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Official War History of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment 1914-1919

"Rest" in Shrapnel Gully

"Rest" in Shrapnel Gully

Next day the W.M.R. was relieved in the trenches by the 8th A.L.H. Regiment during heavy rain, and the former bivouacked page 26 in Shrapnel Gully No. 2, to the north. Between the hours of 11 and 12, whilst the Regiment was transferring, the battleship Triumph was torpedoed by a submarine quite close to the beach opposite Gaba Tepe Point. The ship soon began to list, and destroyers and other craft hastened to her assistance, and rescued the crew. The battleship was doomed, however, and in a very short time was lying on her side, from which position she turned bottom upwards some twelve minutes after the torpedo struck her. The sight of the sinking of this magnificent battleship will ever be a painful memory to those who witnessed it from the hills of Gallipoli.

The Regiment had been relieved from the trenches ostensibly to rest, but it was quickly disillusioned on that point. The term "rest" was a misnomer. In this case it meant more work, intense shell fire, and finally a desperate fight. Shrapnel Gully proved a veritable death trap, and a lot of work was necessary to make it safe. It was exposed to enemy gunfire, and on the morning following its occupation the Regiment was heavily shelled, with the result that two other ranks were killed and six wounded before the troops had time to deepen their "dugouts." Even then casualties occurred frequently, and it is safe to say that had the men had a choice of positions they would have preferred the front-line trenches on Walker's Ridge to the Rest Camp in Shrapnel Gully. They had not long to wait for a change. It came next day—but not to Walker's Ridge.