Shrapnel ball from a shell fired by HMS Queen Elizabeth : Battleship Hill, Gallipoli

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Sari Bair Area, Battleship Hill
Accession Number RELAWM00358
Collection type Technology
Object type Munition
Physical description Lead
Location Main Bld: First World War Gallery: The Anzac Story: Gallipoli: The Grand Plan
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1914-1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Round lead ball with pitting on surface.

History / Summary

This large shrapnel ball was found at Battleship Hill, Gallipoli, on 18 February 1919 by members of the Australian Historical Mission.

Originally called Big 700, the hill became known as Battleship Hill due to the bombardments the area received from British naval ships, intended to disrupt Turkish advances or to shell Ottoman reservists sheltering behind the inland slope.

Among the shells fired on the position, were shrapnel shells. These contained small round shrapnel balls or 'bullets'. Thousands of shrapnel balls could be contained in one shell. For example, a ship's 15-inch shrapnel shell contained 15,000 shrapnel balls.

This shrapnel ball is thought to have come from a shell fired by the British warship, HMS 'Queen Elizabeth'. She provided gunnery support for the landings on 25 April 1915, as well as bombardming Turkish positions and shipping until mid May, when she was withdrawn from the area.