldiers. They also suffered 2,093 wounded and 329 gassed leaving them with a terrible total of 3.453 battle casualties!
One battalion…….Some myth
To place these figures in perspective; this one battalion, the 9th Battalion, the 1st AIF, our local Queenslanders, suffered twice the number killed and almost the same number wounded as the entire ADF involvement in South Vietnam
That’s no myth"