Publisher: Australian War Memorial

2014 © Research Centre, Australian War Memorial. All rights reserved.

Summary

Title: Gallipoli Aerial Photograph Collection.

Date range of collection: 1915

Extent: 3 folders.

Repository: Australian War Memorial

 

Administrative Information

Provenance: Unknown, either acquired during the war or in the 1920s by the Australian War Records Section (later the Australian War Memorial).

Access:  Open. The collection is accessible in the Research Centre Reading Room on the lower ground floor of the Memorial during the Reading Room opening hours. The opening hours are Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm and on Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm. The Reading Room is closed on Sundays and ACT public holidays. Researches can contact the Research Centre to plan a visit. To access the collection the user will need to register as a client and agree to the Reading Room’s conditions of use. To contact the Information Services department or to make an appointment to visit the Reading Room call 02 62434315 or send an email to info@awm.gov.au

Restrictions on reproduction: Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections.

Preferred citation: Gallipoli Aerial Photograph Collection, Australian War Memorial.

Related Collections:

Related materials for Gallipoli Aerial Photograph Collection are held at the Australian War Memorial in the following collections:

Maps Collection

Photographs Collection

Books Collection

 

Historical background

In 1915, after four and a half months of training near Cairo, Egypt, Australian troops departed for the Gallipoli peninsula, together with troops from New Zealand, Britain, India and France. Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915, and they established a tenuous foothold on the steep slopes above the beach. During the early days of the campaign, the allies tried to break through the Turkish lines and the Turks tried to drive the allied troops off the peninsular.

Before March 1915 the British had six seaplanes and two aeroplanes. These aircraft were very unsuited for the environment they were expected to work in, there were insufficient suitable landing grounds and the seaplanes could only take off in calm waters, which could not be guaranteed. Their engines were weak so they flew at very low altitudes and were often hit by the enemy. Wireless equipment was primitive, maps were inaccurate and there were no up to date cameras available. They had no trained observers, so naval officers were requested to volunteer as observers.

At the beginning, Lord Kitchener had no plans to have planes used during the Gallipoli military campaign. When Sir Ian Hamilton's newly appointed chief of staff, Major-General Walter Braithwaite asked Kitchener that they have a contingent of up to date planes, pilots and observers for Gallipoli, Kitchener refused.

However, luckily for Hamilton, Winston Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty had been kept in ignorance of Kitchener's intentions and had already made arrangements to send Commander Samson's Royal Naval Air Service Squadron, then operating in France, to the Dardanelles. On 24 March the advance party of No. 3 Squadron of the Naval Air Service arrived, reinforcing the aircraft already in the Mediterranean. The rest of the crew arrived a few days later.

Aerial photography was still experimental. Most of the early photography at Gallipoli was taken by Flight Lieutenant CH Butler, from 4 April until the end of June when he was badly wounded. Initially he used a small folding Goertz-Anschutz camera, but eventually borrowed a better camera from a French Squadron. During his time photographing, he exposed approximately 700 plates, piecing them together to create photomosiacs for the creation of maps. From time to time these maps were passed to army headquarters. It was the end of August before a regular photographic section was organised.

Initially aerial photography for intelligence and map revision involved low flying and using improvised photographic equipment. However anti aircraft defences led to the need for aircraft to fly higher to avoid being shot. This meant cameras needed to be able to take photos at greater heights and so needed to have greater focal lengths.

The early cameras used glass plates and dark slides. Images were obtained by holding the cameras over the side of the aircraft. The cameras were fitted with simple sighting devices to identify the area to be photographed. The cameras started being mounted to the side of the aircraft, rather than hand held and eventually they created magazines, that allowed for a series of photographs to be taken by the observer activating a lever to change the plates.

The strength of defensive positions at Gallipoli meant that attacking troops needed detailed information on enemy defences, including positions of artillery, fortifications, ammunition dumps, trench lines. It was too dangerous to map from the front line, so the army turned to aerial photography as a way of adding to, or creating new maps.

The use and interpretation of aerial photographs was still relatively young, and did not always work as hoped. At the attack on Lone Pine in August 1915, the attacking soldiers were confronted with Turkish trenches covered in heavy pine logs. The interpretation of aerial photographs of these trenches to identify this feature and it caused great probelms for the attacking forces.

Aerial photographs continued to be taken throughout the campaign. The photographs that survive today record the changing face of the Gallipoli landscape as trench lines and support bases extended and became more complex, new fronts opened and positions were captured or lost.

 

References:

Chasseaud, Peter, 2002, Official history of the Great War: military operations, other theatres,1914-18 : maps, CD-Rom), Naval & Military Press in association with the Imperial War Museum, Uckfield, England.

Collier, Peter, 2002,The impact on topographical mapping of developments in land and air survey: 1900 – 1939, Cartography and Geographic Information Science, Vol 29 No. 3.

Dowson, Ernest, 1921, Further Notes on Aeroplane photography in the Near East, Geographical Journal, Vol 58.

Hamilton, Ian, Sir, 1920,Gallipoli diary, E. Arnold, London.

Jones, H.A.,1928, The war in the air: being the story of the part played in the Great War by the Royal Air Force Voll II.Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Scope and Content

 

Series List:

Series number Title of Series and Date
1

Index to Royal Naval Air Service photographs

2 Numbered photographs taken by the Royal Naval Air Service
3

Miscellaneous aerial photographs

 

Series 1: Index to Royal Naval Air Service photographs

 

Description: This collection contains the index cards to the aerial photographs in Series 2. These cards were probably typed up some time between 1915 and 1920. Some of the cards have been annotated with extra notes.

 

Table of contents

 

Series 2: Numbered photographs taken by the Royal Naval Air Service, October - November 1915

Description: This collection includes aerial photographs taken over Anzac and south Suvla areas by the Royal Naval Air Services in October and November 1915. By this point in the campaign the last great push had failed and most trenches were well established - developing into complex systems.

 

 

Photo number Date Squadron No 1:20,000 map grid Reference given in index Areas covered Notes

1

2/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service

80 Q (incorrect, actually covers 80 L & M)

North Beach, Walker's Ridge, The Sphinx, Walker's Pier, Mule Gully, Happy Valley. Mostly clear image
2 2/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 I,J,N,O Trenches around Battleship Hill and Gunner's Hill, towards Baby 700. Joins with 3. Clear image
3 2/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 I,J,N,O Trenches from Battleship Hill to Baby 700, the Chessboard, and near Mortar Ridge. Joins with 4. Clear image
4 2/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 I,J,N,O Gunner's Hill, Battleship Hill and trenches towards the Nek. Clear image
5 4/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 North Anzac / South Suvla area. Joins with 6. Clear image
6 4/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 North Anzac / South Suvla area. Joins with 7. Clear image
7 4/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 North Anzac / South Suvla area. Joins with 8. Clear image
8 4/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 North Anzac / South Suvla area. Joins with 9. Clear image
9 4/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 & 93 North Anzac / South Suvla area. Clear image
10 5/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 (incorrect, actually covers 67 U & Z) Brighton Beach, north of and including Gaba Tepe. Clear image
11 5/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 (incorrect actually covers 68 G, L, Q) Brighton Beach, south of and including Chatham's Post. Clear image
12     Photo not held    
13 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 M,Q,R Poppy Valley, southern section of Pine Ridge. Clear image
14 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 Area north east of Gaba Tepe Joins with 15. Faded
15 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 Area north east of Gaba Tepe. Joins with 16. Faded
16 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 Area north east of Gaba Tepe. Faded
17 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 H,I,M,N Pine Ridge, Legge Valley. Joins with 18. Faded
18 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 I,H,M Ryrie's Post, Holly Ridge, Tasmania Post, Leane's Trench, Valley of Despair, Allah Gully, Silt Spur, Coo-ee Gully, Sniper's Ridge, Surprise Gully, Wanliss Gully, Weir Ridge, Pine Ridge. Joins with 19. Faded
19 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 68 A,B,G,H Brighton Beach, Shell Green, Artillery Road, Victoria Gully, Brown's Dip, Lone Pine, the Pimple, Owen's Gully, Silt Spur, Sniper's Ridge, Allah Gully, Ryrie's Post, Clarke Valley. Joins with 20. Faded
20 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 V,W Anzac Cove, Hell Spit, Brighton Beach, Shrapnel Valley, Brown's Dip, Bridge's Road, White Valley, McLagan's Ridge, Victoria Gully, Clarke Valley, North section of Shell Green. Faded
21 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 Q,V Southern part of Ari Burnu, Anzac Cove and Hell Spit. Faded
22 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 M (& N & R) North Beach, Walker's Ridge, Mule Gully, Happy Valley, Russell's Top, The Sphinx, Malone's Gully, No. 1 Post. Joins with 23. Faded with pencil grid lines.
23 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 C,D,H No. 1 Post, Malone's Gully, Camel's Hump, Destroyer Hill, Sniper's Nest, Sazli Beit Dere, Hughes Gully, Aghyle Dere. Joins with 24. Faded with pencil grid lines.
24 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 B,C & 92 W,X Table Top, Bauchop's Hill, Old No. 3 Post, Hughes Gully, Chailak Dere. Joins with 25. Faded
25 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 R,S,T,X Australia Valley area. Joins with 26. Faded
26 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 L,M,N,O Australia Valley / Damakjelik Bair area. Joins with 27. Faded
27 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 H,I,M,N Damakjelik Bair. Faded
28 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 D,F & 105 Z West of Biyuk Anafarta? Joins with 29 & 33. Faded
29 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 & 93 & 105 & 106 (incorrect, possibly 92 D & 105 Y, Z) West of Biyuk Anafarta? Joins with 30. Faded
30 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 93 A,B,G,H South west of Biyuk Anafarta? Joins with 31. Faded
31 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 93 A,B,G,H South west of Biyuk Anafarta? Faded
32 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 & 93 & 105 & 106 West of Biyuk Anafarta? Joins with 29. Faded
33 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 105 U,Z & 106 Q,V West north west of Biyuk Anafarta? Joins with 28 & 34. Faded
34 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 105 P,T,W North west of Biyuk Anafarta? Faded
35 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 105 N,O,S,T unknown. Faded
36 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 105 C,I unknown Very faded
37 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 117 T,U,Z unknown Very faded
38 27/10/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 117 N,O,S,T unknown Very faded
39 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 80 F,K & 81 A,B,G & 92 Z & 93 V,W Chunuk Bair, The Farm, Up to Koja Chemen Tepe (Hill 971). Clear Image.
40 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 U,Z & 93 M,Q,R,V Koja Chemen Tepe (Hill 971) area? Joins with 41. Clear Image.
41 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 P,Z & 93 L,M,Q,R North west of Koja Chemen Tepe. Joins with 42. Clear Image.
42 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 K,P,U & 93 G,H,L,M North west of Koja Chemen Tepe. Joins with 43. Clear Image.
43 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 J,K,P & 93 A,B,G,H,L West of Biyuk Anafarta. Joins with 44. Clear Image.
44 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 D,F,J,K & 93 A,B,G West of Biyuk Anafarta Joins with 45. Clear Image.
45 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 92 F,K & 106 V,W & 93 A,B,C,G,H,I Chunuk Bair area. Joins with 46. Mostly clear image.
46 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 93 B,C,G,H,I,L,M,N,Q South west of Biyuk Anafarta. Joins with 47. Clear Image.
47 1/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 93 I,L,M,N,R,S,T North of Koja Chemen Tepe. Clear Image.
48 12/11/1915 Royal Naval Air Service 81 B,C & 93 R,S,T,W,X,Y Koja Chemen Tepe (Hill 971) area. Clear Image.

 

Table of contents

Series 3: Miscellaneous aerial photographs,

Description: This collection contains an assortment of aerial photographs that fall outside Series 2. It includes aerial photographs taken at some point before the August offensive and miscellaneous photographs taken around October 1915. This collection also includes pieces of cut up aerial photographs, however these have not been listed individually.

 

 

Photo Number Date Region Areas covered Notes
769 undated [circa October 1915] Anzac area. Hell Spit, Anzac Cove, White Valley, Plugge's Plateau, Monash Gully, Beach Cemetery, Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Reserve Gully. Clear image.
786 undated [circa October 1915] Brighton Beach area. Hell Spit, Shrapnel Valley, Beach Cemetery, White Gully, McCay's Hill, Victoria Gully, Shell Green, Artillery Road, Allah Gully, Silt Spur. Clear image.
Unnumbered undated North Anzac / South Suvla area. (cover same areas as photos 6 & 7 in Series 2) Joins with following photograph.
Unnumbered undated North Anzac / South Suvla area. (cover same areas as photos 6 & 7 in Series 2) Joins with previous photograph.
17 [October 1915] Chunuk Bair area. Chunuk Bair, Turk's Hump, The Farm. Used to create Anzac 2 October 1915 photomosaic (see map collection G7432 G1 S65 XX1).
18 [October 1915] Chunuk Bair area. Apex, Turk's Hump, Gunner's Hill, The Pinnacle, Rhododendron Spur, Cantebury Knob, Battleship Hill. Used to create Anzac 2 October 1915 photomosaic (see map collection G7432 G1 S65 XX1).
20 [October 1915] Anzac area. Brown's Dip, Artillery Road, Lone Pine, Coo-ee Gully, Sniper's Ridge, Silt Spur, Owen's Gully, Allah Gully, Braund's Hill, Wire Gully, Johnstone's Jolly, Monash Gully, Steele's Post, Bridges Road, Courtney's Post, Quinn's Post. Used to create Anzac 2 October 1915 photomosaic (see map collection G7432 G1 S65 XX1).
21 [October 1915] Anzac area. Mortar Ridge, Mule Valley, Johnstone's Jolly, Steele Post, Chessboard, Bloody Angle, Quinn's Post, Courtney's Post, Pope's Hill, Monash Gully, Braund's Hill, Bridges Road, German Officer's Trench, Wire Gully. Used to create Anzac 2 October 1915 photomosaic (see map collection G7432 G1 S65 XX1).
37 undated unknown Possibly North Anzac / Suvla area. Faded.
Unnumbered undated unknown unknown Clear image.
No. 1 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. Monash Gully, Bridges Road, Steele's Post, Johnstone's Jolly, Braund's Hill, Owen's Gully, The Pimple, Brown's Dip, Sniper's Ridge, Artillery Road, Wire Gully. 2 copies.
No. 2 undated [pre August 1915] Brighton Beach area Shell Green, Hell Spit, Shrapnel Valley, Victoria Gully, White Valley, Artillery Road, Clarke Valley. 2 copies.
No. 3 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. Mule Valley, Mortar Ridge, Chessboard, Bloody Angle, Quinn's Post, German Officer's Trench, Courtney's Post, Pope's Hill. 2 copies.
No. 4 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area.

Steele's Post, Johnstone's Jolly, Wire Gully, German Officer's Trench, Courtney's Post, Quinn's Post, Mule Valley, Mortar Ridge.

2 copies.
No. 5 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. Valley of Despair, Pine Ridge, Bolton's Hill, Ryrie's Post area, Chatham's Post area, Wheatfield, Lone Pine (Turkish trenches). 2 copies.
No. 6 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. Area East of Mortar Ridge to the area east of the Chessboard (Turkish side). 2 copies.
No. 7 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. East of Mortar Ridge to Johnstone's Jolly area. 2 copies.
No. 8 undated [pre August 1915] North Anzac area. Battleship Hill, Turk's Hump, Rhododendron Spur. 2 copies.
No. 9 undated [pre August 1915] Anzac area. Shell Green, Holly Ridge, Valley of Despair, Pine Ridge, Bolton's Hill, Ryrie's Post area, Chatham's Post area. 1 copies.
No. 10 undated [pre August 1915] North Anzac area. The Nek, Malone's Gully, Sniper's Nest, Destroyer Hill, Camel's Hump. 2 copies.

 

Table of contents

Table of contents