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Thread: 941 Pte H Polley 15 Battalion, 4th Brigade, Australian 1st Division DOW Gallipoli

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    Default 941 Pte H Polley 15 Battalion, 4th Brigade, Australian 1st Division DOW Gallipoli

    Today I purchased the BWM (British War Medal) of Harry Polley.



    Harry Polley was born in Red Hill , Surrey, England and emigrated to Australia in 1909. His stated occupation was a farmer when he enlisted and he also claimed 3 years previous service with the Sussex Regiment in England. This probably also led to his enlistment application being approved - his age of 35 years and 7 months was considered old at this early stage of the war when authorities could pick and choose and rejected many younger men.

    Harry enlisted on the 21st September 1914 at Lismore NSW and was allotted to F Company 15th Battallion of the 4th Brigade, Australian 1st Division.



    On the 27 August 1915 at Suvla, Gallipoli, Harry (apparently now with B company) suffered a wound of either a bullet or shrapnel (or both) to the neck and shoulder. He was picked up by the 5th Field Ambulance and taken to the 16th Casualty Clearing Station in what was obviously a bad way. His wounds were deemed serious enough that he was transported off shore on to the hospital ship Maheno where he died on the 29th after hanging grimly to life for 2 days. He was buried at sea of Gallipoli - a ceremony performed on board by Chaplain Gillam with the body being committed to the sea. Harry likely died of blood loss....blood transfusions had not yet been invented and dying of blood loss was known as dying of "shock".

    I struggle to read old pencil handwriting at the best of times let alone written on the battlefield, but the 15th Battalion war diary for this date shows the 15th with part of the 14th attacking a turkish trench so obviously Harry copped his injuries in a full on attack.

    HS Maheno



    Onboard the HS Maheno


    Its interesting to note that the 15th Ballaion was decimated early in August and was reduced to a mere 30% of its original strength......the fact Harry made it through this period shows he was certainly made of the stuff that we rarely, if ever, see today.

    For anyone interested in further reading :

    and


    As I have only just won this medal, I am researching as I type. I am presuming that the action in which Harry died was an attack in the final stages of the Battle for Hill 60 or Hill 971


    Edit : I just looked through my other medals and I have 2 Gallipoli KIA's from the 18th Battalion on the same date Harry was hit.



Look Here ->
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    I found some more important info as to exactly what was going on :

    Quote Originally Posted by Australian War memorial
    The assault on Hill 60 was delayed to 27 August. The renewed attack would be undertaken by the New Zealanders, Connaught Rangers and 18th Battalion, AIF who had made the attacks on the same feature a week earlier. They were joined by elements of the 4th Infantry Brigade, AIF, survivors of the failed attack on Hill 971 on 7-8 August.
    Despite 70% of his battalion being wiped out in the attack on Hill 971, Harry was then pressed in to the attack on Hill 60.

    On August 29, at the end of the battle the 15th Battalion could muster only 210 men. A battalion back then was around 1000 men.

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    I also purchased another 2 medals to Australians killed at Gallipoli, I will post them up some time over the next week.

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