The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The Amenities of Anzac
The Amenities of Anzac.
The noise of battle frightened away all the little song birds that had so charmed us in the spring. But there was always something of interest. The common tortoise of Europe—with a hard shell about 12 inches long—loving a quiet place shaded from the sun, crept into our dugouts during the night, so that in addition to having nocturnal visitors who caused a certain amount of irritation and annoyance, we had these larger “Pilgrims of the Night” to create a little amusement, for there is something comical about these prehistoric, rubber-necked shell-backs. The fact that a tortoise is something like a turtle also appealed not a little to the company cook, who may be a lover of the antique, but not to such a degree that the tortoise might notice it! Out on the Suvla Flats, red foxes played in the sun with their cubs. On the prickly scrub, the little praying mantis held up her supplicating green hands and prayed as if we were all far past redemption.
[Photo lent by the Otago Women's Association
Officers of the Otago Mounted Rifles.
The officer drinking from the mess tin is Lt.-Col. Grigor, D.S.O., who commanded “C” parties of the N.Z.M.R. Brigade at the evacuation. Behind him is Colonel Bauchop, C.M.G., the commander of the outposts.
During daylight the beach at Anzac Cove was practically deserted. “Beachy Bill” and his helpers attended to that. But when night came the hive buzzed and hummed. Picket boats brought in their barges, and the beach parties attacked the cargoes of stores and transferred them to the A.S.C. depots close at hand. Long convoys of pack mules and the little two-wheeled mule carts pulled in to the stores and the water-tanks, and started their adventurous journeys to the right and left flanks, and up the tortuous way to Monash Gully. The Turk had the range to a nicety, and knew quite well that if he dropped a few shells along the beach and on the communications some damage must be done. The marvel is he did not fire more. While the firing lasted the place was like Inferno, for in the darkness the shells could be seen red-hot overhead. The flash of the explosions would light up the busy scene—Indian drivers and their terrified mules inextricably mixed up with the piles of stores and water tins; mules braying and squealing, with the patient drivers striving to quieten them; the shells shrieking through the air; while the thunderous detonations punctuated the rhythmic lapping of the waves upon the beach, the moans of the wounded, and the insistent cries of “Stretcher bearer.”