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Gallipoli Diary


Tuesday June 1/15

Hot Day. At 10 am Ruahine & H Bay
coys moved from Reserve Gully to Courtenay's
Post. Had a long wait in communication
trenches of Monash Gully owing to fire causing
delay in effecting relief of posts. Eventually
got in to bivvys with my coy at 6 pm.

Wellington Batt. took over Courtenay's
Post Canterbury took Quinns' & Auckland
Pope's. Otago being in reserve.

page 80

Wednesday June 2/15

Fine warm day. My coy. (Ruahine)
relieved Taranaki at 2 pm in front
line trenches for 48 hours shift. No
unusual occurrence in firing line but
individual fire & bombs going all night.
1 man wounded in the company.

Thursday 3/6/15 Courtenay's Post trenches

Again very hot day. I spent the
whole night moving round trenches
in my section. Had 2 [unclear: now] steel
loopholes erected. This morning this
being discovered, Turks shelled our
trenches & blew out bodily 1 pair
of plates fortunately no loss of life

One man hit in shoulder by bullet
Several casualties in reserve bivouac
amongst Taranaki Coy. by snipers.
Must admit Turks have superiority
of fire owing to their higher sited
trenches overlooking ours. We can
only fire during day light by means
of periscope rifles & at night do
not fire much except in case of attack.

Our Japanese trench mortar bombs
(26 pounders) seem to have good effect &
must be demoralising to enemy. page 81 about 4 pm Lieut Cargo was mortally
wounded in trenches while engaged in
trying to locate a sniper in
trenches opposite. He was shot right
through the head & only lived about an hour.

This man, promoted only a week ago
to commissioned rank & posted to
my company (Ruahine) from Taranaki
was a most promising fellow and
having been associated with him for
a long time I deeply regret his loss.
Formerly he was a bank clerk in
New Plymouth.

At 10 pm a demonstration for [unclear: strategical]
reasons, was made along our entire front
It was replied to by Turks & lasted about
an hour & a half. Remainder of night
usual trench warfare.

Friday June 4th KABA TEPE Courtenay's Post Trenches

Quiet day here. At 11 am very heavy
cannonading began at ACHI BABA by
naval & field artillery, and lasted until
after 2 pm. No official news through
concerning the bombardment. My company
(Ruahine) was relieved by Taranaki at
2 pm in trenches, former remaining in

page 82

Saturday June 5-15 Courtenay's Post

At 11 pm last evening a sortie was
made under cover of darkness, by small
parties from our Section (Quinns' Post) with
idea of demolishing with explosives the
Turkish trench only 20 yards in our front.

At same time small party also went
out in night with designs on a machine
gun emplacement on our right. What
success attended these efforts is not yet
known but they began a heavy engagement
which was kept up along whole front
from 11 pm till day break with great
[unclear: vigour] Daylight again brought heavy
shelling & continuance of action which
is still in progress (10 am). The uproar
of battle is awful & during darkness
rather weird to see flashes of artillery,
the trail of the projectile as the fuse
sparkles in the dark, the heavy trench
mortar & the bombs & grenades, always
accompanied by lines of flame from
rifles & machine guns and above all
the incessant din of battle. We are
well used to all this now & the
noise has no terrors except to the
ear drums & it sometimes keeps us
awake page 83 when we are supposed to be having
our spell of rest from the firing line.

It appears that the sortie from Quinn's
Post by Canterbury men was successful.
They routed the enemy from their front trench
& captured 30 prisoners: However they could
not hold the trench taken as the Turks
next line was so close they could throw
hand grenades & bombs onto our men
as if throwing stones. We therefore
destroyed the position as far as possible
& vacated it.

Sunday June 6-15 COURTENAYS POST

Continuance of fine hot weather.
Last night comparatively quiet. Yesterday
morning when day broke Taranaki men
noticed that a field gun had been
brought up in night by Turks & was
“dug in” on a position only 400 yds
from our trenches and had opened direct
fire on our earthworks. Our artillery
having been informed we had the
satisfaction of seeing, after about 5
rounds from our guns, the enemy
gun go up in smoke & dust. This
morning early I regret that within about
half an hour 5 men of my company page 84 were wounded (two mortally) in our
rest(?) bivouac below the trenches.
Apparently enemy snipers had got up
during night to some position overlooking
our valley. Hundreds of casualties
have occurred in this valley during
the past month from this cause.

Monday June 7/15 Courtenay's Post

I again took over left section of
this post with my company yesterday.
During today usual sharpshooting
continues with occasional shelling
from both sides. Very warm weather

Tuesday 8/6/15

Received NZ mail. Also information
from Record Office that my brother
George died at sea on “Guildford
Castle” on 14/5/15 from wounds
received in action before KRITHIA
on 9/5/15. (see my notes of that date)

Last evening another sortie was made
from QUINN'S the post adjoining this but
was unsuccessful though it was only a
small affair & was not of much consequence.

The incident however led to heavy
firing for several hours but page 85 with little effect to either party.

Wednesday June 9th 15 QUINN'S POST

My company was relieved from
Courtenay's at 2 pm yesterday and at
8 am this morning I took over left
half section of this position & which
contains 3 sub-posts. Hawkes Bay
coy taking right section of 3 posts.

This is recognised to be the hottest
position on our front (or anywhere else)
and is a very unique one certainly.

It would take pages to describe and
the skill of a professional man to
draw an accurate plan of the
maze of trenches bombproofs & tunnels
which form the position though the
actual post is only about 200 yds,
and in one place at least the Turks
trenches on ground sloping upwards
in their favour are only 10 yards distant.

The situation is governed by many
considerations principal among which
are that circumstances prevent our
artillery getting to work on the hostile
position & neither party can harass
each other by rifle fire but merely
keep them in their trenches. This page 86 has not deterred us alltogether
tho [gap — reason: illegible] for [gap — reason: illegible] four occasions now we
have rushed them with the bayonet
at night & captured their front line
with many prisoners but their
successive trenches in rear & enfilade
fire made the place untenable.
So the fight goes on mostly with
hand grenades & bombs thrown
from trench mortars (on our side)
A climax will be reached
though for we have a gang
of miners driving three tunnels
12 feet from surface right forward
under the Turks. These are
now being connected up horizontally
and we hope soon to give them
a lift heavenwards with a few
cwt of guncotton. This post
being rather a trying one to the
men we work it 24 hours on &
24 hours off now.

Thursday June 10th QUINN'S POST

Comparatively quiet night. West Coast
Coy relieved me at 9 am. My coy
going out for 24 hours rest.

Usual steady fighting throughout page 87 the day.

Friday June 11/15 QUINN'S POST

My Coy (Ruahine)
& Hawke Bay returned to trenches
relieving West Coast & Taranaki
as usual. 2 am this morning
we made a mild demonstration
against enemy for tactical reasons
then firing died down & fairly
quiet day & following night
was experienced. Lieut Morison
[gap — reason: illegible] & 2 men of H Bay Coy
were wounded slightly by a
bomb during afternoon.

Saturday June 12th

Returned to rest bivouac at
9 am following usual procedure
of yesterday. Dawn brought some
artillery fire from Turks lasting a
couple of hours intermittently. This
was replied to by our batteries

3 pm hand grenade & bomb duel
took place on Quinns' Post with
little damage to us. We got
over 170 bombs away which seemed
to get home in their trenches
and severely damaged parapets etc.

page 88

Sunday 13th

Usual change – we
relieved West Coast Coy at QUINNS' POST
9 am Fairly quiet day, but 11-30 am we
fired a mine to stop enemy tunneling
towards us where we had discovered them
underground. Brisk fire was exchanged
through night but nothing unusual
I lost 1 man killed & 1 wounded today
and several on my right (Hawkes Bay Co)
were wounded by bombs.

Monday 14th

9 am. Was relieved by West Coast &
proceeded to usual bivouac in rear
putting in quiet day. Fairly
heavy artillery fire over our valley
during afternoon but did not affect
our rest.

Tuesday 16th June 15

Returned for 24 hrs duty at
QUINNS' at 9 am. Fairly quiet day.
Turks have erected heavy timber
head cover over parts their trenches
last night. They also tried new dodge
of rolling high explosive bomb towards
our trench and exploding it with
rifle fire but so far have not got
them near enough to damage us.

page 89

Today detached 6 men to form
part of escort of Wellington Battalion
men for Sir Ian Hamilton while
ashore at Imbros. General Godley
visited our Post. today and went
through the trenches — on all fours, as
they are not very deep for men over
6 ft. Our miners have again
discovered enemy tunneling near
us underground in front of the
trenches. At 10 pm I sent out two
men to reconnoitre on my immediate
left towards enemys trenches. Each
man carried a hand grenade in addition
to rifle & bayonet. They were quite suc-
in getting desired information
and then for a time watched the
enemys trench from a distance of 10
to 15 yds. On seeing 2 Turks get
up to the parapet and begin to work
adjusting sandbags etc. they fired
each getting his man. Immediately
afterwards they hurled their bombs
which exploded right on the hostile
trench, then they made back safely,
being under cover of an old trench.

The Turks immediately opened fire &
sent up two rocket flares but to no
purpose and the incident closed.

page 90

Wednesday[gap — reason: illegible] QUINN'S POST

Just before dawn a bombardment
with grenades & bombs took place
but this is quite an ordinary
occurrence now. No casualties resulted
and we destroyed a good deal of the
enemys parapet & overhead cover.

9 am West Coast Coy again relieved
Ruahine & we returned to bivouac
in local reserve. Today one
our aeroplanes dropped three 100
lb bombs on Turk trenches in
front of Quinns' Post doing
considerable damage. Enemy
as on previous occasions wasted
a lot of ammunition trying to
hit the machine. (Sinking of
H.M.S. Canopus off Cape Helles by
submarine was unofficially
received here today)
Rumour Very
severe bombardment of Achi Baba
goes on at intervals & was
particularly audible from here

Thursday 18/6/15

9 am WWC & Taranaki Coys
were relieved from Quinns page 91 by Canterbury coys & proceeded
to REST GULLY. I remained
in charge of local reserve
(Hawkes Bay & Ruahine Coys) in rear
of QUINNS'. No important
changes or fighting during day.+

Friday 18/6/15 (Waterloo Day)

Issue of rum all round in
commemoration of Wellington's victory.

9 am my local reserve
moved to Rest Gully being
relieved by 2 coys Canterbury.

Several heavy Turkish shells landed
near H.Q. in Monash Gully but
did no damage to men though
one exploded amongst the stores
& sent cheeses biscuits & meat
tins flying in all directions.

A big heap of picks & shovels
were likewise distributed but
did no damage. We now
get a spell for a few days
though working parties have
to be supplied each day; this
however is only for 4 hour shifts
and keeps the men from getting
too soft. The roads and page 92 various works done here including
well sinking, building piers, shafts
& tunnels, miles of bombproof cuttings
along the hillsides and numerous
other constructions are wonderful
and would be an education to
many a budding civil engineer.

Saturday June 19th 15 REST GULLY

Another sultry day marked only
by few shells dropping in our
lines – one man being wounded.

Sunday June 20

Yesterday first mail from NZ
since receipt of our landing on
Gallipoli was received there. Another
sweltering day. Church service by
presbyterian chaplain was held.
Lieut Jardine (wounded 27/4/15) returned
to Hawkes Bay Coy for duty.

Monday June 21 MINE GULLY

Longest day of the year and it
seems to be the warmest. I being in
rest bivounac lay sweltering in the
shade of a blanket all day. Fairly
quiet in our lines in front but shelling
goes on at intervals. During afternoon
a heavy high explosive one landed page 93 on the bank just opposite me about a
hundred yards off across the steep
ravine with watercourse between.

Fortunately it buried itself before
exploding and then showered many
of us with earth dust & [gap — reason: illegible].

Several of our bivouacs were torn down
& two men Lt. Kibblewhite & another were struck by flying
lumps of clay but not seriously
hurt. Heavy bombardment by our
forces at Krithia & Achi Baba went
on all day but no official news to hand.

Tuesday June 22

Again very hot day. quiet in firing
line Col. Braithwaite of Div Staff
replaces Col. F. E. Johnston (sick)
in command of N.Z Inf Brigade

Wednesday 23rd

Our battalion still in Mine
Gully in reserve. Men doing
4 hours fatigue duties on trenches
& other works daily. Weather
continues hot & dry. We continue
to hold our lines without any
serious engagements taking place.

Artillery fire is exchanged daily
with varying effect, but we are
now so used to it that we page 94 hardly trouble to record it.

Nearly every evening shells come
pretty close to us here but have
only lost 3 or 4 men in the week.

Thursday 24th As per usual.

Last evening I sent up 2
platoons 13 & 16 to QUINN'S POST to
act as inlying picquet & await
the arrival of remainder on Friday.

Friday 25th

8 am Ruahine (less 2 platoons
allready up) & Hawkes Bay Coys moved
to QUINN'S Post from Rest Gully and
took over trenches we occupied on
previous occasions here. No serious
happenings to record usual bombs
& shooting going on with only
occasional casualties on our side.

Quiet night also. Post is much
improved with head cover & bombproof
now and miners have numerous
tunnels running right forward
below the enemys trenches 18 ft
from the surface. Good results
may be expected from mines here
later. Engineers can hear Turks at
work in tunnels but above us

page 95

Saturday 26/6/15 QUINN'S POST

West Coast & Tararaki Coys relieved
at 9 am we returned as usual
to local reserve gully for 24 hours.
This continues for 8 days – alternate
days being spent in post trenches.
Last night 9-30 we made a feint
attack to draw fire and succeeded in
our object. Quiet day today.

Sunday 27/5 [sic]/15

4 am we fired a mine at QUINN'S
which began a fire fight started by
the Turks. Little damage to us.
Ruahine & H. Bay again occupy
trenches. 1-30 pm we fired two
more heavy mines under the Turks
trenches and blew up a good part
of their works. For a time
bombing & revolver shooting took
place in the underground tunnels
where we burst into the enemy.

Weather remains very hot and
calm & flies are an awful pest.

Monday 28/6/15

W.W.C. Coy & Tar. Coy in trenches.
Fairly quiet morning but at 1 pm
as prearranged an attack took place on
our right by some Australian units page 96 and a general engagement ensued
along our whole front in order to
prevent the Turks strengthening Achi
Babi position (where a big attack was
being made by us) by taking troops
from here. This was quite successful
but Australians who advanced to the
attack suffered heavily. Day was
otherwise normal. Weather conditions
remain the same; very warm & dry.

Tuesday 29/6/15 QUINN'S POST

Ruahine & H. Bay Coys returned to
trenches 9 am. Very quiet day but at
9.30 pm Turks opened fire from the right
of us and soon the whole line was
heavily engaged. The night was dark
until moon rose at 11-30 pm and
the rifle & machine gun fire developed by
both sides was the heaviest I have yet
heard. At the same time a dust storm
suddenly arose and it was like hell
let loose. Bombs & shells began to fly
and for a time one could not open his
eyes for dust and the din was awful.
The fire slackened and died down at
11 pm but when the moon rose the Turks
opened again & attacked in front of Walkers
Ridge & Popes Hill. They advanced page 97 shouting & yapping through the fire
but their noise only amused our chaps
who held on and easily repulsed them.
Our casualties were slight. The fight
continued intermittently until dawn
when things became normal. We have
a few Turks to bury within our lines and I
expect there are many beyond. During
the fight at my post (QUINN'S) exploding
bombs ignited several dead Turks
just in front of our parapet. These
had been dead some weeks so that we
were pleased to see them cremated.

Wednesday 30/6/15 Local Reserve QUINN'S

Usual reliefs took effect and day
has been quiet except for intermittent
shrapnel shelling. Men on Gen Sir
Ian Hamilton escort returned today
from Imbros. About 10 pm when it was
very dark before the moon rose Turks
opened heavy fire on us probably to
prevent our making a move under
cover of darkness. At the same time
a thunderstorm took place accompanied
by very constant & vivid lightning
which produced a weird effect.

Firing eased up about 11 pm and
we had a short downpour of rain

page 98

It appears that on night of
29th (see notes) the Turks made a
feint on our right & then made a
fierce attack on the left flank
(Walkers Ridge & Popes Hill.) These
positions were heavily shelled in
the dark beforehand but the Turks
were repulsed all along with much
loss. We had very few casualties.