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Person Details
Worksop, Nottinghamshire
27 Apr 1915
719624 - CWGC Website
12th Bn Australian Infantry (AIF)
Arthur Whaley was one of nine children of Charles, a grocer’s porter, and Harriet Whaley, bought up at Abbey Cottage under the shadow of the Priory Gatehouse and then moving with his family to Chesterfield. Arthur had served with the South Wales Borderers before the War as a regular soldier and the became a merchant seaman (when no doubt he acquired his tattoo of a snake in a tree on his right forearm) followed by working in the gold mines at Uwalia Australia. He was in Australia at the outbreak of War and signed up in September 1914 for the 12th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force. It was with his battalion he took part in the chaos at the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 – to become immortalised as ‘ANZAC DAY’. Official reports state that Corporal Whaley was killed on 27 April but in a letter to his mother his CO says that he was killed on the 25 April. Arthur has no known grave but is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial. Taken from booklet prepared for dedication of the Eastern plaque on the Worksop Cenotaph. It was pitch black in the early morning of 25 April 1915 on the Aegean sea and in contrast to the previous week of storms a calmness had descended so that not even a wavelet could hardly be heard breaking on the side of the assembled ships and boats in the plate glass sea. The moon had set at 2.57 am with the first indications of dawn light showing at just after 4.00 am when at 4.30 am a row of boats approached the shore on the West side of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula. These boats contained part of the first wave men of the covering force of the New Zealand and Australian Army Corps, the ANZACs. These 1500 men of the 9th, 10th and 11th battalions of the Australian 3rd Brigade would be followed by the second and third waves which would also include men of the 12th battalion. For reasons which are still in dispute the force was landed about a mile North of the intended landing ground of a gentle sloping beach at a point where jagged and razor edged outcrops ran down to the shore and a small cove which became names ANZAC Cove, a name which stands to this day. The 12th battalion comprised volunteers from Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia who had no military experience whatsoever. However in their number was a Worksop man born in the shadow of the Priory Gatehouse who had been a regular soldier in the South Wales Borderers. Aged 29 Arthur Whaley was one of the 30% of ANZAC forces who had been born in Great Britain who had settled in Australia or New Zealand before the war. Arthur had made his way to Australia by way of serving as a merchant seaman and was working in a gold mine at Black Boy Hill Western Australian when he enlisted on 14 September 1914. His military experience was recognised and he was made up to Corporal only six weeks later on 1 November 1914. The landings were met by a small Turkish piquet with rifle fire and after dawn had broken by artillery fire from the position at the headland of Gaba Tepe some mile and a half to the South. It is known that Arthur received serious wounds in the chest and elbow which suggests that the cause would have been from artillery shrapnel and having regard to the speed with which he was treated by the Field Ambulance and evacuated it must have been very early in the day. Arthur was evacuated to the hospital ship ‘Clan McGilivery’ succumbing to his wounds on 27 April. He was buried at sea with proper ceremony and since he has no known grave his name appears on the Memorial to the Missing at Lone Pine on the peninsula. Robert Ilett 21 8 2015. Sources. Les Carylon 'Gallipoli' Peter Hart 'Gallipoli' Worksop Guardian. National Archives of Australia. C.F.Aspinal-Oglander 'The Official History- Military Operations-Gallipoli' Vol 1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
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