|A burial at sea, the north Aegean, 1915. AWM image|
Many sick or injured soldiers died on their way to hospitals at Lermnos and further afield at Alexandria or on Malta. Many of these were buried at sea. It is also true that form the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign, the waters surrounding Gallipoli were treacherous. Allied shipping, including troop transports, was vulnerable to enemy shore guns and submarines. Ships were sunk and many allied troops and other personnel drowned.
During the campaign there were 970 burials at sea.
Below is the story of three of these diggers - 2nd Lt John Shallberg, Capt Alfred Shout, VC and Private Jim Martin, the youngest Anzac.
2nd Lt 357 John Reginald Shallberg.
Born Shepparton on 17th October 1893 (120 years ago), he was the son of the Rev JH Shallberg. Enlisted 25 August 1914, into the 8th Battalion. He embarked from Australia aboard the HMAT A24 Benalla and then embarked on Clan McGilvarry from Alexandria for Lemnos and Gallipoli on 5 April 1916. He was promoted to Corporal on 25 August 1914 and then in the field, first to Sergeant (28th April 1915) and then to 2nd Lieutenant (4 August 1915), only to receives gunshot wound to his head at Lone Pine on between 4 and 7th August 1915. He died of these wounds on 7 August 1915 aboard the Dunluce Castle and buried at sea in the Aegean – “between Imbros and Mudros”
He was awarded the 1914/15 Star, British War Medal and Victory medals. His name is memorialised on the Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli.
John's birthplace would be the location of a new soldier settlement after the war that would be named Lemnos after its role in the Gallipoli campaign
|AIF letter to 2nd Lieutenant Shallberg's family informing them that he was buried at sea. NAA|
Alfred Shout was originally from New Zealand, Shout had served in the Boer war and in the British Army before emigrating to Australia in 1907. In 1907, the Shout family emigrated to Australia, settling in the Sydney suburb of Darlington. Shout gained employment as a carpenter and joiner, but also "pursued his military interests" by joining the 29th Infantry Regiment of the Citizens Military Force. He was a regular visitor of the Randwick rifle range, gaining a reputation as a fine shot with the firearm. A foundation member of the 29th Infantry Club, Shout was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Citizens Military Force on 16 June 1914. Allocated to the 1st Battalion on joining up, by the time he landed at Gallipoli, Shout was a lieutenant. He took part in the landings on 25th April 1915 and took part in the attacks on Baby 700 and defence of Russells Top on Walkers Ridge. He was wounded during these engagements. His bravery on 27th April at the latter, defending against a Turkish attack, earned him the Military Cross, as well as wounds.
At 09:00 on 9 August, the 1st Battalion relieved the 3rd Battalion at Sasse's Sap on the Lone Pine frontline. However, as soon as the men of the 3rd Battalion were clear of the trenches, the Turks renewed their attack and were successful in seizing a significant proportion of Sasse's Sap. In response, Shout and Captain Cecil Sasse gathered three men to carry sandbags in order to construct trench barricades and charged down the Sap. The two officers ran at the head of the party, with Sasse sniping at the Turkish soldiers with his rifle while Shout hurled bombs. The group advanced small stages at a time until they had recaptured approximately 20 metres (22 yd) of the line, at which point the trio carrying the sandbags constructed a barricade while Sasse continued to fire at the Turks. Sasse was credited with killing twelve Turkish soldiers during the action and Shout with eight, while forcing the remainder to flee. Sasse, "elated" by their achievement earlier that day, went to Shout that afternoon and the pair agreed to attempt a repeat of the earlier operation. This time, the duo assembled a party of eight men to carry sandbags and extra bombs. Having made a "sufficient reconnaissance" of the area, the previously erected barricade was shoved down and, side-by-side, Sasse and Shout ran forward. The group advanced in much the same manner as before, moving in short stages and building a barricade each time they halted Shout was fighting with "splendid gaiety" throughout the assault, .. laughing and joking and cheering his men on". As they progressed further, the two officers spotted a suitable location to raise their final barricade. Shout then simultaneously lit three bombs for the final run forward in an effort to prevent the Turkish soldiers from hindering the construction of the barricade. He successfully threw two of the grenades, and attempted to hurl the third when it burst as it was leaving his hand. Shout was mortally wounded, the explosion having shattered his right hand and part of the left, destroying his left eye, cutting his face, and causing burns to his chest and leg Despite the severity of his injuries, Shout maintained consciousness and was dragged out of the firing line, where he remained cheerful, "drank tea and sent a message to his wife".
Shout was evacuated from the Gallipoli Peninsula to the hospital ship Euralia shortly afterwards.
On 11 August 1915, he succumbed to his wounds and was buried at sea.
As a consequence of his actions during the Battle of Lone Pine, Shout was awarded the Victoria Cross.
Jim Martin was from Maldon in Central Victoria and only 14 years old, when he joined up on 12th April 1915 at Melbourne He was allotted to the in A Company 21st battalion, 6TH Brigade, and sailed from Melbourne on 28th June 1915.
He sailed from Egypt for Lemnos aboard the HMT Southland, surviving its torpedoing and evacuation. He was on Lemnos for a short period, attending the funeral service at East Mudros Cemetery for Col Linton who had drowned during the Southland incident, and the thirty or so men who drowned or were missing presumed drowned.
He departed Lemnos for Gallipoli on 7th September. After taking part in the defence of trenches protecting Monash Valley, he became sick with dysentery.
In 25th October 1915 he died of typhoid, aboard the Hospital Ship Glenart Castle anchored off Anzac Cove, and was buried at sea.
During the Anzac Centenary commemorative services held on Lemnos in 2015 the HMAS Success had planned to hold a burial at sea ceremony in honour of those buried at sea during the Galliipoli campaign. Unfortunately due to the weather conditions at the time, this was not possible.
It would be good if such a ceremony could be held in the future.
Lest we forget
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee