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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

Bauchop's Hill

Bauchop's Hill.

The Otago and the Canterbury Mounted Regiments were to move off from No. 3 Post, traverse the flat ground to the northward, wheel to the right, and work up towards the high ground of Bauchop's Hill.

Lying in the low ground from about 9 o'clock, the South Islanders saw the white beam of the searchlight on the scrub and heard the scream of the destroyer's shells. At 9.30 the searchlight went black out. The men rose quietly—this was the signal for which they had been waiting. The page 211 Otagos wheeled to the right toward the trenches on Wilson's Knob—trenches they had lain opposite and observed with periscopes the last two months of waiting. Spurts of rifle fire ran round the scrub above Taylor's Hollow and on Walden's Point. Pushing up the Chailak Dere, the other squadrons of the Otagos came to the heavy barbed-wire entanglements stretching right across the dere and enfiladed by fire trenches on the spur. There was nothing to be done but tear the obstruction away. A section of the Field Troop of New Zealand Engineers, gallantly led by their subaltern, attacked the wire with great determination and, after sustaining many casualties, succeeded in opening the dere to the Otagos and Maoris who pressed on up the gully towards their objective.

Black and white photograph of Little Table Top.

Little Table Top.
Little Table Top was of little military importance, but its water-scored cliffs are typical of the surrounding country.

The Canterburys with some Maoris in support, advanced in short rushes across the flat ground towards the trenches on the foothills. Not a shot was wasted. Bayonets alone were used. A Turkish machine gun on the spur leading to Walden's Point was responsible for many casualties, and this section of the attack was momentarily held up. “Tap, tap, tap” went the gun, exacting a heavy toll; but a subaltern, named Davidson, who gained the ridge higher up, collected a few ardent spirits, and with fixed bayonets. page 212 charged straight down the slope. The dirt thrown up by the angry bullets flicked in their faces as they ran straight for the gun. Down tumbled the subaltern, killed leading his men, but the remnants of the party fell upon the gun crew. The keen bayonets did their silent work, and the gun ceased its death-dealing tapping.

Methodically and irresistibly the Otagos and Canterburys pushed up the spurs until the greater part of Bauchop's Hill was in our hands. Many a duel between surprised Turk and desperate New Zealander was fought that night in the tangled scrub. The ground was so broken, the twists in the gullies so confusing, that all cohesion was lost. But the troopers knew that their duty was to press on up the hill, so up the hill they went. Trench after trench was taken at the bayonet point by Pakeha and Maori. Presently three great cheers announced the final capture of the hill. But the losses were severe. Many officers were shot down, including gallant Colonel Bauchop, who fell mortally wounded, and Captain Bruce Hay who had taken charge of a hesitating line, was killed shortly after he had bravely rallied them and led them on.

By now the Sazli Beit Dere, the Chailak Dere, and part of the Aghyl Dere was opened; the N.Z.M.R. Brigade had decisively smashed the Turkish line.