The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The End of the Second Day
The End of the Second Day.
The second day crept to a close, and our lines were hourly being made secure. Units were inextricably mixed, but, roughly, the Australian Division held the line south of Courtney's Post, while the N.Z. and A. Division held Courtney's and all northwards of it.
No man thought of rest: to work was salvation.
[Lent by Col. J. G. Hughes, C.M.G., D.S.O.
Headquarters of the N.Z. and A. Division.
The New Zealand machine gun sections experienced a particularly trying time. They were attached to individual battalions and were not fought as a unit. The Auckland guns were pushed forward with their battalion, and somewhere at the head of Monash Gully were so hard pressed that they had page 91 to abandon one gun, which was retrieved from its hiding place two days after. The Otagos also came under a very hot fire. They, too, abandoned a gun, but never regained it, as an Australian party found it and consistently refused to give it up! Right through the campaign the Otago Regiment were one gun short, fighting only three guns.
The Wellington gunners were heavily punished on April 27. They evidently pushed too far forward in their eagerness to get at the Turks, but snipers picked them off one by one, until the officer was killed and the whole of the personnel disabled, except one lad who was acting as ammunition carrier.
Gradually the field artillery got their guns from the barges, and with long ropes manhandled them to their almost inaccessible positions. Tracks were cut on the hillsides, rough jetties were improvised, and dugouts were constructed. Mostly these were holes in the ground big enough for a man and his mate to get nearly into. A waterproof sheet served as roof, and when it rained, as it did nearly every night, the waterproof sheet collected and deposited on the occupants whatever water had fallen in the catchment area.
Washing became a lost art. Mirrors were converted into periscopes. The previously spic-and-span New Zealand Army grew dirty-faced, unshaven, and ragged looking.
The rum ration was a boon at this time, as it engendered a little warmth, and enabled one, if off duty, to get a little sleep. “Stand-to” was at 4 o'clock, half an hour before dawn, when the entire force in the trenches and on the beach stood to arms in readiness for an attack.