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Gallipoli Diary


Monday Feb [gap — reason: illegible]Mar 1st 15

Company parade 8 to 11 am
afternoon battalion training
2 to 4 pm. Mr Heslop
came into camp to tea page 89 and afterwards I returned
with him to Cairo. He was
to leave for Port Said at
11 a.m. on Tuesday.

Tuesday Feb [gap — reason: illegible]Mar 2nd -15

Company parade in
morning & afternoon the
battalion went for short
march through Helmilh
passing the Obelisk of
Ons. (the oldest in the world),
and the Virgins tree etc
in the vicinity. The
country round here is
very fertile though our
camp in the desert is
only 2 or 3 miles away.

The obelisk of Ons is
said to be 4000 years old.

I was Captain of the day
so spent evening on duty.

page 90

Wednesday Mar 3rd/15

Marched out at 7-30 am
on Divisional training
with NZ & Aust. division of
about 18,000 men. Carried
out an attack on position
East of No. 3 tower on the
Suez Road. Very warm day
& desert sand hard going.

Returned to camp at
7 pm after the hardest
day's training we have had.
A man of Southland Coy.
died suddenly on the march
probably from weak heart &
over exertion in the hot sun.
An Australian infantry man
also died under similar

Thursday 4th

Training near
camp — easy day.

page 91

Thursday Feb [gap — reason: illegible] Friday & Saturday 5/6 15

Company training 9 to 11 am
afternoon free in camp.
8.30 pm the Division moved
out for night operations
West of Suez Road. Arrived
at rendevous at 12 midnight.
Taranaki Coy was in reserve.
Remainder of brigade & Div
troops proceeded to take up
& entrench their positions
for an attack at dawn.

This was very successfully
carried out and cease fire
sounded at 6-15 am. Then
left for camp at 7 am.
Marched in the 9 miles with-
a halt reaching camp
at 9-30 am. Received advice
from GOC that NZ & A Div
to leave Egypt about 16th [unclear: inst]
for the front (somewhere) page 92 No more duties today &
most men had morning in bed
to make up for lost time
last night. I attended
Gezireh Races afternoon.

Sunday Mar 7th 15

Divine Service 10 am
Visited mousky bazaars Cairo
during afternoon. This
quarter should be seen by
anyone visiting the city
and who is able for a time to
endure the odours & general
surroundings of this Eastern
native quarter. Also visited
several mosques including the
Blue mosque 715 year old.

Informed that I am to
act as Military Landing Officer
for 3rd reinforcements.

Detailed instructions later.

page 93

On return to camp about 7 pm
found that my tent had been
on fire & contents narrowly
escaped destruction - Evidently
caused by the eternal cigarette
smoked by my tent mate.

Moral:- Don't smoke.

Monday Mar 8th 15

8 am to noon. Company parade
exercised men in musketry etc
at Matarich. Afternoon off
5 pm to 8.30 pm practiced
night advance towards
Biet el Shat on the desert
East of camp. The N.Z. Inf.
Brigade being engaged.

Tuesday Mch 9th 15

Battalion marched to Palais
de Koubbeh via Mataria &
the Virgins' Tree. Easy day
exercising men by sections
in the shady avenues of that page 94 locality. Day very hot.

Marched back to camp
afternoon arriving 3.30 pm
Coy Commanders & HQ Staff
being absent I took charge of
the battalion.

Wednesday, Mch 10 — 15

Divisional training all
day in vicinity of No 2
tower on Suez Road. Exceptionally
hot day and hard work.

Returned to camp by road
via Heliopolis.

Thursday Mch 11 - 15

Company training forenoon.
Left camp at 8 pm for
night march & attack at
dawn about 9 miles East of
camp. The whole division
complete with transport page 95 taking part. Very cold night
but very warm after sunrise
when we returned to camp
arriving 9.30 am. Friday.

Friday Mch 12 -15

Short battalion march in
afternoon through Palais de
Koubbeh & Zeitoun.

Saturday Mch 13 -15

Morning occupied in
general clean up in camp.
Afternoon off. I attended
races at Gezireh Club.
Afterwards dined with
friends at Shepheard's.

Sunday Mch 14 -15

Divine Service 10 am.
Afternoon visited Helouan (by
rail 20 m South of Cairo). with
Mr. Humphries of Gov. Service page 96 returned at 7.30 pm & dined
& spent evening with Mr. H.
at his quarters in the city.

Monday Mch 15th -15

Officers of the battalion
went under Major Hart
to Flagstaff Hill on Staff
Tour from 8 am to 3 pm

Rain fell during evening
the first for some weeks.

Tuesday Mch 16 -15

Divisional training.
Left camp 5-30 am and
took up defensive positions
& entrenched on line of No 2 tower
across Suez Road. Operations
finished about 1 pm. arrived
in camp 3-30 pm. Rain
fell during night & short
thunderstorm occurred this
morning. This is the page 97 first day we have had
occasion to wear greatcoats
since training in Egypt.
Afternoon again clear & hot.

Wednesday [gap — reason: illegible]Mch 17-15

3rd Reinforcements have
arrived at Alexandria and
includes Maori contingent
we are told.

9 am Officers of rank of
Captain & higher went
out on instruction in
Ammunition supply in the
field. Lieutenants with
the companies marched to
Mataria about 2 miles away
& carried out sectional work.

2.30 pm. I sat on a
D.C.M. in Cant'y Batt'n

page 98

Thursday Mch. 18 -15

Company training 8 to 11 am
afternoon free. Paraded at
5 pm & moved out on
Brigade training — Night
attack on entrenched positions.

Entrenched force acting as enemy
had wire entanglements & flares etc
making show very realistic.

Returned to camp 7-30 am Friday.

Friday Mch 19th

Day off after night operations

I went to Citadel in morning
on duty & attended at Abbasia
Barracks 4 pm on D.C.M.
went out on Indian motorcycle.

Saturday Mch 20th

Companies went out
skirmishing etc under C. Sgt Maj.

Officers went to Mataria page 99 on practical Billeting scheme.

Returned camp 11 am.
remainder of day free. I
went to town to dinner at
Mr. Andrews' at 8 pm. being
joined there by Humphries
& Holt of the Govt. Service

Sunday Mch 21st

Divine service 10 am.
Mr. Holt visited me at
camp 4 pm & stayed to tea

As usual had beautiful
weather but rather too warm.

Note for Thursday 18th

The Egyptian High Com'er
(Sir H.McMahon) visited
camp & inspected our lines
with General Godley & staff.


H.M.S. Ocean & Irresistible sunk
by floating mines at Dardanelles.

page 100

Monday Mch 22nd. 15.

9 am. Divisional mobilization
parade on camp grounds.

N.Z & A Division was inspected
& marched past Sir H. McMahon,
Generals Maxwell & Birdwood.

Other persons of note resident
in Egypt being present. The
whole of the troops paraded
on a war footing ready for
the field, this probably being
a final inspection prior to
our departure for active service.

In afternoon companies were
marched out from 2 to 4 pm.

page 13

Diary continues from
page 100 in previous book.

Monday Tuesday March 23rd 1915

I was Capt of the day. Companies
paraded under own arrangements
from 8-11 am & 2 to 4 pm. I was
[gap — reason: illegible]sent out to
[unclear: Tawfiqia] Canal on reconnaissance
& to make a sketch of position
allotted our Bat'n for Outpost work
next day. Ret'd camp 6 pm.

Wed. Mch 24/15

Brigade was
exercised in outpost work on
Ishmalia & [unclear: Tawfiqia] Canals about
4 miles from camp.

Thursday Mch 25/15

Bat'n marched
to Palais Koubbeh via Mataria
& returned 4 pm after exercising
in billeting at Zeitoun. I
left Cairo 8 pm for Luxor with
party of 8 officers on leave.

Luxor is about 425 miles
from Cairo on Nile—a great
Tourist resort on account of page 14 the old ruins of Temples &
Tombs of ancient Egyptians.

Friday Mch 26/15

Arrived Luxor
9 pm. proceeded to Luxor Hotel.

In company with a dragoman
visited temples of Karnak &
Luxor & afternoon crossed the
Nile in boat & proceeded by
donkeys to tombs of the queens.

All these are wonderful
places & well worth the
trip. Left Luxor 6-10 pm
& arrived Cairo 7 am Saturday

A hurried visit owing to
longer leave being unobtainable

Saturday Mch 27/15

Arrived Cairo 7 am
returned to camp 9-30 am
& had a quiet day.

Maori contingent and our
3rd reinforcements arrived in
camp at Zeitoun on Friday.

They report a good trip and
all well.

page 15

Sunday Mch 28/15

Divine Service cancelled owing
to a duststorm keeping troops to
their quarters. Spent a quiet
day in camp.

Monday Mch 29/15

Review of the
NZ & A Division & march past
Sir Ian Hamilton at Zeitoun
Camp. — 3rd reinforcements and
Maori detachment participates

Fine day and splendid spectacle
but dust caused by so many
troops in movement was most
unpleasant — to say the least.

I heard a very original expression
today. One of my men came to
enquire of a man who was being
invalided home. When I asked
where the man was he replied
“over at the scrap heap sir!”
Further enquiry proved that this
was the soldiers designation of
the camp where men to be
returned home are situated.

page 16

Tuesday Mch 30/15

[unclear: Nice day. Battalion marched]

Brigade exercised in Outpost
work N.W. of camp. Taranaki
Coy formed part of “enemy force”
& took up positions on [unclear: Tawfiqia] Canal.

Returned to camp 2 pm having
been out from 6 am

Wednesday Mch 31st

Easy day. Battalion marched
to Pont de Koubbeh & exercised
by companies returning 4 pm.

Spent evening at bridge party
at Mr. Watkin's Zeitoun