Baby 700

Baby 700 was the name given to a hill 180 metres (590 feet) above sea level. It was marked on the maps as 700 feet above sea level. On the original maps this and the summit immediately to its north were shown respectively as a small and large circle within the '700 feet' contour. They were accordingly named 'Big 700' and 'Baby 700'. 'Big 700' was later renamed 'Battleship Hill'. It was a part of the Sari Bair range with Battleship Hill linking Russell's Top (by way of the Nek). Baby 700 was arguably the 'key' to the Anzac position, and was the scene of furious fighting on the 25th April. It was the objective of the 3rd Australian Brigade on landing and was occupied early in the morning by mixed parties of the 11th and 12th Battalions AIF.

View Baby 700 in a larger map

Both sides attacked and counter-attacked throughout the day (including numerous Turkish outflanking manoeuvres). The Anzacs were eventually forced back and had to form a line of posts clinging to the cliff-edges along the Second Ridge. The AIF units were later joined by part of the Auckland Infantry Battalion NZEF; but by late afternoon the exhausted Anzac forces had been driven off the hill.

The Turkish position on Baby 700 consisted of approximately seven tiers of trenches, making it the strongest of all positions at Anzac. These overlooked many of the Anzac positions.

It became the objective of several other further costly, but ultimately futile, attacks to recapture it, most notably on 2nd May and 7th August. The only direct approach was across The Nek, also held by the Turks. According to Australia's Official Historian, Charles Bean, who was present 'To attempt a frontal assault on this position was like endeavouring to attack an inverted frying-pan from the direction of its handle.' It was never again re-captured by the Anzac forces and was prominent in forming an almost impregnable defence against the August attacks of the 10th Australian Light Horse at the Nek.

Baby 700 1The Nek as seen from Baby 700 (so very much the Turkish defenders view).

Baby 700 cemetery is located near the hill's summit although it is a part of the rise towards Chunuk Bair. Its not easy to see it as a summit from below. It is noticeable once the winding road drops away for a short distance beyond it before curving and climbing up towards the NZ Memorial. Its powerful position is easily seen by looking back down the road towards the sea and Russell's Top and Lone Pine to the right and left respectively.

Baby 700 2The cemetery was made after the war. It covers an area of 1,356 square yards, and contains the graves of 23 soldiers from Australia and ten from New Zealand, one seaman of the Royal Naval Division, and 449 men whose unit in our forces could not be ascertained. The names of ten Australian soldiers, for whose burial in the cemetery there is evidence, are recorded on special tablets. The cemetery is surrounded on three sides by a belt of trees or shrubs.

Baby 700 Cemetery is located on the road to Chunuk Bair after the left turn to the Nek. A large number of graves of men from 11th and 12th Bns AIF whose remains were found here in 1919.