A Desperate Night.
As the evening wore on, the beach became one long lane of suffering soldiers. The doctors could only attend to the most severe cases. Many a man, when asked if he was badly hurt, said, bravely enough, “Oh, no!” and died quietly in the night.
The stretcher bearers were magnificent. From the order, “Stretcher squads fall in” at the moment of landing, these
[Photo by the Author
An early view of Anzac Cove.
The mule lines did not stay long unmolested. “Beachy Bill” ranged on them one day and caused awful havoc. They were then shifted up the deres for protection.
men slaved on the ridges and in those valleys of torment. A man without a load can dash from cover to cover, but the stretcher bearers, with their limp and white-faced burdens, must walk steadily on, ignoring sniper and hostile gunner. From the front line it took about two and a half hours to get a patient to the hospital on the beach. Hour after hour the work went on, until after twenty hours' stretcher bearing these unheeded heroes fell in their tracks from sheer exhaustion. Volunteers took up the work, but after a few hours' rest, the gallant souls were out again — medical officers, stretcher bearers and hospital orderlies literally working themselves to death in an endeavour to mitigate the awful anguish of the wounded men of Anzac. “I shall never forget that night,” said a sergeant of the N.Z.M.C., “A twelve-stone
The Crowded Beach.
weight on the stretcher, a dark night, a little drizzling rain, groping our way down a steep incline through prickly scrub, our wounded man crying with pain and begging for a drink every few yards, incessant rifle fire, and bullets whizzing all round us.” Except those who lay so very quietly up in the scrub or on the shell-swept beach, no one rested that night. The firing line was gradually becoming a little defined as the tired soldiers on both sides became exhausted.
The units were inextricably mixed—Australian and New Zealand infantry clung doggedly to the hardly-won crest line. Approximately, the Australian 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Brigades held the right flank; the centre was in a state of flux, but the 4th Australian Brigade held the ridges at the
[Photo by the Author
The Scored Cliffsides of Walker's Ridge.
head of Monash Gully
; the Otago trenches grew up overlooking Monash Gully
; the Aucklanders dug in along Plugge's Plateau; the Canterbury Battalion were desperately engaged on Walker's Ridge, where their gallant commander (Lieut.-Colonel Stewart) fell at the head of his men. The Wellingtons landed in the dark and went straight up to Plugge's Plateau. The gunners laboured all through the night pre-
[Phot by the Author
Taken from Howitzer Gully, showing the road cut round the cliffside.
for the eagerly expected howitzers; while the sappers hastily improvized a second line of defence along Plugge's Plateau down Maclagan's Ridge to the sea. Here the last stand would be made if the worst came, but the morning broke and the outer line was still intact; picks were laid aside and the indomitable men of Anzac again took up their rifles to face the trials of the day.