Saturday, 15 March 2014

3015 Private Lawrence CONDREN (1877 - 1915)

I have written previously about the Gallipoli campaign from its beginning through June 1915. In July 1915, the British government decided to send a further five divisions of troops to strengthen the seven divisions already on the Gallipoli peninsula. The land forces commander, Sir Ian Hamilton, planned an operation to  sever the middle of the peninsula with attacks from both Anzac Cove and Sulva Bay, five miles to the north of Anzac. Troops landed at Sulva Bay on 6 August and initially took the Turkish forces by surprise, but the offensive failed and the Allied forces found themselves pinned down. New Australian troops landed at Anzac in August and September. But soon the autumn rains came, and in London the British government began to explore withdrawing Allied forces from Gallipoli. Hamilton opposed the withdrawal plan, and was promptly replaced as commander by Sir Charles Munro. Lord Kitchener visited the peninsula in November and decided that evacuation was inevitable. Troops were withdrawn from Anzac and Sulva in mid-December 1915, and the last Allied troops were withdrawn from Helles on the night of 8 January 1916. The Gallipoli campaign was over.

In his History of the First World War, Liddell Hart writes, “Thus the curtain rang down on a sound and far-sighted conception, marred by a chain of errors in execution almost unrivalled even in British history.”

Estimates of the total casualties in the Gallipoli campaign vary, but one source estimates that the Allied casualties (excluding those due to illness) were 56,700 dead (including nearly 9,000 Australians and over 2,700 New Zealanders) and 123,600 wounded. The numbers of casualties amongst the Turkish troops were similar.

Private Lawrence CONDREN (service no. 3015) was killed in action on 15 August 1915 in Gallipoli. Lawrence CONDREN was born in 1877 in Cardiff, Wales, and was christened on 12 September of that year at St. David’s Roman Catholic church. He was the son of David and Sarah (nee ROSSER) CONDREN.

David CONDREN (born 1850, died 1916) married Sarah ROSSER (born about 1849, died 1909) in Cardiff in 1870. David was a ships’ rigger. The couple had a number of children in Cardiff, including Rosavena (born 1872), Mary Jane (1875), Lawrence or Laurence (1877), William (1883) and Arthur (1890). Other children could be David, Albert and Violet.

Lawrence’s grandfather was William CONDREN (born about 1824), who married Jane NEWTON in 1849 at St. Mary the Virgin’s church, Cardiff. I have written previously about this family.

Lawrence CONDREN joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers, and served in “C” Company, 6th Battalion. He was killed in action on the Gallipoli peninsula on 15 August 1915. He is memorialized on the Helles Memorial, Turkey.

For other blog posts about CONDR*Ns in the First World War, click on "First World War" in the Labels list on the right of the blog web page. Comments and corrections welcome, either by leaving a comment below or by email to me: CONDRAN[AT]ONE-NAME.ORG

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