The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The Morning of August 8
The Morning of August 8.
This morning—the morning when Malone stood triumphant on the crest of Chunuk Bair; when the Australians were pluckily attempting to carry Abdel Rahman—passed strangely inactive at Suvla. Following on their exhaustion and the heat of the midday sun, the men undoubtedly suffered agonies from thirst. There was water in the Suvla Plain, but no proper provision was made to take advantage of it. Instead, much effort was directed towards getting the supplies known to be somewhere at hand in ships and lighters. So one thing reacted on another—the bad landing beach at A caused exhaustion in the troops disembarked there, and was the cause of greater confusion when the troops for the left flank were landed on the right. This caused delay, which meant that more of the precious water was consumed than was allowed for. As a matter of fact, such was the lack of ordinary supervision, numbers of men landed without any water in their water-bottles at all! Those who had water consumed it during the waiting of the day. So General Stopford brought off mules to carry water in preference to artillery horses, and created a further excuse for delay—not enough supporting artillery! At the Anzac landing horses could not be landed, but willing men manhandled the guns up precipitous cliffs to their positions. No one seemed to think of this at Suvla. But the Generals in command seemed fairly satisfied with the progress of things. General Hamilton, over at Imbros, from where he could best keep touch of his page 235 widely-scattered army, got so uneasy that he could not resist hurrying to Suvla to see why the advance had been hung up. Nothing was done, but one battalion, the 6th East York Pioneers, occupied Scimitar Hill and dug in for the night. It was decided to make an advance early in the morning. Then an extraordinary incident occurred. The higher command evidently did not know where the battalions were. The 6th East Yorks were considered to be the freshest, and were ordered to the attack on another hill in the morning. This battalion had taken Scimitar Hill, but those in command did not seem to know it. Accordingly, the 6th East Yorks abandoned their position on this valuable hill without an effort and marched back to Sulajik!