Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Gallipoli Diary


Thursday April 1st

Brigade route march at
6 am to El Birka, Marq, along
Ishmalia Canal Mataria
Zeitoun to camp – about 14 miles
arrived back 11 am. This was
a test march in full service
kit & was very satisfactory.
Afternoon free. Camp concert
in evening in Wgtn Battalion.
Really excellent programme.
Mrs Home & Mrs Watkins were present

page 17

Friday Apr 2nd (Good Friday)

Off day, but I had to
sit on D.C.M. 9 am to 5.30 pm.
& then adjourned to 9 am. Sat.
Proceeded with this D.C Martial
today as early move is expected
& it could not be held over.

This evening about 6 pm a
riot occurred in Cairo & lasted
for an hour or two. This is
most unfortunate especially
on eve of our departure. At the
moment I am told that mostly
Australians with a few Tommies
were the principals but expect
a few N.Z. men were there.

The trouble occurred in a
very illfamed quarter but just
off one of the main streets. I
was not in town but understand
that some Australians (probably
half drunk & under provocation)
began knocking things about in
certain premises. This was followed
by furniture being thrown out
of the upstairs windows and page 18 set fire to in the street. Several
small outbreaks of fire also
occurred inside. Natives were
not concerned & mostly cleared
from the scene but many of
their premises were wrecked
in the scuffle. Military police
arrived & was soon followed
by strong forces assembled
by officers in the town.

Cavalry & Infantry picquets
were called out with rifles
& ammunition & some little
firing took place besides
which bottles etc were flying.

Several men wounded, perhaps
some killed, difficulty being
to sort out rioters from
those assisting, as all were in
uniform. Otherwise soldiers
on duty could have cleared
the place in ten minutes.

Finally all soldiers were
ordered back to camps and
barracks and town cleared.

page 19

This evening orders state
all leave is stopped from noon
on Sunday & all on leave
from camps etc must be
immediately recalled. This
is in anticipation of a very
early departure and we will
not be sorry to go at last.

Saturday Apr 3rd 1915

Resumed seat on D.C.M.
9 am to 11-30 am when court
adjourned pro. tem. Cairo
placed “out of bounds” for
troops from 2 p.m. on account
of last night's disturbance.

I visited town on duty from
2 to 5 pm. Also on duty
as Captain of the day in camp.

Maoris received orders
to depart “somewhere” on Monday
Also Ceylon Coy. leave
our lines and take up
duties as Corps unit.

Sir H. McMahon (High Com)
& Gen. Sir J Maxwell officially page 20 visited the Maori contingent
this afternoon when Capt. Buck
addressed them & the inspecting
officers spoke briefly. The
Maoris gave a haka which
seemed to amuse & impress
the spectators. The natives
really look very smart on
parade and march well
but training for war is
very different and I don't
expect they will see active

Sunday Mch 4/15 Easter Day

Divine service 9 am. No
leave to men now. I spent
most of day sorting & packing
my kit previous to departure
for front. Concert was held
in lines in evening & passed
off well. Preliminary embark-
orders issued. My Coy.
travels on “Itonus”.

Zeitoun will for the present page 21 remain as training depot
& Alexandria will be our
base. Infantry & Artillery
move first from here & will
be followed in few days by
Mtd Rifles etc. Another
successful camp concert was
held this evening.

Monday Apr 5-15

Disagreeable day owing
to a “Rhamsean” or hot wind
from the S.W. Temperature
rose to 102 after noon and
the sand storm raged all day.

N.Z. Inf. Brigade paraded
by “ships”. the order in which
They embark for “somewhere”.

Spent remainder of day inside
to avoid (as far as possible) the
sand & wind. Orders received
for Infantry to entrain for their
ships at Alex. on Wednesday.

Tuesday Mch 6-15

Day occupied
in completing details of
men's kits etc. & inspection page 22 of arms & accoutrements.

Visited Cairo in evening.
Town very quiet owing to
there being no leave to troops.
[gap — reason: illegible]Orders received
to delay arrangements for our
entrainment for 24 hours.

Wednesday 7/4/15

Wgtn Battn' route
marched in full war kit
& with transport to Palais
Koubbeh via Abbassia. Left
camp 8 am — 2½ hrs halt: lunch
time & reached camp again
3-30 pm. Did about 15 miles
over hot roads which was
rather trying to the feet.
Only 1 man our coy fell out.
Orders today to again delay
departure by 24 hours. I
am to act as R.T.O.

Thursday 8/4/15

Quiet day. In
afternoon went to Matarich on
a billeting scheme & returned to
camp at 3-30 pm. I acted page 23 as Regimental Billeting Officer.

Visited Cairo in evening for
purpose of saying farewell to friends.

Friday 9-4-15.

Very warm
day No parades until 11 pm
when troops begin to move out
for entraining for transports at
Alex. Wgtn Batt. trains are
arranged for 2.20 am & 5.20 am
Saturday. Everyone cheerful and
pleased at prospects of fighting
ahead. A large number of
regular English & French soldiers
go forward with us and very
extensive operations are expected.

An attempt was made on
the Sultan's life yesterday by
some fanatic who was since
arrested. Reports today state
that Turks are again in touch
on Suez Canal probably only with
idea of harassing our troops.

page 24

Saturday MarApr 10/15

I left Zeitoun Camp at 11 pm
last evening for Palais Koubbeh
station – about 3 miles from camp.

Trains left here with [unclear: W.G.R]
at 2 am & 5 am.. I travelled
on the latter, arriving at Alex.
docks 10.30 am. Embarked
immediately & at 3 pm the
“Itonus” moved into the stream

Alex. harbour presented a
most animated scene. Fleets
of transports & other ships
including W.S. cruiser “Tennessee”
being in port. On the wharves
military operations everywhere
French English & British Colo'.
troops embarking stores & men.

5 pm “Itonus” took in
tow a steam launch and
two barges for landing us
at destination, and put to
sea, bound for Lemnos Is.
the rendezvous for transports..

Calm sea & very pleasant

page 25

Sunday Apr 11/15

Beautiful day at sea.
“Itonus” is a very trim craft
of the British India S.N. Coy
and is splendidly fitted for
carrying troops. We have
1100 on board & no horses &
only about 12 mules. We are
only doing 8 to 9 knots on
account of the barges towing
behind — several having been
lost from other ships. Held
service this morning. Major
Brunt conducted Presbyterian
& Major Brereton of Canterbury
took Anglician, there being
no chaplains on board.

Weather is appreciably cooler
than in Egypt and very
agreeable. Received maps of
Gallipoli peninsula today
so will land there somewhere.

Monday Apr 12/15.

Passed between Rhodes Is.
& [unclear: Karpathos] Is. at day break page 26 & continued our voyage through
the archipelago all day.

About 5 pm had a heavy
rain storm, which was quite
a strange experience to us
– we having enjoyed fine
weather for such a long period.
Sea continues calm making
trip very pleasant.

7 pm just after dark and
a rather dirty night the
tow rope parted and let go
the steam launch & 2 barges
we were towing.. A rocket
light was put overboard and
with a volunteer crew [gap — reason: illegible]from
Taranaki coy. & 2 ships' officers a boat was
lowered away. (The Indian crew
of this ship are not much good
in a boat.) However the pilot
light went out & the captain
recalled the boat & decided to
go slow & look round in the
morning, owing to the remote
chance of finding the boats in
the dark on a dirty night.

page 27

It would also be a risky
proceeding - altho' we could
have manned several boats
with good volunteer crews.

Tuesday Apr 13/15

back on our course & sighted
the tug & barges at 6 am. Steamed
alongside & 2 officers of ship
& 3 Lascars dropped down ropes
into the tug & got a new line
aboard. A heavy sea was
running & the boats were now
astern with the men on board.

This was between the islands
off Asia Minor & skipper intended
getting to leeward of land to
make things fast & take off
the men. But the cable parted
& he decided to rescue the men
& abandon the tug. We manned
2 lifeboats but it would have
been hazardous to launch
them & the Itonus steamed
alongside & the men had to
scramble up ropes dropped to
them. The chief officer – the page 28 last to come off was thrown
against the ships' side and
stunned but was hauled aboard.

Meantime the barges had
broken adrift and the steam
launch was carried on to the
port propeller of the ship &
stove in. She sank in about
3 minutes & we continued on
our course having lost about
200 miles owing this trouble.
The lost boats were valued at
about £ 2000 & being for use
of the troops we did not want
to lose them. However with
the sea on & the gale that was
blowing it was very dangerous
to attempt to save them and
we were pleased to see the
officers & men safely on board
again. During time Itonus
was “hove to” she rolled very
much in the trough of the sea
the instruments registering over
30° of a list several times.

page 29

Many men were naturally
sick, but I came through
without any trouble of that
sort. Afternoon sea went
down & by nightfall we
were making good way in
calm weather.

Wednesday 14/4/15.

At 6 am.
entered the splendid harbour
of Lemnos. piloted by a
torpedo boat destroyer. The
harbour is practically full of
transports, colliers, and
naval craft. The latter
includes 1 Russian & [gap — reason: illegible]numerous
French ships, the whole fleet
being headed by the splendid
& formidable looking battle cruiser
Queen Elizabeth. The inner
harbour is protected from
submarine or other attacks by
a boom of nets & mines across
the narrows thro' which we
passed. It is rumoured that
we may be here a couple page 30 of weeks owing to our
having to wait for more
troops which are necessary
to our operations. Turkish &
German forces are reported to
be very active in Gallipoli &
two nights ago several bombs
were dropped in this harbour
from an aeroplane. All lights
are therefore screened & small
craft patrols the entrance
night & day.. A few houses
& military camps are to be
seen ashore round the
[gap — reason: illegible]scantily grassed slopes of the
surrounding hills. Lemnos
appears to be an ideal Naval
base & the British authorities
were exceedingly shrewd in
securing this new outpost
for the Empire. Held a
successful concert on board
“Itonus” this evening.

Thursday 15/4/15

Fine day, remained in
harbour & exercised troops on
board. Transports & warships page 31 continue to arrive in port
(A31) S.S. “Seang-choon” moored
alongside “Itonus”. She carries
Australian troops. One ship here
has had her foremast removed
& accommodates a captive balloon.

Friday 16-4-15

Our ship's
company went ashore in
boats for a short march
& returned in the afternoon.
I went also & had a look
round the villages. They are
very crude - made of stones
& plaster and practically all
inhabitants are Greeks. Island
of Lemnos is about 50 miles
in length. — Soil is rather
poor but cultivated on flats
and it was grand to be
able to work on grass land
— the first since we left
N.Z. except of course for the
ornamental grounds of Egypt.
Fine spring weather much
like N.Z. in spring.

page 32

Saturday 17/4/15

Lemnos Bay.

Fine day. water perfectly
calm. I visited divisional H.Q.
ship the “Lutzow”, on duty, & also
the “Achaia”. Afternoon rowed to
the Queen Elizabeth & had a look
round. She is absolutely the
last word in naval construction
very plain & trim in appearance
and quite devoid of the gear
& outwardly visible paraphernalia
of many warships, but purely
& simply a fighting machine.

Several of our transports are
“prize” ships – late of the N.D. Lloyd
line. These are very fine ships
and are being used to good purpose.

Reports today state that the
Turks again attacked Suez Canal
& were repulsed:– the N.Z.M.R
are said to have taken part &
were railed from Cairo without
horses for that purpose.

Yesterday a British transport
was overhauled by a Turkish
torpedo boat off Asia Minor and page 33 was fired on with torpedoes
three times. The first two are
said to have missed & the third
failed to explode
by this time — in response to
a wireless call H M S Minerva
and a French cruiser hove in
sight & the Torpedo boat made
off, only to run ashore during
her flight. It is reported that
a number of soldiers were
drowned off the transport.

It appears also that the cruiser
were searching for the Turk when they
received the call as they
had reason to believe she
was in the neighborhood.

Official report states that
British forces defeated the Turks
in Mesopatamia inland from
the Persian Gulf. There are
today about 60 transports &
27 warships (exclusive of destroyers
& small craft) & numerous
colliers in harbour with others
arriving daily. Several warships
are also at the Dardanelles

page 34

Sunday Apr 18/15

Divine Service 9 am. Chaplain
Taylor from the “Lutzow” conducted
it. Fine & calm day. Afternoon
practised men in disembarking
into ships' boats & returning.

Reported today that a submarine
that went from here yesterday
to the Dardanelles went aground
in the narrows, crew being taken
prisoners. Some of the regulars
& naval brigade landed on south
of Gallipoli peninsula.

Monday 19/4/15

Another calm &
pleasant day.. Troops practiced
disembarkation - landed for
a route march, returning in
the afternoon. Party from the
Australians on board S.S. ‘Seang choon’
moored with us, came on board
& gave us a concert. They
had with them a hypnotist who
was very good & gave a performance
similar to Norwood who recently
visited NZ.

page 35

Tuesday Apr 20/15

Fine but windy day.
usual routine of drill &
duties on board. In evening
our concert party gave a
performance on the S.S. ‘Seang choon’
in return to the Australians.
An excellent programme & very
well received. We had the
hypnotist (Sergt Little) over, this
evening & he gave a scientific
demonstration in the saloon
for the benefit of the officers.

They are all now convinced
there is something in personal

Wednesday Apr 21st/15

miserable day. wet & windy
Inspection parade 9 am of
troops in shore going order.

Each man carries an oil sheet
on his pack & this is all he
will have to sleep on for a
time when ashore as no
blankets can be carried at present page 36 Each man is also carrying
ashore a few sticks of boxwood
in his gear as firewood will be
very scarce. We have also
saved all our biscuit tins
for water receptacles to be
filled from the ships until
we establish ourselves and
obtain other supplies.

Thursday Apr 22nd 15

At 6 am I took a[gap — reason: illegible]
crew in the lifeboat and
rowed down harbour to the
H.M.T. “Goslar” which brought
our mails in yesterday. We
had a good load (26 bags) of
letters & papers and there
being a strong wind & fairly
heavy sea the return trip
proved difficult. Half way back
to the “Itonus” about a mile from
the Goslar I pulled alongside
the H.M.S Q. Elizabeth as we
could not make headway.

Here I got the assistance
of a steam pinnace going our page 37 way & the rest was easy.

Easy day on board and in
evening weather settled with
calm sea. I believe we should
have sailed today but the
weather was responsible for
24 hours delay. General
Sir Ian Hamilton commands
the land forces of the Med.
Exp. Force and today he issued
a memo addressed to the
“Soldiers of France & of the King”
invoking their individual energies
& reminding them of what Lord
Kitchener said to him (Sir Ian) on
his departure from England.
“Remember that once you set
foot upon Gallipoli you must
fight to a finish.”

Friday 23/4/15

Still “Standing
By” — but greater activity in
Lemnos harbour Today is
indicative of an early move.

About 4 pm a number of the
transports & warships proceeded page 38 to the outer harbour in
readiness to put to sea in
proper order & with despatch.

Great enthusiasm prevailed
as the various ships passed one
another — also going by the French
Russian & British warships. Two
of the largest of the splendid
fleet of transports are 2 Cunard
Liners Aionian & Leuconia each
of which has over 3000 Tommies
on board.

Saturday 24/4/15

At day break further
movement of ships to outer
harbour took place. I expect
the great array of ships here
[gap — reason: illegible]
comprising the transports of
the Mediterranean Exp. Force
under Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton and
their escort, the Eastern Medit.
Fleet under V. Admiral de Roebuck
is & will be the largest and
most powerful ever assembled
for active service. The spectacle
witnessed by the peacable page 39 Greek villagers of Lemnos will
be one never to be forgotten.

Today this following message
was transmitted to the troops
[gap — reason: illegible]by Sir Ian Hamilton, from His
Majesty. “The King wishes
you & your army every success
& you will be constantly
in his prayers & thoughts

Sunday Apr 25/15 Lemnos

The Itonus
& other transports left in
harbour weighed anchor 6 am
& put to sea. Sound of big
guns firing can be heard
from Dardanelles about 40 miles
away, so some other troops
must be in action. It is
a most glorious morning and
perfectly calm at sea. Everyone
on board is in high spirits &
eagerly awaits coming events.
10 am.. As we draw nearer
the zone of operations the
constant boom of big guns page 40 is heard. At 9 am we
held divine service & the
solemnity of the occasion
was rather increased by the
din of the bombardment across
the water. Operation orders
are now in our hands and
we, (the Australasian Army Corps)
are to land (covered by naval
artillery) just North of KABA
on Gallipoli Peninsula
and operate against Turks
defending MAIDOS. The 29th
(British) Division landed at
Cape HELLAS at dawn &
operates towards MAIDOS on
the KALID BAHR plateau.

I understand the French
troops are to land on ASIA
side. The intention
of military is to assist the
Navy in forcing the DARDANE
by occupying important
land positions.

4 pm ITONUS arrived off KABA
and at 6 pm. began disembarkation
in destroyer “Bulldog” at ANZAC Cove Right ½ Tararaki

See over

page verso of page 40

Re ANZAC Cove. This is so
named as that forms the initial
letters of Aust. & N.Z. Army Corps who
landed and established their
base at this point, North of

well known razorback up which a
road has since been constructed
is named after Gen. Walker who
commanded that section of
the operations during our attack, on
Tuesday Apr. 27th.

page 41

coy under major Brunt went off
in first party & more ordered up on
right of position on shore to
reinforce Australians Lighters[gap — reason: illegible]
occasionally subjected to shell
fire during landing but not
many casualties occured. Severe
fighting was going on ashore by
sound of incessant blast of rifle
fire & roar of guns (principally
ours). Before the Destroyer returned
for us (about 11 pm) numbers of
Australian wounded were brought
off to our ship (the hospital
ship being full) I landed with
left ½ Tar. Coy shortly before
midnight & entrenched in a position
covering Army Corps H.Q. The
landing of Aust Forces commenced
about 4-30 am and heavy losses
occurred as Turks opposed them
with machine guns & rifles besides
sharpnel fire. Really a wonderful
performance obtaining the
footing we have as men had
to charge up steep[gap — reason: illegible]
hill sides. Fighting continues day and

page 42

Monday 26/4/15

I hold some points
& our force is firmly established
on shore. Disembarkation of [unclear: men and]
stores continues. Enemy [unclear: opened]
with shrapnel about day light &
naval guns replied apparently
silencing Turks. An Indian
Mountain Battery is operating
on my right. Field guns are
little use yet as they cannot
clear steep hills with their
fire. Battle continues with
great vigour. Day beautifully
fine and rattle and roar of big
guns & musketry is tremendous

At times [unclear: strafe] is terrific but
men act all thro' as if they
were veteran soldiers: Conduct
of all ranks splendid.

Tuesday 27/4/15

Dawn again
breaks with battle at its
height & bombardment continues.
10am Wgtn Batt. (except the
Taranaki ½ coy with Maj. Brunt
who suffered severely yesterday)
proceeded to reinforce [gap — reason: illegible] the
Australians on left [gap — reason: illegible] at
WALKER'S RIDGE. page 43 [gap — reason: illegible] 224. C. Aust had been
two days & nights continually
fighting and were hard pressed.
W.W.C. & H. Bay coys with Machine
Guns went in first & suffered
heavy losses though behaved
magnificiently & are said to have
saved the situation. They had
to advance in high scrub &
tho' no Turks could be seen
men fell in all directions.
Eventually we held our own
& entrenched strongly. I with
Tar. ½ coy went in on left about
11 pm. Major Hart wounded here
while lying with me observing
the situation.

Wed - 28/4/15

Heavy night
attack on my front but easily
repulsed with few casualties on
our side. Hand Grenades were
thrown into our trenches. one
wounding a man beside me.
I was appointed to act as staff officer
to Col. Malone since Major Hart
wounded & took up duties today.

page 44

Thursday 29/4/15 WALKER'S RIDGE

Continued improving trenches
& hold present position against
fierce intermittent rifle fire but
don't think Turks will assault.
We are quite ready if they do.
Casualties in regt. since Sunday
about 7 off. & 200 men and in
Taranaki Co. 45 all told. Bulk
of these occurred on that memorable
Tuesday. We are hampered for
want of Howitzers & have no
room to work F.A. yet. The
29th (Brit) Div. & French force
landed at Cape Helles & Sed el Bahr
on Sunday & make steady progress.
Casualties in landing very heavy.
Occasional 11″ shells said to be
from “Goeben” or forts of Kilid Bahr
have fallen close to our ships but
so far only a trawler damaged.
Weather perfect.

Friday 30/4/15

Situation much
same. Turks seem to have been
reinforced guiding by their rifle
fire. Sniping by enemy very much
in evidence & country very suitable
for it. Lt. McColl wounded today.