Tag Archives: Ian Hamilton

The Somme: Ends and Beginnings

When did the Edwardian Age begin and end? Obviously, in the literal sense it spanned Edward VII’s reign, 1901-10. Cultural historians, however, have long extended it beyond those dates, because the nexus of attitudes and values that we call ‘Edwardianism’ began to … Continue reading

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Watch this Space

27/4/16. By the time you read this, I shall either be poring over George Calderon’s uncatalogued manuscript (typescript?) of The Brave Little Tailor and Kittie’s letters to Laurence Binyon at the British Library, or I shall have done so, in which … Continue reading

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Watch this Space

20/4/16. Several people have asked me about late photographs of Kittie. Here is the last one I know of. It was not easy to date. Triangulating from the probable year of Cairn terrier Bunty’s birth (1922), the dog’s known longevity, … Continue reading

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The War

Im Westen nichts Neues is the title of Erich Maria Remarque’s famous novel, usually rendered in English as All Quiet on the Western Front. Its literal translation, however, is In the West Nothing New. The deadly sniping, sapping, night raids, shelling … Continue reading

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15 July 1915

Today Kittie received another letter from Gertrude Bell, who was managing the Enquiry Department for Wounded and Missing at 20 Arlington Street, London S.W. on behalf of the British Red Cross and Order of St John: Dear Mrs Calderon, Sir … Continue reading

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Gallipoli: planning a disaster

The Third Battle of Krithia, in which George Calderon was killed on 4 June, may have been the bloodiest single battle fought by the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli, i.e. in terms of its own losses. Enemy losses, both in … Continue reading

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Commemoration

In two days time the following ‘In Memoriam’ will appear in The Times: CALDERON George Leslie, Russianist, journalist, dramatist, anthropologist, adventurer, killed at Gallipoli 4 June 1915. ‘What he believed, he did’ (Laurence Binyon). Since George wrote more for The Times than any … Continue reading

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31 May 1915

Today the fate of George Calderon and several thousand other British soldiers at Gallipoli was sealed. Sir Ian Hamilton, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, decided to fight a general action on the Helles front without waiting for the extra … Continue reading

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‘Nothing happened’

It is a very curious thing, but in none of the sources that I have used for understanding the full military context of George’s life on Gallipoli does the date 29 May feature. Nor did he write a letter to … Continue reading

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‘Hunter-Bunter’s’ plan

As an essentially literary chap, I do not propose to embroil myself in controversy about the Commander of the 29th Division at Helles, Sir Aylmer Gould Hunter-Weston (1864-1940), popularly known as ‘Hunter-Bunter’. He has been described as ‘one of the … Continue reading

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The ‘strange aftermath’ at Anzac

After the Turks’ failed general attack on 19 May, over three thousand corpses lay directly in front of the Anzac trenches. In the hot sun the dead presented a real sanitary risk and the calling of the wounded was unbearable. … Continue reading

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Gallipoli: The situation

To Hamilton’s request for ‘two fresh divisions organized as a corps’ (see my post of 6 May), Kitchener replied on 10 May that he could send him only one. This was the 52nd (Lowland) Division, which would take almost a … Continue reading

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6-8 May 1915: The Second Battle of Krithia

By yesterday, the 29th Indian Brigade and some of the 42nd Division had arrived from Egypt as reinforcements and the stable situation at Anzac Cove made it possible for 6000 men to be transferred to Helles. Hamilton therefore felt strong … Continue reading

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3 May 1915

By now Sir Ian Hamilton had lost over a quarter of his fighting force at Helles and desperately needed reinforcements. Churchill, Fisher and Kitchener, acting on the British and French admirals’ telegrams, anticipated Hamilton in his request and troops were … Continue reading

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The Turkish counter-attack

If the events at Helles on 28 April amount to the First Battle of Krithia, those of 1-4 May deserve to be called the Second. Liman von Sanders’s forces were now overwhelming. He was peremptorily ordered by his War Minister, … Continue reading

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25 April 1915: The bloodbath begins

At 4.30 this morning the first ANZAC troops began landing at Z Beach on the Gallipoli Peninsula. They were not strongly opposed, as von Sanders’s strategy was to keep a light screen around the coast until it was clear where … Continue reading

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