The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The Place-Names of Anzac
The Place-Names of Anzac.
Some unfortunate tracts of country are destined from their situations to be the battlegrounds of the world. Old world names, before this war but the memory of former campaigns, have once again become household words. So Mons and St. Quentin, Kantara and Damascus, have become familiar to the boys of the present generation, for have not their elder brothers been on police picket in the back streets of every one of them?
But war sometimes chances to descend on poor, unsettled and otherwise unimportant territory. Such a place was Anzac—rough and hungry clay hillsides, no habitations in its area except the lonely Fishermen's Hut near the mouth of the Sazli Beit Dere, and a poor shepherd's hut at the foot of Monash Gully. Into this desolate country, with only a few ridges and watercourses important enough to be marked on the map, came legions of foreign soldiers who peopled every scrubby ridge and winding gully.
The necessity for place-names became very pressing. Retaining such of the native ones as were shown on the maps, a multitude of Australian and New Zealand names appeared spontaneously at Anzac, just as the English and French names appeared at Helles.
Difficulties often arose. An Australian unit holding a part of the line had local names for every place within the sector, whereas a New Zealand unit taking over manufactured or evolved names quite different. The preparation of a trench map or operation orders written by the Staff fixed the name for all time. Place-names like “The Sphinx” are evidence of this.
Ismail Oglu Tepe with its wavy crestline, naturally became the “W” Hills of Anzac. From Walker's Ridge the description point—“W” Hills—never failed to be recognized.
Most places in Anzac are named after men or units. This is natural. But sometimes accidents crept in here, too. For instance, an attack of measles made what might have been “Johnston's Ridge,” into “Walker's Ridge.”
The word “Anzac” arrived in quite a different way. “Anzac” obviously suggested itself. But numerous stories are current as to its origin, and doubtless many of the stories are correct. Statements on this subject have been made by the two most important Generals connected with the campaign, and their claims may easily be reconciled.
In the “Anzac Book” General Birdwood stated that when he took over the command of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in Egypt, he was asked to select a telegraphic code address for his Army Corps, and adopted the word “Anzac.” Later on, after the landing, he was asked by General Headquarters to suggest a name for the beach, and in reply he christened it “Anzac Cove.”
General Ian Hamilton wrote in his preface to “Crusading at Anzac, A.D. 1915,” by Signaller Ellis Silas: “As the man who first, seeking to save himself trouble, omitted the five full stops and brazenly coined the word “Anzac,” I am glad to write a line or two in preface to sketches which may help to give currency to that token throughout the realms of glory.”
In compiling this list of place-names and their origins, the aim has been to set down only those names that were generally accepted and used at Anzac. Official trench maps, operation orders, books, pamphlets, and captured Turkish maps have been searched and verified. I am greatly indebted to the work of my friend Sapper Moore-Jones in his unrivalled “Sketches Made at Anzac.” Besides being works of art, these sketches are particularly valuable as showing in faithful detail page 318 the land features of the Anzac area, with many of the place-names in use during the operations.
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Abdel Rahman Bair.—The great northern spur of the Sari Bair range.
Anafarta.—(1) The Turkish name for the Suvla front.
A long-range gun firing from the hills was called “Anafarta Annie.”
Anzac.—Formed from the initial letters of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. First used (written A. and N.Z.A.C.) in Egypt, when the Army Corps was formed. It soon became A.N.Z.A.C., and the new word was so obvious that the full stops were omitted.
Anzac Cove.—The little bay where the principal landing was made on April 25, 1915.
Azmak Dere.—A watercourse leading from Biyuk Anafarta, running to the south of Ismail Oglu Tepe and debouching on to the Suvla flats. There is another Azmak flowing into the north of the Salt Lake at Suvla.
Blockhouse, The.—A Turkish position opposite the Apex. This blockhouse was built after the Turks swept us off Chunuk Bair in August.
Bloody Angle.—The gully between Dead Man's Ridge and Quinn's Post. The 4th Australian Brigade and the battalions of the Royal Naval Division suffered heavy losses here on the night of May 2/3.page 319
Bolton's Hill.—Named after Colonel Bolton, 8th A.I. Battalion. On the extreme right flank; part of the front line of the Australian position.
Braund's Hill.—A hill behind the centre of the Australian line on the right, and overlooking Shrapnel Valley. Named after Colonel Braund, of the 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion. Colonel Braund was a member for Armidale in the New South Wales Paliament, and was killed soon after the landing.
Broadway.—The wide sunken road leading from the top of Walker's Ridge round the back of the firing line on Russell's Top.
Bridges' Road.—A road leading to the right from Shrapnel Valley towards Wire Gully. Named in memory of General Bridges, the Australian Divisional Commander, who was mortally wounded in Shrapnel Valley.
Brown's Dip.—A depression just behind the Australian trenches opposite Lone Pine, where the Turkish and Australian dead were buried after the struggle for Lone Pine. The lower part of Brown's Dip was known as Victoria Gully.
Bully Beef Gully.—A gully running up from the centre of Anzac Cove past Army Corps Headquarters. As stores on the beach would be threatened by rough weather, beef and biscuits were stacked in this valley.
Bully Cut.—A deep communication trench cut to enable troops to avoid a much-sniped section of the Aghyl Dere.
Camel's Hump.—A Turkish position just below Snipers' Nest.
Canterbury Knob.—A famous machine gun position on the right flank of the Apex position and overlooking the head waters of the Sazli Beit Dere. Known to machine gunners as Preston's Top after the gallant Lieut. Preston (killed in France) who first placed machine guns there on August 7.
Chatham's Post.—The southern limit of the Anzac line. Named after Lieut. Chatham, of the 5th Australian Light Horse.
Chessboard, The.—A criss-cross network of Turkish trenches opposite Pope's Hill and Russell's Top.
Cheshire Ridge.—A ridge between the upper reaches of the Chailak Dere and the southern fork of the Aghyl Dere. Named after the 8th Cheshires who were in the 40th Brigade of the 13th Division. Its respective parts were known as Upper and Lower Cheshire. Durrant's Post was in the centre.
Chocolate Hills.—A range of hills inland from Suvla Bay, south of the Salt Lake. These hills were brownish red, and later swept with fire. One part was covered with scrub and, not being burnt, was known as Green Hill.page 320
Cornfield, The.—A small patch of cultivated ground on the right flank just above Shell Green.
Courtney's Post.—One of the three famous posts at head of Monash Gully. Lieut.-Colonel R. E. Courtney, of the 14th Australian Infantry Battalion, was in command here in May. He died at Melbourne on October 22, 1919.
Daisy Patch, The.—A piece of old meadow at Cape Helles.
Damakjelik Bair.—On the left of the Anzac line; the objective of the Left Covering Force on August 6.
Dead Man's Ridge.—A much-contested Turkish salient running in between Pope's Hill and Quinn's Post. So called because of the bodies of New Zealanders, Australians, and men of the Royal Naval Division which lay there from May 2/3 until the Armistice.
Fishermen's Hut.—A rude hut or huts near the coast, at the foot of the Sazli Beit Dere.
Gaba Tepe.—A headland about a mile and a quarter south of the Anzac right flank. The Anzac landing was originally known as the Gaba Tepe landing. Most of the earlier gazetted decorations were prefaced “in the neighbourhood of Gaba Tepe,” which really means Anzac.
Happy Valley.—The valley just north of Walker's Ridge, and immediately below Turk's Point. In the spring the lower reaches were a mass of flowering shrubs, beautiful grasses, and fragrant wild thyme.
Hay Valley.—A southern arm of the Aghyl Dere; branching to the left it was known as Stafford Gully, and to the right, Hotchkiss Gully. Captain Bruce Hay, N.Z.S.C., was killed while leading a squadron of the Otago Mounted Rifles in the attack on Bauchop's Hill.
Hill 971.—The most important tactical feature on Gallipoli Peninsula. The highest Peak of the Sari Bair range, 971 feet high. Known to the Turk as Koja Chemen Tepe, and shown on the later maps as Hill 305, from its height in metres.page 321
Howitzer Gully.—The northernmost gully running up towards Plugge's Plateau from Anzac Cove. Here the 4.5 Howitzer Battery, under Major Falla, made its welcome appearance the morning after the Anzac landing.
Hughes Gully.—Part of the Sazli Beit Dere running to the north opposite Destroyer Hill, towards the front of Table Top. Lt.-Col. J. G. Hughes, C.M.G., D.S.O., was in command of the Canterbury Battalion during the August offensive.
Koja Dere.—A Turkish village two miles due east of Lone Pine. Here were concentrated a large proportion of the enemy's reserves. Koja Dere (sometimes spelt Kurija Dere) was the site of the Turkish Army Headquarters in the southern sector of the Ari Burnu front.
Lala Baba.—The highest ground between Nibrunesi Point and the Salt Lake. This observation post was raided several times by New Zealanders before the Suvla landing. On it a German flag was flown after the evacuation.
Little Table Top.—A small, flat-topped hill north of the original “Table Top,” which was sometimes called “Big Table Top.”
Mule Gully.—A ravine running up behind Walker's Ridge. Under the shelter of the high banks the mules of the Indian Supply and Transport Corps were protected from fire.page 322
No. 1 Post.—On the left flank of Anzac. Sometimes known as Maori Post, from it being garrisoned by the Maori contingent.
No. 2 Post.—Called Nelson Hill in the earlier days because held by the 10th (Nelson) Mounted Rifles; then taken over by the Otago Mounted Rifles; eventually became Divisional Headquarters for the August operations.
No. 3 Post.—Established just north of No. 2 Outpost, when Old No. 3 was abandoned.
Nek, The.—A narrow tongue of No Man's Land, running from Russell's Top towards the Turkish trenches.
Nibrunesi Point.—The southern horn of Suvla Bay, shown on some Turkish maps as Kuchuk Kemekli.
Old No. 3 Post.—High ground above Fishermen's Hut. Captured and held for two days by the N.Z.M.R. in May, but eventually abandoned to the Turks; retaken during the August advance.
Olive Groves.—Clumps of trees inland from Gaba Tepe. “Beachy Bill” and other obnoxious Turkish guns were “dug in” in the vicinity.
Overton Gully.—A gully named to commemorate Major Overton, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, a keen officer who directed the scouting and reconnoitering on the left flank. He was killed on August 7 while leading Cox's Indian Brigade up the Aghyl Dere.
Phillip's Top.—Near the bottom and on the southern side of Shrapnel Valley there was a low ridge called “The Razor Back.” which, running up towards the firing line, became known as Phillip's Top, after Major Phillips, of the Australian Field Artillery.
Pine Ridge.—A Turkish position opposite the extreme right flank of Anzac.
Plugge's Plateau.—The high ground immediately inland from Anzac Cove, the southern spur running down to Hell Spit being named Maclagan's Ridge. Plugge's Plateau is called after the O.C. Auckland Infantry Battalion.
Point Rosenthal.—On the ridge below Bolton's Hill. Colonel Rosenthal commanded the 1st Australian Artillery Brigade.
Pope's Hill.—An isolated post at the head of Monash Gully; on its right was Dead Man's Ridge; on its left a deep canyon separating Pope's from Russell's Top. Colonel Pope was the gallant white-haired commander of the famous 16th Australian Infantry Battalion.
Poppy Valley.—There were many “Poppy” Valleys and “Poppy” Fields in the Anzac area, but the only one to get on the map was in the Turkish territory between Harris' Ridge and Pine Ridge, on the extreme southern flank of Anzac.page 323
Quinn's Post.—At the head of Monash Gully; the most famous post in Anzac, the salient of the Anzac line. Named after Major Quinn, of the 15th Australian Infantry Battalion, who was killed defending the post. For the first few days this ground was held by Major Rankine (“Bobby”) of the 14th Battalion A.I.F. He then handed over to Major Quinn.
Reserve Gully.—A “rest” gully in the low ground between Plugge's Plateau and the Sphinx. It eventually became unsafe, being periodically searched by the guns from the “W” Hills.
Rhododendron Spur.—A prominent spur running westward from Chunuk Bair, and between the Chailak Dere and the Sazli Beit Dere, the point nearest Chunuk Bair being called the Apex. It was first called Rhododendron Spur by Major Overton, who saw in the scrubby arbutus some resemblance to a rhododendron.
Rose Hill.—A northern underfeature of Bauchop Hill, below Little Table Top and above Hotchkiss Gully. Guns placed here defended the ground between The Blockhouse and our position on the Apex. Major Rose was a New Zealand machine gunner in charge of the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade machine guns.
Russell's Top.—The highest point of Walker's Ridge, where Brigadier-General Russell, commanding the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, had his headquarters during May, June, and July.
Ryrie's Post.—On the right of the Australian line; named after Brigadier-General Ryrie, 2nd Light Horse Brigade.
Scimitar Hill.—A round hill north of the “W” Hills, on which was a curved strip of yellow earth resembling a Turkish sword; shown on some maps as Hill 70, from its height in metres.
Scrubby Knoll.—A Turkish position about 1500 yards due east of Courtney's Post.
Shrapnel Valley.—The road to the centre of the Anzac position; heavily shelled by the Turkish artillery from the first day. Known to the Turks as Kamu Kapu Dere. The upper portion of the valley was known as Monash Gully.
Smyth's Post.—A post in the Australian sector, named after an Australian officer.
Sphinx, The.—A peculiar knife-edge spur jutting out seawards from Walker's Ridge. During the early days it was known by many names such as the Sphinx, the Knife Edge, the Cathedral, the Snipers' Crevice, &c., until it was entered on the map as the Sphinx. A legend that from a crevice a sniper picked off men for the first few days, until shot by Captain Wallinford, the well-known machine gunner, has no foundation in fact, except that some wild pigeons which had their home there were thought to be carriers.page 324
Steel's Post.—The post south of Courtney's, named after Major Steel, of the 14th Australian Battalion. For the first week, Courtney's and Steel's were included in Steel's Post; but Lt.-Col. Courtney took over the left section which was renamed Courtney's.
Tasmanian Post.—A post held by the Tasmanians on the right of the Anzac front line, just north of Ryrie's Post.
Turk's Point.—Part of the left of the original Anzac line, overlooking the head of Malone's Gully.
Walden's Point.—North of Taylor's Hollow. Waldren, whose name was always mis-spelt “Walden,” was a very daring sniper who did much reconnoitering on the Suvla Flats as a machine gun officer of the Maoris. He was killed on the Apex.
Walker's Ridge.—The left flank of the original Anzac line. Brigadier-General Walker was attached to Army Headquarters, but as Colonel Johnston was down with measles on the morning of the Anzac landing, General Walker took command of the Brigade.
Wanliss Gully.—A gully breaking the Anzac line just opposite German Officers' Trench. This section was at one time under the command of Colonel Wanliss, 5th Australian Infantry Battalion.
Waterfall Gully.—A small sheltered gully in Bauchop's Hill, where newcomers bivouacked. The Headquarters of a Turkish unit was captured here on August 6/7.
Watson's Pier.—The first wharf built at Anzac Cove by the New Zealand Engineers. Captain Watson was an officer of the Australian Signal Service, who overlooked the work when N.Z.E. officers could not be spared.
Wellington Terrace.—The cliff side under the shadow of the Sphinx, studded with dugouts; originally a rest camp for the Wellington Regiment, who saw some resemblance to their native hillsides.
Wine Glass Ridge.—A Turkish position opposite the Anzac right flank.
“W” Hills.—A low ridge 112 metres high, about a mile due north of Hill 60; shown on Turkish maps as Ismail Oglu Tepe, but better known to the Anzac troops as the “W” Hills. When looking north from Russell's Top, the spurs of this feature formed the line W, while the re-entrants formed the shadows.