Slim’s Early Military Career

Slim’s Early Military Career

Commissioned into the 9th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in August 1914, William Slim first saw action at Cape Helles in July 1915 during the Gallipoli Campaign. Although casualty rates amongst Allied soldiers were high, Slim was noted for his efforts to ensure the welfare of his men. Later in 1915, Slim participated in large-scale attacks at the region known as Sari Bair.  As part of the force detailed to capture the feature known as Hill Q, he supported Colonel Cecil Allanson’s 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles (1/6GR). 1/6GR briefly captured the heights at Sari Bair, marking the furthest point of Allied advance during the campaign. Slim himself, leading around 50 men to support Allanson, was shot through the chest and subsequently evacuated out to recover, coming close to death and suffering injuries which would affect him for the rest of his life.

By September 1916, he had recovered sufficiently to travel to his battalion again, this time in Mesopotamia, where he would be awarded the Military Cross and assist in the captures of Kut and Baghdad. He was also wounded again, this time in the arm, in March 1917. As a result, he was sent to Simla in India to recuperate and subsequently transferred first to the Indian Army and then to 1/6GR, joining the battalion which he had seen act so heroically at Gallipoli in March 1920.

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