A BOOK detailing the moving stories of 186 World War One soldiers from Bolton who died in the Gallipoli campaign is being launched on Saturday — Armed Forces Day.
“Remember Me To All Kind Friends” will be available at Bolton Library and on Victoria Square from Saturday, at £9.50.
The book is the result of a project run by award-winning radio broadcast charity Diversity in Barrier Breaking Communications (DBBC), based at Bolton Market.
Researched by a team, including local school children, it is a moving account of the Bolton men who lost their lives in the ill-fated invasion of the Turkish peninsular in 1915.
The DBBC project went to great lengths to try to ensure no-one with relatives who served in Gallipoli from Bolton missed the opportunity to contribute to the research.
Organiser Alan Martland received emails from relatives of local soldiers from around the globe following appeals in The Bolton News.
Mr Martland is also keen for the town’s 150 schools to get a copy of the book as he believes it will be a valuable educational resource.
He added: “The publication of the book is the culmination of a lot of painstaking work. But the youngsters who worked on it did a fantastic job and it brought the World War One conflict to life in a unique way.”
The book was published thanks to funding identified by Astley Bridge Cllr John Walsh, who is also president of Bolton United Services Veterans Association, which dates back to 1906 and is the oldest ex-servicemen’s organisation in the country.
The results of the research are also available online at dbbc.org.uk/gallipoli.
The Gallipoli campaign — a spectacular failure for the allies — claimed the lives of thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers, as well as Boltonians. The battle took place from April 25, 1915 to January 9, 1916.
A DEFINING MOMENT IN HISTORY
- The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savasi), was a campaign of World War One that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula.
- The peninsula forms the northern bank of the Dardanelles, a strait that provides a sea route to what was then the Russian Empire, one of the Allied powers during the war.
- Intending to secure it, Russia's allies Britain and France launched a naval attack followed by an amphibious landing on the peninsula with the eventual aim of capturing the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul).
- The naval attack was repelled and, after eight months' fighting, with many casualties on both sides, the land campaign also failed and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.
- Casualty figures for the campaign vary between sources, but it is believed that by the time the Gallipoli campaign ended more than 100,000 men were dead, including between 56,000 and 68,000 Turkish and about 53,000 British and French soldiers.
- In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the nation's history — a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who first rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli.
- The campaign is also often considered as marking the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing, April 25, is known as “Anzac Day”. It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in those two countries, surpassing Remembrance Day.