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Gallipoli's Anguished Days
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Old 08-03-2014
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Default Gallipoli's Anguished Days





Gallipoli's Anguished Days




Extraordinary story of injured WWI soldier saved at Gallipoli by brother... before sheet was placed over him by nurses who then noticed movement and realised he was alive
  • Montague Parish was hit by sniper's bullet during a bayonet charge in 1915
  • Brother was asked to take last stretcher and bring back a 'wounded officer'
  • Later at Manchester Hospital he had 10 operations and was said to be dead
  • But nurse noticed movement and kept him alive - he lived for 50 more years
  • Story revealed by son John as part of HSBC/Imperial War Museum project
By MARK DUELL - PUBLISHED: 12:04 EST, 3 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:13 EST, 3 August 2014

An injured First World War soldier was unknowingly saved at Gallipoli by his brother who had been asked to take the last stretcher and bring back a ‘wounded officer’, it was revealed today.

Montague Parish, of Croydon, south London, was hit by a sniper’s bullet during a bayonet charge at Gallipoli during the war in 1915, before his brother Stanley went back to save his life.

And - in a further twist to his story - after arriving at hospital, Montague was thought to be dead and a sheet was placed over his head, before a nurse saw a slight movement and realised he was alive.


Soldiers: Montague Parish (left) was hit by a sniper’s bullet during a bayonet charge at Gallipoli. He survived, but his brother Stanley (right) stayed in battle - and was within two weeks of leaving when killed by Turks


Holding his father's medals: Montague Parish's 88-year-old son John (pictured) has revealed the soldier's story



Gallipoli landings: This image of Anzac Cove provides one of the most famous views from the First World War
campaign in 1915. Montague Parish survived the landings, but his brother Stanley never returned home

Now, his son John, 88, has revealed how close the former banker came to dying - before living for another 50 years until he passed away following an operation for stomach cancer.

Mr Parish, who was known as ‘Monty’, served in the Territorial Army with his brother Stanley and they entered the war on its first day in 1914. The next year, they arrived in Gallipoli on August 9.
More...
Monty was moving forward in a bayonet charge when he was hit by a sniper’s bullet – and later described it as being like ‘walking into a wall’, according to his son.

The soldier laid down in no man’s land - before, unbeknown to him, his brother Stanley was asked to take the last stretcher and bring back a ‘wounded officer’. This turned out to be Monty.




Remembered: John Parish lays a wreath at the HSBC First World War memorial in central London.
His father Montague worked for the Midland Bank before and after the war



From the family: A remembrance note for Stanley Parish, who saved the life of his brother Montague in the war


Childhood photo: Montague and Stanley Parish as boys. The brothers 'weren't very close' before the war

Monty was taken back to Britain to Manchester Hospital for 10 operations in a 17-month period - during which nurses thought he was dead, before saving him. He later went back into banking.

Stanley stayed in battle - and never returned home. He was within two weeks of leaving when Turkish sappers dug a tunnel under his men and blew them up in December 1914. He died in the blast and is buried on the side of a hill there.

John said: ‘My father, Monty Parish, who entered the bank in 1913 and his brother Stanley were in the Territorial Army which was lodged the other side of the road from where they lived.

‘They weren’t very close. They decided that instead of keep arguing they would just not talk to each other. They sailed to Gallipoli and went ashore on August 9.

‘900 men and 27 officers landed and were immediately in the battle. Only 300 men came out and five officers. My father was moving forward in a bayonet charge when he was hit by a sniper’s bullet.'


Troops going ashore at the Dardanelles: Soldiers are seen leaving S.S. Nile for the landing beach


Troops arriving at Gallipoli: At the height of the fighting, waters around the area were stained red with blood


Conflict: A landing ship down by the stern, at one of the Gallipoli beaches. Battle smoke is in the background

John, who said he has read the Daily Mail for 40 years, added: ‘He said it was like walking into a wall.

'He said he laid down in no man’s land thinking he would never see Croydon again or his mother - and, unbeknown to him, his brother Stanley was asked to take the last stretcher and bring back a wounded officer.

‘Stanley came across his brother and although they never spoke to each other, they obviously spoke to each other now because Stanley said Monty was a “very brave man”.’

The story emerged in a huge project by HSBC and the Imperial War Museum to research the lives of 4,000 Midland Bank staff who fought in the war, thanks to an archive of employee index cards that was discovered in the 1970s.

HSBC staff have volunteered to transcribing the war cards digitally - and they are now available on the Lives of the First World War website.

GALLIPOLI: HOW WATERS AROUND THE PENINSULA WERE RED WITH BLOOD

The background to the Gallipoli landings was one of deadlock on the Western Front in 1915, when the British hoped to capture Constantinople.

The Russians were under threat from the Turks in the Caucasus and needed help, so the British decided to bombard and try to capture Gallipoli.

Located on the western coast of the Dardanelles, the British hoped by eventually getting to Constantinople that they would link up with the Russians.


Shelling: Anzac soldiers who arrived on the narrow strip of beach were faced with steep cliffs and ridges

The intention of this was to then knock Turkey out of the war. A naval attack began on February 19 but it was called off after three battleships were sunk.

Then by the time of another landing on April 25, the Turks had been given time to prepare better fortifications and increased their armies sixfold.

Australian and New Zealand troops won a bridgehead at Anzac Cove as the British aimed to land at five points in Cape Helles - but only managed three.

The British still required reinforcements in these areas and the Turkish were able to bring extra troops onto the peninsula to better defend themselves.


Graphically explained: This is a Daily Mail First World War panorama map showing the Gallipoli peninsula

A standstill continued through the summer in hot and filthy conditions, and the campaign was eventually ended by the War Council in winter 1915.

The invasion had been intended to knock Turkey out of the war, but in the end it only gave the Russians some breathing space from the Turks.

Turkey lost around 300,000 men and the Allies had 214,000 killed - more than 8,000 of whom were Australian soldiers, in a disastrous campaign.

Anzac Cove became a focus for Australian pride after forces were stuck there in squalid conditions for eight months, defending the area from the Turks.


British Marines on guard in the Dardanelles: The background was one of deadlock on the Western Front

The Anzac soldiers who arrived on the narrow strip of beach were faced with a difficult environment of steep cliffs and ridges - and almost daily shelling.

At the height of the fighting during the landings of April 25, 1915, the waters around the peninsula were stained red with blood at one point 150ft out.

Fierce resistance from the under-rated Ottoman forces, inhospitable terrain and bungled planning spelt disaster for the campaign.

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