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Ana sayfaya gitGallipoli Diary

"Region Commandery is undertaken by me.
The acting command to the 33rd Regiment
by the First Battalion Commander Major Fâik Bey has been notified."
Commander of the 77th Regiment Major Sâib

From Erdal Kabatepe's Pen

Gallipoli War Diary

Whereabouts the Gallipoli War Diary 
of Major Ali Faik Bey is unknown.
Included here is the story of this Diary
and the extracts of the sections as known to us.

Major Ali Faik Bey used to keep a ceride (diary). Following his appointment as the Commander of the 2nd Battalion of the 51st Regiment during the Balkan War on December 11, 1911 he received order from the Division Commander to join the battalion to the Regiment being organized in Tiran. The Diary covering the period from September 9, 1912 to March 25, 1913 which he started to keep following the named order is within my archives. Then, what happened next?

It is very unlikely that a person like Major Ali Faik Bey who kept a daily diary, discontinued it. Didn’t he keep a diary during the Gallipoli War? In this section, you will find the answer to this question.

In 1931, Miss May Summerbelle(*) published extracts from the diary of a Turkish soldier at the Evening News, Sydney, Australia which she came across to at a museum she worked. (A five-page typed English translation). She did not remember to whom it belonged. The newspaper was closed down in March 1931.

* Completely gathered from publicly available sources and from the section “Extracts from a Dead Turkish Officer’s (Commanding Major, 1st Battalion,
33rd Regiment) Diary covering the 27–30.04.1915 period”
published in Australian Light Horse Studies Centre’s “Australian Military History
of the Early 20th Century” DESERT COLUMN website. Copies of all cited documents are available.

(*) Annie May Costance Summerbelle: (1867-1949) A well-known Australian light and popular music composer. She worked for a museum for some time. She involved herself with repertory theatre groups via the Sydney Press-Women. She is the composer of the favourite Anzac march-song “So-long” that she dedicated to the Australia’s Expeditionary Forces. (Lyrics: John Barr). Her articles also are published in the newspaper Evening News, Sydney. She donated the Extracts from the Diary which she prepared during her work at the Evening News and a set of music pieces including the So-long to the “War Memorial” Museum in 1931.

Where Is The Diary?

Extracts from the Diary
of a Dead Turkish Officer
(Commanding Major, 1st Battalion, 33rd Regiment) covering the 27 - 30.04.1915 period

Let’s follow together the journey of the Extracts of the Diary published with the heading above:

What Says the Australian Archives?

National Archives of Australia
Avustralya arşivleri bağış bildirimi

National Archives of Australia
Australian War Records Section

It is declared that the Extracts from the Diary found on the dead body of the Turkish Officer (Commanding Major, 1st Battalion, 33rd Regiment) on 30.04.1915 in Gallipoli were donated by May Summerbelle.

Commonwealth of Australia
Bir Avustralya Arşiv Belgesi

The Commonwealth of Australia
Australian War Memorial Museum

February 7, 1931

It is declared that Miss Summerbelle sent the Extracts from the Diary she prepared when she worked for “Evening News” to “Australian War Memorial Museum” together with two musical pieces and now she did not remember to whom it belonged.

Australian war memorial
Avustralya Arşivi Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey

Australian War Memorial

March 5, 1931

Donated Records List, No. 217 states that the Extracts from the Diary found on a dead Turkish Officer (Commanding Major, 1st Battalion, 33rd Regiment) covering 27.04-30.04.1915 were exhibited in “File Section. Gallipoli.Pd.1. Anzac I.30/4/15.”

Günlük Özünün

March 19, 1931

In the letter to the Museum dated March 19, 1915, it is stated that the Extracts from the Diary were filed under “Anzac Intelligence, Period 1 of the Gallipoli Operation papers.”

so long - may summerbelle

Here is the person, the composer of this march-song who transferred to the future the existence of the diary found in Gallipoli and taken to Australia. * Now we know where the Extracts from the Diary are. So, where is this Diary? It is unknown. Who handed it over? She does not remember. Let’s see what the five-page long translated extracts published by May Summerbelle and the Australian sources who published the Extracts from the Diary with some comments say. What results do we reach based on the Australian archive documents?

* The comment of May Summerbelle at the end of the second page of the extracts of the Diary is noteworthy:

As an Australian, it is difficult to place myself in the position of the “enemy” and yet that is the intent of this diary entry. These entries are important in understanding how the person on the other side of the trench viewed the Allied forces. By showing the other side, these men are no longer shadows described by the term “Turk” but living and breathing humans who felt the same anguish, fears and problems that focus the commonality of a shared humanity in an unfortunate fratricidal conflict. It is refreshing to know that any animus that might have existed has long been consigned to the waste bins of history. As Turkish archives become readily available and more accessible to Turks and international scholars, so this understanding will increase and jingoistic books that demonise for patronise “Jacko” can also diminish in their power.

Whom Does The Diary Belong?
The Diary Belongs To Major Ali Faik Bey

How do we reach this conclusion? By examining Australian archive records above:

  1. Nobody questions that the Diary belongs to the Commander of the 1st Battalion, 33rd Regiment. The person to whom the Diary belong is also stated as the same at the headlines of the Extracts at the Diary.
  2. Which commander of the Battalion?
    The Diary starts on April 27, 1915. This was the day that Major Ali Faik Bey joined in the war. Like in his Balkan War Diary, he started his diary on the date he received the order to join the Regiment. The Diary comes to an end on April 30, 1915 the date he died a martyr. If the Diary were written by someone else than Major Ali Faik Bey, then he would continue writing.
  3. To date, no other Commander of the 1st Battalion of the 33rd Regiment has come out as having kept a diary.
  4. In the second section of the Diary, the following was cited:
    Left Wing Order 29 April 1915
    1. Owing to the death of Kamahan Stevhie Beir, the command
    of the section is now given to me.


    This is the same day that the order of Acting Commandery of the 33rd Regiment has been given to Major Ali Faik Bey (April 29.1915, 8.15). *

    * Source: 19th DIVISION CHRONICLES IN THE GALLIPOLI WARS, 2nd VOLUME, PAGE: 125. (Detail is given in the end of this section.)

Consequently, the “Gallipoli Diary” belongs to Major Ali Faik Bey.

Even what I uncovered so far excites me endlessly. I don’t know how I would feel should my grandfather’s Diary surface someday. From Gallipoli 1915 to Sydney 1931 and now the year 2020! I will wait for it every moment.

The “Australian Light Horse Studies Centre” who published all these on their web page responded to none of my queries. They did not care about the applications through official channels either. After so many years, the web page remained published and was followed, so if anybody came across, he should have brought the “Ceride” to them. It is very high probability that they have the “Ceride” in their hands, otherwise they would have impatiently raised the topic on their web page based on the information I supplied them.

New Development - July 17, 2020:

The Australian War Memorial Research Centre digitized the extracts of the “Ceride” and provided access in its website.
The Australian War Memorial
www.awm.gov.au

AWM25 367/126 - [Written records, 1914-18 War:] [Gallipoli] Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer (Major Commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Regiment) Gallipoli 30 November 1915. Article donated to AWM by Miss M. Summerbelle.

The following section is taken directly from the DESERT COLUMN website.

Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Australian Commonwealth Military Forces


The Battle of Anzac Cove, Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915, Part 1
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Part 1

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 1
Diary, page 1

Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer, the major commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915.

Extracts from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer(Major Commanding 1st Battalion 33rd Regiment)South West of Nojacre 27 April 1915

At 8pm the battalion in connection with the Regiment advanced to the reserve lines. I received orders to make a vigorous attack on the enemy with the 72nd Regiment which was the first line in support. Though the attack was to be general on the whole front, the officer commanding the 72nd Regiment signalled to me he was not able to reinforce the right and left wings, as a result of the incomplete attack the three companies of our Battalion were told to extend in line, and attack in open order: although both officers and men rushed forward to take the enemy's position, no one was able to locate it, and our men continued to advance but these movements were impeded by some pine trees and a number of officers and NCO's. In this way the companies, which were already short of reinforcements, however our men loved to use the bayonet, advanced continuously but at the moment, when they were about to drive the enemy into the sea, it was impossible to stop the fusillade. This caused the belief that our men were firing on each other and there was a moment of confusion. The enemy as shown the sketch occupied several hills and it was impossible to fire on them without exposing ourselves to a flanking line. Orders were given to withdraw to a distance of 250 to 300 metres.

This diary came into the hands of the defending Australian soldiers at Gallipoli. It gives an extraordinary insight into the actions of the Turkish forces in their efforts to repel the Anzac invasion.


Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915, Part 2
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Part 2

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 2
Diary, page 2

Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer, the major commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915.

To OC 7th Regiment 29 April 1915

The third battalion of the 27th Regiment in conjunction with 2nd Battalion of the 32nd Regiment should support the right wing. The first was estimated on the right wing. A squad from each company is detailed for sniping, and the remainder are to be in the trenches, up to now the strength of each company has been 150 men, a squad of which is snipers. (NB. The full strength of a company is 250 men.)

Left Wing Order 29 April 1915
  1. Owing to the death of Kamahan Stevhie Beir, the command of the section is now given to me. I hope with the help of God to work this properly and loyally. God helps the servant who works diligently therefore each official must pay attention to his duties.
  2. As stated a Divisional Order to be secure from the enemy depends on steadfastness: which must be attained by good tactics. The lines of defence must be strongly and carefully maintained. The men should not be allowed to rove about here and there. Every battalion taking advantage of night, must collect the arms of the killed and send same to the rear every effort must be made to clear the battlefield.
  3. Line of communication must be protected, and the smallest movement of the enemy at any place must be notified at once.
  4. The transport of ammunition, food stuffs and other important necessities must be carried out either in the evening or at dawn only, nothing but more water may be brought in at day time.

As an Australian, it is difficult to place myself in the position of the "enemy" and yet that is the intent of this diary entry. These entries are important in understanding how the person on the other side of the trench viewed the Allied forces. By showing the other side, these men are no longer shadows described by the term "Turk" but living and breathing humans who felt the same anguish, fears and problems that focus the commonality of a shared humanity in an unfortunate fratricidal conflict. It is refreshing to know that any animus that might have existed has long been consigned to the waste bins of history. As Turkish archives become readily available and more accessible to Turks and international scholars, so this understanding will increase and jingoistic books that demonise for patronise "Jacko" can also diminish in their power.


The Battle of Anzac Cove, Map detailing the placement of 1/33 IR, 25 April 1915 - Part 2
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Placement of 1/33 IR, 25 April 1915 - Part 2

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 2
[Click over the map for a larger version]

To trace the movement of the 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, 11th Division, the starting place is just south of Kumkale in Anatolia. At the little town called Pinarbasi the 11th Infantry Division had its Headquarters and the 1st Battalion remained with other battalions of the Regiment. Care must be taken here as this Pinarbasi is not the major regional town of the same name in the east of Anatolia. The above map gives the location of the forces around Kumkale after the dawn attack of the Allies on 25 April 1915.


The Battle of Anzac Cove, Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915, Part 3
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Part 3

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 3
Diary, page 3.

Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer, the major commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915.

Divisional Orders

  1. Stores have been established at Maidos - Bigali Village and at the Barracks of Bigali for the purpose of storing there in the arms and equipment of soldiers wounded and killed.
  2. Every advantage must be taken of the empty transport returning from advanced lines, for conveying these arms etc.

Note: It has been explained to OC Battalions that as stated in above order, all these arms and etc must be sent to these stores so as to lose nothing whatever of same.

To OC 33rd Regiment 30 April 1915

The 2nd Battalion of the 125th Regiment which was to come to our left wing is not there, but a whole company of it is at Nvur rear. This evening a company of this very battalion came to take a position to our left, but with great noise and shouting of orders, it showed itself to the enemy. The squad officer was killed and all the men ran away. Our left wing is still empty. Le Zia Effendi of the 125th Regiment is in the rear of that squad and as everyone of my battalion is very important, and as on the left wing, no help was forthcoming from any quarter, we are on the defensive, meeting with extreme hardships. I submit that it is more necessary that the position of the detachment detailed from the 12th Regiment to our Regiment should be reinforced, and the small fortification found in the neighbourhood would be taken in hand and made use of as it is most important that the safety of our left wing be ensured.


The Battle of Anzac Cove, Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915, Part 4
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Part 4

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 4

Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer, the major commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915.

Note: That the strength of the following squads of the Battalion, No's. 1, 2 and 3 of 33rd Regiment is composed of 20, 3 and 50 men respectively, is known to OC 2nd Battalion of the 128th Regiment. They have remained without food for the last four days, but sufficient bread was sent last night. Please let it be known that the bread and other allowances of the remaining battalions are to be found in the zone of the 125th Regiment. This squad is commanded by Sergt Kalil of the 3rd Battalion.

Shrapnel burst in some of our Battalion with the following result:

CompanyKilledWounded
No.125
No.255
No.355
Very PressingTo OC Artillery, 30 May 1915, 6.15 am.

Our fleet is heavily is heavily bombarding our advanced zone, please for immediate remedy.

(Sgd) Major, OC 1st Battalion.

To OC 1st and 3rd Battalions 30 April 1915 and CO.

Send at once by mounted man to 3rd division. Do you not see that it is convenient to change your position, to strengthen the trenches with the weal lines of snipers, and to send here under cover other available men, and that it is hoped all means will be taken to protect the snipers.

(Sgd) Acting Officer Commanding 33rd Regiment.

While things may not have been goood for the troops at Anzac, the above document indicates things were even worse for the Turks trying their best to mount a defence and offence. This document speaks of trooops starving and problems with friendly fire which is just as devastating as hostile fire.


Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915, Part 5
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Part 5

Binbaşı Ali Faik Bey'in Günlüğü sayfa 5

Extract from a diary found on a dead Turkish Officer, the major commanding 1st Battalion, 33rd Infantry Regiment, Gallipoli, 30 April 1915.

Divisional OrdersFrom Artillery Headquarters on 29th and 30th April 1915

To complete our force, 3 Infantry Battalions, the machine guns and artillery now in Venichernak must joint it on receiving this reinforcement, and with the help of God, we shall give the enemy a decisive and final blow, now in order to reap the fruits of the great and heroic deeds which you have performed during the last 5 days and nights, I strongly recommend you to further strengthen tonight the positions you are holding, to see that your detachments are in touch with each other and in good order, that greater attention be paid to their order and command, that your reinforcements and reserves be so posted as to be readily available if needed. Finally you will see that your men get as much rest as possible, and you should personally inspect, any sleepy parts of them. To insure the carrying out of these points, you should not forget that it can only be done by the OC's giving the greatest personal attention tonight to their detachments. I especially ask the artillery to be very careful in directing their fire, so as not to hurt our Infantry. The Cavalry Squadron of the Army Corps must carefully watch every movement of the right wing of the enemy to the north east of Kabe Tepe. The other most important duty of the squadron is to send patrols all around in the valleys between the position of the Artillery and village Kojadere which runs from west to south with a view to giving no chance what ever.

Five days of continuous combat has taken its toll on the men under the command of this officer. They are urged to rest in anticipation of a final push to remove the Allies from Gallipoli. The battle did take place but as with all battles that characterised the Gallipoli Campaign on both sides, attacks were made with never enough troops and artillery. Every time one side was able to strengthen the number of assets at their disposal, the other side did the same, keeping matters into a stalemate. Since the Allies were the most vulnerable, they were the force that needed to break off the engagement as their lines of communication were always under intense pressure. The Turks did not face these problems as they were fighting on home territory.

One curious mention in this note was that of the Corps Cavalry and its role. It seems to anticipate the role of the Light Horse some three weeks later as dismounted infantry.


Officers commanding in the 33rd Infantry Regiment
Topic: Tk - Bks - 1/33IR

The Battle of Anzac Cove

Turkish OC of 1/33 IR diary up until his death, 30 April 1915

Officers commanding the 33rd Infantry Regiment

Captain Sadık Efendi
Captain Sadik Efendi

Captain Sadik Efendi was commander of 1st Company, 1st Battalion. He was Killed in Action on Saturday 4 Ramadhaan 1333 A.H., or in Gregorian terms, 17 July 1915.

Albay Ahmet Şevki Bey
Lieutenant Colonel Ahmet Sevki Bey

Lieutenant Colonel Ahmet Sevki Bey was the commander of 33rd Infantry Regiment. He was Killed in Action on Thursday 14 Jumaada al-THaany 1333 A.H., or in Gregorian terms, 29 April 1915. His picture is below.

After Ahmet Sevki Bey was killed in action Lt. Col Rüstü Bey, the commander of 2nd Battalion, was appointed the commander of the 33rd Regiment.

Major Besim Bey was the Officer Commanding the 3rd Battalion. He was wounded during the battle of 29 April 1915.

The diary of the anonymous officer from 1st Battalion 33rd Infantry Regiment raises issues about identifying the men involved in the Regiment.

Major Faik Bey was the commander of the 1st Battalion.


Lest we forget

Acknowledgement: Information and pictures kindly supplied by Tosun Saral.

At the end of the list of the commanders of the 33rd Infantry Regiment in the “DESERT COLUMN” website, there are notes referred to Tosun Saral. It says that when the Regiment Commander Lieutenant Colonel Ahmet Şevki Bey died a martyr on April 29, 1915 he was replaced by Rüştü Bey, the Commander of the 2nd Battalion. However per hierarchy in the military, the assignment is upon the Commander of the 1st Battalion, who was Major Ali Faik Bey.

In the second section of the Diary, the following was cited:

Left Wing Order 29 April 1915
1.Owing to the death of Kamahan Stevhie Beir, the command of the section is now given to me.


Major Ali Faik Bey died a martyr the next day on April 30, 1915. There is a possibility of this one-day-regimental commandery having not been recorded. Actually, it is natural for Rüştü Bey, to be the commander after him.

In fact, the order of acting to the Commandery of the 33rd Regiment has been given without delay (April 29.1915, 8.15):

“Date: 29.04.1915
Hour and Second: 8.15
Event:
To the Commandery of the 19th Division
3-Region Commandery is undertaken by me. The acting command
to the 33rd Regiment by the First Battalion Commander
of the aforementioned regiment, Major Fâik Bey has been notified. 

Commander of the 77th Regiment
Major
Sâib”

(Source: 19th DIVISION CHRONICLES IN THE GALLIPOLI WARS, 2nd BOOK, PAGE: 125.)

On the other hand, Rüştü Bey is referred as a lieutenant colonel in this site where in the 33rd Regiment War Notes noted as a “major”.