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From the outset, the Gallipoli jury appeared to be stacked against Hamilton and in favour of Keith Murdoch, the journalist whose damning “Gallipoli letter” was credited with being a catalyst for the decision to abandon the Dardanelles campaign.Although the four MPs on the commission were uncontroversial appointments, the diplomats and senior officers were anything but.The evacuation of the last troops from Gallipoli in January 1916 presaged a disastrous year for Britain’s Asquith government.

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It was a humiliating moment for the journalist who, in the eighteen months since delivering his letter to Fisher, had propelled himself into a position of remarkable power and influence in London.High on his list was Phillip Schuler, the’s correspondent at Gallipoli, who had since enlisted and was serving on the Western Front.“I put his name into my category of important witnesses, who should without fail be called – not as my witnesses but as the best witnesses,” Hamilton told Schuler’s close friend, Richard Dowse.He saw his task as not about defending or explaining fatal errors but about convincing those now sitting in judgement of what had been achieved and what more might have been achieved had the government held its nerve.Hamilton was invited to propose a number of witnesses who should be summoned to give evidence.

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