Sgt. Maj. Bonar killed in our trenches
Heavy enemy shrapnel fire today
but little damage. Now we have
good communication trenches enemy
get little chance of sniping us.
Heavy [unclear: point] mens work is carrying
rations & water up steep face to
our trenches. Water is filled into
benzine tins & sealed up on ships
These are then carried from beaches.
5 pm Turks attacked strongly a
perfect hail of lead cutting off
the mounds of our trenches and
effectively preventing any observation
except by periscopes. Our men
kept down & by directing artillery
fire per telephone we blew
the Turks from their trenches in
places.. This completely silenced
the rifle fire.
continues. Comparatively quiet night
and Turks could be heard digging trenches
Recovered Lieut. Hugo's body from
front of our trenches and buried him
with short service. Quiet day
but at 7 pm naval guns began page 46 a half hours bombardment of
enemys trenches preparatory to
Otago batt. making an advance
on our right. Canterbury was to
go forward on left when Otago
attained their object. At 8 pm
Otago moved out and we attempted
with much success to draw the
enemys fire in our direction. However
Otago was unsuccessful and
after making three successive
assaults in the dark & reaching
Turks trenches with a few men
they were forced to retire with
severe losses & entrenched only
about 50 yds from their starting point.
Canterbury therefore did not
proceed on the left. I consider
failure due to insufficient reconnaissance
& artillery preparation with covering
fire during advance. Owing to
darkness latter was impossible.
The rifle fire during the night
[gap — reason: illegible]awful. I was standing in
the trenches all night from 7 pm
to 4 am with our Brigadier
who was superintending the operation
Capt. Morton went out with
page verso of page 46 Foll'g morse signals are reported to be
in use by Turks: . – – . (UN) repeated
three times front to rear means “We are
ready to attack” do rear to front
“attack begins” – – . – (Q) “Go back”
– – – . (F) 3 times front to rear
[unclear: Attack begins]
“Amm's needed” do rear to front “Amm's coming” page 47 Otago & is reported missing.
I cannot write of casualties &
daily movements as rumours are
always rampant & official
information is not to hand for
to record. The fire fight
continues & our men are now
adopting sniping tactics and
are beating enemy at his own
game. Glorious weather and
looking out seawards from
my bivouac on the cliff
side the view is magnificient.
No change in
situation. Turks entrenching
heavily but quiet day. Evening
brought usual fierce rattle of
rifle fire which lasted well
throu' the night. but was mostly
directed at Australians on our
right. No report of Capt Morton
whom I fear has been killed.
Shrapanel fire from
enemy fell very near our quarters
but mostly went harmlessly into
ravine close by. Some 150 shells page 48 fell here with little damage
enemy evidently thinking they had
range well on to beach where
our landing operations & stores are.
An 11″ shell struck a collier
and wounded 2 men in harbour.
At 10 am we the (NZ/Bgde) rec'vd
orders that we were to be relieved
and by 4 pm the Naval Brigade
had replaced us & we retired
to the beach. Orders here to
embark for Cape Helles and
this was begun 9 pm. Torpedo
boat destroyers being used to
transport troops. I embarked on HMD “SCORPION” One Aust.
Inf Bg'de (2nd) also embarked.
Landed Sed-el-Bahr & Cape Hellas
early hours of morning and
proceeded about 3 miles inland to
a bivouac. Here we formed
reserve to 29th Div. who with
French forces are operating towards
Thursday 6/5/14 KRITHIA ROAD
At 11 am
the allies began a battle with a
tremendous cannonade of artillery
on enemys positions. This was followed
up by infantry attack & by afternoon page 49 about 5 pm. considerable progress had
been made & Turks driven back.
The action lasted well through
the night & the artillery specially
keeping up the fire to prevent
enemy entrenching in new position.
Weather fine with brief Easterly
wind. This part of peninsula
is settled land very much more
pleasant & satisfactory to fight in
than the scrub covered hills of
KABA TEPE. But for the
stress of battle in front & an occasional
shell in our lines we might be
on a picnic in N.Z. the surroundings
are so agreeable. The people of
N.Z. will realize (if never before)
the other side (the horrors of war)
when they read the casualty lists
of the past few days. The men
however have risen to the occasion
they are playing a real soldier's
part & those who have fallen
have done so in a glorious cause.
The men of our regt. especially
have proved their worth in the
estimation of their officers page 50 and no praise is too high
for them. In brief they have
played their part like men
in the true sense of the word.
Another beautiful day.
We were not called up & have
had a well earned rest in bivouac
since yesterday morning. The fight
continued through the night and
about 10 am our forces again began
an artillery bombardment of the Turks
position preparatory to another
advance in which we will probably
participate. The action continues
with great vigour and at 4 pm
the NZ Inf Brigade were ordered up
on left in support of British 87th
& 88th Brigades. Bivouaced for night
in rear of firing lines. Little progress
today but our forces holding ground won.
Action continues intermittently
At 10.30 am the NZ Inf Bdge was
ordered to attack on their (left) flank
and to go forward through the lines
of regulars ESSEX, INNISKILLINGS and page 51 HANTS. Regts: This they did
in fine style. The steadiness of our
Wellington Batt. being favourably
commented on by English officers.
They were subjected to heavy fire
of shrapnel & machine guns but
steadily advanced and entrenched
their positions. The action was
very fierce through out the day &
at 5-30 pm a general advance of
the whole front line of the force
was ordered & with fixed bayonets.
Ruahine coy had been in reserve
until now & were ordered to support
W.W.C. Coy at this time. In going
forward they were badly cut up
by machine guns & suffered some
60 casualties. Lieut. Menteath &
Capt. Frandi were killed today
in action. Turks defences are
very strong being specially so
with machine guns which our
artillery failed to locate and
this prevented the advance we
had hoped for tho' some progress
has been made. I hear French
got forward on left a little today.
Lt. McKinnon & Major Saunders
wounded. I am with Col. Malone
with H.Q. at WHITE HUT during
this attack — WSW of KRITHIA
Weather is perfect but nights
very cold. Last evening quiet
except for minor events along the line.
Reinforcements from Egypt for
our brigade arrived in field &
drafted to coys. today. This
still leaves us much below establish-
ment owing to casualties and our
officers ranks are much thinned.
The action continues with varying
intensity but men are now well
entrenched & few casualties occur.
During evening Wgtn. trenches were
heavily shelled with shrapnel and tho'
several penetrated the parapets only
a few men were wounded. An incident
worth recording happened in West Coast
Coy.- A shrapnel shell penetrated the
trench parapet and the men were
lined along it. The missile exploded
(a 15 pr.) on impact and one man had
his arm nearly blown off but the page 53 miraculous part is that no
one else was hurt while the next
man had his rifle shattered to
fragments and another had his
weapon broken off at the stock by
the explosion. Such happenings
however are of daily occurrence
in the field and most of us have
time and again had hair breadth escapes.
A man must be prepared to
“stop his bullet” any time here but
we never have time to think of
that and I often marvel at my
own indifference to the battle &
strife going on around us.
Monday May 10/15
Last night passed with
the usual fitful bursts of rifle
fire & artillery but no change in
situation took place. The 87th & 88th
brigades of regulars were relieved by
Indian brigade & our N.Z. Inf. Bdg'e.
and they went out for a spell.
My brother George was severely
wounded Sunday morning in the
trenches & unfortunately it was not
possible to get him out to the rear
until this evening after dark. He page 54 was however given first aid &
cared for in the trenches as far as
possible. The poor boy does not even
recognise me. This evening and the
medical officer has grave fears for
his recovery. The bullet entered
the base of his neck and appears to
have injured the spinal column.
Everything possible is being done
for him by Capt Home at our
regimental unit post and I do hope
that he will rally sufficiently to
speak to me before going off to
the hospital ship.
News of torpedoing of the “Lusitania”
received here: Another murderous
outrage by the German savages.
Tuesday May 11/15 Batt HQ at WHITE HUT
WSW of KRITHIA. Several feeble attacks
preceded by shrapnel, by Turks on our
front; were easily held off during night.
Day broke fine again and nothing
out of ordinary occurred in firing line.
1 pm preliminary orders advised us of
the proposed relief of NZ brigade.
Afternoon very quiet in fire trenches.
Indian Brigade HQ (General Cox)
removed from White Hut up [gap — reason: illegible] page 55 8 pm the relief of NZ Bgde began
by 7th batt, Manchester regt. Owing
to difficuly of movement to & from
trenches and this having to be
done under cover of darkness the
change was not completed until
midnight. NZ troops (with exception
of some who did not get to the
rendezvous until early morning) then
moved back to previous bivouac
near stone bridge on Krithia road.
Wednesday May 12/15
Stragglers & detached parties
continued to arrive in bivouac
until 9 am. from rear of firing line.
All were then free to construct
“dug outs” (as we are still within
big gun range) and to rest before
proceeding to muster & check rolls.
Rain fell heavily from about
midnight & continues today making
bivouac & surroundings a real
quagmire. However this is the
first rain worth mentioning since
we landed here and the ground
being sandy will soon dry again.
No trace of Capt Morton since
the action at KABA TEPE being page 56 found he is [gap — reason: illegible] missing and I
have very grave fears for his safety.
George was sent to hospital ship
and I cannot get any news of his
Thursday May 13/15 Bivouac W. KRITHIA Road
Morning broke beautifully
fine & warm again & the bivouac
grounds were soon dry after the
rain of yesterday. Severe cannonading
by our batteries continued through
the night but we take little notice
of that now & sleep peacefully on.
Reorganisation of companies went on
today and with our reinforcements just
arrived from Egypt we are still much
under strength. This is specially
noticeable in ranks of officers and
NCO's. Our total casualties
since landing on Gallipoli are
about 15 officers & 420 men in
W.I. Batt., and about 2300 in the
Brigade. These figures are approximate.
Major Young was today appointed
to the temporary command of the
Auckland Battalion since Col. Plugge
(wounded) many other alterations
will shortly be made as a page 57 number of new appointments must
be made in the officers ranks.
Quieter day on the battle front.
Friday May 14-15 W. KRITHIA Road bivouac
Continued fine weather. Men
were marched to beach this morning
for bathing parade. HMS Goliath
was sunk last evening presumably
by Turkish torpedo boat which
must have come up from [gap — reason: illegible]
coast during darkness. N.Z. Mtd Rifles
landed (without horses) at KABA
TEPE yesterday from Egypt.
Mounted troops cannot be used
here at all in their ordinary way
in fact the whole of present war
seems to be fought by infantry &
artillery. Enemy has found range
to our beaches & bivouac grounds
today and are shelling us here
like fun. It is fun, for the men
mostly joke & make witty remarks
about the screaming shrapnel or
the hum of the high explosive
projectiles as they are hurled
through the air. Considerable damage
has been done tho' and a number of
men & horses have been put out of action.
The following congratulatory
messages have been received.
From H.M. the King.–“It is with
intense satisfaction that I have heard
of the success which in the face of
determined resistance has attended
the combined Naval & Military operations
in the Dardanelles. Please convey to
all ranks my hearty congratulations
on their splendid achievement.”
From Sir Ian Hamilton GOC
Med. Exp. Force — “May I speaking
out of a full heart, be permitted to
say how gloriously the Aust & N.Z.
contingents have upheld the finest
traditions of our race. during this
struggle still in progress; at first
with audacity & dash, since then
with sleepless valour & untiring
resource. They have allready
created for their countries an
imperishable record of military
virtue”. – –
Saturday 15/5/15. W. KRITHIA ROAD
NZ Brigade still in rest bivouac
but today men worked on beaches constructing
stores & unloading goods. Usual shell page 59 fire over our ground but no one was
injured in our lines. Fighting continues
in the firing line & artillery very
active during evening. Aeroplane
reconnaissance by our people was
very much in evidence – four
machines being up together. The
enemy daily waste hundreds of
rounds of shrapenal on them but
as yet to no purpose.
Sunday May 16. Gallipoli STONE BRIDGE Bivouac
Glorious weather continues. and
also active hostilities. Divine services
had been arranged for today but
military duties caused them to be
cancelled. Turks are so well entrenched
now that tactics must approach
semi-siege warfare and we can
only hope to get forward slowly
to our present objective, the heights
of ACHI-BABA. Several officers here
who have seen service recently in
France & Belgium say that the
fighting here on the whole is more
difficult & strenous. There is no
doubt, to my mind that a more
stubborn fighter (in defence) page 60 than the Turk does not exist.
We are little afraid though
of his powers to attack and in
fact wish he would do so
more actively. I walked round
Sed-el-Bahr & Cape Hellas this
morning dodging occasional big
shells from the enemy. To the
civilian eye it would be a
wonderful sight going through the
transport & ammunition parks &
Aerodrome etc. On the beaches
are huge piles of stores, wagons
& ammunition, horses & mules in
hundreds, & gangs of men unloading
barges, constructing roads etc
And we hear from Constantinople
that we have been driven into
the sea. A splendid anchorage
is obtainable & fleets of warships
transports & small craft lie
close in to the shore. The
village & ports of Sed-el-Bahr are
a mass of crumbling ruins, but
form the base of the French forces.
The huge dismantled guns and
the twisted plate & iron work bear page 61 striking testimony to the work
of the Navy previous to the landing.
The country here now practically
a mass of excavations & “dug outs”
was very pretty, being abundant
in wild flowers vineyards & cypress
groves, and as a great admirer of
natural scenery, I cannot, even
amid the tumult of war, pass
this by without comment.
This afternoon the sound of
battle increases tho' we take little
more notice now of a blast
of artillery than of the bray of
a mule or the eternal croaking
of the frogs near my bivouac.
I wish the Frenchmen would
hunt them. We have now had
5 days out of the firing line and
expect we will soon go forward
again, being attached to the 29th
(British) Division. Our (Wg'tn Battalion)
revised list of casualties to date since
landing in Gallipoli (excluding sick)
is 4 officers & 77 men killed and
12 off. & 295 men wounded with
37 men missing (probably all casualties)
Monday 17/5/15 Gallipoli Pen
Remain at STONE BRIDGE bivouac
men on beach fatigues again today.
Tremendous fusilade on battle front
last night but little change in situation
Weather continues very fine & agreeable.
Had concert last evening in the lines.
Several Frenchmen contributing items
which were much appreciated. Concluded
amid enthusiasm French & British singing
Tipperary Marseillaise & “God Save King”
Most items were punctuated very
frequently by the “pop” of a French
75″ or the roar of the British
18 pounder discharged from our rear
but these are very minor details now.
Today a German aeroplane dropped
bundles of pamphlets in our line inviting
us to surrender to the tender mercies
of the Turk. Probably they think we
are a lot of ignorant savages from
Australia & Africa as we have been
described by Constantinople papers.
We have dropped them some pamphlets
lately printed in Turkish & telling
them the truth about the war.
Tuesday 18/5/15 STONE BRIDGE Bivouac
Fine day – fairly quiet in firing line
Artillery active in afternoon. About 7 pm
enemy heavily shelled our lines for half
an hour. about a dozen men were “blown
out” within a about 200 yds of my
dug out. Several of ours were injured
& 4 killed too on the beach by the
explosion of one of the big shells the
Turks occasionally land there.
We, (the NZ Inf Bg'de) are now
Army Corps troops under direct
orders of G.H.Q. & are detached
from 29th Div. We are the only
Australasian troops now at this
point all others being at KABA
TEPE. Supplied beach fatigues
again this evening.
Last evening heavy artillery
bombardment & continuous rifle fire from
about 8 pm until early morning took
place by our troops near KRITHIA Road
& daylight brought the news that
we had successfully advanced
[gap — reason: illegible] our
trenches about 200 yds at this point
with few casualties. Today very page 64 troublesome Turkish shrapnel &
high explosive shells rained about us
during the day but only a few
horses & 2 or 3 men were injured.
Turks made determined attack on
NZ & Aust. trenches at KABA TEPE
but were repulsed with heavy loss.
Enemy evidently were urged or
even driven on from behind but could
not progress against our fire.
We, (N.Z Inf Bgde) received orders
to return to ANZAC COVE and
went off from V beach in mine
sweepers to SS Eddystone after
dark. Landed at ANZAC 9 am (20th)
in destroyer USK, (of TSING TAU fame)
& in launches,
[gap — reason: illegible] Glorious
weather & rather hot during day.
Thursday 20/5/15 RESERVE GULLY
Arrived KABA TEPE dawn
& landed brigade during morning.
When coming ashore (Major Bailey
Auckland) stopped a bullet & was killed.
Also lost Roberts of (West Coast Coy.)
while moving along beach to
our bivouac where we go in to
reserve for time being.
In losing Major Bailey, Auckland
have now had all but 2 of their
original 28 combatant officers put
out of action. Quiet day ahead
in the trenches but at 7.20 pm the
Turks opened an awful fusilade of
rifle fire, to which we replied. This
lasted until daybreak and was accompanied
by frequent rounds from our mountain
batteries & an occasional 6″ howitzer shell
from our rear. The object (as far as I
[gap — reason: illegible] of this night firing
is that the Turks wish to prevent any
night attacks being launched by us.
General Bridges (of Australian Division)
died this evening from bullet wound received
a few days since. General Birdwood &
Col. Chaytor have also been wounded
Another perfect day as regards weather.
Several prisoners came in yesterday and
there was a lot of white flag wagging
by the enemy in front of Australian trenches
but I have not heard what came of it
except that Turks were on one occasion
[unclear: given] 2 minutes to get back to their trenches
after coming out on some pretext.
A humorous incident occurred the
other day in our lines. A man of ours stood
up to observe over the trench parapet
when a shot whistled by his head. He
cooly waved a miss with his rifle (as
we would in a rifle range butts,)
to the Turk, before he ducked for shelter.
We are now informed that the German
General Liman von Sanders personally
conducted the attack on this position
last Wednesday & that 15000 to 20000
fresh troops were brought with him
from Constantinople for the purpose.
We are pleased to have scored so
completely over this Teuton leader.
The heavy loss we inflicted are
doubtless responsible for several “white”
& “red crescent” flag incidents since when
we allowed the enemy to come out to
collect wounded & bury their dead.
Since our departure from Cape Hellas
& consequent removal from the 29th Division
the G.O.C. Maj. Gen. A.G. Hunter-Weston CB
D.S.O. has sent the following message.
“That he was very pleased with the
soldierly behaviour & staunchness in
action of the N.Z troops and that they
have shown themselves thoroughly fit page 67 take their place in line with their
British comrades of the regular army.”
Following is text of another message
received. If praises from high officials
count for anything then our men must
really have made a very favourable
impression. From Rear Admiral Thurston of
H.M.S. QUEEN. 18/5/15. “It is with the
greatest regret that I find I have to leave
you before we are able to bring our combined
operations to a successful conclusion On
behalf of myself, my officers & men I wish to
thank you & the Army corps under your
command for the loyal & ungrudging
manner in which you have worked with
us, thus making our task easy. We are
all full of admiration for the gallantry &
daring of your troops. The dashing way
in which you took your present position
will become historical & we all hope your
further progress will not be long delayed.
We shall all follow your progress with
the greatest interest & wish you the final
victory you so thoroughly deserve.
Please convey to all ranks the honour
we feel in having been allowed to co-operate
with the Australian & N.Z. Army Corps & the
regret with which we leave them.” page 68 General Godley & Capt Herbert (of
Irish Guards) visited our “bivvy” this
Rain fell from day break
for few hours & made things rather
unpleasant here. We are still in
bivouac in RESERVE GULLY & as we
are packed up closely & dug in on the
steep clay sides of the donga. The
muddy state of things is better imagined
than described. A Turkish officer came
in under a flag of truce yesterday
to us & negotiated for a 9 hours
armistice in order to bury their
dead which are very numerous. We
are willing as we wish to have
the situation cleared up, for the
breezes coming through our trenches
from the front are laden — well –
not with lavender. It is simply
awful in places & the trenches have
to be manned continually – the
Turkish lines being as close as
15 yards to ours in some parts.
The armistice is likely to be
arranged for tomorrow. In meantime
hostilities continue as usual page 69 neither side having progressed
far during the past few days.
We have tunnelled towards
the enemy trenches in several places
and we then gently break through
and when possible place a machine
gun in the opening made. We
have several trench mortars now
too besides hand grenades etc
so the fighting is quite similar
to the struggles taking place in
France & Belgium. General Birdwood
visited us today & expressed his
approval of our doings generally –also
said he had a most excellent
report on our doings at Cape Hellas
from whence we have just returned.
Sun shone beautifully afternoon
soon dried up the surroundings
here. Reported Italy has declared war.
Sunday May 23 RESERVE GULLY
Fine day and fairly quiet except
during night rifle fire fusilade as
usual went on for few hours. I attended
Divine Service & H.C at 9 am conducted
by Rev. Bush-King in our bivouac lines.
Received a long delayed mail today.
Incident of some interest occurred at [unclear: trenches]
in front of KRITHIA. When we left page 70 there several of our men were constructing
a tunnel towards Turkish trench in front
of Ghurka position. While at work there
a few Inniskilling Fusilers were holding
short trench immediately behind them
but evidently got rather careless as about
200 Turks in broad daylight rushed the position
and the few I.F retired to next trench and
3 of our Taranaki men were left in the
tunnel. The Turks followed on & occupied
the next trench killing about 100 Inn. Fus.
as the latter were unprepared & were resting.
Fortunately the Turks did not see
the tunnel and our boys shot one who
was almost blocking the mouth of it
before they could escape. A party of
Ghurkas who were in support were
then ordered up and recaptured the
lost trench taking 80 prisoners and
accounting for the rest about 120.
of whom not one escaped. Three German
officers were amongst the killed.
Monday May 24/15
An armistice asked for by
the Turks in front of our positions
here at KABA TEPE for purpose of
burying the dead, was granted and
was on from 7.30 am to 4.30 pm.
It was arranged that only burial
parties & medical officers would be allowed
in front of trenches & then each party
would not go further than half way
to the others lines red + flags being
planted on the dividing line. It
was a strange sight to see the enemy
lined along their trenches & I suppose
the same occurred to them. The bearer
parties worked together at times and
in any case the trenches were only some
10 yards away in places. The Turkish
dead were very numerous, in one
small area over 500 being counted by
one of our medical officers. The work
went on all day & at a very
few minutes past 4-30 pm a few
rifle shots notified everyone in the
vicinity that hostilities had re-commenced.
At 8 pm the fire became hotter and
then settled down again to the same
old thing. We are really for the
present just a containing force
so we are not yet making any
desperate efforts to get forward tho'
progress is quietly being made by
sapping & entrenching. Three of the
largest & fastest ships afloat, the page 72 cunard liners Mauritania, Acquitania
& Olympic have arrived from England
with reinforcements but I don't know
yet their composition & strength.
Tuesday May 25. RESERVE GULLY
Fairly quite day fine until
about 2 pm when it rained heavily
much to the discomfort of many of the
men bivouacing on the clay slopes
of this gully. about 4 pm it cleared
again & summer showers fell again
later. About 12-30 pm the warship
“Triumph” was sunk just off shore
in full view of us here apparently
being torpedoed by a submarine.
No explosion was visible from shore
but the big ship quietly listed
then heeled over on her side and in
very minutes glided and foremost
to the bottom. Numerous destroyers
small craft were attendant upon
& I think all crew will have been
saved. The sea was absolutely calm
and amidst all the vigilant destroyers
it was a daring & clever performance
for the submarine. It was known that
German submarines were in the page 73 vicinity and we had noticed every
day lately that the Navy had been
on the lookout for them.
Immediately the situation was
cleared after the sinking of the
warship about eight destroyers
went off fanwise at great speed
to attempt to discover the
hostile craft but it is a
very difficult business. I hear
at this moment nearly half
the crew were drowned. They must
have been unable to get up from below
[gap — reason: illegible] think as before the battleship sank
there were numerous ships around her.
Wednesday May 26/15
Fine morning with cool breeze.
Nothing out of ordinary during night in
firing line. Official report says 74 men
lost from H.M.S ‘Triumph’. Day passed
without any important change in situation
Wg'tn batt. went on as inlying picquet
during night & returned to quarters at
5 am. 27th Lt. McColl returned from hospital.
Very fine day nothing important ashore
At 6-30 am H.M.S Majestic was
torpedoed off Cape Hellas and sunk page 74 in 45 minutes. Official detail not
yet to hand. We must admit that
the Germans have got a nasty one
on to us again. The modern
submarine seems to be the greatest
menance to the navy and these
events here the last day or two
show great daring & enterprise on
the part of the enemy. For about
twelve destroyers and other small
naval craft have been constantly
on the watch since we knew
of the submarines proximity.
Otherwise quiet day, several Greeks
surrendered & came in, they having
been acting with the Turkish forces
Friday 28/5/15 RESERVE GULLY
Very warm day in
fact it is now getting uncomfortably
warm. Usual night – bursts of rifle
& machine gun fire from enemy at intervals
nothing important happening. Today
somewhat quieter than usual in firing
line. During recent armistice some 3000
Turks were buried in front of N.Z & A trenches
which indicates that their casualties
have been pretty severe. – To be continued –
Saturday May 29/15
Fine morning. About 3 am in
trenches in our front we ignited a
mine placed in head of a sap made
towards the Turkish trenches where they
are very close to ours. It blew up
some of enemys line but also ignited
a mine they had arranged for us. They
must have had a tunnel which actually
passed our own & their explosion blew
in some of our trench burying several
men at Quinn's Post. Then the Turks
charged our trenches about 100 gaining
a footing. The success was very short
lived for the Australians holding this
line counter attacked, took 30
prisoners and none of the rest of
Turks got back. We followed up &
occupied a piece of enemys trench &
are holding on. 108 dead Turks
lie within our lines so there must
be many more dead & wounded within
their own. We had 70 killed
and about 160 wounded. About
the same time as this on another section
a party of CYC men rushed out and
succeeded in filling in a partly dug
trench of enemy's close to our own page 76 with loss of only 1 killed 4 wounded.
The battle lasted from 3 am until
about 9 am & after that the day
was quiet (comparatively speaking
always) except that we pounded
their hostile trenches with artillery.
Major Bruce a very capable Indian
Mountain Battery commander who
has done splendid work was
killed today by machine gun fire
being directed on a communication
trench he was passing through.
At the same time 1 Canterbury man
was killed & several wounded.
I today, received notice of
promotion to Major in Command
(17th) Ruahine Coy vice Major E H
Saunders, (severely wounded) and take
over my charge tomorrow. I
will have fairly difficult work for
a while as my officers are all
new, 3 reinforcements & 1 new promotion
I am then short of a 2nd in command
for present & Lt. Lee (slightly wounded)
Besides this practically all original
N C O's are casualties.
I have been mentioned in regimental
records for some little act of
gallantry at WALKER'S RIDGE on
Sunday May 30 RESERVE GULLY ANZAC COVE
Heavy firing early this morning
in front trenches but have not yet
learned if anything serious occurred.
N.Z. 1. Bg'de is to go into No 3
section of defences relieving an Aust.
Bg'de (West Coast Coy) goes in
today Taranaki tomorrow & so on
as owing to complicated nature of
trenches & position one new company
only per day is to take over.
Weather continues beautifully fine
a splendid climate here but now
getting too hot for work.
I took command of Ruahine Coy
Capt Short taking over my duties
at Batt. Headquarters meantime.
Monday May 31st RESERVE GULLY
Battalion remained fully dressed all night
& stood to arms at 3am in case of
Turkish attack, which it was thought may
take place last night, but nothing
serious happened. There was local attack
on our left but it was repulsed without
reinforcements being necessary.
I visited No. 3 section with my
officers, to become well acquainted with
the position which we take over later.
The trenches there may be likened to
the catacombs & a guide is needed
to show a newcomer through the
maze. The enemy trenches are only
50 to 80 yds distant in front. We
have miners at work putting in a
tunnel 15 feet below the surface
towards the Turks trenches so if
the enemy is discovered mining too
we should be below & can blow him
up. Very hot day & as usual
during last month, perfectly calm
weather. Yesterday a party of
the Wellington Mounted Rifle were out on
our left and got into a hot corner
being unable to get back until dark.
They were heavily attacked and before
regaining the trenches of a detached
post had 70 casualties. Amongst others
Capt. Hardham VC. was badly wounded &
Capt. Emerson killed.
An amusing tho' for a time rather
serious episode happened today. A
Turkish shell struck the cliff in our
gully here and penetrated into the bank page 79 within two or three feet of 3 men
who had a “dug out” there. The shell
then burst and we all expected to be
3 men short, when a few seconds
later the earth stopped falling and
the smoke of the bursting projectile
lifted to show three men raising
their hats with a cheer. The
cheer was answered from below
and the incident closed amidst
much laughter. General Hd Quarters
today report that the Turks had
1500 to 2000 casualties during their
attack of Saturday morning it having
transpired that our artillery had
wrought havoc amongst their support-
ing lines during the engagement