• Simon Biggs

The Royal Marines in World War One - RM a Geo History

Major Actions & Engagements of Royal Marines in the RND 1914-18

4th to 9th October 1914: Defence of Antwerp: (Portsmouth, Plymouth, Chatham & Deal Bns. RMLI) (Only the Portsmouth Bn. suffered significantly at Antwerp, with about 300 Marines interned in Holland. Very few Marines were killed).

4th March 1915: Demolition Covering Parties landed at Sedd-ul-Bahr & Kum Kale, Dardanelles: (Nos. 3 & 4 Coys. Plymouth Bn. RMLI, 25 Marines killed)

Gallipoli Peninsula 25/4/15 to 9/1/16

No area of the Peninsula was safe from Turkish fire. The so-called 'Rest Camps' were as dangerous as the firing line. The majority of Marine casualties occurred with the major actions listed below, but other local advances accounted for many more (i.e. the Portsmouth Battalions' night attack at "Wilson's Post" 23-24/6/15).

Up until early September 1915 casualties regularly occurred during the normal trench routine, when sickness & disease took over as the main cause of deaths. The latter part of 1915 saw a slight reduction in Marine casualties, but in late December 1915 & early January 1916, when the Turks began to shell Cape Helles with renewed intensity, casualties again rose to an uncomfortable level.

25th to 26th April 1915 Landing & Withdrawal at ' Y ' Beach, Cape Helles: (Plymouth Bn. RMLI, 54 Marines Killed)

28th April to 13th May 1915 Defence of ANZAC Beachhead: (Portsmouth & Chatham Bns. RMLI suffer heavy loss; Deal Bn. slight losses).

6th to 11th May 1915 Second Battle of Krithia, Cape Helles: (Plymouth Bn. RMLI, moderate losses)

4th June 1915 Third Battle of Krithia, Cape Helles: (The Four RMLI Bns. in Reserve, a few casualties)

12th to 13th July 1915 Action of Achi Baba Nullah: (The Four RMLI Bns. in Support, a few casualties)

France & Belgium May 1916 to November 1918.

13th to 15th November 1916 The Battle of the Ancre: (1RM: 127 killed; 2RM 105 killed).

17th to 21st February 1917 Miraumont: (1RM advance with heavy loss 17/2/17 (approx. 95 killed; 2RM relieve 1RM 19/2/17: 32 killed)

28th to 29th April 1917 Battle of Gavrelle Windmill: (1RM: 169 killed & 29 POW; 2RM 166 killed & 176 POW)

26th to 28th October 1917 Second Battle of Passchendaele: (Both RM Bns. suffer heavy losses)

Image: First Onlooker: "Bunker's Hill was child's play to this." Second Onlooker: "So was Trafalgar, but the Old Corps is going forward, just the same."

(Globe & Laurel, August 1917).

Coming soon The Battle of Jutland and the Raid on Zebrugge

RM A Geo History Map


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