X Beach - May 2000
X Beach was one of the five allied landing beaches at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915, and one of three allocated to the 29th Division. At X Beach the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers were put ashore by lighters from HMS Implacable at Zero Hour, and it has often been referred to as ‘Implacable Landing’. The huge 15-inch guns from the battleship laid down devastating covering fire as the boats went in. She was assisted by HMS Dublin, as well.
As 2nd Royal Fusiliers hit the beach, Turkish opposition here was weak and despite wire obstacles and a formidable cliff, the regulars were soon off the beach and making their way inland with only a few casualties. Once the landing site was secure, further boats brought in 1st Border Regiment and 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. However, at the same time the Turks had now reacted to the landings at this point and artillery fire from the direction of Krithia saw a few shells drop on the beach. Advance parties from Implacable signalled back and the gun-fire was silenced by the ships guns. Meanwhile 2nd Royal Fusiliers moved inland, and in the afternoon secured Hill 114 with 1st Lancashire Fusiliers who had come up from W Beach.
Lack of planning, and briefing, on the part of local commanders meant that these successful landings were not exploited, and although the Fusiliers dug in beyond the beach and Hill 114, they did not push on further. In some respect this single battalion was now stretched to full capacity, and although two others had come ashore at X Beach, there was a lack of sufficient reserves to carry on further; at least for now.
As the front moved inland, X Beach was used extensively to bring in troops, equipment and supplies. A line of well made dugouts was constructed along the cliffs, known as ‘Officer’s Walk’, and an access road was constructed from the level of the beach up to the cliff tops.
X Beach Today
X Beach is easily found. The best route is from Seddul Bahir. Take the minor road to Lancashire Landing Cemetery (signposted) and continue past the cemetery. The road bends right and continues to Pink Farm and Krithia (Alcitepe). A few hundred metres further up on the left, there is a visible track going off to the left. Park your car here and follow the track – the one built in 1915 – down to the beach. The level of the beach has dropped a bit since the war, and you will have to jump down the last part.
The beach itself has changed little, and is only a couple of hundred metres long. There is no trace of Officer’s Walk, however.
©PAUL REED 2001-2006