Field of Bones: An Irish Division at Gallipoli
Lilliput Press, 2006
Paperback, 268 pages.
During August and September 1915 almost three thousand young volunteer Irish soldiers died on the killing fields of Gallipoli on the Turkish Aegean. A division of Kitchener’s Army, at Suvla Bay they fell to gunshot-wounds and shellfire, while thirst, sunstroke and dysentery reduced their chances of survival. Hundreds were burned alive in raging bush-fires.
In post-war Ireland political revolution led to the removal of Gallipoli from memory. One popular ballad told the volunteers, ‘you fought for the wrong country; you died for the wrong cause, when the greatest war was at home’. Here, in heart-breaking detail, built from letters, diaries and archival sources, is the story of the 10th Irish Division, many of whom still lie today in Suvla Bay’s deserted field of bones.
PHILIP ORR, a former teacher and military historian, is author of the best-selling The Road to the Somme: Men of the Ulster Division Tell Their Story (Belfast 1987). He lives in Carrickfergus, County Antrim.