Personal info

  • Name: Arthur Walderne St Clair TISDALL
  • D.O.B: 21st Jul, 1890
  • D.O.A: 25th Apr, 1915
  • D.O.D: 6th May, 1915
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sub Lieutenant, D Company, "Anson" Battalion, Royal Naval Division, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

V Beach, Sedd-el-Bahr, Gallipoli, Turkey 25 April 1915

25 April 1915

More details about:
The Gallipoli Campaign 25 April 1915–9 January 1916 

V Beach was three hundred yards long and dominated by the old fort at Sedd-el-Bahr at its eastern end. On 25 April 1915 it was the landing place allotted to the Dublin Fusiliers and the Munster Fusiliers. Once the initial landing had taken place, the plan devised by Commander E Unwin, RN was to bring in further troops on board a specially modified collier, SS River Clyde, which was to be run aground just offshore. The gap between the River Clyde and the shore was to be bridged by a small flat-bottomed steamboat the Argyll, augmented if need be by three lighters. In fact, the initial landings were met by devastating Turkish fire, while the steamboat grounded too far from the River Clyde to be of immediate use. Unwin, accompanied by Able Seaman W C Williams, leapt into the water and dragged the lighters forward to form a bridge to the shore via a shoal of rocks which jutted out into the sea under the fort. There was nothing to which mooring ropes could be attached so Unwin and Williams had to stand in the water holding them to keep the boats in place. The Munsters then began to land, though cut to pieces by a hail of Turkish bullets and Williams was eventually mortally wounded by a Turkish shell. This effectively cut the link to the shore. It was finally restored by Midshipmen G L Drewry and W St A Malleson, and Seaman G McK Samson amongst others, who managed to form a bridge of lighters between the River Clyde and the Argyll, which lay on the port side of the collier. However, all attempts to land further troops proved abortive, resulting only in carnage. The troops on the beach and those still on the River Clyde had no option but to stay where they were until nightfall. Attempts were made to rescue at least a few of the many wounded and in these Commander Unwin, Sub-Lieutenant A W St C Tisdall and Able Seaman Samson particularly distinguished themselves. All these men were awarded the VC, though Tisdall’s award was not gazetted until 31 March 1916.


 During the landing from the S.S. “River Clyde” at V Beach in the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 25th April, 1915, Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall, hearing wounded men on the beach calling for assistance, jumped into the water and, pushing a boat in front of him, went to their rescue. He was, however, obliged to obtain help, and took with him on two trips Leading Seaman Malia and on other trips Chief Petty Officer Perring and Leading Seamen Curtiss and Parkinson. In all Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall made four or five trips between the ship and the shore, and was thus responsible for rescuing several wounded men under heavy and accurate fire. Owing to the fact that Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall and the platoon under his orders were on detached service at the time, and that this Officer was killed in action on the 6th May, it has only now been possible to obtain complete information as to the individuals who took part in this gallant act. Of these, Leading Seaman Fred Curtiss, O.N. Dev 1899 has been missing since the 4th June, 1915. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 31 March 1916. 31 March 1916, Numb. 29530, pp. 3515-16

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