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Voices from the Past: The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli (Hardback)

The Heroic Saga of SS River Clyde an Icon of the First World War

Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWI WWI > Battles & Campaigns > Gallipoli

By Stephen Snelling
Frontline Books
Series: Voices from the Past
Pages: 408
ISBN: 9781848328525
Published: 8th May 2017



Editor's Choice

'This Excellent work stood at the head of the pile of books for review this month as simply outstanding' - The Great War Magazine (September 2017) 

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The initial Allied landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula began on 25 April 1915. Many of those who went ashore at V Beach near Cape Helles did so from the SS River Clyde.

In the first full-length study devoted entirely to River Clyde and the men who sailed in her, the author reveals a remarkable tale of human endeavour told in the words of the men who were there: from the naval captain whose brainchild it was, to the teenage midshipmen who risked their lives to rescue the operation from disaster; from the infantrymen who braved a storm of fire to the staff officers who led the assault that finally secured the beachhead; from the armoured car machine-gunners whose covering fire saved hundreds of men marooned on the shore, to the navy’s own infantrymen who ventured out into the bullet-swept waters to succour the wounded.

The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli tells the story of how this collier became an icon of the First World War, its stranded bulk synonymous with one of the most extraordinary exploits of a campaign doomed to failure.

This remarkable study of the steamer and the men who sailed with her and fought from the stranded hulk will leave readers with some of the positives of this disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Western Front Association Essex Branch Newsletter, February 2021

Stephen Snelling has a nose for the fascinating and odd detail, a sound journalist's eye, an ability to pace his story and follow its twists and turns logically driving the narrative, and hence the reader, forward.
The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli is a good history well written and deserving of success.

Stand To! Western Front Assc No.111

This is the amazing tale of SS River Clyde.

Seagull, August 17th 2017 – October 2017 reviewed by Paul Ridgway

Overall, the book content brings in the key aspects of the attack including detail on the interior of the ship, the departure, and the loss of life when men were trying to get off the boat. Striking images of this are well integrated into the book to the extent that they draw you in to the events. It is supported by excellent Appendix such as Victoria Cross citations, letter by Commander Henry Montagu Doughty and the positions on the beach. It also contains wonderful photographs of those referenced within the book, as well as striking colour photographs showing key locations today, such as the inspirational Victor magazine issue, view of V beach, location where the Clyde landed and reconstructed trenches. From these, the passion and enthusiasm of the author for this story is further made clear. The book opens with a map of the Gallipoli Peninsula, providing the reader with an overview of the campaign right from the outset as well as maps and plans of V beach. It is great to have this kind of reference at the start of a book a opposed to being stuck in the middle, or part of an Appendix at the end as it provides the reader right away with an overview of the battle.

Jon Sandison, Freelance

As featured in

East Anglian Daily Times

As featured in

Eastern Daily Press

The Voices from the Past series has set new standards for history records. The selection of eye witness accounts has been impeccable and they have been reproduced, with sensitive editing,
into a seamless and compelling account of courage, tragedy and the tumult of war – Most Highly Recommended.

Read the full review here.


About Stephen Snelling

Born and raised in Norwich, where he still lives, Stephen Snelling been a writer and journalist all his adult life. Since joining Eastern Counties Newspapers straight from school, he has worked variously as a district reporter, sports journalist, sports editor, columnist and features editor. Since 2010, he has concentrated on writing books.

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