The Helles Memorial - History and Facts | History Hit

The Helles Memorial

Seddulbahir, Marmara Region, Turkey

The Helles Memorial commemorates Commonwealth and French casualties from the Gallipoli Campaign.

Antara Bate

12 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About The Helles Memorial

The Helles Memorial in Cape Helles in Turkey is a vast obelisk monument commemorating the tens of thousands of those who died in the Gallipoli Campaign, particularly those with no known grave.

The Helles Memorial history

The Gallipoli Campaign, brainchild of Winston Churchill, was an effort by the Commonwealth and the French during the First World War aimed at removing the Ottoman Empire from the conflict.

Taking place in the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli, this campaign raged from 25 April 1915 to 6 January 1916 and was also intended to open a route by which to provide supplies to Russia and help end the stalemate which existed in the Western Front.

On 6 August, further landings were made at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and the climax of the campaign came in early August when simultaneous assaults were launched on all three fronts. However, the difficult terrain and stiff Turkish resistance soon led to the stalemate of trench warfare. From the end of August, no further serious action was fought and the lines remained unchanged.

The Gallipoli Campaign failed to remove Turkey from the war and Allied soldiers were eventually evacuated from the region. Cape Helles in the south was a main landing area for the Commonwealth and French forces.

The Helles Memorial serves the dual function of Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign and place of commemoration for many of those Commonwealth servicemen who died there and have no known grave.

Over 21,000 names are listed on the Helles Memorial, including British and Indian troops as well as Australian soldiers from the 2nd Brigade AIF soldiers who fought in the Second Battle of Krithia on 8 May 1915.

Other Memorials to the Missing at Gallipoli include The Lone Pine, Hill 60, and Chunuk Bair Memorials commemorating Australian and New Zealanders at Anzac.

The Helles Memorial today

The site is permanently open and may be visited at any time.

Getting to the Helles Memorial

The Helles Memorial stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. It takes the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles.