In March 1915 the failure of the Royal Navy to neutralise the Turkish fortresses along the Dardanelles and thus clear the route to Constantinople (now Istanbul) portended later disasters on land.
British, Indian, Australian, New Zealand and French troops were involved in the landings in April 1915 on five beaches round Cape Helles at the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula, and later at Suvla Bay and Anzac Cove on the western coast. Once inland, repeated frontal assaults in hilly, open terrain made negligible progress. Harry Creswell, from Bowling Street Manningham, serving with the Drake Battalion of the Royal Naval Division took part in one of those attacks but was killed on 16th July 1915. The Turkish forces led by the German military advisor general Otto Liman von Sanders, were not so easily pushed aside.
In August 1915 new efforts were made to achieve a break through. Albert and Harry Cottrell of Guiseley (9th Sherwood Foresters) were involved in a new landing at Suvla Bay on 7 – 8th August but were killed almost immediately. Harry Laws from Queensbury, Thomas Whitty from Waterford and sixty other members of the 7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers died on 16th August 1915 before the Battalion had to withdraw. William Edmondson of Saplin Street, Bradford was in 9th West Yorks which relieved the Dublin Fusiliers on 13 August. He was to die in October 1915 in Alexandria from wounds received at Gallipoli.
The campaign was a total failure, militarily, but in the case of the Anzac forces its memory has become an all-important iconic element of Australian identity and helped define their sense of nationhood.