Brigadier General Henry Normand MacLaurin, 1st Australian Infantry Brigade AIF. [Sydney Mail, 12 May 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Colonel Henry Normand MacLaurin MID [Mentioned in Despatches]
1st Australian Infantry Brigade AIF
Row A, Grave 10
Before his enlistment in the AIF, Colonel MacLaurin, a barrister in civilian life, had eighteen years experience with the NSW Scottish Rifles and for a year was commander of the 26th Australian Infantry Regiment. MacLaurin, described by official historian Charles Bean as ‘a brave and energetic leader’, landed on the peninsula shortly after dawn on 25 April 1915.
The grave of Colonel Henry Normand MacLaurin, 1st Infantry Brigade AIF, killed in action, 27 April 1915. [DVA] ... Enlarge grave
During the second Turkish counter attack on 27 April 1915, a heavy assault was expected on a hill named for the Colonel - MacLaurin’s Hill. At 3 pm, Major Francis Irvine, a British officer attached to the Australian forces, was shot by a sniper on Russell’s Top and within ten minutes Colonel MacLaurin fell victim to the same sniper on the side of the hill that bears his name.
After MacLaurin’s death an order was issued promoting him to the temporary rank of Brigadier General. Buried near where he was killed his remains were moved after the war to the 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery. The epitaph on his headstone reads:
Neither counted I my life
As dear unto myself.
Lieutenant Laurence Street, 3rd Battalion, killed in action during the Turkish attack on 19 May 1915. [Sydney Morning Herald, 1 June 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Lieutenant Laurence Whistler Street
3rd Battalion AIF
Row D, Grave 6
Lieutenant Laurence Street, the second son of Justice Philip Whistler Street and his wife Belinda (née Poolman), was a law student at the time of his enlistment in the 3rd Battalion. The battalion landed at Anzac on 25 April 1915 as part of the second and third waves.
At 3 am on 19 May 1915, a major Turkish attack began. Charles Bean described the scene:
The moment was one of tense excitement, the Australians in the 3rd Battalion sap under Major McConaghy and Lieutenant L W Street standing their ground. ‘You have the worst end of the stick,’ shouted McConaghy. ‘We’ll give you hell – come on! They’re running away; they’re got their backs turned’. The excited Australians climbed above the trench, regardless of themselves, and sat astride the parapet shooting as fast as they could into the copious target.
[C E W Bean, The Story of Anzac, Volume II, p.143]
Original graves of Lieutenant Laurence Street and 33 men of the 3rd Battalion, AIF. [AWM A04004] ... Enlarge photo
Buoyed by their success, the Australians took increasingly greater risks:
Dawn found the whole garrison firing from the parapets, the men often sitting on the traverses without the least regard for their own safety.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Volume II, p.156]
Bean wrote that a considerable number of the battalion’s casualties occurred at this time. Twenty-one year old Lieutenant Street was later found dead at the head of a sap [small trench]. The headstone on his grave bears the epitaph –
No Bar Of Endless Night
Exiles The Brave
Lieutenant Colonel Astley Onslow Thompson, 4th Plateau on 26 April 1915. [Sydney Mail, 12 May 1915] ... Enlarge photo
Lieutenant Colonel Astley John Onslow Thompson VD MID
4th Battalion AIF
Row A, Grave 11
Original grave of Lieutenant Colonel Astley John Onslow Thompson VD, Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion AIF. [AWM P02317.001] ... Enlarge photo
Lieutenant Colonel Thompson was a Welsh-born fifty-year-old grazier, station manager and company director who had served with the NSW Mounted Rifles from 1892 until his enlistment. On the unattached list of officers he was appointed Major in the 4th Battalion in August 1914 and later commander of the battalion.
Grave of Lieutenant Colonel Astley John Onslow Thompson VD, Commanding Officer, 4th Battalion, AIF, 4th Battalion Parade Ground Cemetery. [DVA] ... Enlarge grave
The day after the landing, Thompson led his battalion across the 400 Plateau in an advance against the Turks and was killed during a withdrawal in the vicinity of Owen's Gully. Lieutenant Robert Massie, tried to recover his body but was prevented from doing so by heavy fire. Thompson’s remains were not found until 11 May when the 3rd Battalion, while digging a forward sap, located it. They buried their commander in the side of a trench and marked the spot with a wooden cross. Chaplain Major William McKenzie, 4th Battalion wrote –
It was a relief to find the body of our colonel … after it had lain out for a full fortnight. We buried it after dark, as it lay in an exposed position. I had to kneel and keep head and body in a crouching posture while reading the service. Hundreds of bullets swept over us while this was going on.
[Adelaide Ah Kow, William McKenzie, London, 1949, p.36]
A plaque in St Illtyd’s Church, Pembrey, Dyfed, Wales commemorates Lieutenant Colonel Thompson ‘who died fighting at the head of his regiment in the Dardanelles on the 26th April 1915’ as the eldest son of the late Astley and Udea Thompson of Glyn Abbey.