Early in 1915 the Turks had started to advance in strength towards the Suez Canal, but were repulsed. At the entrance to the Dardanelles, British and French warships started to bombard Turkish forts in preparation for an attack on Constantinople, and in March Allied troops began landings. On 25 April, 70,000 British and French troops landed at Helles and Anzac Cove to try to take Turkey out of the war. In heavy fighting the Allies became established across the peninsula. The First Battle of Krithia began 28 April and the Second Battle on 6 June.
The 8th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, had sailed for Cape Helles and landed on “W” Beach (the Lancashire Landings) on 5 May, under heavy fire and faced with wire entanglements. They established themselves on the hills of Tekke Burnu and Helles Burnu and moved to Gully Ravine. On 11 May they were in the front line approaching the village of Krithia. They advanced to trenches east of The Vineyard by 2.45 on 4 June, taking part of the enemy line but were forced to withdraw at 6.30. Lieutenant-Colonel Fallows (Commanding) and Major E.L. Baddeley (2nd in Command) were killed during the capture of an enemy redoubt near the junction of East and West Krithia Nullah on 6 June. Second-Lieutenant Arthur Claud Middleton of Middleton’s (Springfield) Mill, was wounded and died 7 June.
He is buried at the Lancashire Landing Cemetery, Turkey, grave ref. A14. He is commemorated on the Adlington War Memorial, the Adlington Parish Church memorial and the Bay Horse (Bowling Club) Heath Charnock memorial.
Chorley Guardian and Leyland Hundred Advertiser 19 June 1915
LIETUTENANT A.C. MIDDLETON TWICE WOUNDED
The casualty list published on Monday contained the name of Second-Lieutenant A.C. Middleton of the 8th Lancashire Fusiliers (Territorials), who has been wounded in the Dardanelles fighting. The son of Mr A.T. Middleton, cotton manufacturer, of Beechfield, Leyland, also of Adlington, he was educated at the Old College, Windermere, in Germany, and at the Manchester School of Technology. He was subsequently engaged with his father at Springfield Mill, Adlington. He enlisted at the beginning of the war, obtaining a commission immediately, and accompanied his regiment to Egypt. Lieutenant Middleton’s family have received the official telegram announcing his wound, but the nature and extent of his injuries have not been communicated. Soon after disembarking in the Dardanelles, Lieutenant Middleton was wounded in action in May, and was conveyed to hospital at Alexandria. On recovering he rejoined his battalion and fought with them until June 7th, when he was wounded a second time. Second-Lieutenant Middleton, who is 27 years of age, has a younger brother serving as a lieutenant with the 1/3rd East Lancashire R.F.A., at present on service in Egypt. [This was John A. Middleton.]
Adlington Parish Church magazine August 1915
A most impressive and beautiful Memorial Service was held in the Parish Church on Thursday, July 1st, when we commemorated the three soldiers connected with Adlington who have given their lives for the cause of liberty and true peace – Lieutenant Arthur Claud Middleton and Privates William Farnworth and Frank Howard. The Church was well filled with a thoroughly representative congregation which made us all feel they had not died in vain, if only in this one respect – but there are many others – they drew all hearts together, touched by a common sorrow, in a way that we have rarely seen before in our village life. This is a golden lining even to the terrible cloud of war. Many of our village lads are now actually “set in the midst of many and great dangers” in France, in the Dardanelles and on the sea. It is hard for us at home, and it is hard for those who are away.
The 6th Bn. Loyal North Lancashires landed at Anzac Cove on 5 August. The two battalions chosen to hold Chunuk Bair were the 6th Loyal North Lancashires and the 5th Wiltshires. The Lancashire men arrived in good time and occupied the trenches. Their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel H.G. Levinge recognised that the trenches were dangerously sited and began at once to dig observation posts on the crest and to strengthen the defences where he could. At dawn on 10 August the Turks began an attack from Chunuk Bair – Hill “Q” – against these two battalions, which were already weakened in numbers by earlier fighting. The Loyals were overwhelmed in their shallow trenches by weight of numbers, whilst the Wiltshires were caught in open ground and almost annihilated. The Turks advanced in four lines. The first two were mown down by British fire; when the third line advanced, hand to hand fighting took place. There were heavy British casualties, with about 500 killed or missing. The Battalion withdrew, and detachments of them were sent to support other troops, until 29 August when they took over support trenches. Private Roland Foster, formerly of Wilcocks Farm, Rivington,was killed on 27 August.
He is buried in the 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Turkey, grave ref. Special Memorial A.12.
Private Foster is commemorated on the Adlington War Memorial, the Adlington Parish Church memorial, Rivington Church memorial, Horwich Parish Church memorial and Horwich Loco Works memorial.
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well”