Dedicated to the memory of all the men and women of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who died during the two World Wars.

Letter from Sergeant T. Fellowes, 5th (Service) Batt., D Co., Dorset Regiment

[Bridgnorth Journal, 4th December, 1915]

12330 Sergeant T. Fellowes, 5th (Service) Batt., D Co., Dorset Regiment (whose home is at 68 Bernard's Hill, Bridgnorth), writes us :-

While I have a few minutes to spare I will write a few lines about what is going on in the Gallipoli Peninsula. We are supposed to be out now behind the trenches having a rest after doing a month in the firing line, but I can tell you there is not much rest attached to it, for it is a jolly sight harder than being in the firing line; nothing else but fatigues or trench digging, or such like, day and night alike. The men prefer to be in the firing line anytime, instead of what they call having a rest, and my little experience falls on their side. But, of course, it might be said that only three months have elapsed since the big task of landing was accomplished by 11th Division (to which the 5th Dorsets belong) on this part of the Peninsula, but things are looking a bit brighter now that nearly all the trench work is done and the roads, etc, put in working order. There were no such thing as roads here before the landing, and troops were kept on day and night until the roads were like they are today. It was no easy work, for the place is nearly all solid rock, and wanted plenty of blasting. Now the water carts, motor ambulances, and water ration carts are able to come up close behind the firing line with ease (but always under shell and rifle fire). There is not a place habited by our troops that is not under shell fire when Mr Turk starts his game.

Before this the water had to be carried in cans, and we were out at 3 o'clock in the morning fetching it; but I think the worst of all were the poor stretcher bearers, who did gallant work in carrying the wounded so far back to safety. I noticed that some brave Bridgnorth men have fallen in this struggle. I always take great interest in what the "Journal" publishes.

One big difference between France and this country is that here it is nearly all ups and downs, hills and valleys growing wild, and not a house or anything else to denote habitation by anyone. The land is nearly all shrub, with large boulders of rock sticking up anywhere, and it makes a fine place for snipers.who take advantage of it. We can see all the chief places from here.

We have just left the firing line for a rest, as I have said before, after a month's good scrapping. We had some fine sport with the Turks, especially at night-time when patrols were busy. We had very few casualties, and most of these came when digging parties were out. It is needless to say how heavily our side suffered in the landing, but things are quieter now. The snipers are the worst pest, and have clained a good toll to their account. They get little rest from our artillery, and one wonders how they stick it, especially when the big guns on the ships begin; they are all round them and keep pegging away.

I was promoted sergeant in the trenches. I may say that the climate here is the same as that of England, being at present warm in the daytime and cold at nights. We are preparing for the winter now. - Saturday, Nov. 6, 1915."

This memorial has mostly been compiled from official sources. It would be good to be able to expand it with more personal material - memories, stories, photos, etc. If you have any suitable material or any corrections please contact Greg. For news of updates follow @BridgnorthHeros on Twitter.