HC Deb 10 January 1916 vol 77 c1289

Perhaps I may say a word to the House with regard to the news which has been received from the Dardanelles to-day. The House and country will have learnt with extreme gratification of the successful retirement of the Forces at Cape Helles without the loss of a single life. Eleven guns only were left behind—not a very large number—of which ten were worn-out 15-pounders, and before being abandoned all were rendered unfit for further service. Such of the stores and reserve ammunition which could not be removed was set on fire at the last moment, and the whole retirement was conducted with an absolute minimum of loss. This operation, taken in conjunction with the earlier retirement from Suvla and Anzac, is, I believe, without parallel in military or naval history. That it should have been carried through with no appreciable loss, in view of the vast amount of personnel and materiel involved, is an achievement of which all concerned, commanding officers, officers, and men in both Services, may well be proud. It deserves, and I am sure will receive, the profound gratitude of the King and the country, and will take an imperishable place in our national history. His Majesty will be advised that General Sir Charles Monro, Admirals de Roebeck and Wemyss, Lieutenant-Generals Birdwood and Davies, and other officers who worked under them, shall receive special recognition.