Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

General Hamilton is Recalled

General Hamilton is Recalled.

The story of Sir Ian Hamilton's recall is best told in his own words. After describing the battle for Kaiajik Aghala, page 270 he says: “From this date onwards up to the date of my departure on 17th October, the flow of munitions and drafts fell away. Sickness, the legacy of a desperate trying summer, took heavy toll of the survivors of so many arduous conflicts. No longer was there any question of operations on the grand scale, but with such troops it was difficult to be downhearted. All ranks were cheerful; all remained confident that so long as they stuck to their guns, their country would stick to them, and see them through the last and greatest of the crusades.”

“On the 11th October, Your Lordship cabled asking me for an estimate of the losses which would be involved in an evacuation of the Peninsula. On the 12th October I replied in terms showing that such a step was to me unthinkable
Black and white photograph.

[Photo by Captain Wilding, N.Z.F.A.
A Gun Pit of the 6th Howitzer Battery, N.Z.F.A.

On the 16th October I received a cable recalling me to London for the reason, as I was informed by Your Lordship on my arrival, that His Majesty's Government desired a fresh unbiased opinion, from a responsible commander, upon the question of early evacuation.”

The reasons for Sir Ian Hamilton's recall were not promulgated to the men on the Peninsula, but his departure was made known to the troops through a manly farewell order. The Colonial divisions were very sorry to see him go. His commanding figure, his charming personality, his page 271 warm and expressed admiration for the “ever-victorious Australians and New Zealanders” endeared him to the soldiers, who like himself, were high-spirited, brave, optimistic, and warm-hearted. “Our progress was constant, and if it was painfully slow—they know the truth.” And knowing the truth we grieved to see him go. We knew that the age of miracles had passed, and that improvized machines could not stand the rough tests of war.