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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

The New Zealand Brigade in Reserve

The New Zealand Brigade in Reserve.

After leaving the congested beach the New Zealand Brigade pushed across country. The men were much interested in the first sight of the French 75's. Coming to rest in some fairly level fields, rough shelter trenches were dug in the moist earth. Shells flew backwards and forwards all that night, and very few men could sleep owing to the wet trenches. Everybody was a little hurt because the Australians were served with Machonochies, whereas the New Zealanders got the usual bully beef; but a few gay spirits refused to be depressed, and lustily sang “There's something in the seaside air,” which was unfortunately true.

On the morning of the 7th, extra ammunition and entrenching tools were issued, and the brigade started on a long trek in a north-westerly direction, eventually coming down to Gully Beach on the Gulf of Saros. After a short rest, the march was resumed. The leading files struck back again up the hill and met many Lancashires coming back wounded. Everywhere equipment was scattered. Many of our men secured sun helmets, which later were the envy of Anzac. When word came to rest for the night and dig in, the brigade pulled off the track to the sides of the valley, posted outpost groups, and endeavoured to rest for the night. But there was a good deal of confusion and noise, Ghurkas and other troops were moving up and down, and presently word came to move further up the gully. On the weary men stumbled, past a trench held by the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and evenutally arrived near a small stone farmhouse on the right hand side of the gully. On both sides of the road were some old Turkish trenches, in a filthy condition. Sticking up in the parapet was a dead man's hand, like a stop sign, seeming to indicate “this far and no farther.” Back-wards and forwards, this way and that, men wandered in the search for a comfortable resting place. Here the brigade passed the night, acting as a reserve to the 87th and 88th Brigades of the 29th Division, but the morning came without our men being called on.

The shelter of a ruined building was seized upon for a dressing station. Near by was a large fig tree, which later page 124
Black and white photograph.

[British Official Photograph.
Lancashire Landing at “W” Beach.
Here the 1st Lancashire Fusiliers added fresh glory to their illustrious record. The barbed wire was placed down to the water's edge and in the water. But the gallant Lancashires were not to be denied and performed prodigies of valour. The picture shows the steamers sunk to make a breakwater.

page 125 served as a landmark for the last resting-place of many New Zealand soldiers. From this dressing station the wounded were carried by the stretcher-bearers some distance to the rear to the Pink Farm, whence the mule ambulances carried the suffering men over the well-worn roads to the beaches.

On the morning of May 8, the New Zealand Brigade was ordered to the support of the 29th Division. We were to go through the 88th Brigade, and with the 87th Brigade on our left, renew the attack on Krithia at 10.30 a.m. The advance was made in a succession of waves; the Wellingtons were on the left, the Aucklands in the centre, and the Canterburys on the right; the Otago Battalion was in reserve. After an intense bombardment by our ship's guns and field artillery, the brigade advanced from the reserve trenches at 10.30 a.m. The ground was broken, and this hindered the pace. Many were lost who might have been saved if this advance had been made before daylight. The troops pressed on despite the casualties. When the officers ordered a breather, the tired men fell down flat right out in the open. Past the Hants' trenches and the Essex trench they went steadily forward until they came to the big front-line trench held by the 29th Division. From here it was about 800 yards to the enemy main line trench, but scattered in front of his line, in every depression and behind every clump of bush, were machine guns and hosts of enemy snipers.