Gerald Robert O'Sullivan

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Gerald Robert O'Sullivan

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Frankfield, Douglas, Cork, Ireland
Death: August 21, 1915 (26)
Suvla, Gallipoli, Turkey
Immediate Family:

Son of George Lidwell O'Sullivan and Charlotte Johanna Van der Poel Hiddingh
Brother of Concetta B O'Sullivan

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Gerald Robert O'Sullivan

Gerald Robert O'Sullivan - Victoria Cross recipient

Captain 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Military career

Commissioned into the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1909, O'Sullivan spent much of the next three years serving in China with his unit, 2nd Battalion. From 1912, the battalion was based in British India but on the outbreak of the First World War was brought back to England.

First World War

The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers formed part of 29th Division, intended for service in the Gallipoli Campaign. Now a captain in the 1st Battalion, he commanded a company during the landing at X Beach on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915 and acquitted himself well during the early stages of the fighting.[1] On 18 June 1915, the Turks mounted an attack on positions adjacent to those of O'Sullivan's company, forcing the troops manning the defenses to abandon it. He led his company in a counterattack to reclaim the lost position which exchanged hands several times during the next few hours. The commanding officer in the area, Brigadier General W. R. Marshall, eventually directed O'Sullivan to lead a party of Inniskilling and South Wales Borderers soldiers to capture the position which was achieved at dawn the following day.

Two weeks later, O'Sullivan was involved in a further action near Krithia, and this resulted in his recommendation for the Victoria Cross (VC). The citation, published in the Edinburgh Gazette on 3 September 1915, read as follows:

For most conspicuous bravery during operations south-west of Krithia on the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the night of 1st–2nd July, 1915, when it was essential that a portion of a trench which had been lost should be regained, Captain O'Sullivan, although not belonging to the troops at this point volunteered to lead a party of bomb throwers to effect the recapture. He advanced in the open under a very heavy fire and in order to throw his bombs with greater effect, got up on the parapet, where he was completely exposed to the fire of the enemy occupying the trench. He was finally wounded, but not before his inspiring example had led his party to make further efforts, which resulted in the recapture of the trench. On the night of 18th–19th June, 1915, Captain O'Sullivan had saved a critical situation in the same locality by his personal gallantry and good leading.

The wounds he received in the action of 1st–2nd July necessitated his evacuation to Egypt for medical treatment but he quickly recovered and returned to his unit on 11 August 1915. The 29th Division was now at Suvla Bay and preparing for a new offensive. The Inniskillings were tasked with the capture of a feature known as Hill 70 or Scimitar Hill. During this battle, on 21 August 1915, he led a charge of 50 men to the hilltop but was killed.[1]

O'Sullivan has no known grave and is remembered on the Helles Memorial to the Missing. His VC was delivered to his mother who lived in Dorchester, and his name also appears on the memorial there.


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Gerald Robert O'Sullivan's Timeline

1888
November 8, 1888
Douglas, Cork, Ireland
1915
August 21, 1915
Age 26
Suvla, Gallipoli, Turkey