Monday, 5 October 2015

Sir Ian Hamilton's Recall to London

One of the key events in the later stages of the Dardanelles campaign was the relieving of Sir Ian Hamilton as the Commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 14 October 1915 to be replaced  by Sir Charles Monro. The fact that Hamilton was replaced was not surprising following Keith Murdoch's letter and British war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett's critique of the Gallipoli  campaign in the Sunday Times.  More importantly Captain Guy Dawnay travelled from the Dardanelles to London to brief British High Command as well as the British Prime Minister and King George V on the true situation of the campaign. Dawnay believed that Hamilton was was not up to the task and that the camapign should be shut down. He arrived back at the Dardenelles just a few days before Hamilton received the news he was to be recalled.

Monro took up his post on 28 October 1915 and immediately two things became very obvious to him. Firstly an advance on Constantinople was out of the question and secondly it served no useful purpose to remain in the Dardanelles and as a result he recommended that the Gallipoli peninsula should be evacuated. Despite this recommendation it would take the British Cabinet back in London another two month's to finally give the order to evacuate.

Despite the issues with British High Command local newspapers still encouraged readers to believe that everything was going well with the campaign as this article from The Ballarat Courier shows while at the same time letting it readers know of Hamilton's recall.

Ballarat Courier 21 October 1915

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