The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
Our First Battle
Our First Battle.
At last, on the night of February 2/3, it was obvious that the great attack had commenced. At Kantara the enemy page 53 made an early morning attack on the outposts, which was easily repulsed. Then their main body came down the deceiving telegraph line. To the intense delight of the Indians the enemy walked straight into the trap, and were scattered to the four winds of the desert by carefully posted machine guns. It was quite evident that Kantara would not fall. But the enemy maintained a certain measure of activity, advancing and digging in just out of range. He showed no anxiety for a closer acquaintance, but appeared content to throw a few shells at the posts and occasionally at the shipping on Lake Timsah. This continued all day, until he was evidently ordered to the attack. It was a miserably feeble effort which rapidly converted itself into a hasty retirement.
Some of the Canterburys were at El Ferdan, upon which post four small enemy field guns opened a desultory fire, but were quickly put out of action by a few well directed rounds from H.M.S. “Clio.”
Down at Kubri the troops were on the alert. H.M.S. “Himalaya” used her searchlights all night, flinging her ghostly beams of light far over the desert and preventing any surprise attack. A few shots were fired by the outposts but well-directed fire from the “Himalaya” deterred the Turk from making any organized advance.
[Lent by Cant. Saunders. 12th Nel. Reg
Where the Attack came.
This is the part of the Canal where the pontoons were launched. The 12th Nelson Company was holding a line near the fir trees.
Lifting the Pontoons.
The fir trees on our side of the Canal are discernible. The pontoons were sunk by rifle fire. The large holes were made with axes to render the boats unserviceable.
The First Man Killed in Action.
The last resting place of 6/246 Private William Arthur Ham, 12th (Nelson) Company of the Canterbury Infantry Battalion.