Gallipoli Trench Project
It was what the Anzacs called a 'please shoot me, stunt'. On the night of 31st July/1st August 1915 200 men of the 11th Battalion waited for a series of explosions from mines laid by the engineers to detonate near the Turkish Despair Works before charging over the dark void to engage in brutal hand to hand combat. In a tit for tat engagement of bombs and bayonets, blinded by dust and choked by incendiaries, weary and suffering from dysentry and food shortages, the men of the 11th finally secured the trench, soon christened Leane's Trench after the commander of the attack, Capt R L Leane, and were relieved at 1400hrs by the 12th.
24 hours later the 11th were back in the front line and on 6th August were again engaged in extremely heavy fighting when the Turks launched a counter attack. The 11th held on, suffering 154 casualties in the process. And there they remained in continual battle with a tenacious Turkish army until 16 November 1915 when they disembarked for Mudros, never to return.
Leane's Trench was an obvious choice for a recreation. It is intrinsically linked to the 11th Battalion and therefore, Western Australia. When completed, it will be 120 metres long and 2 metres deep, filled with the authentic paraphernalia of war, sound systems recreating the noise of battle and actors portraying days of weary combat, introducing the visitor to a world that only their grandfathers and great grandfathers knew.
12th Battalion in Leane's Trench having relieved 11th.
We are a not for profit group and it is not our intention to charge entry to the trench. We will however ask for a donation to allow us to maintain it in the harsh Western Australian climate. It is hoped also that the project will attract key sponsors to assist with the construction or offer donations for the purchase of necessary equipment to create the experiential package we are developing.