A film was made in Britain,
in 1999. The name of the film is "All the King's Men." The scenery is based on
an alleged story about a British regiment, which attacked the Turks on 12 August 1915, in
Suvla region of the Gallipoli Peninsula. The plot runs as follow:
During the Gallipoli campaign, Sandringham Company which served as part of the 54th
Division, 163rd Brigade 1/5 Norfolk Regiment attacks the Turks on 12 August 1915, in the
Suvla Region of the Gallipoli Peninsula. In the combat, the Turks defeat them and take
them captives. The tension of the story rises when the Turks shot all the captives from
their heads and burn all the wounded soldiers in a farmhouse to "end their
pains." This story is not known in Turkey, but in Britain, it has been emphasised
especially in the recent years.
The British authorities claim that Turkey could not have given a sufficient reply when
Britain had asked the consequence of 1/5 Norfolk Battalion, in the end of the First World
War. They think that the reason was the event revealed above. However, the reality was
totally different. In the battle fought in Suvla region, on 12 August 1915, the British
163rd Brigade gave serious casualties because of the Turkish artillery and the snipers.
The commander of 54th Division was General Inglefield, the commander of 1/5 Norfolk
Regiment was Lieutenant Colonel Sir Horace Beauchamp and the commander of Sandringham
Company was Captain Beck. The Turkish force, which fought against the British, was 36th
Division under command of Major Munib Bey. In War Chronicle, Munib Bey states that on the
concerned day, the British attack had been backfired and 35 British soldiers were taken
captives. The captives gave evidence, which remain in the records.
One of them was Private A. G. Brown (1/5 Norfolk Regt. 54 Div. 163 Brigade East
Anglian Division) and his evidence, which he gave to the Turkish commanders as follow:
"On 10 August 1915, I went ashore surroundings of the Salt Lake. In the attack made
to a hill, which I do not know its name, I was taken captive, on 12 August. Our commander
was Inglefield. I only stayed in Suvla for two days and I do not know anything."
These are the words of a captive and there are other evidences similar to this one.
However, the British insist that the Turks killed all the captives but they did not prove
their alleged plot.
It is clear that the Turkish forces stopped the Allies' on 12 August 1915. In that
defence, the Turkish snipers were involved and the British Militaries agree that it is
normal to die by the shots of the snipers in a close combat. It was inevitable for the
Turks to defend their country against the Ally occupation.
Ataturk's words explain the situation of the Turks in the Gallipoli battles; "Unless
it is indispensable, war is a slaughter." The Turkish Army defended the peninsula
against the Allies and the result is heartrending.
The servants of King George V formed Sandringham Company of the Norfolk Regiment and most
probably, this is the reason of such a story. In addition, Aspinal Oglander states that
the company was not ready for such an important mission but General Ingfield assigned them
to capture a region, which was strongly defended by the Turks. Unfortunately, those
untrained soldiers came cross with Turkish snipers. May be this fictitious story was
created to cover this fatal mistake.
There were always rumours about the torments, which the Turks made to their captives. It
is known that the Ally commanders to make their soldiers fight more vividly, said,
"if the Turks catch you, they will eat you." The Turks never ill-treated their
captives. Especially during the Gallipoli Battles, both armies had fought fairly. If the
archives researched it is possible to find the records about the medical services offered
to the sick or wounded captives. For example, even to cure the teeth problems of the
captives, dentists were designated. Did the British, French, or the Russians do same
treatment to their captives? The Turkish captives of the Allies tell the opposite. Further
researches on this subject would reveal the facts and reply all the accusations.