In the Footsteps of the First: 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment: The August Offensive Gallipoli 1915


Unlike at The Nek, where 3rd Light horse Brigade commanders sent wave after wave of soldiers to their deaths, Brigadier General Chauvel could see from Quinn’s the slaughter of his Light Horsemen and, in consultation with Major Bourne and Lieutenant Colonel Stoddard, a ‘stop’ order was given.


Casualties were high ...


In the 1st L.H.Regiment Major Reid and Lieutenant Nettleton and 56 other ranks, initially reported by the Regiment as ‘missing’, were killed. Captain Cox with leg and arm broken and Lieutenant Tinson, whose legs were partly blown away by a bomb, crawled into Pope’s twenty-four hours after the attack. Both died. Captain Holman and Lieutenants Reid, White, MacMillan, Stewart, Weir, Harris and 87 other ranks were wounded.


For the Regiment casualties totalled 159 of the 200 men that went out. More died on the following days from injuries received during the offense. The names of those killed in action on 7th August are listed at the end of this chapter.


The total numbers of Australian Casualties for the August Offensive were high: Lone Pine 2,277 (Turks 5,000 – 7,000), The Nek 327, Pope’s Post 159, Quinn’s Post 49, Chunuk Bair 6,000 – a total of 8,812. The total dead and wounded for the Allies was 20,155 and 12,000+ for the Turks.

1st Australia Light Horse Regimental Diary [9]

Sunday 8th August 1915



The 1st Light Horse Regiment was on duty at Pope’s.


The following men died and were buried at sea from wounds received in action on the 7th August: Lance Corporal Frederick Gordon Crisp, Trooper George Hills, Trooper Robert James Joseph Perrau and Trooper Eric William Magee.


Major James Moffat Reid, Lieutenant Oswald Bruce Ryrie and Major Hugh Venables Vernon in dugout Pope’s Hill May, 1915 (Vernon Family Collection)[11]

Fallen Brothers


Among those killed in action on the 7th August were Troopers Frank and Stanley Villis, sons of Isabella and Edward Villis of Northcote Street, Cessnock NSW. Twenty-four year old Frank enlisted in the 1st L.H.Regiment on 22nd August, 1914. He trained at Rosebery and embarked on the “Star of Victoria” on October 20th 1914.  Twenty-two year old Stanley enlisted in the 7th L.H.Regiment on the 15th October, 1914. On 3rd March, 1915 he transferred to the 1st L.H. Regiment that was based at Heliopolis. Both landed at Anzac Cove on 12th May, 1915. On 7th August Frank and Stanley together charged the Turkish lines at the Chessboard. They were listed “Missing” and their bodies were never recovered. Their sacrifice is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial.


Troopers Frederick Hector and Harold Samuel Sherwood enlisted in the 3rd Reinforcements 1st L. H. Regiment in December 2014. Frederick aged 30 and Harold 24 years listed their Next of Kin as Mr S Sherwood Snr, and Mrs Mary Sherwood of Playford, Ipswich, England. They were taken on strength to the 1st L.H. Regiment on 15th July, 1915.  Both brothers were listed “Killed in action” at Pope’s Hill on 7th August and their graves lie side by side in Quinn’s Post Cemetery.