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Welcome To Hell: The battle for Lone Pine


On the pathway heading away from the Ladywell Chapel just before the wall of remembrance (Heroes Corner) lies the family grave of Private Harold John Greenaway who was killed in action on Saturday 7th August during the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of 1915. Born in Catford in 1893, Harold worked as a storeman before enlisting in Victoria, Australia in August 1914 in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) serving in Egypt before falling in action during the iconic engagement with Turkish forces at the Battle for Lone Pine which occured on the Gallipoli peninsular between the 6th and 9th August. 

The battle for Lone Pine has gone down in Australian military history as one of the toughest and most brutal ever fought by Australians in any war. A contemporary account captures something of the sheer hellishness of the battle: 'Just after midnight , the Australians launched their attack. It was a slaughter- the Turks were prepared and waiting. Australian dead and wounded covered no-mans-land, while others completely blocked the tunnel openings. Another attack was organised, and just before 4am the men charged again, but the end result was never in doubt and a fresh pile of dead and wounded Australians soon lay scattered in front of the Turkish trenches.'
Welcome To Hell: The battle for Lone Pine
In four days of intense often hand to hand fighting with Australian and Turkish trenches only yards apart. Almost 2,800 Australians became casualties in this battle ( with Turkish losses close to double that number) Of the nine Victoria Crosses awarded to Australians for the Gallipoli campaign, seven were awarded for outstanding acts of bravery over those four days. It is perhaps fitting that each Anzac Day (25th April) is conducted in the Lone Pine Cemetery , which is the largest Australian cemetery on the peninsula

With the centenary of the battle of Lone Pine fast approaching perhaps visitors who light upon the Greenaway family headstone will stay their step and in a silent moment reflect on the sacrifice of one local family whose two sons now lie buried on foreign soil. Private Harold Greenaway lies buried in Shrapnel Valley Cemetery . His brother Charles Frederick (East Kent Regiment-The Buffs) whose name is also remembered on the headstone in Ladywell cemetery was killed the following year in 1916 at Beersheba also fighting against Turkish forces during the Sinai and Palestine campaign.

Harold John Greenaway headstone: courtesy of Billion Graves