GEORGE GALE

Private PLY/175(S), Royal Marine Light Infantry

Died 3rd May 1915 aged 22

No Known Grave Commemorated Helles Memorial, Turkey

Son of Robert and Sarah Gale

Lived 10, Beck Lane, Heckmondwike


GEORGE gALE
George, born 7th July 1892, was the eldest child of Robert Gale and his wife Sarah nee Scott. His father originally came from the North Riding of Yorkshire but moved to Heckmondwike around 1873 with his family.  In 1881, they were living in Croft Street, but by 1891 Robert had met and married Sarah Scott and was living with her parents in Brighton Street.  George was born in 1892 and was followed by a sister Ada in 1897 and two brothers, Robert in 1903 and Leonard in 1906.  Both Robert and Leonard served in World War One and are recorded in the Heckmondwike Memorial Book.  In 1911 the family were living 10, Beck Lane and George’s grandfather was also living with them.

George enlisted in Dewsbury on 9th September 1914 aged 22 and was placed originally in  the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.  He transferred to Plymouth Short Service Royal Marine Light Infantry on 16th of September 1914.  He was a Private ( PLY/175(S)) in the Plymouth Battalion.  He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star and the Victory and British War Medals.  He was killed in action on 3rd May  1915 aged 22 years  at “Y” Beach in the Dardanelles in the Battle for Gallipoli.

By 1915 the Western Front was deadlocked and there was pressure to mount an offensive through the Balkans. In early 1915, the Russians were being threatened by the Turks and appealed for help.  The British mounted a naval expedition to bombard the Gallipoli Peninsula on the Western shores of the Dardanelles.  By capturing Constantinople, the British hoped to link up with the Russians and eliminate Turkey from the war.

The Naval attack began on 19th February 1915.  Bad weather caused delays and the attack was abandoned after three battleships had been sunk and three others damaged.  By the time the troops began to land on 25th April the Turks had fortified their defences and increased their personnel to six times the number they had when the campaign began.

His name is recorded on the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula on  Panel 2-7.  At home it  is on St. James’ Parish Church War Memorials, both the main and the small one and also on St. Saviour’s War Memorial which is now in St. James’ Parish Church also.

The Australian & New Zealand troops gained a bridgehead at ‘Anzac Cove’ on the Aegean side of the peninsula.  The British tried to land at five points round Cape Helles, but only established footholds in three and the Turks took advantage of the delays to bring as many troops as possible onto the peninsula.

This led to a political crisis in London between Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and Lord Fisher, the First Sea Lord, who had always expressed doubts about the campaign.  The War Council remained divided until late 1915 when it was decided to end the campaign.  Troops were evacuated in December 1915 and January 1916.  The Allies lost around 214,000 men and only achieved the diversion of Turkish troops away from the Russians.
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