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The Only Woman at Gallipoli?

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BOBANCRE View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Dec 2016 at 17:49
Did his wife, Lillian Doughty-Wylie come ashore at Gallipoli in November 1915 or was it his lover, Gertrude Bell? Lillian had left the Western Front and taken up a post as Matron in a military hospital on the Greek Island of Thasos, not far from Gallipoli. She must have persuaded someone to let her travel on a ship visiting Gallipoli and then arranged with the French army, which now controlled the area where her husband was killed, to let her go ashore and lay a wreath on his grave. She must have had friends in high places to be able to break the rules like this!
However, there is still a mystery about 'the only woman to land at Gallipoli'. It may not have been Lillian.
From 1913 Charles had a love affair with Gertrude Bell, an archaeologist, traveller, writer and politician who was living in Ottoman Syria and Iraq. They exchanged passionate love letters right up to his death. Could she have been the mystery woman?
Her life, though, is about to get rather wider recognition - courtesy of a new Hollywood film – Queen of the Desert – starring Nicole Kidman as Bell, filming of which began in neighbouring Jordan last month.
Towards the end of 1915, and well before the fighting had finished, soldiers reported seeing a visitor at his grave - a woman in a black veil who laid a wreath. Was it a grieving Bell on yet another daring mission?
Many scholars of her life believe it was. But while it might make a poignant Hollywood ending for the Kidman/Lewis film, the letters in Bell's archive shed no real light on the matter.
Probably we will never know,
Bob

ROBERT PIKE
The Victor Heroes.Saffron Walden in the Great War

For Still We Hear Them Singing - Poems; ISBN-10: 1781489106 - ISBN-13: 978-1781489109

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Krithia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krithia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Dec 2016 at 23:25

I am pretty sure it was Lillian Doughty-Wylie, his wife.
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Mal Murray View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mal Murray Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Nov 2016 at 14:28
There has been much discussion overt the years about whether or NOT a woman landed at Gallipoli during the campaign.

There have been several variants of the story. A new book attempts to tell the story of this woman and exactly who she was.

One reviewer wrote

"John Howell’s book The Only Woman at Gallipoli’ makes for an intriguing read; and with this title it certainly makes one want to delve into its contents.


This is John Howell’s first book and it is certainly well researched. It asks the question of who was the only woman at Gallipoli; the woman who came ashore and laid a wreath at the grave of a man who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Cape Helles, on the Gallipoli Peninsula.


Was it his wife, or the other woman in his life?


The book however, goes beyond its compelling and even, deceptive title. We are drawn into the aftermath of WWI. The author’s informative account illustrates the consequences of the decisions made in the wake of that conflict, that still have worldwide ramifications today.

Kathy Smalley - Family & Local History Librarian Eastern Regional Libraries, Melbourne 30/7/2014


http://www.theonlywomanatgallipoli.com/

To protect our history, we must secure it's future.
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