The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
Resting at Sarpi
Resting at Sarpi.
A Sketch Map of the New Anzac Line.
Chatham's Post to No. 3 Post were the original Anzac boundaries. The dotted line at Lone Pine, and from the Apex to Jephson's Post indicates the territory gained in August. The Anzac area went as far as Hill 60.
The N.Z.M.R. Brigade at Cheshire Ridge handed over to some recently arrived Australians, leaving only a few officers and men as machine gun crews. The remainder of the brigade—20 officers and 229 other ranks—were accommodated in one small barge! It was only on occasions such as this that we could comprehend our losses. The old “Osmanieh” sailed for Lemnos, and the brigade disembarked at Mudros early on September 14, and marched by road to Sarpi Camp, about three miles from the pier. This road connected Mudros with the chief town of the island, Castro. Tents were scarce, and during the night a torrential rain made everybody most unhappy. The ground was very soft, but a hot sun made things more bearable during the day. A few tents were erected for the Infantry Brigade which was expected during the day.
The infantry battalions were in the same plight as the mounted regiments. Although having absorbed the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Reinforcements, these one-thousand-strong battalions of the landing were now pathetically weak—the strongest not totally more than 300 men. Four months of living on monotonous food, of constant hammering at the Turk, of thirst and danger and fatigue, had left its mark on the hollow-cheeked, sunken-eyed, but dauntless-spirited soldiers of Anzac. Arriving at night, the men of the N.Z. Infantry Brigade stumbled along the dark and dirty highway. Many of the troops slept by the wayside rather than struggle on and further weaken themselves. As there were few tents at the camping place, it turned out that the ones who did struggle on were in no sense rewarded, and to make matters worse, a real Mediterranean downpour set in. Daily more “Indian pattern” tents arrived, into which as many as forty men crept at night. Gradually the number of tents increased, the weather cleared, and the men made an effort to extract a little pleasure out of life.
A gift particularly touching was a large consignment of sweets packed in tins by the school children of the Dominion. Some of the cases had evidently been stowed too near the ship's boilers, as, on being opened, there was discovered a con-glomerate mass of molten sugar, tin, and little notes from the various packers. Weird mixture though it was, the sweets were most acceptable, and appreciated not only for their value, but for the kindly solicitude that prompted the service.