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WWI Manuscript Journal recording the exploits of HMS Doris in the Dardanelles in April 1915, as recorded by H. J. Bowden, Stoker
1916 - Bowden, a stoker in the British Navy, used this journal, a re-purposed "Day Book of Engineers' Stores," to record his service off the Egyptian, Turkish and Syrian coasts, in the Dardanelles, and off the coast of Bulgaria during the First World War, with near daily entries between August 1, 1914 and March 26, 1916, aboard the HMS Doris. The Imperial War Museum holds a diary of Captain Twigg of the HMS Doris, where it states that their first action was on 25 April 1915 when she bombarded forts around Bulair. "On 26 April, together with HMS Triumph, Doris shelled the area around Gaba Tepe in support of Australian troops."*Bowden's journal adds another perspective to the information from Captain Twigg. He is quite specific about which ships wee involved in the various actions, what kind of shells were used in bombardments and later tells of the drowning death of his brother, who was in the British Army, and the subsequent torpedoing of his ship."April 25th- Trawlers sweep Channell (sic) Doris, Canopus, 11 transports following up behind formed up by the Dartmouth Kennett (?) x we proceeded with Dartmouth to bombard Buliar Lines 5.40am commenced bombarding Forts Napoleon and Sultan x completely demolish them 6.15 directed our fire on trenches x entanglements 7/45 again bombarded forts seaplane went up to reconnoiter (sic) when she returned she reported no sign of guns in either fort but observed Turkish Ships on her way in Dardanelles. Also small camp one mile east of Buliar no troops could be seen observed horses bombarded them x hoisted seaplane aboard. 26th Order Trawlers to go on sweeping received orders to support Triumph at Gaba Tepe. On arrival we were ordered to assist Minerva in covering landing of Troops. The Ships taking part in it were Queen London P. Wales Canopus Majestic, Ba xxxxk, Minerva, Doris, Talbot. Triumph Queen Lizzie. The shells were bursting all over the Hills it was a grand sight x awful in its Grandeur to see the enemy x their horses x sometimes their guns being blown sky High. 27th The bombardment had Continued all night we hoisted out our seaplane to try and locate the position of the enemy big guns whose shells were falling alround (sic) the Ships We were compelled to shift our Berth as the shell were dropping to (sic) close to our Ships to be pleasant Seaplane returned and reported Turkish Ships Goeben x Toorgoat Reis (sic,Turgut Reis) firing from the Dardanelles Fleet continued to bombard the Hills observed the enemy in Large force coming over the Hills as reinforcements so we opened fire on these assisted by the Baccante (sic) x Minerva Triumph we were ordered to increase volume of fire several 11 in Shell fell in the Harbour close to Several of our Ships x Shrapnell (sic) and were bursting alround (sic)us at 9:30 pm we Lighted the Slopes of the beach by searchlights Fierce fighting could be seen from the Ship.28th - records the congratulatory message from the General to the officers of the Fleet29th Observed Turk on beach waving white flag so we sent in a boat to bring him aboard Observed enemy coming over hills in large forces opened fire on them ordered to increase fire assisted by majestic Canopus Bacchante x Minerva HMS Queen proceeded to sea to bury the 10 transports arrived with the Naval Divisions We received orders to increase fire at shore Batteries Switched on Searchlights to illuminate the Slopes Fierce fighting could be seen yet curious to relate amid the rain of Shrapnel some of the troops could be seen bathing as if there were nothing doing. " (p. 18a, b & c)Herbert H. J. Bowden (b. October 1884, Kingskerwell, Kingskerswell, Devonshire, UK, d. 9 Jun 1953, Torbay, Devonshire, UK) was the son of Louitene Hingston (1845-1926) & Charles Bowden (1840- ). He is recorded in the 1891 Census as a 6 year old living with his family in the place of his birth, Kingskerswell, Devon. His wife was possibly Sarah Rosina Treloar. The1911 Census lists a Herbert Bowen, age 31, married, born in Tiverton, D [Attributes: Signed Copy; Soft Cover]
      [Bookseller: Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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