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Title: Five Months at Anzac
       A Narrative of Personal Experiences of the Officer
       Commanding the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial
       Force
Author: Joseph Lievesley Beeston



[Illustration: ANZAC COVE.
_Photo by Lieut.-Col. Millard._]



FIVE MONTHS AT ANZAC

A NARRATIVE OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCES OF
THE OFFICER COMMANDING THE 4th FIELD
AMBULANCE, AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE



BY

JOSEPH LIEVESLEY BEESTON

C.M.G., V.D., L.R.C.S.I., Colonel A.A.M.C.
Late O.C. 4th Field Ambulance, late A.D.M.S.
New Zealand and Australian Division

_WITH PHOTOGRAPHS_



SYDNEY
ANGUS & ROBERTSON LTD.
89 CASTLEREAGH STREET

1916

W.C. Penfold & Co. Ltd., Printers,
183 Pitt Street, Sydney.



DEDICATED TO

THE OFFICERS, NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN OF
THE 4th FIELD AMBULANCE, A.I.F., OF WHOSE LOYALTY
AND DEVOTION TO DUTY THE WRITER HEREBY EXPRESSES
HIS DEEP APPRECIATION.




CONTENTS


THE FOURTH FIELD AMBULANCE

THE VOYAGE

EGYPT

TO GALLIPOLI

THE ANZAC LANDING

AT WORK ON THE PENINSULA

INCIDENTS AND YARNS

AIR FIGHTING

THE OFFICERS' MESS

THE ARMISTICE

TORPEDOING OF THE _TRIUMPH_

THE DESTROYERS

THE INDIAN REGIMENTS

THE SWIMMING

TURKISH PRISONERS

POST OFFICE

SANITARY ARRANGEMENTS

SIMPSON

CHURCH SERVICES

THE ENGINEERS

TURKS ATTACK

RED CROSS

PREPARING FOR THE ADVANCE

THE ATTEMPT ON SARI BAIR

AMBULANCE WORK

ARTILLERY

TURKS AS FIGHTERS




THE FOURTH FIELD AMBULANCE


Shortly after the outbreak of War--after the first contingent had been
mobilised, and while they were undergoing training--it became evident
that it would be necessary to raise another force to proceed on the
heels of the first. Three Infantry Brigades with their Ambulances had
already been formed; orders for a fourth were now issued, and
naturally the Ambulance would be designated Fourth Field Ambulance.

The Fourth Brigade was composed of the 13th Battalion (N.S.W.), 14th
(Victoria), 15th (Queensland) and 16th (Western Australia)--commanded
respectively by Lieutenant-Colonel Burnage, Lieutenant-Colonel
Courtnay, Lieutenant-Colonel Cannon and Lieutenant-Colonel Pope. The
Brigade was in charge of Colonel Monash, V.D., with Lieutenant-Colonel
McGlinn as his Brigade Major.

As it will be necessary from time to time to allude to the component
parts of the Ambulance, it may be as well to describe how an ambulance
is made up. It is composed of three sections, known as A, B, and C,
the total of all ranks being 254 on a war strength. It is subdivided
into Bearer, Tent and Transport Divisions. Each section has its own
officers, and is capable of acting independently. Where there is an
extended front, it is frequently desirable to detach sections and send
them to positions where the work is heaviest.

As the name implies, the Bearers convey the wounded to the dressing
station (or Field Hospital, as the case may be). Those in the Tent
Division dress the cases and perform nursing duties, while the
Transport Division undertakes their conveyance to Base Hospital.

It was decided to recruit the Fourth Field Ambulance from three
States, A Section from Victoria, B from South Australia, C from
Western Australia. Recruiting started in Broadmeadows, Victoria, on
the 19th October, 1914, and thirty men enrolled from New South Wales
were included in A Section. Towards the end of November B Section from
South Australia joined us, and participated in the training. On the
22nd December we embarked on a transport forming one of a convoy of
eighteen ships. The nineteenth ship ---- joined after we left Albany.

Details from the Ambulance were supplied to different ships and the
officers distributed among the fleet. Our last port in Australia was
Albany, which was cleared on the last day of 1914--a beautiful night
and clear day, with the sea as smooth as the proverbial glass.




THE VOYAGE


The convoy was under the command of Captain Brewis--a most capable and
courteous officer, but a strict disciplinarian. To a landsman, his
control of the various ships and his forethought in obtaining supplies
seemed little short of marvellous. I had the good fortune to be
associated with Captain Brewis on the passage from Colombo to
Alexandria on board the ---- and his friendship is a pleasant memory.

The fleet was arranged in three lines, each ship being about three
lengths astern of the one ahead. The sight was most inspiriting, and
made one feel proud of the privilege of participation. The ---- towed
the submarine AE2, and kept clear of the convoy, sometimes ahead, then
astern, so that we viewed the convoy from all points.

The day after leaving Albany a steamer, which proved to be the ----,
joined us with C Section of our Ambulance. Signals were made for the
---- ---- to move ahead and the ---- to drop astern, the ---- moving
into the vacant place. The manoeuvre was carried out in a most
seamanlike manner, and Captain Young of the ---- received many
compliments on his performance.

Three days later a message was flagged from the ---- that Major
Stewart (who commanded the C Section of the Ambulance) was ill with
enteric, and that his condition was serious. The flagship then sent
orders (also by flag) "Colonel Beeston will proceed to ---- and will
remain there until next port. ---- to provide transport." A boat was
hoisted out, and Sergeant Draper as a nurse, Walkley my orderly, my
little dog Paddy and I were lowered from the boat deck. What appeared
smooth water proved to a long undulating swell; no water was shipped,
but the fleet at times was not visible when the boat was in the trough
of the sea.

However, the ---- was manoeuvred so as to form a shelter, and we
gained the deck by means of the companion ladder as comfortably as if
we had been in harbour. Major Stewart's illness proved to be of such a
nature that his disembarkation at Colombo was imperative, and on our
arrival there he was left in the hospital.

The heat in the tropics was very oppressive, and the horses suffered
considerably. One day all the ships carrying horses were turned about
and steamed for twenty minutes in the opposite direction in order to
obtain a breath of air for the poor animals. In the holds the
temperature was 90° and steamy at that. The sight of horses down a
ship's hold is a novel one. Each is in a stall of such dimensions that
the animal cannot be knocked about. All heads are inwards, and each
horse has his own trough. At a certain time in the day lucerne hay is
issued. This is the signal for a prodigious amount of stamping and
noise on the part of the animals. They throw their heads about, snort
and neigh, and seem as if they would jump over the barriers in their
frantic effort to get a good feed. Horses on land are nice beasts, but
on board ship they are a totally different proposition. One
intelligent neddy stabled just outside my cabin spent the night in
stamping on an adjacent steam pipe; consequently my sleep was of a
disturbed nature, and not so restful as one might look for on a sea
voyage. When he became tired, the brute on the opposite side took up
the refrain, so that it seemed like Morse signalling on a large scale.

We reached Colombo on the 13th January, and found a number of ships of
various nationalities in the harbour. Our convoy almost filled it. We
were soon surrounded by boats offering for sale all sorts of things,
mostly edibles. Of course no one was allowed on board.

After arranging for Major Stewart's accommodation at the hospital, we
transferred from the ---- to the ----. The voyage was resumed on the
15th. When a few days out, one of the ships flagged that there were
two cases of appendicitis on board. The convoy was stopped; the ship
drew near ours, and lowered a boat with the two cases, which was soon
alongside. Meanwhile a large box which had been made by our carpenter
was lowered over the side by a winch on the boat deck; the cases were
placed in it and hoisted aboard, where the stretcher-bearers conveyed
them to the hospital. Examination showed that operation was necessary
in both cases, and the necessary preparations were made.

The day was a glorious one--not a cloud in the sky, and the sea almost
oily in its smoothness. As the hospital was full of cases of measles,
it was decided to operate on deck a little aft of the hospital. A
guard was placed to keep inquisitive onlookers at a distance, and the
two operations were carried out successfully. It was a novel
experience to operate under these conditions. When one looked up from
the work, instead of the usual tiled walls of a hospital theatre, one
saw nothing but the sea and the transports. After all, they were ideal
conditions; for the air was absolutely pure and free from any kind of
germ.

While the convoy was stopped, the opportunity was taken to transfer
Lieutenant-Colonel Bean from the ---- to the ----. There had been a
number of fatal cases on board the latter vessel, and it was deemed
advisable to place a senior officer on board.

On arrival at Aden I had personal experience of the worth of the Red
Cross Society. A number of cases had died aboard one of the
transports, and I had to go over to investigate. The sea was fairly
rough, the boat rising and falling ten or twelve feet. For a landsman
to gain a ladder on a ship's side under these conditions is not a
thing of undiluted joy. Anyhow I missed the ladder and went into the
water. The first fear one had was that the boat would drop on one's
head; however, I was hauled on board by two hefty sailors. The
inspection finished, we were rowed back to our own ship, wet and cold.
By the time "home" was reached I felt pretty chilly; a hot bath soon
put me right, and a dressing gown was dug out of the Red Cross goods
supplied to the ship, in which I remained while my clothes were
drying. Sewn inside was a card on which was printed: "Will the
recipient kindly write his personal experiences to George W. Parker,
Daylesford, Victoria, Australia." I wrote to Mr. Parker from Suez. I
would recommend everyone sending articles of this kind to put a
similar notice inside. To be able to acknowledge kindness is as
gratifying to the recipient as the knowledge of its usefulness is to
the giver.

The voyage to Suez (which was reached on the 28th January) was
uneventful. We arrived there about 4 in the morning and found most of
our convoy around us when we got on deck at daylight. Here we got news
of the Turks' attack on the Canal. We heard that there had been a
brush with the Turks, in which Australians had participated, and all
the ships were to be sandbagged round the bridge. Bags of flour were
used on the ----.

The submarine cast off from the ---- outside and came alongside our
ship. I was invited to go and inspect her, and Paddy accompanied me.
On going below, however, I left him on the deck, and by some means he
slipped overboard (this appears to run in the family on this trip);
one of the crew fished him out, and he was sent up on to the ----.
When I got back I found Colonel Monash, the Brigadier, running up and
down the deck with the dog so that he would not catch cold! The
Colonel was almost as fond of the dog as I was.




EGYPT


All along the canal we saw troops entrenched--chiefly Indians. This at
the time was very novel--we little knew then how familiar trenches
would become. At various points--about every four or five miles-a
warship was passed. The troops on each ship stood to attention and the
bugler blew the general salute. Port Said was reached in the
afternoon, and here a great calamity overtook me. Paddy was lost! He
was seen going ashore in the boat which took the mails. Though orders
were out against any one's leaving the ship, Colonel Monash offered me
permission to go and look for him. With Sergeant Nickson and Walkley I
started off and tramped through all sorts of slums and places, without
any success. Finally we returned to the water front, where one of the
natives (a little more intelligent than the others) took me to the
Custom House close by. One of the officials could speak a little
English, and in response to my enquiry he turned up a large book. Then
I saw, among a lot of Egyptian writing, PADDY 4 A.M.C. MORMON. This
corresponded to his identity disc, which was round his neck. He was
out at the abattoirs, where after a three-mile drive we obtained him.
His return to the ship was hailed by the men with vociferous cheers.

On arrival at Alexandria we made arrangements for the disembarkation
of all our sick, Lieutenant-Colonel Beach superintending their
transport. We left soon after by rail for Heilwan, arriving after
nightfall. A guide was detailed to conduct us to camp, and we set out
to march a couple of miles across the desert. It was quite cold, so
that the march was rather good; but, loaded as we were, in full
marching order and soft after a long sea voyage, it was a stiff tramp.
In the pitch dark, as silent as the grave, we stumbled along, and
finally arrived at the camp outside Heliopolis, a place known as the
Aerodrome.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sutherland and Major Helsham were camped with their
Ambulance close by, and with most kindly forethought had pitched our
tents for us. We just lay down in our greatcoats and slept until
morning. Our Brigade was camped just across the road, and formed part
of the New Zealand and Australian Division under General Sir Alexander
Godley.

Training soon began, and everyone seemed full of the idea of making
himself "fit." Our peace camps and continuous training at home look
very puny and small in comparison with the work which now occupied our
time. At manoeuvres the number of troops might be anything up to
thirty thousand. To march in the rear of such a column meant that each
of the Ambulances soon swallowed its peck of dirt. But with it all we
were healthy and vigorous. As an Ambulance we practiced all sorts of
movements. Under supposition that we might have to retreat suddenly,
the whole camp would be struck, packed on the waggon and taken down
the Suez road, where it was pitched again, ready to receive patients;
then tents would be struck and a return made to camp. Or we would make
a start after nightfall and practise the movements without lights; the
transport handling the horses in the dark. Or the different sections
would march out independently, and concentrate on a point agreed upon.
It was great practice, but in the end not necessary; for we went, not
to France, as we expected, but to Gallipoli, where we had no horses.
However, it taught the men to believe in themselves. That period of
training was great. Everyone benefited, and by the beginning of April
we felt fit for anything.

We were exceedingly well looked after in the way of a standing camp.
Sand of course was everywhere, but when watered it became quite hard,
and the quadrangle made a fine drill ground. Each unit had a mess
house in which the men had their meals; there was an abundant supply
of water obtained from the Nile, so that shower baths were plentiful.
Canteens were established, and the men were able to supplement their
rations. The Y.M.C.A. erected buildings for the men's entertainment,
which served an excellent purpose in keeping the troops in camp.
Cinematographs showed pictures, and all round the camp dealers
established shops, so that there was very little inducement for men to
leave at night. A good deal of our time was occupied in weeding out
undesirables from the Brigade. Thank goodness, I had not to send a man
from the Ambulance back for this reason.

Apart from the instructive side of our stay in Egypt, the sojourn was
most educational. We were camped just on the edge of the Land of
Goshen; the place where Joseph obtained his wife was only about a mile
away from my tent, and the well where the Virgin Mother rested with
our Saviour was in close proximity. The same water wheels are here as
are mentioned in the Bible, and one can see the camels and asses
brought to water, and the women going to and fro with pitchers on
their heads. Then in the museum in Cairo one could see the mummy of
the Pharaoh of Joseph's time. All this made the Bible quite the most
interesting book to read.

The troops having undergone pretty strenuous training, we were
inspected by Sir Ian Hamilton, who was to command us in the
forthcoming campaign. Then, early in April, the commanding officers of
units were assembled at Headquarters and the different ships allotted.
Finally, on the evening of the 11th April, our camp was struck, and;
we bade good-bye to Heliopolis. The waggons were packed and the
Ambulance moved off, marching to the Railway Station in Cairo.
Nine-thirty was the time fixed for our entraining, and we were there
on the minute--and it was as well that such was the case, for General
Williams stood at the gate to watch proceedings.

The waggons with four horses (drivers mounted, of course) were taken
at a trot up an incline, through a narrow gateway on to the platform.
The horses were then taken out and to the rear, and the waggons placed
on the trucks by Egyptian porters.

We had 16 vehicles, 69 horses, 10 officers and 245 men. The whole were
entrained in 35 minutes. The General was very pleased with the
performance, and asked me to convey his approbation to the men.
Certainly they did well.




TO GALLIPOLI


At midnight we left Cairo and arrived at daybreak at Alexandria, the
train running right on to the wharf, alongside which was the transport
to convey us to Gallipoli--the Dardanelles we called it then. Loading
started almost immediately, and I found that I--who in ordinary life
am a peaceful citizen and a surgeon by profession--had to direct
operations by which our waggons were to be removed from the railway
trucks on to the wharf and thence to the ship's hold. Men with some
knowledge of the mysteries of steam winches had to be specially
selected and instructed in these duties, and I--well, beyond at times
watching a ship being loaded at Newcastle, I was as innocent of their
details as the unborn babe. However, everyone went at it, and the
transport was loaded soon after dinner. We had the New Zealand Battery
of Artillery, Battery Ammunition Column, 14th Battalion Transport and
Army Service Corps with us, the whole numbering 560 men and 480
horses. At 4 p.m. the ship cast off, and we went to the outer harbour
and began to shake down. The same hour the next day saw us under weigh
for the front. The voyage was quite uneventful, the sea beautifully
calm, and the various islands in the Egean Sea most picturesque. Three
days later we arrived at Lemnos, and found the harbour (which is of
considerable size) packed with warships and transports. I counted 20
warships of various sizes and nationalities. The _Agamemnon_ was just
opposite us, showing signs of the damage she had received in the
bombardment of the Turkish forts a couple of months before. We stayed
here a week, and every day practised going ashore in boats, each man
in full marching order leaving the ship by the pilot ladder.

It is extraordinary how one adapts oneself to circumstances. For years
it has been almost painful to me to look down from a height; as for
going down a ladder, in ordinary times I could not do it. However,
here there was no help for it; a commanding officer cannot order his
men to do what he will not do himself, so up and down we went in full
marching order. Bearer work was carried out among the stony hills
which surround the harbour.

Finally, on the 24th April, the whole armada got under weigh, headed
by the _Queen Elizabeth_, or as the men affectionately termed her,
"Lizzie." We had been under steam for only about four hours when a
case of smallpox was reported on board. As the captain informed me he
had time to spare, we returned to Lemnor and landed the man,
afterwards proceeding on our journey. At night the ship was darkened.
Our ship carried eight horse-boats, which were to be used by the 29th
Division in their landing at Cape Helles.

Just about dawn on Sunday the 25th I came on deck and could see the
forms of a number of warships in close proximity to us, with
destroyers here and there and numbers of transports. Suddenly one ship
fired a gun, and then they were all at it, the Turks replying in quick
time from the forts on Seddul Bahr, as well as from those on the
Asiatic side. None of our ships appeared to be hit, but great clouds
of dust were thrown up in the forts opposite us. Meanwhile destroyers
were passing us loaded with troops, and barges filled with grim and
determined-looking men were being towed towards the shore. One could
not help wondering how many of them would be alive in an hour's time.
Slowly they neared the cliffs; as the first barge appeared to ground,
a burst of fire broke out along the beach, alternately rifles and
machine guns. The men leaped out of the barges--almost at once the
firing on the beach ceased, and more came from halfway up the cliff.
The troops had obviously landed, and were driving the Turks back.
After a couple of hours the top of the cliff was gained; there the
troops became exposed to a very heavy fire from some batteries of
artillery placed well in the rear, to which the warships attended as
soon as they could locate them. The _Queen Elizabeth_ was close by us,
apparently watching a village just under the fort. Evidently some guns
were placed there. She loosed off her two fifteen-inch guns, and after
the dust had cleared away we could see that new streets had been made
for the inhabitants. Meanwhile the British had gained the top and were
making headway, but losing a lot of men--one could see them falling
everywhere.




THE ANZAC LANDING


The horse-boats having been got overboard, we continued our voyage
towards what is now know as Anzac. Troops--Australians and New
Zealanders--were being taken ashore in barges. Warships were firing
apparently as fast as they could load, the Turks replying with equal
cordiality. In fact, as Captain Dawson remarked to me, it was quite
the most "willing" Sunday he had ever seen.

Our troops were ascending the hills through a dwarf scrub, just low
enough to let us see the men's heads, though sometimes we could only
locate them by the glint of the bayonets in the sunshine. Everywhere
they were pushing on in extended order, but many falling. The Turks
appeared to have the range pretty accurately. About mid-day our men
seemed to be held up, the Turkish shrapnel appearing to be too much
for them. It was now that there occurred what I think one of the
finest incidents of the campaign. This was the landing of the
Australian Artillery. They got two of their guns ashore, and over very
rough country dragged them up the hills with what looked like a
hundred men to each. Up they went, through a wheat-field, covered and
plastered with shrapnel, but with never a stop until the crest of the
hill on the right was reached. Very little time was wasted in getting
into action, and from this time it became evident that we were there
to stay.

The practice of the naval guns was simply perfect. They lodged shell
after shell just in front of the foremost rank of our men; in response
to a message asking them to clear one of the gullies, one ship placed
shell after shell up that gully, each about a hundred yards apart, and
in as straight a line as if they were ploughing the ground for Johnny
Turk, instead of making the place too hot to hold him.

The Turks now began to try for this warship, and in their endeavours
almost succeeded in getting the vessel we were on, as a shell burst
right overhead.

The wounded now began to come back, and the one hospital ship there
was filled in a very short time. Every available transport was then
utilised for the reception of casualties, and as each was filled she
steamed off to the base at Alexandria. As night came on we appeared to
have a good hold of the place, and orders came for our bearer division
to land. They took with them three days' "iron" rations, which
consisted of a tin of bully beef, a bag of small biscuits, and some
tea and sugar, dixies, a tent, medical comforts, and (for firewood)
all the empty cases we could scrape up in the ship. Each squad had a
set of splints, and every man carried a tourniquet and two roller
bandages in his pouch. Orders were issued that the men were to make
the contents of their water-bottles last three days, as no water was
available on shore.

The following evening the remainder of the Ambulance, less the
transport, was ordered ashore. We embarked in a trawler, and steamed
towards the shore in the growing dusk as far as the depth of water
would allow. The night was bitterly cold, it was raining, and all felt
this was real soldiering. None of us could understand what occasioned
the noise we heard at times, of something hitting the iron deck houses
behind us; at last one of the men exclaimed: "Those are bullets, sir,"
so that we were having our baptism of fire. It was marvellous that no
one was hit, for they were fairly frequent, and we all stood closely
packed. Finally the skipper of the trawler, Captain Hubbard, told me
he did not think we could be taken off that night, and therefore
intended to drop anchor. He invited Major Meikle and myself to the
cabin, where the cook served out hot tea to all hands. I have drunk a
considerable number of cups of tea in my time, but that mug was very,
very nice. The night was spent dozing where we stood, Paddy being very
disturbed with the noise of the guns.

At daylight a barge was towed out and, after placing all our equipment
on board, we started for the beach. As soon as the barge grounded, we
jumped out into the water (which was about waist deep) and got to dry
land. Colonel Manders, the A.D.M.S. of our Division, was there, and
directed us up a gully where we were to stay in reserve for the time
being, meantime to take lightly-wounded cases. One tent was pitched
and dug-outs made for both men and patients, the Turks supplying
shrapnel pretty freely. Our position happened to be in rear of a
mountain battery, whose guns the Turks appeared very anxious to
silence, and any shells the battery did not want came over to us. As
soon as we were settled down I had time to look round. Down on the
beach the 1st Casualty Clearing Station (under Lieutenant-Colonel
Giblin) and the Ambulance of the Royal Marine Light Infantry were at
work. There were scores of casualties awaiting treatment, some of them
horribly knocked about. It was my first experience of such a number of
cases. In civil practice, if an accident took place in which three or
four men were injured, the occurrence would be deemed out of the
ordinary: but here there were almost as many hundreds, and all the
flower of Australia. It made one feel really that, in the words of
General Sherman, "War is hell," and it seemed damnable that it should
be in the power of one man, even if be he the German Emperor, to
decree that all these men should be mutilated or killed. The great
majority were just coming into manhood with all their life before
them. The stoicism and fortitude with which they bore their pain was
truly remarkable. Every one of them was cheery and optimistic; there
was not a murmur; the only requests were for a cigarette or a drink of
water. One felt very proud of these Australians, each waiting his turn
to be dressed without complaining. It really quite unnerved me for a
time. However, it was no time to allow the sentimental side of one's
nature to come uppermost.

I watched the pinnaces towing the barges in. Each pinnace belonged to
a warship and was in charge of a midshipman--dubbed by his shipmates a
"snotty." This name originates from the days of Trafalgar. The little
chaps appear to have suffered from chronic colds in the head, with the
usual accompaniment of a copious flow from the nasal organs. Before
addressing an officer the boys would clean their faces by drawing the
sleeve of their jacket across the nose; and, I understand that this
practice so incensed Lord Nelson that he ordered three brass buttons
to be sewn on the wristbands of the boys' jackets. However, this is by
the way. These boys, of all ages from 14 to 16, were steering their
pinnaces with supreme indifference to the shrapnel falling about,
disdaining any cover and as cool as if there was no such thing as war.
I spoke to one, remarking that they were having a great time. He was a
bright, chubby, sunny-faced little chap, and with a smile said: "Isn't
it beautiful, sir? When we started, there were sixteen of us, and now
there are only six!" This is the class of man they make officers out
of in Britain's navy, and while this is so there need be no fear of
the result of any encounter with the Germans.

Another boy, bringing a barge full of men ashore, directed them to lie
down and take all the cover they could, he meanwhile steering the
pinnace and standing quite unconcernedly with one foot on the boat's
rail.




AT WORK ON THE PENINSULA


Casualties began to come in pretty freely, so that our tent was soon
filled. We now commenced making dug-outs in the side of the gully and
placing the men in these. Meantime stores of all kinds were being
accumulated on the beach--stacks of biscuits, cheese and preserved
beef, all of the best. One particular kind of biscuit, known as the
"forty-niners," had forty-nine holes in it, was believed to take
forty-nine years to bake, and needed forty-nine chews to a bite. But
there were also beautiful hams and preserved vegetables, and with
these and a tube of Oxo a very palatable soup could be prepared. A
well-known firm in England puts up a tin which they term an Army
Ration, consisting of meat and vegetables, nicely seasoned and very
palatable. For a time this ration was eagerly looked for and
appreciated, but later on, when the men began to get stale, it did not
agree with them so well; it appeared to be too rich for many of us. We
had plenty of jam, of a kind--one kind. Oh! how we used to revile the
maker of "Damson and Apple'!" The damson coloured it, and whatever
they used for apple gave it body.

One thing was good all the time, and that was the tea. The brand never
wavered, and the flavour was always full. Maynard could always make a
good cup of it. It has been already mentioned that water was not at
first available on shore. This was soon overcome, thanks to the Navy.
They convoyed water barges from somewhere, which they placed along
shore; the water was then pumped into our water carts, and the men
filled their water-bottles from them. The water, however, never
appeared to quench our thirst. It was always better made up into tea,
or taken with lime juice when we could get it.

Tobacco, cigarettes and matches were on issue, but the tobacco was of
too light a brand for me, so that Walkley used to trade off my share
of the pernicious weed for matches. The latter became a precious
commodity. I have seen three men light their pipes from one match.
Captain Welch was very independent; he had a burning glass, and
obtained his light from the sun. After a few days the R.M.L.I. were
ordered away, and we were directed to take up their position on the
beach. A place for operating was prepared by putting sandbags at
either end, the roof being formed by planks covered with sandbags and
loose earth. Stanchions of 4 x 4 in. timber were driven into the
ground, with crosspieces at a convenient height; the stretcher was
placed on these, and thus an operating table was formed. Shelves were
made to hold our instruments, trays and bottles; these were all in
charge of Staff-Sergeant Henderson, a most capable and willing
assistant. Close by a kitchen was made, and a cook kept constantly
employed keeping a supply of hot water, bovril, milk and biscuits
ready for the men when they came in wounded, for they had to be fed as
well as medically attended to.




INCIDENTS AND YARNS


One never ceased admiring our men, and their cheeriness under these
circumstances and their droll remarks caused us many a laugh. One man,
just blown up by a shell, informed us that it was a ---- of a
place--'no place to take a lady.' Another told of the mishap to his
"cobber," who picked up a bomb and blew on it to make it light; "all
at once it blew his ---- head off--Gorblime! you would have laughed!"
For lurid and perfervid language commend me to the Australian Tommy.
Profanity oozes from him like music from a barrel organ. At the same
time, he will give you his idea of the situation, almost without
exception in an optimistic strain, generally concluding his
observation with the intimation that "We gave them hell." I have seen
scores of them lying wounded and yet chatting one to another while
waiting their turn to be dressed. The stretcher-bearers were a fine
body of men. Prior to this campaign, the Army Medical Corps was always
looked upon as a soft job. In peacetime we had to submit to all sorts
of flippant remarks, and were called Linseed Lancers, Body-snatchers,
and other cheery and jovial names; but, thanks to Abdul and the
cordiality of his reception, the A.A.M.C. can hold up their heads with
any of the fighting troops. It was a common thing to hear men say:
"This beach is a hell of a place! The trenches are better than this."
The praises of the stretcher-bearers were in all the men's mouths;
enough could not be said in their favour. Owing to the impossibility
of landing the transport, all the wounded had to be carried; often for
a distance of a mile and a half, in a blazing sun, and through
shrapnel and machine-gun fire. But there was never a flinch; through
it all they went, and performed their duty. Of our Ambulance 185 men
and officers landed, and when I relinquished command, 43 remained. At
one time we were losing so many bearers, that carrying during the
day-time was abandoned, and orders were given that it should only be
undertaken after night-fall. On one occasion a man was being sent off
to the hospital ship from our tent in the gully. He was not very bad,
but he felt like being carried down. As the party went along the
beach, Beachy Bill became active; one of the bearers lost his leg, the
other was wounded, but the man who was being carried down got up and
ran! All the remarks I have made regarding the intrepidity and valour
of the stretcher-bearers apply also to the regimental bearers. These
are made up from the bandsmen. Very few people think, when they see
the band leading the battalion in parade through the streets, what
happens to them on active service. Here bands are not thought of; the
instruments are left at the base, and the men become bearers, and
carry the wounded out of the front line for the Ambulance men to care
for. Many a stretcher-bearer has deserved the V.C.

One of ours told me they had reached a man severely wounded in the
leg, in close proximity to his dug-out. After he had been placed on
the stretcher and made comfortable, he was asked whether there was
anything he would like to take with him. He pondered a bit, and then
said: "Oh! you might give me my diary--I would like to make a note of
this before I forget it!"

It can be readily understood that in dealing with large bodies of men,
such as ours, a considerable degree of organization is necessary, in
order to keep an account, not only of the man, but of the nature of
his injury (or illness, as the case may be) and of his destination.
Without method chaos would soon reign. As each casualty came in he was
examined, and dressed or operated upon as the necessity arose.
Sergeant Baxter then got orders from the officer as to where the case
was to be sent. A ticket was made out, containing the man's name, his
regimental number, the nature of his complaint, whether morphia had
been administered and the quantity, and finally his destination. All
this was also recorded in our books, and returns made weekly, both to
headquarters and to the base. Cases likely to recover in a fortnight's
time were sent by fleet-sweeper to Mudros; the others were embarked on
the hospital ship. They were placed in barges, and towed out by a
pinnace to a trawler, and by that to the hospital ship, where the
cases were sorted out. When once they had left the beach, our
knowledge of them ceased, and of course our responsibility. One man
arriving at the hospital ship was describing, with the usual
picturesque invective, how the bullet had got into his shoulder. One
of the officers, who apparently was unacquainted with the Australian
vocabulary, said: "What was that you said, my man?" The reply came, "A
blightah ovah theah put a bullet in heah."

At a later period a new gun had come into action on our left, which
the men christened "Windy Annie." Beachy Bill occupied the olive
grove, and was on our right. Annie was getting the range of our
dressing station pretty accurately, and requisition on the Engineers
evoked the information that sandbags were not available. However, the
Army Service came to our rescue with some old friends, the
"forty-niners." Three tiers of these in their boxes defied the shells
just as they defied our teeth.

As the sickness began to be more manifest, it became necessary to
enlarge the accommodation in our gully. The hill was dug out, and the
soil placed in bags with which a wall was built, the intervening
portion being filled up with the remainder of the hill. By this means
we were able to pitch a second tent and house more of those who were
slightly ill. It was in connection with this engineering scheme that I
found the value of W.O. Cosgrove. He was possessed of a good deal of
the _suaviter in modo_, and it was owing to his dextrous handling of
Ordnance that we got such a fine supply of bags. This necessitated a
redistribution of dug-outs, and a line of them was constructed
sufficient to take a section of bearers. The men christened this
"Shrapnel Avenue." They called my dug-out "The Nut," because it held
the "Kernel." I offer this with every apology. It's not my joke.

The new dug-outs were not too safe. Murphy was killed there one
afternoon, and Claude Grime badly wounded later on. Claude caused a
good deal of amusement. He had a rooted objection to putting on
clothes and wore only a hat, pants, boots and his smile. Consequently
his body became quite mahogany-coloured. When he was wounded he was
put under an anæsthetic so that I could search for the bullet. As the
anæsthetic began to take effect, Claude talked the usual
unintelligible gibberish. Now, we happened to have a Turkish prisoner
at the time, and in the midst of Claude's struggles and shouts in
rushed an interpreter. He looked round, and promptly came over to
Claude, uttering words which I suppose were calculated to soothe a
wounded Turk; and we had some difficulty in assuring him that the
other man, not Claude, was the Turk he was in quest of.

[Illustration: 4th Field Ambulance in Head Quarters Gully.]

[Illustration: 4th Field Ambulance Dressing Station on the beach.]

[Illustration: My Dug-out.]

[Illustration: Major Clayton and Captain Dawson.]




AIR FIGHTING


The German aeroplanes flew over our gully pretty regularly. As first
we were rather perturbed, as they had a nasty habit of dropping bombs,
but as far as I know they never did any damage. Almost all the bombs
dropped into the water. One of them sent some steel arrows down, about
six or eight inches in length, with a metal point something like a
carpenter's bit. In order to conceal our tents, we covered them with
holly-bushes, cut and placed over the canvas. Our aeroplanes were
constantly up, and were easily recognised by a red ring painted
underneath, while the Taube was adorned with a large black cross; but
after we had been there a little time we found it was not necessary to
use glasses in order to ascertain whose flying machine was over us; we
were able to tell by listening, as their engines had a different sound
from those belonging to us.

Our aeroplanes were the source of a good deal of annoyance to the
Turks. They continually fired at them, but, as far as I was able to
judge, never went within cooee of one. The bursts of shrapnel away in
the air made a pretty sight, puffs of white smoke like bits of
cotton-wool in succession, and the aeroplane sailing unconcernedly
along. It appears to be very difficult to judge distance away in the
air, and even more difficult to estimate the rate at which the object
is travelling. What became of the shell-cases of the shrapnel used to
puzzle us. One day Walkley remarked that it was peculiar that none
fell on us. I replied "surely there is plenty of room other than where
we are for them to fall." Scarcely were the words uttered than down
one came close by. We knew it was a case from above and not one fired
direct, because the noise was so different.

The hydroplanes used by the Navy were interesting. Floating on the
water, they would gather way and soar upwards like a bird. Their
construction was different from that of the aeroplanes.

A captive balloon was used a good deal to give the ranges for the
warships. It was carried on the forepart of a steamer and was, I
believe, in connection with it by telephone or wireless.




THE OFFICERS' MESS


We kept up the custom of having an officers' mess right through the
campaign. When we first landed, while everything was in confusion,
each man catered for himself; but it was a lonely business, and not
conducive to health. When a man cooked his own rations he probably did
not eat much. So a dug-out was made close to the hospital tent, and we
all had our meals together. A rather pathetic incident occurred one
day. Just after we had finished lunch three of us were seated, talking
of the meals the "Australia" provided, when a fragment of shell came
through the roof on to the table and broke one of the enamel plates.
This may seem a trivial affair and not worth grousing about; but the
sorry part of it was that we only had one plate each, and this loss
entailed one man having to wait until the others had finished their
banquet.

I have elsewhere alluded to the stacks of food on the beach. Amongst
them bully beef was largely in evidence. Ford, our cook, was very good
in always endeavouring to disguise the fact that "Bully" was up again.
He used to fry it; occasionally he got curry powder from the Indians
and persuaded us that the resultant compound was curried goose; but it
was bully beef all the time. Then he made what he called
rissoles--onions entered largely into their framework, and when you
opened them you wanted to get out into the fresh air. Preserved
potatoes, too, were very handy. We had them with our meat, and what
remained over we put treacle on, and ate as pancakes. Walkley and
Betts obtained flour on several occasions, and made very presentable
pancakes. John Harris, too, was a great forager--he knew exactly where
to put his hand on decent biscuits, and the smile with which he landed
his booty made the goods toothsome in the extreme. Harris had a
gruesome experience. One day he was seated on a hill, talking to a
friend, when a shell took the friend's head off and scattered his
brains over Harris.

Before leaving the description of the officers' mess, I must not omit
to introduce our constant companions, the flies. As Australians we
rather prided ourselves on our judgment regarding these pests, and in
Gallipoli we had every opportunity of putting our faculties to the
test. There were flies, big horse flies, blue flies, green flies, and
flies. They turned up everywhere and with everything. While one was
eating one's food with the right hand, one had to keep the left going
with a wisp, and even then the flies beat us. Then we always had the
comforting reflection of those dead Turks not far away--the distance
being nothing to a fly. In order to get a little peace at one meal in
the day, our dinner hour was put back until dusk. Men wounded had a
horrible time. Fortunately we had a good supply of mosquito netting
purchased with the Red Cross money. It was cut up into large squares
and each bearer had a supply.




THE ARMISTICE


On the 23rd of May anyone looking down the coast could see a man on
Gaba Tepe waving a white flag. He was soon joined by another occupied
in a like manner. Some officers came into the Ambulance and asked for
the loan of some towels; we gave them two, which were pinned together
with safety pins. White flags don't form part of the equipment of
Australia's army.

Seven mounted men had been observed coming down Gaba Tepe, and they
were joined on the beach by our four. The upshot was that one was
brought in blindfolded to General Birdwood. Shortly after we heard it
announced that a truce had been arranged for the following day in
order to bury the dead.

The following morning Major Millard and I started from our right and
walked up and across the battle-field. It was a stretch of country
between our lines and those of the Turks, and was designated No Man's
Land. At the extreme right there was a small farm; the owner's house
occupied part of it, and was just as the man had left it. Our guns had
knocked it about a good deal. In close proximity was a field of wheat,
in which there were scores of dead Turks. As these had been dead
anything from a fortnight to three weeks their condition may be better
imagined than described. One body I saw was lying with the leg
shattered. He had crawled into a depression in the ground and lay with
his great-coat rolled up for a pillow; the stains on the ground showed
that he had bled to death, and it can only be conjectured how long he
lay there before death relieved him of his sufferings. Scores of the
bodies were simply riddled with bullets. Midway between the trenches a
line of Turkish sentries were posted. Each was in a natty blue uniform
with gold braid, and top boots, and all were done "up to the nines."
Each stood by a white flag on a pole stuck in the ground. We buried
all the dead on our side of this line and they performed a similar
office for those on their side. Stretchers were used to carry the
bodies, which were all placed in large trenches. The stench was awful,
and many of our men wore handkerchiefs over their mouths in their
endeavour to escape it. I counted two thousand dead Turks. One I
judged to be an officer of rank, for the bearers carried him
shoulder-high down a gully to the rear. The ground was absolutely
covered with rifles and equipment of all kinds, shell-cases and caps,
and ammunition clips. The rifles were all collected and the bolts
removed to prevent their being used again. Some of the Turks were
lying right on our trenches, almost in some of them. The Turkish
sentries were peaceable-looking men, stolid in type and of the peasant
class mostly. We fraternised with them and gave them cigarettes and
tobacco. Some Germans were there, but they viewed us with malignant
eyes. When I talked to Colonel Pope about it afterwards he said the
Germans were a mean lot of beggars: "Why," said he most indignantly,
"they came and had a look into my trenches." I asked "What did you do?"
He replied, "Well, I had a look at theirs."




TORPEDOING OF THE _TRIUMPH_


The day after the armistice, at fifteen minutes after noon, I was in
my dug-out when one of the men exclaimed that something was wrong with
the _Triumph_. I ran out and was in time to see the fall of the water
sent up by the explosive. It was a beautifully calm day, and the ship
was about a mile and a quarter from us; she had a decided list towards
us, and it was evident that something was radically wrong. With
glasses one could see the men lined up in two ranks as if on parade,
without the least confusion. Then two destroyers went over and put
their noses on each side of the big ship's bows; all hands from the
_Triumph_ marched aboard the destroyers. She was gradually heeling
over, and all movables were slipping into the sea. One of the
destroyers barked three or four shots at something which we took to be
the submarine. In fifteen minutes the _Triumph_ was keel up, the water
spurting from her different vent pipes as it was expelled by the
imprisoned air. She lay thus for seventeen minutes, gradually getting
lower and lower in the water, when quietly her stern rose and she
slipped underneath, not a ripple remaining to show where she had sunk.
I have often read of the vortex caused by a ship sinking, but as far
as I could see there was in this case not the slightest disturbance.
It was pathetic to see this beautiful ship torpedoed and in thirty-two
minutes at the bottom of the sea. I believe the only lives lost were
those of men injured by the explosion. Meanwhile five destroyers came
up from Helles at a terrific speed, the water curling from their bows;
they and all the other destroyers circled round and round the bay, but
the submarine lay low and got off. Her commander certainly did his job
well.




THE DESTROYERS


After the torpedoing of the _Triumph_ here, and the _Majestic_ in the
Straits all the big ships left and went to Mudros, as there was no
sense in leaving vessels costing over a million each to the mercy of
submarines. This gave the destroyers the chance of their lives. Up to
this they had not been allowed to speak, but now they took on much of
the bombardment required. They were constantly nosing about, and the
slightest movement on the part of the Turks brought forth a bang from
one of their guns. If a Turk so much as winked he received a rebuke
from the destroyer. The Naval men all appeared to have an unbounded
admiration for the Australians as soldiers, and boats rarely came
ashore without bringing some fresh bread or meat or other delicacy;
their tobacco, too, was much sought after. It is made up from the
leaf, and rolled up in spun yarn. The flavour is full, and after a
pipe of it--well, you feel that you have had a smoke.




THE INDIAN REGIMENTS


We had a good many Indian regiments in the Army Corps. The mountain
battery occupied a position on "Pluggey's Plateau" in the early stage
of the campaign, and they had a playful way of handing out the
shrapnel to the Turks. It was placed in boiling water to soften the
resin in which the bullets are held. By this means the bullets spread
more readily, much to the joy of the sender and the discomfiture of
Abdul. The Indians were always very solicitous about their wounded.
When one came in to be attended to, he was always followed by two of
his chums bearing, one a water bottle, the other some food, for their
caste prohibits their taking anything directly from our hands. When
medicine had to be administered, the man came in, knelt down, and
opened his mouth, and the medicine was poured into him without the
glass touching his lips. Food was given in the same way. I don't know
how they got on when they were put on the ship. When one was killed,
he was wrapped up in a sheet and his comrades carried him
shoulder-high to their cemetery, for they had a place set apart for
their own dead. They were constantly squatting on their haunches
making a sort of pancake. I tasted one; but it was too fatty and I
spat it out, much to the amusement of the Indians.

One of them saw the humorous side of life. He described to Mr.
Henderson the different attitudes adopted towards Turkish shells by
the British, Indian and Australian soldiers. "British Tommy," said he,
"Turk shell, Tommy says 'Ah!' Turk shell, Indian say 'Oosh!'
Australian say 'Where the hell did that come from?'"

The Divisional Ammunition Column was composed of Sikhs, and they were
a brave body of men. It was their job to get the ammunition to the
front line, so that they were always fair targets for the Turks. The
mules were hitched up in threes, one in rear of the other, each mule
carrying two boxes of ammunition. The train might number anything from
15 to 20 mules. All went along at a trot, constantly under fire. When
a mule was hit he was unhitched, the boxes of ammunition were rolled
off, and the train proceeded; nothing stopped them. It was the same if
one of the men became a casualty; he was put on one side to await the
stretcher-bearers--but almost always one of the other men appeared
with a water bottle.

They were very adept in the management of mules. Frequently a block
would occur while the mule train occupied a sap; the mules at times
became fractious and manipulated their hind legs with the most
marvellous precision--certainly they placed a good deal of weight in
their arguments. But in the midst of it all, when one could see
nothing but mules' heels, straps and ammunition boxes, the Indian
drivers would talk to their charges and soothe them down. I don't know
what they said, but presume it resembled the cooing, coaxing and
persuasive tongue of our bullock-driver. The mules were all stalled in
the next gully to ours, and one afternoon three or four of us were
sitting admiring the sunset when a shell came over. It was different
from that usually sent by Abdul, being seemingly formed of paper and
black rag; someone suggested, too, that there was a good deal of
faultiness in the powder. From subsequent inquiries we found that what
we saw going over our dug-outs was Mule! A shell had burst right in
one of them, and the resultant mass was what we had observed. The
Ceylon Tea Planter's Corps was bivouacked just below us and were
having tea at the time; their repast was mixed with mule.

Donkeys formed part of the population of the Peninsula. I am referring
here to the four-footed variety, though, of course, others were in
evidence at times. The Neddies were docile little beasts, and did a
great deal of transport work. When we moved out in August, orders were
issued that all equipment was to be carried. I pointed out a drove of
ten of these little animals, which appeared handy and without an
owner, and suggested to the men that they would look well with our
brand on. It took very little time to round them up, cut a cross in
the hair on their backs and place a brassard round their ears. They
were then our property. The other type of donkey generally indulged in
what were known as Furfys or Beachograms. Furfy originated in
Broadmeadows, Victoria; the second title was born in the Peninsula.
The least breath of rumour ran from mouth to mouth in the most
astonishing way. Talk about a Bush Telegraph! It is a tortoise in its
movements compared with a Beachogram. The number of times that Achi
Baba fell cannot be accurately stated but it was twice a day at the
least. A man came in to be dressed on one occasion; suddenly some
pretty smart rifle fire broke out on the right. "Hell!" said the man,
"what's up?" "Oh!" said Captain Dawson, "There's a war on--didn't you
hear about it?"




THE SWIMMING


One thing that was really good in Anzac was the swimming. At first we
used to dive off the barges; then the Engineers built Watson's pier,
at the end of which the water was fifteen feet deep and as clear as
crystal, so that one could see every pebble at the bottom. At times
the water was very cold, but always invigorating. General Birdwood was
an enthusiastic swimmer, but he always caused me a lot of anxiety.
That pier was well covered by Beachy Bill, and one never knew when he
might choose to give it his attention. This did not deter the General.
He came down most regularly, sauntered out to the end, went through a
lot of Sandow exercises and finally jumped in. He then swam out to a
buoy moored about a quarter of a mile away. On his return he was most
leisurely in drying himself. Had anything happened to him I don't know
what the men would have done, for he was adored by everyone.

Swimming was popular with all hands. Early in the campaign we had a
Turkish attack one morning; it was over by midday, and an hour later
most of the men were in swimming. I think it not unlikely that some of
the "missing" men were due to this habit. They would come to the beach
and leave their clothes and identity discs ashore, and sometimes they
were killed in the water. In this case there was no possibility of
ascertaining their names. It often struck me that this might account
for some whose whereabouts were unknown.

While swimming, the opportunity was taken by a good many to soak their
pants and shirts, inside which there was, very often, more than the
owner himself. I saw one man fish his pants out; after examining the
seams, he said to his pal: "They're not dead yet." His pal replied
"Never mind, you gave them a ---- of a fright." These insects were a
great pest, and I would counsel friends sending parcels to the
soldiers to include a tin of insecticide; it was invaluable when it
could be obtained. I got a fright myself one night. A lot of things
were doing the Melbourne Cup inside my blanket. The horrible thought
suggested itself that I had got "them" too, but a light revealed the
presence of fleas. These were very large able-bodied animals and
became our constant companions at nighttime; in fact, one could only
get to sleep after dosing the blanket with insecticide.

My little dog Paddy enjoyed the swim almost as much as I did. He was a
great favourite with everybody but the Provost-Martial. This official
was a terror for red tape, and an order came out that dogs were to be
destroyed. That meant that the Military Police were after Paddy.
However, I went to General Birdwood, who was very handsome about it,
and gave me permission to keep the little chap. Almost immediately
after he was reprieved he ran down to the Provost-Martial's dug-out
and barked at him. Paddy was very nearly human. One day we were down
as usual when Beachy Bill got busy, and I had to leave the pier with
only boots and a smile on. I took refuge behind my old friends the
biscuits, and Paddy ran out to each shell, barking until it exploded.
Finally one burst over him and a bullet perforated his abdomen. His
squeals were piteous. He lived until the next day, but he got a
soldier's burial.




TURKISH PRISONERS


We saw a good many Turkish prisoners at one time or another, and
invariably fraternised with them. They were kept inside a barbed-wire
enclosure with a guard over them; but there was no need to prevent
their escape--they would not leave if they got the chance. On one
occasion twelve of them were told to go some distance into the scrub
and bring in some firewood. No one was sent with them, the idea being
to encourage them to go to their lines and persuade some of the Turks
to desert to us. But they were like the cat; they all came back--with
the firewood.

I saw two of our men on one occasion bringing in a prisoner. They
halted on the hill opposite us, and one of them went to headquarters
to ascertain how the prisoner was to be disposed of. In a very short
time he was surrounded by fourteen or fifteen of our soldiers, trying
to carry on a conversation, and giving him cigarettes and in fact
anything he would accept. An hour before they had been trying their
best to shoot one another. In one of the attacks on our left the Turks
were badly beaten off and left a lot of their dead close up to our
trenches. As it was not safe to get over and remove the bodies, a
number of boat-hooks were obtained, and with them the bodies were
pulled in to our trenches. One of the "bodies" proved to be a live
Turk who had been unable to get back to his line for fear of being
shot by our men. He was blindfolded and sent down to the compound with
the other prisoners.

The difficulty of obtaining sufficient exercise was very great at
times. We only held a piece of territory under a square mile in
extent, and none of it was free from shell or rifle-fire, so that our
perambulations were carried on under difficulty. Major Meikle and I
had our regular walk before breakfast. At first we went down the beach
towards Gaba Tepe, and then sat for a while talking and trying to see
what we could see; but a sniper apparently used to watch for us, for
we were invariably saluted by the ping of a rifle in the distance and
the dust of the bullet in close proximity to our feet. We concluded
that, if we continued to walk in this direction someone would be
getting hurt, so our walks were altered to the road round "Pluggey's
Plateau." We were seated there one morning when our howitzer in the
gully was fired, and we felt that the shell was not far from where we
sat. We went down to the Battery, and I interrogated some of the
gunners. "How far off the top of that hill does that shell go?" said
I. "About a yard, sir," replied the man; "one time we hit it." I asked
him if it would be convenient for the battery to elevate a bit if we
were sitting there again.




POST OFFICE


The postal arrangements on the whole were good, considering the
circumstances under which the mails were handled. It was always a
matter of interest for all of us when we saw mail-bags in the barges,
whether or no we were to participate in the good luck of receiving
letters. And here I might make the suggestion to correspondents in
Australia to send as many snap-shot photos. as possible. They tell
more than a letter, for one can see how the loved ones are looking.
Papers were what we needed most, and we got very few indeed of these.
I wrote home once that I was fortunate in having a paper to read that
had been wrapped round greasy bacon. This was a positive fact. We were
up the gully at the advance dressing station, and a machine gun was
playing right down the position. Four men were killed and six wounded
right in front of us, so that it was not prudent to leave until night
fell. It was then that reading matter became so necessary. The paper
was the _Sydney Morning Herald_ and contained an advertisement stating
that there was a vacancy for two boarders at Katoomba; I was an
applicant for the vacancy. The _Bulletin_ was a God-send when it
arrived, as was _Punch_. Norman Morris occasionally got files of the
_Newcastle Morning Herald_, which he would hand on to us, as there
were a lot of men from the Newcastle district in the Ambulance. Later
on it was possible to register a small parcel in the Field Post
Office--for home.




SANITARY ARRANGEMENTS


In order to keep the health of the troops good it was necessary to be
exceedingly careful in the matter of sanitation. Lieutenant-Colonel
Millard was the Sanitary Officer for our Division, and Lieutenant-
Colonel Stokes for the 1st Australian Division.

The garbage at first was collected in casks, placed in a barge and
conveyed out into the bay; it was found, however, that a lot of it
drifted back. It reminded one so much of Newcastle and Stockton. The
same complaints were made by the men on the right as are put forth by
Stockton residents regarding the Newcastle garbage. We, of course,
occupied the position of the Newcastle Council, and were just as
vehement in our denial of what was a most obvious fact. The situation
was exactly the same--only that, instead of dead horses, there were
dead mules. Three incinerators were started, enclosures built up with
stone, and a fire lighted. This was effective, but gave rise to a very
unpleasant smell along the beach. The only time I was shot was from an
incinerator; a cartridge had been included in the rubbish and exploded
just as I was passing. The bullet gave me a nasty knock on the shin.

It was a fairly common practice among men just arrived to put a
cartridge in their fire just to hear the noise. Of course down on the
beach it was not usual to hear a rifle fired at close range, and the
sound would make everybody look up to "see where the ---- that came
from." The discovery of the culprit would bring out a chorus from the
working parties: "Give him a popgun, give him a popgun!" "Popgun" was
preceded by the usual Australian expletive.

[Illustration: Mules in a Gully.]

[Illustration: Graves of Major Ellis and Lieut.-Col. Braund.]

[Illustration: Wounded being placed on Hospital Ship.]

[Illustration: Stretcher Bearers carrying Col. Cox.]

The water found on the Peninsula was always subjected to careful
examination, and, before the troops were allowed to use it notices
were placed on each well stating whether the water was to be boiled or
if only to be used for washing.




SIMPSON


Everyone knows of Simpson and his donkey. This man belonged to one of
the other Ambulances, but he made quite frequent trips backwards and
forwards to the trenches, the donkey always carrying a wounded man.
Simpson was frequently warned of the danger he ran, for he never
stopped, no matter how heavy the firing was. His invariable reply was
"My troubles!" The brave chap was killed in the end. His donkey was
afterwards taken over by Johnstone, one of our men, who improvised
stirrups out of the stretcher-slings, and conveyed many wounded in
this manner.




CHURCH SERVICES


No account of the war would be complete without some mention of the
good work of the chaplains. They did their work nobly, and gave the
greatest assistance to the bearers in getting the wounded down. I came
into contact chiefly with those belonging to our own Brigade. Colonel
Green, Colonel Wray, and Captain Gillitson; the latter was killed
while trying to get one of our men who had been wounded. Services were
held whenever possible, and sometimes under very peculiar
circumstances. Once service was being conducted in the gully when a
platoon was observed coming down the opposite hill in a position
exposed to rifle fire. The thoughts of the audience were at once
distracted from what the Padre was expounding by the risk the platoon
was running; and members of the congregation pointed out the folly of
such conduct, emphasizing their remarks by all the adjectives in the
Australian vocabulary. Suddenly a shell burst over the platoon and
killed a few men. After the wounded had been cared for, the Padre
regained the attention of his congregation and gave out the last verse
of "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow." There was one man for
whom I had a great admiration--a clergyman in civil life but a
stretcher-bearer on the Peninsula--Private Greig McGregor. He belonged
to the 1st Field Ambulance, and I frequently saw him. He always had a
stretcher, either carrying a man or going for one, and in his odd
moments he cared for the graves of those who were buried on Hell Spit.
The neatness of many of them was due to his kindly thought. He gained
the D.C.M., and richly deserved it.

All the graves were looked after by the departed one's chums. Each was
adorned with the Corps' emblems: thus the Artillery used shell caps,
the Army Medical Corps a Red Cross in stone, etc.




THE ENGINEERS


The Engineers did wonderfully good work, and to a layman their
ingenuity was most marked. Piers were made out of all sorts of things;
for instance, a boat would be sunk and used as a buttress, then planks
put over it for a wharf. They built a very fine pier which was
afterwards named Watson's. Again, the "monkey" of a pile driver they
erected was formed out of an unexploded shell from the _Goeben_. This
warship, a German cruiser taken over by the Turks, was in the Sea of
Marmora, and occasionally the Commander in a fit of German humour
would fire a few shells over Gallipoli neck into the bay--a distance
of about eight or nine miles. As soon as the _Goeben_ began firing,
one of our aeroplanes would go up, and shortly afterwards the _Queen
Elizabeth_ could be seen taking up a position on our side of the
Peninsula, and loosing off. Whether she hit the _Goeben_ or not we
never heard. It was _Mafeesh_.

The Engineers also made miles upon miles of roads and, furthermore,
created the nucleus of a water storage. A number of large tanks from
Egypt were placed high up on "Pluggey's," whence the water was
reticulated into the far distant gullies.




TURKS ATTACK


One night in May the Turks made a fierce attack on us, apparently
determined to carry out their oft-repeated threat of driving us into
the sea. The shells just rained down over our gully, lighting up the
dug-outs with each explosion. It was like Hell let loose. Word came up
from the beach station that they were full of casualties and on
getting down there one found that the situation had not been
over-estimated. The whole beach was filled with stretchers, the only
light being that from bursting shells. We worked hard all night
operating and dressing, and when one had time to think, one's thoughts
generally took the shape of wondering how the men were keeping the
Turks off. It was useless to be sentimental, although many of my
friends were amongst those injured; the work just had to be done in
the best way possible.

One night a strong wind got up, just like our "Southerly Busters," and
in the middle of it all firing began on our left. I heard that the
Turks nearly got into the trenches, but they were beaten off and
rolled right round the position--passed on, as it were, from battalion
to battalion.

It was very interesting to watch the warships bombarding Turkish
positions. One ship, attacking Achi Baba, used to fire her broadside,
and on the skyline six clouds would appear at regular intervals, for
all the world like windmills. On another occasion I watched two ships
bombarding the same hill a whole afternoon. One would think there was
not a square yard left untouched, and each shot seemed to lift half
the hill. Twenty minutes after they had ceased firing, a battery of
guns came out from somewhere and fired in their turn. They must have
been in a tunnel to have escaped that inferno. One day we were up on
"Pluggey's" while our beach was being shelled; at last the stack of
ammunition caught fire and was blazing fiercely until some of the men
got buckets and quenched the fire with sea water most courageously.
Later a shell landed among a lot of dug-outs. There was quietness for
a bit; then one man began scraping at the disturbed earth, then
another; finally about six of them were shovelling earth away; at last
a man appeared with his birthday suit for his only attire. He ran like
a hare for the next gully, amid the yells of laughter of all who
witnessed the occurrence. I think he had been swimming, and being
disturbed by "Beachy," had run for a dug-out only to be buried by the
shell.

That was the extraordinary thing about our soldiers. Shelling might be
severe and searching, but only if a man was hit was it taken
seriously. In that case a yell went up for stretcher-bearers; if it
was a narrow squeak, then he was only laughed at.

That beach at times was the most unhealthy place in the Peninsula. Men
frequently said they would sooner go back to the trenches. One day we
had five killed and twenty-five wounded. Yet, had Johnny Turk been
aware of it, he could have made the place quite untenable. I saw one
shell get seven men who were standing in a group. The effect was
remarkable. All screwed themselves up before falling. They were all
lightly wounded.




RED CROSS


About the middle of July I sent a corporal and two men over to
Heliopolis with a letter to Lieutenant-Colonel Barrett, asking for some
Red Cross goods. I had already received issue vouchers for two lots,
but these had been intercepted in transit, so the men were ordered to
sit on the cases until they gave delivery to the Ambulance. Fifty cases
came, filled with pyjamas, socks, shirts, soap and all sorts of things.
The day they arrived was very, very hot, and our hospital was full of
men whose uniform had not been off since they landed. No time was lost
in getting into the pyjamas, and the contented look on the men's faces
would have gratified the ladies who worked so hard for the Red Cross.
Talk about peace and contentment--they simply lolled about in the scrub
smoking cigarettes, and I don't believe they would have changed places
with a Federal Senator.

Those Red Cross goods saved one man's life at least. All the unopened
cases were placed outside the tent. One afternoon a shell came over
into a case of jam, went through it, and then into another containing
socks. A man was lying under the shelter of this box, but the socks
persuaded the shell to stay with them, and thus his life was saved. It
was on this day that my nephew, Staff-Sergeant Nickson, was wounded.
He had just left his dug-out to go to the dressing station on the
beach when a shrapnel shell severely wounded him in the leg. The same
shell killed Staff-Sergeant Gordon, a solicitor from Adelaide, and one
of the finest characters I knew. He was shot through the spine and
killed instantly. Two other men were wounded.

Our Ambulance was ordered to pitch a hospital up Canterbury Gully to
provide for a possible outbreak of cholera, as almost every writer on
the subject stated that, when European troops occupied trenches that
had been previously held by Turks, an outbreak of cholera invariably
followed. Major Clayton was detailed for the work, and soon had
accommodation for a hundred men. As there was no cholera, the sick men
were kept here. We had been so long in this place without a change,
and so many troops were crowded into such a small area, without a
possibility of real rest, that the men began to get very stale.
Sickness was prevalent, and this hospital seemed to help them a great
deal. It was a picture to see them all lying in their pyjamas reading
the _Bulletin_ and _Punch_, and swapping lies.

The New Zealanders held a concert here one night. Major Johnston, the
O.C., filled the position of chairman, the chair being a cask. One man
with a cornet proved a good performer; several others sang, while some
gave recitations. We all sat round in various places in the gully, and
joined in the choruses. It was very enjoyable while it lasted; but, as
darkness came on, rifle-fire began on the tops of the surrounding
hills--also, occasionally, shell fire. This completely drowned the
sound of the performers' voices, and the concert had to be brought to
a close; Abdul had counted us out.




PREPARING FOR THE ADVANCE


Towards the end of July great preparations were made for an offensive
movement, the object being to take Hill 971 and so turn the Turk's
right. Large platforms were dug out of the hillsides in Monash Gully,
each capable of holding three to five hundred men; they were
constructed well below the sky line, and were fairly secure from shell
fire. On these the incoming battalions were placed. There was not much
room for sleep, but the main object seemed to be to have as many men
handy as possible. The Turks seemed to be aware of the influx of
troops, as they shelled the whole position almost all night. The
beach, of course, was attended to most fervently, but considering the
numbers of men landing few casualties occurred.

A 4.7 naval gun, which, I understand, had served in the relief of
Ladysmith, was swathed in bags and landed on a barge, which conveyed
it to a position alongside the pier. A party was put on to make a
shield on the pier of boxes of our faithful friends the
"forty-niners," in case there were any Turks of an enquiring turn of
mind along the beach towards Suvla.

The Engineers then constructed a landing place, and the gun was hauled
ashore, again covered up, and conveyed to its position on our right
during the night. General Birdwood outwitted the Turks that time, as
they did not fire a shot during the whole operation.

On the third of August we received orders to remove to the left flank,
the right being held by the Australian Division which participated in
the operation known afterwards as Lone Pine. The last day on the beach
proved to be pretty hot with shelling, chiefly from Beachy Bill. A
number of pinnaces were busy all day towing in barges from the
transports, and this could be easily seen from the olive grove where
Bill had his lair. At one time the shells came over like rain; two of
the pinnaces were hit below the water-line, and were in imminent
danger of sinking. Through all the shelling Commander Cater ran along
the pier to give some direction regarding the pinnaces, but was killed
before he got there. He was a brave man, and always very courteous and
considerate.

Our casualties during this afternoon were pretty considerable, and our
stretcher-bearers were constantly on the "go" getting men under
shelter.

Early in the morning the Ghurkas came ashore, but the Turks spotted
them, and gave them a cordial welcome to Anzac. They are a small-sized
set of men, very dark (almost black), with Mongol type of face and
very stolid. One was killed while landing. They were evidently not
accustomed to shell-fire, and at first were rather scared, but were
soon reassured when we told them where to stand in safety. Each
carried in addition to his rifle a Kukri--a heavy, sharp knife, shaped
something like a reaping-hook, though with a curve not quite so
pronounced. It was carried in a leather case, and was as keen as a
razor. I believe the Ghurkas' particular delight is to use it in
lopping off arms at the shoulder-joint. As events turned out we were
to see a good deal of these little chaps, and to appreciate their
fighting qualities.

The 2nd Field Ambulance was to take our position on the beach. We
packed up our panniers and prepared to leave the spot where we had
done so much work during the last three months, and where we had been
the unwilling recipients of so much attention from Beachy Bill and his
friend Windy Annie. Our donkeys carried the panniers, and each man
took his own wardrobe. Even in a place like this one collects rubbish,
just as at home, and one had to choose just what he required to take
away; in some cases this was very little, for each had to be his own
beast of burden. Still, with our needs reduced to the minimum, we
looked rather like walking Christmas-trees. The distance to Rest Gully
was about a mile and a half, through saps and over very rough
cobble-stones, and our household goods and chattels became heavy
indeed before we halted; I know mine did.




THE ATTEMPT ON SARI BAIR


Our Ambulance was attached to the Left Assaulting Column, which
consisted of the 29th Indian Brigade, 4th Australian Infantry Brigade,
Mountain Battery and one company of New Zealand Engineers under
Brigadier-General Cox.

The commanding officers of all the ambulances in General Godley's
Division met in the gully and had the operation orders explained to
them by the A.D.M.S. of the Division, Colonel Manders, a very capable
officer. To my great regret he was killed two days later; we had been
acquainted for some time, and I had a great regard for him.

The 4th Infantry Brigade was to operate in what was known as the Aghyl
Dere (Dere in Turkish means "gully"). The operation order gave out that
we were to establish our Field Hospital in such a position as to be
readily accessible for the great number of wounded we expected.
Meantime, after making all arrangements for the move and ascertaining
that each man knew his job exactly, we sat about for a while. The
bombardment was to commence at 5 p.m. Precisely at that hour the
_Bacchante_ opened fire, the howitzers and our field guns co-operating,
the Turks making a hearty response. The din was frightful. To make a
man sitting beside me hear what I was saying, I had to shout at the top
of my voice. However, there were not many men hit. We had tea--for
which Walkley had got three eggs from somewhere, the first I had
tasted since leaving Egypt. We tried to get some sleep, but that was
impossible, the noise being so great; it was hard, too, to know where
one was safe from bullets. Mr. Tute, the Quartermaster, and I got a
dug-out fairly well up the hill, and turned in. We had not been long
there when a machine-gun appeared to be trained right on to us--bullets
were coming in quantities. It was pitch-dark, so we waited until they
stopped, and then got further down the gully and tried to sleep
there--but this particular dug-out had more than ourselves in it, and
we passed the night hunting for things. The Division started to march
out just after dark, the 4th Brigade leading. It was almost daylight
before the rear of the column passed the place at which we were
waiting. The men were all in great spirits, laughing and chaffing and
giving the usual "Are we down'earted?". I think those men would laugh
if they were going to be hanged. Our bearer divisions, in charge
respectively of Captains Welch, Jeffries and Kenny, followed in rear of
the Brigade, while the tent divisions came in rear of the whole column.

Major Meikle and I had often, like Moses viewing the Land of Promise,
looked at the country over which the fight was now to take place--a
stretch of flats about three miles long, from the beach up to the foot
of the hills. As the day broke, we found a transformation at Nibronesi
Point, which is the southernmost part of Suvla Bay. At nightfall not a
ship was there; now there was a perfect forest of masts. The place
looked like Siberia in Newcastle when there was a strike on. I counted
ten transports, seven battle-cruisers, fourteen destroyers, twelve
trawlers and a lot of pinnaces. These had landed the force which was
afterwards known as the Suvla Bay Army. A balloon ship and five
hospital ships were also at anchor in the bay. As we passed what was
known as our No. 3 Outpost, we came across evidences of the
fight--dead men, dead mules, equipment, ammunition boxes and rifles
lying all over the place. We noted, too, little hillocks of sand here
and there, from behind which the Turks had fired at our column. It was
evident that our men had soon got in touch with the enemy and had
driven him back. The Aghyl Dere proved to be a fairly wide gully with
steep hills on either side. A little distance, about three quarters of
a mile up, we came to what had been the Turkish Brigade Headquarters.
Here everything was as they had left it. The surprise had been
complete, and we had given them very short notice to quit. Clothing,
rifles, equipment, copper pans and boilers were in abundance, and it
was evident that Abdul makes war with regard to every comfort, for
there were visible also sundry articles of wearing apparel only used
by the gentler sex. The men had comfortable bivouacs and plenty of
bed-clothing of various patterns. The camp was situated in a hollow,
round in shape and about a hundred yards in diameter, with dug-outs in
the surrounding hillsides; all was very clean, except for the fleas,
of which a good assortment remained. The dug-outs were roofed in with
waterproof sheets, buttoned together and held up by pegs which fitted
into one another. These sheets, with the poles, made handy bivouac
shelters, easily pitched and struck. Altogether, their camp equipment
was better than ours.

We annexed all the pans and boilers and made good use of them for our
own Ambulance. Then, proceeding further up the gully, we found it
almost impassable by reason of dead Ghurkas and mules; a gun on a
ridge had the range of this place to a nicety, and the ammunition
train was held up for a time. I never saw such a mess of entangled
mules; they were kicking and squealing, many of them were wounded, and
through it all the Indian drivers were endeavouring to restore some
kind of order. One had to keep close under the banks to escape the
shells. Not far from here was the emplacement of our old friend "Windy
Annie," but alas! Annie was constant to Abdul, and they had taken her
with them. It was a great pity we did not get the gun. No wonder our
guns never found the place. The ground had been dug out to some depth
and then roofed over with great logs and covered with earth and
sandbags; the ammunition--plenty of it--was in deep pits on either
side; artillery quarters were in close proximity, and the tracks of
the gun were clearly seen.

The shelling was far too heavy to let us pitch a dressing station
anywhere here, so we retired to the beach to find a place more
sheltered under the hills; the bearers meanwhile followed the troops.
Soon scores of casualties began to arrive, and we selected a position
in a dry creek about six yards wide, with high banks on either side.
The operating tent was used as a protection from the sun and stretched
from bank to bank, the centre being upheld by rifles lashed together;
the panniers were used to form the operating table, and our drugs were
placed round the banks. We were, however, much handicapped by not
having any transport, as our donkeys had been requisitioned by the
Army Service Corps. Everything had to be carried from a distance, and
water was exceedingly scarce. All day we were treating cases and
operating until late at night. Major Meikle and I divided the night,
and we were kept going. From one until four in the morning I slept in
a hole in a trench like a tomb.

At daylight we could see our men righting their way through the scrub
over Sari Bair, the warships firing just ahead of them to clear the
scrub of the Turkish Infantry. The foremost men carried flags, which
denoted the farthest point reached and the extent of the two flanks,
as a direction to the ship. With the glasses one could see that the
bayonet was being used pretty freely; the Turks were making a great
stand, and we were losing a lot of men. They could be seen falling
everywhere.




AMBULANCE WORK


Our bearers were doing splendid work; it was a long and dangerous
carry, and a lot of them were wounded themselves. The miserable part
of the affair was that the Casualty Clearing Station on the beach
broke down and could not evacuate our wounded. This caused a block,
and we had numbers of wounded on our hands. A block of a few hours can
be dealt with, but when it is impossible to get cases away for forty
hours the condition of the men is very miserable. However, we got the
cooks going, and had plenty of Bovril and Oxo, which we boiled up with
biscuits broken small. It made a very sustaining meal, but caused
thirst, which was troublesome, as it was particularly difficult to
obtain water. Shelter from the sun, too, was hard to get; the day was
exceedingly hot, and there were only a few trees about. As many as
could be got into the shade were put there, but we had to keep moving
them round to avoid the sun. Many of the cases were desperate, but
they uttered not a word of complaint--they all seemed to understand
that it was not our fault that they were kept here.

As the cases were treated by us, they were taken down towards the
beach and kept under cover as much as possible. At one time we had
nearly four hundred waiting for removal to the ship. Then came a
message asking for more stretchers to be sent to the firing line, and
none were to be obtained; so we just had to remove the wounded from
those we had, lay them on the ground, and send the stretchers up.
Thank goodness, we had plenty of morphia, and the hypodermic syringe
relieved many who would otherwise have suffered great agony.

Going through the cases, I found one man who had his arm shattered and
a large wound in his chest. Amputation at the shoulder-joint was the
only way of saving his life. Major Clayton gave the anaesthetic, and
we got him through.

Quite a number of Ghurkas and Sikhs were amongst the wounded, and they
all seemed to think that it was part of the game; patience loomed
large among their virtues. Turkish wounded were also on our hands,
and, though they could not speak our language, still they expressed
gratitude with their eyes. One of the Turks was interrogated, first by
the Turkish interpreter with no result; the Frenchman then had a go at
him, and still nothing could be got out of him. After these two had
finished, Captain Jefferies went over to the man and said, "Would you
like a drink of water?" "Yes, please," was the reply.

During one afternoon, after we had been in this place for three days,
a battalion crossed the ground between us and the beach. This brought
the Turkish guns into action immediately, and we got the time of our
lives. We had reached a stage when we regarded ourselves as fair
judges of decent shell-fire, and could give an unbiassed opinion on
the point, but--to paraphrase Kipling--what we knew before was "Pop"
to what we now had to swallow. The shells simply rained on us,
shrapnel all the time; of course our tent was no protection as it
consisted simply of canvas, and the only thing to do was to keep under
the banks as much as possible. We were jammed full of wounded in no
time. Men rushing into the gully one after another, and even a company
of infantry tried to take shelter there; but that, of course, could
not be allowed. We had our Geneva Cross flag up, and their coming
there only drew fire.

[Illustration: Getting Wounded off after a Fight.]

[Illustration: Water Carts protected by Sand Bags.]

[Illustration: Burial Parties during the Armistice.]

[Illustration: Simpson and his Donkey.]

In three-quarters of an hour we put through fifty-four cases. Many
bearers were hit, and McGowen and Threlfall of the 1st Light Horse
Field Ambulance were killed. Seven of our tent division were wounded.
One man reported to me that he had been sent as a reinforcement, had
been through Samoa, and had just arrived in Gallipoli. While he was
speaking, he sank quietly down without a sound. A bullet had come over
my shoulder into his heart. That was another instance of the fortune
of war. Many men were hit, either before they landed or soon after,
while others could go months with never a scratch. From 2 till 7 p.m.
we dealt with 142 cases.

This shelling lasted for an hour or more, and when it subsided a party
of men arrived with a message from Divisional Headquarters. They had
been instructed to remove as many of the Ambulance as were alive.
Headquarters, it appears, had been watching the firing. We lost very
little time in leaving, and for the night we dossed down in the scrub
a mile further along the beach, where we were only exposed to the fire
of spent bullets coming over the hills. Our fervent prayer was that we
had said good-bye to shells.

The new position was very nice; it had been a farm--in fact the plough
was still there, made of wood, no iron being used in its construction.
Blackberries, olives, and wild thyme grew on the place, and also a
kind of small melon. We did not eat any; we thought we were running
enough risks already; but the cooks used the thyme to flavour the
bovril, and it was a nice addition.

Not far from us something happened that was for all the world like an
incident described by Zola in his "Dèbacle," when during the
bombardment before Sedan a man went on ploughing in a valley with a
white horse, while an artillery duel continued over his head.
Precisely the same thing occurred here--the only difference being that
here a man persisted in looking after his cattle, while the guns were
firing over his head.

Walkley and Betts proved ingenious craftsmen. They secured two wheels
left by the Signalling Corps, and on these fastened a stretcher; out
of a lot of the web equipment lying about they made a set of harness;
two donkeys eventuated from somewhere, and with this conveyance quite
a lot of transport was done. Water and rations were carried as well,
and the saving to our men was great. Goodness knows the bearers were
already sufficiently worked carrying wounded.

The _Bacchante_ did some splendid firing, right into the trenches
every time. With one shot, amongst the dust and earth, a Turk went up
about thirty feet: arms and legs extended, his body revolving like a
catherine wheel. One saw plenty of limbs go up at different times, but
this was the only time when I saw a man go aloft _in extenso_.

It was while we were in this position that W.O. Henderson was hit; the
bullet came through the tent, through another man's arm and into Mr.
Henderson. He was a serious loss to the Ambulance, as since its
inception he had had sole charge of everything connected with the
supply of drugs and dressings, and I missed his services very much.

We were now being kept very busy and had little time for rest, numbers
of cases being brought down. Our table was made of four biscuit boxes,
on which were placed the stretchers. We had to be very sparing of
water, as all had to be carried. The donkey conveyance was kept
constantly employed. Whenever that party left we used to wonder
whether they would return, for one part of the road was quite exposed
to fire; but Betts and Walkley both pulled through.

One night I had just turned in at nine-thirty, when Captain Welch came
up to say that a bad casualty had come in, and so many came in
afterwards that it was three o'clock in the following morning before I
had finished operating. While in the middle of the work I looked up
and found G. Anschau holding the lantern. He belonged to the 1st Field
Ambulance, but had come over to our side to give any assistance he
could. He worked like a Trojan.

We still had our swim off the beach from this position. It will be a
wonderful place for tourists after the war is over. For Australians
particularly it will have an unbounded interest. The trenches where
the men fought will be visible for a long time, and there will be
trophies to be picked up for years to come. All along the flat land by
the beach there are sufficient bullets to start a lead factory. Then
searching among the gullies will give good results. We came across the
Turkish Quartermaster's store, any quantity of coats and boots and
bully beef. The latter was much more palatable than ours.

Our men had a novel way of fishing; they threw a bomb into the water,
and the dead fish would either float and be caught or go to the
bottom--in which case the water was so clear that they were easily
seen. Wilson brought me two, something like a mackerel, that were
delicious.

As there was still a good deal of delay in getting the cases off, our
tent was brought over from Canterbury Gully and pitched on the beach;
the cooks keeping the bovril and biscuits going. We could not maintain
it there long, however, as the Turks' rifle-fire was too heavy, so the
evacuation was all done from Walker's Ridge about two miles away. The
Casualty Clearing Station here (the 16th) was a totally different
proposition from the other one. Colonel Corkery was commanding
officer, and knew his job. His command was exceedingly well
administered, and there was no further occasion to fear any block in
getting our wounded off.

Amongst the men who came in to be dressed was one wounded in the leg.
The injury was a pretty bad one, though the bone was not fractured.
The leg being uncovered, the man sat up to look at it. He exclaimed
"Eggs a cook! I thought it was only a scratch!"

Our bearers did great work here, Sergeant Baber being in charge and
the guiding spirit amongst them. Carberry from Western Australia
proved his worth in another manner. The 4th Brigade were some distance
up the gully and greatly in want of water. Carberry seems to have the
knack of divining, for he selected a spot where water was obtained
after sinking. General Monash drew my attention to this, and Carberry
was recommended for the D.C.M.

Early in August, soon after Colonel Manders was killed, I was promoted
to his position as Assistant Director of Medical Services, or, as it
is usually written, A.D.M.S. On this I relinquished command of the 4th
Field Ambulance, and though I appreciated the honour of the promotion
yet I was sorry to leave the Ambulance. We had been together so long,
and through so much, and every member of it was of such sterling
worth, that when the order came for me to join Headquarters I must say
that my joy was mingled with regret. Everyone--officers,
non-commissioned officers and men--had all striven to do their level
best, and had succeeded. With one or two exceptions it was our first
experience on active service, but all went through their work like
veterans. General Godley, in whose division we were, told me how
pleased he was with the work of the Ambulance and how proud he was to
have them in his command. The Honour list was quite sufficient to
satisfy any man. We got one D.S.O., two D.C.M.s, and sixteen
"Mentioned in Despatches." Many more deserved recognition, but then
all can't get it.

Major Meikle took charge, and I am sure the same good work will be
done under his command. Captain Dawson came over with me as
D.A.D.M.S. He had been Adjutant from the start until the landing,
when he "handed over" to Captain Finn, D.S.O., who was the dentist.
Major Clayton had charge of C Section; Captains Welch, Jeffries and
Kenny were the officers in charge of the Bearer Divisions. Jeffries
and Kenny were both wounded. Captain B. Finn, of Perth, Western
Australia, was a specialist in eye and ear diseases. Mr. Cosgrove was
the Quartermaster, and Mr. Baber the Warrant Officer; Sergeant Baxter
was the Sergeant Clerk. To mention any of the men individually would
be invidious. They were as fine a set of men as one would desire to
command. In fact, the whole Ambulance was a very happy family, all
doing their bit and doing it well.

On the 21st of August an attack was made on what were know as the W
Hills--so named from their resemblance to that letter of the alphabet.
Seated on a hill one had a splendid view of the battle. First the
Australians went forward over some open ground at a slow double with
bayonets fixed, not firing a shot; the Turks gave them shrapnel and
rifle-fire, but very few fell. They got right up to the first Turkish
trench, when all the occupants turned out and retired with more speed
than elegance. Still our men went on, taking a few prisoners and
getting close to the hills, over which they disappeared from my view.
Next, a battalion from Suvla came across as supports. The Turks
meanwhile had got the range to a nicety; the shrapnel was bursting
neatly and low and spreading beautifully--it was the best Turkish
shooting I had seen. The battalion was rather badly cut up, but a
second body came across in more open order than the others, and well
under the control of their officers; they took advantage of cover, and
did not lose so many men. The fight was more like those one sees in
the illustrated papers than any hitherto--shells bursting, men
falling, and bearers going out for the wounded. The position was
gained and held, but there was plenty of work for the Ambulance.

There were very few horses on the Peninsula, and those few belonged to
the Artillery. But at the time I speak of we had one attached to the
New Zealand and Australian Headquarters, to be used by the despatch
rider. Anzac, the Headquarters of General Birdwood, was about two and
a half miles away; and, being a true Australian, the despatch-carrier
declined to walk when he could ride, so he rode every day with
despatches. Part of the journey had to be made across a position open
to fire from Walker's Ridge. We used to watch for the man every day,
and make bets whether he would be hit. Directly he entered the fire
zone, he started as if he were riding in the Melbourne Cup, sitting
low in the saddle, while the bullets kicked up dust all round him. One
day the horse returned alone, and everyone thought the man had been
hit at last; but in about an hour's time he walked in. The saddle had
slipped, and he came off and rolled into a sap, whence he made his way
to us on foot.

When going through the trenches it is not a disadvantage to be small
of stature. It is not good form to put one's head over the sandbags;
the Turks invariably objected, and even entered their protest against
periscopes, which are very small in size. Numbers of observers were
cut about the face and a few lost their eyes through the mirror at the
top being smashed by a bullet. On one occasion I was in a trench which
the men were making deeper. A rise in the bottom of it just enabled
me, by standing on it, to peer through the loophole. On commending the
man for leaving this lump, he replied, "That's a dead Turk, sir!"




ARTILLERY


Watching the Field Artillery firing is very interesting. I went one
day with General Johnstone of the New Zealand Artillery to Major
Standish's Battery, some distance out on the left, and the observing
station was reached through a long sap. It was quite close to the
Turk's trenches, close enough to see the men's faces. All directions
were given by telephone, and an observer placed on another hill gave
the result of the shot--whether under, over, or to the right or left.
Errors were corrected and the order to fire again given, the target
meanwhile being quite out of sight of the battery commander.

It was amusing to hear the heated arguments between the Artillery and
Infantry, in which the latter frequently and vehemently asseverated
that they "could have taken the sanguinary place only our own
Artillery fired on them." They invariably supported these arguments by
the production of pieces of shell which had "blanky near put their
Australian adjective lights out." Of course the denials of the
Artillery under these accusations were very emphatic; but the
production of the shell-fragments was awkward evidence, and it was
hard to prove an alibi.

The advent of the hospital ship _Maheno_ resulted in a pleasant
addition to our dietary, as the officers sent ashore some butter,
fresh bread and a case of apples. The butter was the first I had
tasted for four and a half months. The _Maheno_ belonged to the Union
Company, and had been fitted up as a hospital ship under the command
of Colonel Collins. He was the essence of hospitality, and a meal on
board there was a dream.

While we were away along the beach for a swim one afternoon, the Turks
began shelling our quarters. It had not happened previously, and
everyone thought we were out of range. The firing lasted for about an
hour and a half. I fully expected that the whole place would be
smashed. On the contrary, beyond a few mules and three men hit,
nothing had happened, and there was little in the ground to show the
effects of the firing. (I noticed the same with regard to the firing
of the naval guns. They appeared to lift tons of earth, but when one
traversed the position later very little alteration could be
detected.) The Turks, however started at night again, and one shot
almost buried me in my dug-out.

The number of transports that came in and out of Anzac while we were
there was marvellous, and a great tribute to the British Navy. There
is no question as to who is Mistress of the Sea. Occasionally we heard
of one being torpedoed, but considering the number constantly going to
and fro those lost were hardly noticeable. The _Southland_ was
torpedoed while we were in Gallipoli, and Major Millard (who was on
board) told me that there was not the slightest confusion, and only
one life was lost.




TURKS AS FIGHTERS


One cannot conclude these reminiscences without paying a tribute to
Abdul as a fighting man. All I know about him is in his favour. We
have heard all about his atrocities and his perfidy and
unspeakablenesses, but the men we met fought fairly and squarely; and
as for atrocities it is always well to hear the other side of the
question. At the beginning of the campaign it was commonly reported
that the Turks mutilated our wounded. Now I believe that to be an
unmitigated lie, probably given a start by men who had never set foot
in the Peninsula--or who, if they did, had taken an early opportunity
of departure. We were in a position to know whether any mutilation had
occurred, and I certainly saw none. I believe that similar reports
were existent among the Turks regarding us, and I formed that opinion
from the attitude and behaviour of one of the prisoners when I went to
dress his wound. He uttered most piteous cries and his conduct led me
to believe that he thought he was to be illtreated. I have mentioned
before the class to which most of the prisoners were. They were always
most grateful for any kindness shown them.

As to their sense of fair play, when the _Triumph_ was sunk, they
never fired on her--though I understand it would have been quite
allowable directly the men set foot on another warship. Again, about a
fortnight after the landing at Anzac, we tried to land a force at Gaba
Tepe, but had to retire and leave our wounded. The Turks signalled us
to bring them off, and then they never fired or abused the white flag.
The third instance occurred on our left, when we made the advance in
August. Our Ambulance was under a hill, and a howitzer battery took up
a position just in front. The Turk _sent word_ that either the
Ambulance or the battery would have to move, otherwise they would be
forced to fire on the Ambulance.

The shells we got on the beach could not be attributed to any
disregard of the Red Cross, for they could not see the flag, and
moreover the Ordnance was next to us, a thing utterly out of order,
but unavoidable under the circumstances.

My career on the Peninsula came to a close at the end of September,
when I fell ill and was put on the hospital ship. The same evening a
very willing attack was put up by the Turk. One had a good and most
interesting view, as one was in perfect safety. The bursting shells in
the darkness were very picturesque.

Prior to going off we had often discussed the pleasure of getting
between sheets and into a decent bed--how one would curl up and enjoy
it. But my first night under those conditions was spent in tossing
about, without a wink of sleep. It was too quiet. Being accustomed to
be lulled to sleep by the noise of six-inch guns from a destroyer
going over my dug-out, I could now hear a pin drop, and it was far too
quiet. We found we were to be sent to England. Malta was no place in
which to get rid of Mediterranean fever. The treatment the people of
England give the Australians is handsome in the extreme. They cannot
do enough to make them comfortable. Country houses are thrown open to
the invalided men, perfect strangers though they are, and all are
welcome.

Together with Major Courtenay (with whom I came over) I was taken to
Lockleys, in Hertfordshire. Sir Evelyn and Lady de La Rue had a
standing invitation at Horseferry Road, the Australian Military
Headquarters, for six officers. We happened to be among the lucky ones
to be included, and the kindness I received from our host and hostess
will be remembered during the remainder of my life.



THE END




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