suvla bay

Last week I visited Suvla Bay, 100 years after my grandfather landed there in WWI. In August 1915 he and tens of thousands of other fresh British troops sprang unannounced out of the turquoise Aegean in an offensive designed to undo the stalemate of the WWI Gallipoli Campaign.

The Bay is still remote and hard to get to, but quieter now than it was in his day, back then over 150,000 allied troops were on the beach shown in this video, and along the 15-20 miles of surrounding hills and coast over 3/4 of a million soldiers battled in one of the most bloody conflicts of WWI, and in what many regard as one of the greatest disasters of British military history.

My grandfather was one of the lucky to survive that disaster - I went there to remember him and the long life he had after that campaign, and to remember the friends he left behind. Of course I only remember my grandfather as an old man - I remember him just like he looks in the picture at the start the video - a picture taken of him on holiday with us on a much happer beach in my childhood days. Looking back at him now on the holiday beach, I have to wonder what memories were going through his mind.

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