Mudros is a land-locked harbour, the entrance easily controlled by a boom and a minefield. Here were gathered merchantmen from the ends of the earth—conveying the five
[Photo by the Author
Battleships in Mudros Harbour.
divisions of French and British soldiers that comprised the Mediterranean
Expeditionary Force. Here, too, were ancient and modern battleships, every pattern of torpedo boat, cruisers protected and unprotected, submarines and trawlers from the far North Sea.
It was the flush of the Ægean spring, and the shore parties cutting grass for the horses revelled in meadows that reminded them of home. But the gaunt grey battleships and black destroyers in the bay struck a vastly different note.
From one side of the ship could be seen cows and sheep and stacks of hay; from the other, the grim realities of war. Overhead the engines droned incessantly as the seaplanes circled the harbour preparatory to a reconnaissance of the Peninsula. The tents of the French gleamed white on the hillside below the group of ancient windmills, and floating
[Photo by Sister M. Jeffery, N.Z.A.N.S.
Mills for Grinding Corn at Mudros.
across the rippling water came the stirring notes of the trumpets calling the French Territorials and Senegalese to their frequent battle practice.
Daily the mosquito fleet steamed out to gather information of the Turk, and returned to find more and more transports anchored in the stream. The representative of the young Australian Navy, AE2, passed down one afternoon, amid tumultuous cheering, she being recognised as the convoy to one of the early reinforcement drafts. She went out through the minefields, and in running the gauntlet of the Dardanelles, died fighting. Whenever a French ship passed, the New Zealanders lined the rails, the bands played the “Marseillaise,” cheers and counter-cheers were given.