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Pictures courtesy of Brian Budge and Alastair Cuthbert


Shot at Dawn

9610 Serjeant J Robins, 5th Bn. Wiltshire Regiment, executed 02/01/1916 for disobedience. Sp. Mem. C. 259

The mass pardon of 306 British Empire soldiers executed for certain offences during the Great War was enacted in section 359 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, which came into effect on royal assent on 8 November 2006.


Location Information

Take the road opposite the Kabatepe Museum to Helles/Alcitepe. After 14.2 km's, take a right turn at the 'T' junction to Twelve Tree Copse and other Helles cemeteries. After 14.3 km's take the left fork and the cemetery will be found on the right after 15.4 km's. Twelve Tree Copse Cemetery is in the Helles area, about 1 km south-west of the village of Krithia.

Visiting Information

This cemetery is permenantly open and may be visited at any time.

For further information and enquiries please contact

Historical Information

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.

The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac.

On 28 April, following the landings at Helles, the first attack was mounted towards Achi Baba, the ridge which dominates the southern part of the peninsula. Fatigue, however, brought the assault to a halt some kilometres short of the objective, near the village of Krithia. Turkish counter attacks followed but were repulsed and during the period 6-8 May, the 29th and French Divisions, reinforced by the 2nd Australian and New Zealand Infantry Brigades, carried out a renewed attack on Krithia, making some gains but suffering heavy casualties.

Between 1 May and the beginning of June, the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade and 42nd (East Lancashire) Division landed on the peninsula. With these reinforcements, the Allied force at Helles pushed forward once more on 4 June, but again to little effect. A further attack between 28 June and 5 July at Gully Ravine inflicted heavy casualties on the Turks, but despite local gains - at one point the line was pushed forward more than a kilometre - there was no breakthrough. By 13 July the advance at Helles was effectively over and the position remained unchanged until the evacuation in January 1916.

TWELVE TREE COPSE CEMETERY was made after the Armistice when graves were brought in from isolated sites and small burial grounds on the battlefields of April-August and December 1915. The most significant of these burial grounds were Geoghegan's Bluff Cemetery, which contained 925 graves associated with fighting at Gully Ravine in June-July 1915; Fir Tree Wood Cemetery, where the 29th Division and New Zealand Infantry Brigade fought in May 1915 and Clunes Vennel Cemetery, on the south side of Krithia, which contained 522 graves.

There are now 3,360 First World War servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 2,226 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate many casualties known or believed to be buried among them, including 142 officers and men of the 1st Essex who died on 6 August 1915, and 47 of the 1st/7th Scottish Rifles killed on 28 June.

The cemetery also contains the TWELVE TREE COPSE (NEW ZEALAND) MEMORIAL, one of four memorials erected to commemorate New Zealand soldiers who fell on the Gallipoli peninsula and whose graves are not known. The memorial relates to engagements outside the limits of Anzac in which New Zealand soldiers took part. It bears almost 180 names.



Victoria Cross Recipient

 Second Lieutenant, ALFRED VICTOR SMITH

VC, "D" Coy. 1st/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment, 22/12/1915, aged 24. Won his award 22/12/1915. Sp. Mem. C. 358.

Son of William Henry and Louisa Smith, of The Chief Constable's Office, Town Hall, Burnley. Born at Guildford.

Citation: An extract from the "London Gazette," dated 3rd March, 1916, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery. He was in the act of throwing a grenade when it slipped from his hand and fell to the bottom of the trench, close to several of our officers and men. He immediately shouted out a warning, and himself jumped clear and into safety, but seeing that the officers and men were unable to get into cover, and knowing well that the grenade was due to explode, he returned without any hesitation and flung himself down on it. He was instantly killed by the explosion. His magnificent act of self-sacrifice undoubtedly saved many lives."



Some of the Servicemen buried in the cemetery or commemorated on Special Memorials


3243 Private

 Frederick Clement Atkinson
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
 7th October 1915, aged 23.

Sp. Mem. A. 86.


Son of Cramshaw and Nancy Atkinson, of 11, Vulcan St., Nelson, Lancs. Lived at Rawtenstall.




John Bolton
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment

4th June 1915, aged 26.

Sp. Mem. A. 67.


Son of Henry Hargreaves Bolton and Florence Eliza Bolton, of "Heightside," Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay. Lived at Rossendale.


2330 Private

 James Robert Bullock
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
22nd November 1915, aged 32.

Sp. Mem. A. 12.


Lived at 12? Ardwick Street, Burnley, Lancashire.


1984 Private

 John Robert Cawtherley
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
13th June 1915, aged 35.

Plot I. I. 14.


Lived at 75 Milton Street, Burnley, Lancashire.


2615 Private

 John Costello
1st bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
 4th June 1915, aged 19.

Sp. Mem. B. 18.


Lived at 54 Moseley Street, Burnley, Lancashire.


2032 Lance/Corporal

Clarence Cryer
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
18th December 1915, aged 29.

Sp. Mem. B. 72.


Lived on Earlsham Terrace, Burnley, Lancashire.


2731 Private

William Irvine Dyce

5th Bn. Royal Scots

18th June 1915, aged 19.

Plot I. B. 21.


Short biography of this soldier


Picture courtesy of

Brian Budge


1727 Sergeant

 William Hale
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
12th December 1915, aged 18.

Sp. Mem. C. 104.

Lived at 20 Lebanon Street, Burnley, Lancashire.


6/647 Private

James Hazeldine

Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F

10th May 1915.

Commemorated on the New Zealand Memorial


Son of Mr. and Mrs. John Hazeldine, of Brunnerton, Greymouth.


Picture courtesy of Tim Cross


1844 Private

 Herbert Hughes
1/5th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
 4th June 1915, aged 26.

Sp. Mem. C. 85.

Lived at 10 Killington Street, Burnley, Lancashire.



Daniel Martin Taylor

7th Bn. Cameronians

(Scottish Rifles).

28th June 1915, aged 20.

Sp. Mem. C. 372.


Son of John E. Taylor, of 19, Newlands Rd., Newlands, Glasgow.



Pictures courtesy of

Alastair Cuthbert