Posted 23 February 2005 - 02:55 PM
Next instalment for your delight and education!!
Wednesday May 19th
Very heavy rifle and gun fire all n ight. Turks attacking and concentraating on centre of line. 4.15am. Stand to 4.30 am. Prepare to move off to reinforce 1st Brigade on left. Doubled a mile under heavy shrapnel fire, to where likely to be required, and waited there. 16 platoon reinforced to the right, but the rest of us were not required. A fierce contest was going on whilst we waited, German heavy artillery and rifle fire. The Turks crept up under cover of darkness and got within a few yards of our trenches before the observers discovered them, as soon as they charged however we mowed them down in hundreds and they retired with heavy losses. About half a dozen succeeded in getting over the parapet but were quickly despatched: we evidently had a large number of casualties. 7am. Retuned to camp. Big guns sending huge shells crashing into side of hill 100 yards away. We are camped, praactically under No 1 and 2 guns A.F.A and often get the benefit of shrapnel intended for them, also high explosive shells. Wounded coming down from the left all day. To be ready to move at any minute during the night.
Thursday May 20th
Not called out last night last. 8 to 12am. Throwing up bauts? and trenches on track. Several casualties aroound here recently owing to snipers. Issue of new clothing. To be ready toomove in morning. Rumoured we are going to Lemnos. Reinforcements (Light Horse) 5.30 pm. Battaliion will move offat 6.15pm, fighting order. Went into support trenches in rear of 1st brigade. Shrapnel very lively.
Friday May 21st
6am. Waited for order to return to camp. 7am. Taken into firing line to relieve the 2nd battalion. Network of trench high parapets. Frightful stench of dead Turks, who are lying dead on our immediate front in scores, some are right at the foot of the parapet. Turks firing line 250 yards away, here. Much closer at other points. 10-11am. Observing with periscope, sniper alongside me with rifle. 4pm. To return to camp at 6pm. 6th battalion supports tonight. 2nd battalion relieved us and we returned to camp. News of the death of General Bridges and CO2.M.Sgt Peter?
6am. Rain 7am. Mud and slush everywhere. 10am. Went down to beach and found tide right in, some of the stores had to be shifted. 11am. More rain.2pm.Went for a cup and coming saw a Turkish mounted officer, blindfolded, an Imperial officer (mounted) in front of him, and an orderly leading the Turks’ horse. They had evidently come from D.H.2. where the generals of both sides are endeavouring to arrange an armistice to bury the dead. This is hard to arrange, owing to our mistrust of the Turks and their actual violation of arrangements already made. 7pm battalion moved off and D coy occupied hill commanding gully, known as Shrapnel Gully. It is an observation post.
Sunday May 23rd
Not disturbed through night. Things quiet. Returned to camp about 6am. 11am. Enemy aeroplane dropped bombs on our right, no damage. Big mail, I got a good share of it. Things quiet again today. In line picquet tonight.
Monday May 24th
Not called out. Showers of rain through night. Empire day. Armistice to bury the dead at last arranged. Started at 7.45am. Turks burying some of their dead in parapet of their trench. bombardment going on in the south. News of declaration of war between Italy and Austria. Hostilities mildly resumed about 5pm. Colonel Bolton, who is suffering from a complete nervous breakdown, as a result of the Cape Helles affair, he has gone to Alexandria and we have a new CO (Col Brand). Colonel Wanless of the 5th battalion is acting Brigadier. Issue of Rum. A fairly quiet night.
Tuesday May 25th
Duty coy. 1pm. Great excitement. Enemy submarine torpedoes one of our cruisers just off Gabatepe fort. I arrived just in time to see, keel uppermost, surrounded by dozens of small craft who were rescuing the men in the water. Fatigue till 2.30 pm, then heavy rain till four and work till 4.30. 6pm. Moved of to trenches, D coy split up and sent to strengthen various parts of the firing line. I was with the 4th battalion observing in the firing line. 1st relief. Nothing doing. 3.15 am. Stand to. No sleep. Sorry to hear that the cruiser sank was the old “Triumph”. She eventually went right down. A sad loss. Issue of tobacco.
Wednesday May 26th
5.15 am. Came out of firing line. 7am. Arrived back in camp. Saw a couple of the Japanese bomb throwers last night, they are very deadly. Slept this morning. Recd stylo pen from Win. Expecting part of our trenches to be blown up at any time now. One of our aeroplanes dropped two bombs over the Turks last night. 4th reinforcements and some first day wounded arrived, 30 wounded and 4 killed in landing. Barney Allan and Corporal Craven returned. Things quiet last night, bright moonlight.
Thursday May 27th
Rumoured that “H.M.S “Majestic” sunk off Cape Helles this morning. Captain Dexter came round and had a chat last night. The 5th have suffered heavily. 4pm. More bombs dropping over Turks. In line picquet tonight.
Friday May 28th
5 of 8th battalion picked off on edge of camp this morning. More trenches being dug. 3-5 pm. Digging trenches under fire. Good mail today. 7pm. Farmed? to Viv Brown about old times. How lucky to get through till now.
Saturday May 29th
Heavy rifle and artillery fire last night. Turks blew up a part of our line and broke through, but those who were not mowed down cleared off or were captured. A large number of our wounded have come down since day break. 5.40 am. Stand to arms. 7pm. Discovered that Viv Brown had been hit in the back with a shrapnel bullet. About 8 of our fellows, including Captain Kirby, and several of the 7th got the benefit of shrapnel etc, intended for the guns above us. 8am. Viv’s dug out mate and I volunteered to carry him down to the hospital, all the SB’s being busy. 3 big marquees on beach full of wounded and a lot outside, Viv very game , hopes to be back with us soon. More mail today. 9am. 16 Turkish prisoners passed here. 2 pm.. Went for a dip. 4pm. Tea. 4.30. Moved off to support trenches, usual trudge up the hill. A great exertion in the heat of the day. Very warm here in the daytime. Aeroplanes very busy up here this morning. News that E15 has sunk 2 Turkish ammunition transports. Schemes tonight to draw enemy’s fire. Volley to be fired every 2 hours. 4 am. The whole line to check and make demonstration?. More 4th reinforcements arrived.
Sunday May 30th
4am. A very heavy fire from the Turks as a result of demonstration. Unofficial news that big hill has been taken. Field PC’s ? very scarce. 1-2pm. An hours heavy fighting, our boys charged a portion of the Turkish trenches, drove them out and blew them up, then retired to their own, a few casualties. Further news to hand of submarine uploil? Officers and crew well deserved their reward. Apparently big hill is not taken, advance made and flanks brought round. Battalion off duty tonight. New CO shaking things up. £3/10/- fine and 2-28 days No 1 FP or a field court martial for not turning out at stand to.
Bye for now people, take care and happy reading