WHEN I was passed fit for Active Service, after some time in hospital, I left England for Egypt with five other officers. Four of these had strange histories. One is, perhaps, the most romantic figure of the war, another now governs a great Province, while two, after many adventures, were prisoners of war in Turkey, for different but dreary periods.
I was sent to the East because it had been my fortune to have travelled widely, and I had a fairly fluent smattering of several Eastern languages. On arriving at Gilbraltar about December 14th, 1914, we heard the first news of submarines. One of these was reported to have passed through into the Mediterranean a few days previously.
When I reached Egypt just before Christmas, superficially everything was calm. This calm did not last very long. I was given Intelligence work to do, under Colonel Clayton, who had played a very great part in achieving our success in the East. Reports constantly came in from Minia, Zagazig and Tanta of Turkish and German intrigues. General Sir J. Maxwell commanded the Forces in Egypt. Prince Hussein had just been proclaimed Sultan, and Egypt had been declared to be under British protection. Rushdy Pasha was Prime Minister and triumvirate of Sir Milne Cheetham at the Residency, Sir R. Graham as Adviser to the Ministry of the Interior, and Lord Edward Cecil as Adviser to the Ministry of Finance, directed the Government.
It was difficult to believe that the Egyptian, who then had all the advantages, really meant mischief. Most people, I think, agreed with Lord Cromer, and believed that his policy of making taxes light and easy for the Egyptian had succeeded, but the East is never logical, as we all know, and the natural consequence constantly does not follow the parental cause. Mecca rose to join us after Kut had fallen; the rebellion in Egypt only took place when the English had achieved a complete victory over Turkey, and held Palestine and Syria. I quote the following incident as an illustration of the difficulty of sometimes following this mentality:
*****A Syrian reported to me that a great Egyptian family, whom I will call the Ashakas, had conspired to bring 15,000 rifles into the country and to engineer a rising. The rifles were to be imported from the Greek islands and from Greece, by means of Greek sponge-fishers. One of these, who had the pleasant and appropriate name of Son-of-the-Dagger, met me in a café in an obscrure side street in Cairo. There he revealed the conspiracy, explaining that only the landing-place for the arms had still to be decided upon. He and his companions were to receive a commission on every rifle landed, and he wanted to know what the British Government would be ready to pay for his betrayal of his patrons.
On reporting this to the proper authorities, I was told that they were aware of the existence of this plot. The next day frantic messages from the Greek came, and I met him, disturbed in his mind. He said that the Ashakas had become suspicious of him and the other Greeks, and that he feared for his life. He asked to be arrested immediately after the seizure of the arms and thrown into prison with the Egyptians, and then to be flogged before them, in order to convince them that he was acting honourably by them. He was very anxious to be paid for both pieces of treachery, by the Egyptians and by us. On making my report to the authorities I learned that the Ashakas had betrayed the Greeks by denouncing them as traitors.
The whole affair had been a result of Levantine nerves. The Ashakas in the past had been strong Nationalists. When the war between the Turks and ourselves broke out, in spite of the fact that it seemed possible, and indeed likely, that Egypt might again become a Turkish province, their politics changed, and they hastily became Anglophile, but their past record haunted them. They feared the British Government almost as much as the Turks, and yearned to prove themselves loyal.
After much thought it appeared to them that the simplest way of achieving this would be to supply valuable military information to the British. That, however, was an article which they did not possess, and they therefore hit upon the idea of getting up a bogus conspiracy in order to be able to denounce it. This seemed the simplest way to safeguard themselves, and they hurriedly adopted the plan. The istruments that they chose were subtle Greeks, who were more proficient in the art of intregue than the Ashakas, and had an even more degraded morality. It took only a few days for the Ashakas to realized the infidelity of the Greeks, and to inform against thme still more hurriedly, but meanwhile the Greeks had spoken first. In the end, when the hair of the Ashakas had turned grey, they made a clean breast of the whole affair to the British authorities, and were, I believe, forgiven.
"Happy is the country that has no history" is a proverb which is often untrue, but Egypt was certainly happy, compared with the rest of the world, early in 1915. Then history moved rapidly towards us. The thunder of the guns in France was no longer something remore and irrelevant. The Turks massed across the desert, and prepared to attack the Canal. Many of the English thought that we were living on a sleeping volcano, but there was general confidence, and no one doubted our power to cope with the situation. The Turks attacked skillfully and bravely, but the odds against them were too heavy. They were, however, able to shell H.M.S.
Harding in the Canal, and a few of their men swam across to Egypt. Complete serenity reigned in Cairo. I remember going to the Opera that night. General Sir John Maxwell was listening, quite unruffled, to the performance. I heard a civilian say in a scandalized voice to him: "They have gone and broken the Harding. What next?" To which Sir John answered: "Well, they'll have to mend it, I suppose." Two ladies landed at Port Said and had their train shelled as it steamed slowyly along the banks of the Canal to Cairo. They wondered placidly if this was the normal state of things in Egypt.
These attacks added to the labours and quickened the energies of the Intelligence in Egypt, but still there were only vague rumours to be heard. One of these foretold that there was to be a general rising of Islam on April 27th.
I remember long conversations with a specialist with regard to this possibility; he disbelieved in it, then or at any time, for, as he said very rightly, Islam had to contend with great difficulties from the point of view of communications--waterless deserts, impassable seas, mountain ranges, unbridged by our telegraph. My friend, who was remarkable, would not have an office like any other man in his position; he disconcerted friend and foe alike by changing his address every few days, and when one wished to see him, and after the unusual event of catching him, he would make an appointment such as: "The third lamp-post in the Street of Mohammed Ali at dusk." When he had gone beyond recall, one remembered that the Mohammed Ali Street was several miles long, and that he had not said at which end was the appointed lamp-post; so he was well qualified to speak of the disadvantages accruing from lack of communications.
Prisoners began coming in, but not much was to be obtained from them. They were mostly shattered and rather pathetic men. The first to arrive were some escaped Syrian schoolmasters, who had been conscripted by the Turks, and gave a very graphic account of a hot and harrassing journey ahead of their comrades to Egypt, where their friends and relations lived. Then came a blind old gentleman of eighty, who fell into our front-line trench. It had been his habit, every two years, to visit his son in Egypt, and he had not realized that there was a war going on.
Amongst the Turkish prisoners of the first attack there was one old quartermaster seriously ill, whose manners and courage made him the friend of all his captors, but, like the rest, he told us nothing. There was probably more information amongst the prisoners who had been interned, if they had been willing to speak, but they were not. I met one of these to whom fate had been unusually cruel. He was an Albanian whose home had been in Montenegro. When the amiable Montenegrins seized the land of the Albanians, he had been beaten and cast out; thence he had gone to Turkey, but the Albanians had been the first to attack the Turks, and were, indeed, the main cause of the ruin of the Ottoman Empire, so in Turkey he was bastinadoed and thrown into prison. Somehow he managed to escape and arrived in Egypt. In Egypt he was arrested as a Turk, and again thrown into prison. In prison he was continually beaten by his fellow-prisoners, who were Turks, as an Albanian and an enemy of Islam.
There were no tangible proofs of a conspiracy; one used sometimes to get black looks in the bazaar, and scowls from the class of the Effenis. On the other hand, we were very strongly supported by men of the type of the late Sultan Hussein and Adly Yeghen Pasha.
It would be difficult to meet a more attractive or courteous gentleman than the late Sultan. He was of the advanced school of enlightened Islam; neither his literary tastes, his philosophy, nor his pleasure in European society allowed him to forget his own people for a moment. Adly Yeghen Pasha, then Minister of Education, is an exceptional and outstanding figure in Egypt, with a marked personality. The other Ministers mixed freely with European society, and there was no sign of anything but friendliness.
At the end of February I was sent on the battleship Bacchante, commanded by Captain Boyle,(1)
which lay for about a fortnight off Alexandretta, occasionally bombarding telegraphs, or wagons that were said to be loaded with artillery wheels. One morning we saw two carts crawling along, drawn by bullocks, carrying the alleged wheels of artillery northward from Alexandretta. In order to warn the two drivers shells were fired from the great battleship a hundred yards ahead of them. The men left their oxen, taking refuge in a neighbouring ditch, while the oxen went slowly forward alone, like automata. Our guns then fired upon the carts, which were about half a mile distant, and one of the oxen was immediately hit. On this one of the two Turks left the ditch, cut the wounded animal free, and continued to lead the two carts. Again our guns fired ahead of him to give him warning, but he went on steadfastly at about a mile an hour to what was certain death. In the end he was left lying by his dead oxen and his broken cart. We had given him every chance that we could, and if the
admiration of a British ship for his courage could reward a dead Anatolian muleteer, that reward was his.
Life outside Alexandretta was uneventful. Occasionally a Turkish official came out to discuss various questions that arose. He used to sway and bow from the tiller of his boat while I swayed and bowed from the platform below the gangway of the cruiser. It is perhaps worth saying that when I expressed to him Captain Boyle's regret for the death of the Turkish muleteer it was an event that he would not condescent to notice.
We discovered one curious fact of natural history, that with a searchlight you can see the eyes of dogs or jackals at night more than half a mile away. A previous ship had reported that men came down to the shore with electric torches, and it was only after some days that we discovered that these will-o'-the-wisp appearances were in reality the eyes of dogs.
But though life was uneventful, it was very pleasant on the ship, and all were sorry when the cruise came to an end.
I remember the last night at dinner in the wardroom the name of a distinguished Admiral occurred in the conversation. He was a man who had a great reputaion for capacity and also eccentricity, that came mainly from his habit of concentrated thinking. When he was deep in throught and his eyes caught any bright object, he would go up to it like a magpie and play with it. He would sometimes to up and fiddle with the button of a junior officer on the quarter-deck, looking at it very attentively, to the great discomfort of the junior officer, or even with that of a stranger to whom he had been introduced. The legend grew from this idiosyncrasy, that those may believe who wish to. It was said that one night at a dance he sat out for a long time with a girl in a black dress. His eye caught a white thread on her shoulder, and unconsciously while he talked he began pulling at it. The story goes on to say that when the girl went home she said to her mother: "I know I went out with a vest to-night, and now I wonder what has happened to it."
I remember at the same dinner Dr. Levick, who had been with Captain Scott in the Antarctic voyage, told a curious story of prophecy. He had been to a fortune-teller after the idea of going with Captain Scott ahd occurred to him, but before he had taken any steps. The fortune-teller gave a description of the melancholy place where he was to live for two years, of the unknown men who were to be his companions, and particularly one who had strangely flecked hair.
I returned to Cairo and office work with some reluctance. Friends of mine and I took a house, which somehow managed to run itself, in Gezireh. It was covered with Bougainvillea and flowers of every colour, and was a delight to see. Sometimes it lacked servants completely, and at other times there was a black horde. Gardeners sprang up as if by enchantment, and made things grow almost before one's eyes.
I quote from my diary of March 18th, 1915:
News to-day that King Constantine won't have Greece come in, and that Venizelos has resigned. At a guess, this means that either Greece of King Constantine is lost. If Constantine goes, Venizelos might shephard his son through his minority.
March 14th I left Luxor Tuesday night, after a wonderful time. My guide was a Senoussi--something-or-other Galleel. He had a tip of white turban hanging, which he said was a sign of his people. He was rather like one of the Arabs out of a Hichens book, and I expect about as genuine. A snake-charmer came with us. He gave me the freedom of the snakes as a man is given the freedom of a city, but as one scorpion and two snakes--one of them a so-to-speak soi-disant cobra--stung and bit him during the day, it's not likely to be of much help to me. He did some very mysterious things, and called snakes from every kind of place--one from a window in the wall, a five-foot long cobra, and a Coptic cook found its old skin in the next window.
In justice to the snake-charmer it ought to be said that he was only stung and bitten as a consequence of a quarrel with an archaeologist.
In Egypt every archaelolgist looks upon the local magician or snake-charmer as his competitor, and hates him. When the archaeologist is telling the tourist the history of Ramesis II the attention of the tourist is distracted by a half-naked man doing the mango trick. My archaeologist friend, irritated by the presence of the snake-charmer, declared that his snakes were all doped and his scorpions were tame town scorpions, green, and not yellow like the country scorpions. He found a bucolic scorpion under a stone, of the proper colour, which instantly stung the snake-charmer; he then insisted upon stirring up his snakes with a stick, with the unfortunate results that have already been mentioned.
The Egyptian has always seemed to me harder to understand than his neighbours. It may be because there is less in him to understand. The Greeks, Turks, and Arabs have all got very salient characteristic qualities, but though the characteristics of the Egyptians are probably as strongly marked, they are less conspicous to the foreigner's eye; in other words, the Egyptian has less in common with the outer world than any of the Asiatic, of even African, peoples who surround him. Lane, in his Modern Egyptians, says that they refused to believe that the ordinary traveller was not an agent for the Government, because they could not understand the desire for travel, and their character had not changed since his day. Here is a story of Egyptian guile and credulity:
An Egyptian was anxious to get some job profitable to himself done, and he went to one of the kavasses (guards) at the Agency for advice. The kavass professed himself able to help. He said: "The man for you to go to is Mr.. Jones, that high English official. He will get what you want done, but I warn you that Mr.. Jones is an expensive man. Give me three hundred pounds, and I will see what can be done." The three hundred pounds was duly paid, and for a long time nothing happened. The petitioneer grew impatient and importunate, and was eventually satisfied for the moment by an invitation to lunch with a Levantine who passed himself off as Mr. Jones. At luncheon the Levantine, who was of German extraction, wore his hat, banged his fist on the table, smoked a pipe, interrupted, and generally acted as an Englishman abroad is supposed by some to behave. Then occurred an interval of inaction; the petitioner again grew restive, and this time complained to the authorities. Finally the transaction was discovered, and the kavass was sent to gaol.
Events moved in Egypt. The Australian and New Zealand troops poured in, and splendid men they were. But there was little love lost between the Australians and the Egyptians, though the British troops and the natives fraternized occasionally. The native Egyptian was, it must be admitted, constantly very roughly treated, for the average Australian, while he was at first apt to resent superiority in others, felt little doubt about his own claim to it. The Australian and New Zealand Corps was commanded by General Birdwood, and the New Zealand and Australian Division by General Godley.
I joined the New Zealand Division as Interpreter and Intelligence officer, and we all made preparations to start early in April. I was anxious to buy a beautiful snow-white Arab, that had won most of the races at Cairo, from a friend of mine, but General Godley spoke simply but firmly. "You aren't the Duke of Marlborough," he said. "You can't have that white pony unless he's dyed, and even then it would wash off in any rainstorm. You may get yourself shot, but not me." I agreed with the less reluctance because I had found that the pony pulled furiously and would certainly lead any advance or retreat by many miles.
The day for our departure approached. The golden sunlight and tranquility of Egypt was tragic in its contrast to what was coming.
Every Intelligence officer was a Cassandra with an attentive audience. In every discussion there was, as far as I saw, unanimity between military, naval, and political officers, who all wished the landing to take place at Alexandretta, and deplored (not to use a stronger word) the project of the Dardanelles, which the Turks had been given ample time to fortify.
The heat increased and the English officers' wives, who had come to Egypt to be with their husbands, were given a taste of a fercious khamsin that affected their complexions. In the spring of 1915 this wind came in waves and gusts of lurid heat. It was like a Nessus shirt, scorching the skin and making slow fire of one's blood. After the khamsin, which had the one advantage of killing insects with its heat, locusts came. They made a carpet on the ground and a shadow against the sun. Life was intolerable out of doors, and they followed one into the recesses of the house. A friend of mine said to me: "What on earth had they got to grumble about in Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs? They had one plague at a time then; we are having all the lot at once."
I quote from my diary:
Yesterday I saw Todd, who had been on the Annie Rickmers when she was torpedoed off Smyrna. The crew was Greek. There were five Englishmen on board, and a good many wounded. The Greeks were all off at once, taking all the boats. They had no interpreter with them. He said the English in Smyrna were angry at being bombarded, and came aboard with Rahmy Bey, the Vali, to complain. Rahmy was always Anglophile.
Early in April Sir Ian Hamilton came and went. He had a great review of the troops in the desert on a glorious day. It was a spendid sight, and one I should have enjoyed better if I had not been riding a mountainous roan horse that bolted through the glittering Staff.
Many old friends, Ock Asquith, Patrick Shaw-Stewart, Charles Lister and Rupert Brooke, had come out to Egypt in the Naval Division, and we lunched, dined, and went to the Pyramids by moonlight.
The first week in April we made our preparations for leaving, and I went to say good-bye to native friends. One of them was an old Albanian Abbot of the Bektashi sect, whose monastery was in the living rock in a huge cave behind the Mokattan Hills. He had a fine face and a venerable beard, and I spent much time talking to him, drinking his coffee, by a fountain in the cool garden outside his home. I was sorry to say good-bye to the delightful Zoo in Cairo, with the hawks calling unceasingly in the sunlight, and a hundred different birds. Another pleasure there was Said, an attractive and intellectual hippopotamus, who performed a number of tricks.
On April 10th I went to Alexandria to report aboard the German prize-ship Lutzow, and on the 12th we sailed. We discovered that night at dinner that the puritanical New Zealand Government had ordained that this boat should be a dry one, but it made no difference to our mess, which was very pleasant. On April 13th we made a new discovery, that the boat was even drier than we expected, as there was not enough water, and the men had to shave in salt water. On April 15th we came into Lemnos Harbour, with a keen wind and a rustling deep blue sea, and white-crested waves, with cheer on creer from French and English warships, from German prizes with British crews, from submarines, and even from anchored balloons.
The next day I went ashore with a couple of other officers to but donkeys, who were to carry our kits. Mudros was not too bad a town, and was a very curious spectacle in those days. There were great black Senegalese troops with filed teeth who chased the children in play, though if the children had known what their home habits were the games would probably have ceased abruptly.
There were Greeks dressed in fantastic costume and British troops of all sorts. Many old friends from the East were there, among them Colonel Doughty Wylie, who in a few days was to win his V.C. and lose a life of great value to his country.
I met a friend, Bettelheim, nicknamed "Beetle," whose life had been one long adventure. When last I had seen him he had been an official in Turkey, and in a rising had been dragged from his carriage on Galata Bridge in Constantinople by the mob, with his companion, the Emir Arslan. Emir Arslan was torn to pieces, but "Beetle," with his marvellous luck, escaped.
Many of us lunched together under a vine, drinking excellent wine at a penny a glass. Everybody was extremely cheerful, and there was great elation in the island air. The talk was, of course, about the landing. A friend of mine said: "This is a terrible business; entire Staffs will be wiped out." He seemed to think that the Staffs were the most important thing.
After lunch I went to see the Mayor, to help me buy all that I wanted. He was rather shaky with regard to his own position, as Lemnos had not yet been recognized by us as Greek, and our recognition was contingent on the behaviour of the Greek Government. He was a very good linguist, talking French, a little English, Italian, Greek, Turkish, and Arabic. I think it was he who quoted to me the story of the Khoja Nasr-ed-Din. Nasr-ed-Din was lent a saucepan by a friend; he returned it with another small saucepan, saying it had produced a child. Next year the friend offered a huge saucepan at the same date, which the friend considered the breeding-time of saucepans. Later on, when his friend applied for the return of the saucepan, Nasr-ed-Din said: "It is dead." His friend expostulated: "How can a saucepan die?" "Well," said Nasr-ed-Din, "if it can have a child, why can't it die?"
Lemnos itself, though then it was a pageant, is on the whole a dreary island. The land was green, as all lands are in the spring, but there was not the carpet of anemones that one finds in Crete, Cyprus, and other islands, nor was there even asphodel.
On Friday, April 16th, we heard that the Manitou had been torpedoed, and that a number of men had been drowned. This was not the case, though she had had three torpedoes fired at her.
At this time we believed that we were to make three simultaneous attacks, the New Zealanders taking the centre of the Peninsula. A rather melancholy call to arms was issued by General Birdwood, the pith of which was that for the first few days there would be no transport of any kind. This made it all the more necessary to obtain the donkeys, and with the help of the Mayor of Mudros I bought six, and one little one for £1 as a mascot. It was a great deal of trouble getting them on board. The Greek whose boat I had commandeered was very unfriendly, and I had to requisition the services of some Senegalese troops.
Diary. April 21st, 1915. Mudros. Inner Bay. Monday, the 19th, I tried to dine on H.M.S. Bacchante, but failed to find her. Dined on the Arcadia. Came back with Commodore Keyes . . . . Met---(a journalist turned censor). He said that the Turks had thirty 15-inch howitzers on Gallipolli, also wire entanglements everywhere. (LEMNOS)
The general impression is that we shall get a very bad knock, and that it may set the war back a year, besides producing an indefinite amount of trouble in the East.
Tuesday, April 20th. I went ashore to get porters, but the Mayor was in a nervous state, and I failed. I tried to get back in a dinghy with a couple of Greeks, and we nearly got swamped. A gale got up. Finally made the Imogen, tied up by the Hussar, and at last reached my destination. Great gale in the night. I hope we don't suffer the fate of the Armada. It is said that our orders are to steam for the outer harbour at once.
It was curious to see the Imogen, once the Ambassador's yacht at Constantinople. In those days she was treated with reverent care. The Mediterranean had to be calmed by the finest weather before she travelled. Now she had to sink or swim with the rest. Her adventures did not end at Lemnos. Travellers may see her name written proudly on the harsh cliffs of Muscat in the Persian Gulf, and to-day she is probably at Kurna, the site of the Garden of Eden.
On Thursday, April 22nd, I was able to get two Greek porters, Kristo Keresteji (which being interpreted means Kristo the Timber-merchant) and Yanni, of the little island of Ayo Strati. Kristo was with me until I was invalided in the middle of October. He showed the greatest fidelity and courage after the first few days. The other man was a natural coward, and had to be sent away when an opportunity offered, after the landing.
Diary. Fricay April 23rd. I have just seen the most wonderful procession of ships I shall ever see. In the afternoon we left for the outer harbour. The wind was blowing; there was foam upon the sea and the air of the island was sparkling. With the band playing and flags flying, we steamed past the rest of the fleet. Cheers went from one end of the harbour to the other. Spring and summer met. Everybody felt it more than anything that had gone before.
After we had passed the fleet, the pageant of the fleet passed us. First the Queen Elizabeth, immense, beautiful lines, long, like a snake, straight as an arrow. This time there was silence. It was grim and very beautiful. We would rather have had the music and the cheers . . . .This morning instructions were given to the officers and landing arrangements made. We leave at 1.30 to-night. The Australians are to land first. This they should do to-night. Then we land. . . .Naval guns will have to cover our advance, and the men are to warned that the naval fire is very accurate. They will need some reassuring if the fire is just over their heads. The 29th land at Helles, the French in Asia near Troy. This is curious, as they can't support us or we them. the Naval Division goes north and makes a demonstration . . . .The general opinion is that very many boats must be sunk from the shore. Having got ashore, we go on to a rendezvous. We have no native guides. . . .The politicians are very unpopular.
The sea was very quiet between Lemnos and Anzac on April 24th. There were one or two alterations in plans, but nothing very material. We expected to have to land in the afternoon, but this was changed, and we were ordered to land after the Australians, who were to attack at 4.30 a.m. Some proposed to get up to see the first attack at dawn. I thought that we should see plenty of the attack before we had done with it, and preferred to sleep.
Diary. Sunday, April 25th. I got up at 6.30. Thoms, who shared my cabin, had been up earlier. There was a continuous roll of thunder from the south. Opposite to us the land rose steeply in cliffs and hills covered with the usual Mediterranean vegetation. The crackle of rifles sounded and ceased in turns. . . .Orders were given to us to start at 8.30 a.m. . . .The tows were punctual. . . .We were ordered to take practically nothing but rations. I gave my sleeping-bag to Kyriakidis, the old Greek interpreter whom I had snatched from the Arcadia, and took my British warm and my Burberry. . . .The tow was unpleasantly open to look at; there was naturally no shelter of any kind. We all packed in, and were towed across the shining sea towards the land fight. . . . We could see some still figures lying on the beach to our left, one or two in front. Some bullets splashed round.
As we were all jumping into the sea to flounder ashore, I heard cries from the sergeant at the back of the tow. He said to me: "These two men refuse to go ashore." I turned and saw Kristo Keresteji and Yanni of Ayo Strati with mesmerized eyes looking at plops tha the bullets made in the water, and with their minds evidently fixed on the Greek equivalent of "Home, Sweet Home." They were, however, pushed in, and we all scrambled on to that unholy land. The word was then, I thought rather unnecessarily, passed that we were under fire.
It was difficult to understand why the Turkish fire developed so late. If they had started shelling us during our landing as they shelled us later, our losses would have been very heavy. We frequently owed our salvation in the Peninsula to a Turkish weakness and a Turkish mistake. They were constantly slow to appreciate a position and take full advantage of it, and their shrapnel was generally fused too high. Hardly any man who landed escaped being thumped and bumped on different occasions by shrapnel, which would, of course, have
(THE FIRST LANDING)
killed or seriously wounded him if the burst had not been so high. I remember on the afternoon of the first landing a sailor was knocked down beside me, and I and another man carried him to what shelter there was. We found that, while the bullet had pierced his clothes, it had not even broken his skin. Said the sailor: "This is the third time that that's 'appened to me to-day. I'm beginning to think of my little grey 'ome in the West." So were others.
We had landed on a spit of land which in those days we called Shrapnel Point, to the left of what afterwards became Corps Headquarters, though later the other spit on the right usurped that name. I took cover under a bush with a New Zealand officer, Major Browne. This officer had risen from the ranks. He fougnt through the whole of the Gallipoli campaign, and in the end, to the sorrow of all who knew him, was killed as a Brigadier in France.
The shrapnel fire became too warm to be pleasant, and I said: "Major, a soldier's first duty is to save his life for his country." He said: "I quite agree, but I don't see how it's to be done." We were driven from Shrapnel Point to the north, round the cliff, but were almost immediately driven back again by the furious fire that met us.
Diary. We were being shot at from three sides. All that morning we kept moving. There were lines of men clinging like cockroaches under the cliffs or moving silently as the guns on the right or left enfiladed us. They only thing to be done was to dig in as soon as position, but a good many men were shot while they were doing this. General Godley landed about twelve, and went up Monash Gully with General Birdwood. We remained on the beach . . . .We had no artillery to keep the enemy's fire down.
We spent a chilly night, sometimes lying down, sometimes walking, as the rain began to fall after dark, and we had not too much food. My servant, Jack, who was a very old friend, and I made ourselves as comfortable as we could.
There was a great deal of inevitable confusion. We were very hard pressed; as every draft landed it was hurried off to that spot in the line where reinforcements were most needed. This naturally produced chaos amongst the units, and order was not re-established for some time. It was a terrible night for those in authority. I believe that, had it been possible, we should have re-embarked that night, but the sacrifices involved would have been too great. Preparations for the expedition had been totally inadequate. The chief R.A.M.C. officer had told me the rediculously small number of casualties he had been ordered to make preparations for, and asked my opinion, which I gave him with some freedom. As it was, we had to put 600 men on the ship from which we had disembarked in the morning, to go back to hospital in Egypt, a four days' journey, under the charge of one officer, who was a veterinary surgeon.
Diary. Monday, April 26th. At 5 o'clock yesterday our artillery began to land. It's a very rough country; the Mediterranean macchia everywhere, and steep, winding valleys. We slept on a ledge a few feet above the beech . . . .Firing went on all night. In the morning it was very cold, and we were all soaked. The Navy, it appeared, had landed us in the wrong place. This made the Army extremely angry, though as things turned out it was the one bright spot. Had we landed anywhere else, we should have been wiped out.
I believe the actual place decided on for our landing was a mile further south, which was an open plain, and an ideal place for a hostile landing from the Turkish point of view.
Next morning I walked with General Godley and Tahu Rhodes, his A.D.C., up the height to the plateau which was afterwards called Plugges Plateau. The gullies and ravines were very steep, and covered with undergrowth. We found General Walker, General Birdwood's Chief of Staff, on the ridge that bears his name. Bullets were whining about, through the undergrowth, but were not doing much harm, though the shelling on the beach was serious.
Diary. We believed that the Turks were using 16-inch shells from the Dardanelles, and we were now able to reply. The noise was deafening, and our firing knocked down our own dugouts. The Generals all behaved as if the whole thing was a tea-party. Their different Staffs looked worried for their chiefs and themselves. Generals Godley and Walker were the most reckless, but General Birdwood also went out of his way to take risks. The sun was very hot, and our clothes dried while the shrapnel whistled over us into the sea.
At noon we heard the rumour that the 29th were fighting their way up from Helles, and everybody grew happy. We also heard that two Brigadiers had been wounded and one killed.
The Australians had brought with them two ideas, which were only eliminated by time, fighting , and their own good sense. The "eight hours' day" was almost a holy principle, and when they had violated it by holding on for (THE FIRST LANDING)
two or three days heroically, they thought that they deserved a "spell." Their second principle was not to leave their pals. When a man was wounded his friends would insist upon bringing him down, instead of leaving him to the stretcher-bearers. When they had learned the practical side of war, both these dogmas were jettisoned. In Egypt the Australians had human weaknesses, and had shown them; in Gallipoli they were the best of companions. Naturally, with the New Zealand Division, I saw more of the New Zealanders, who had the virtues of the Australians and the British troops. They had all the dash and élan of the Australians and the discipline of the Englishmen.
Diary. Tuesday, April 27th. Last night, or rather this morning at about 1 o'clock, I was called up by C. He said: "We are sending up 40,000 rounds of ammunition to Colonel Pope." Greek donkey-boys, with an Indian escort, were to go up with this ammunition. I asked if any officer was going, and was answered "No"; that there was no officer to go. I said that I would go if I could get a guide, but that I did not talk Hindustani, and that the whole thing was risky, as we were just as likely without a guide to wander into the Turks as to find our own people; also that if we were attacked we should be without means of communicating, and that the Greeks would certainly bolt. At the Corps Headquarters I found an absolutely gaga officer. He had an A.D.C. Who was on the spot, however, and produced a note from Colonel Pope which stated that he had all the ammunition he wanted. The officer, in spite of this, told me to carry on. I said it was nonsense without a guide, when Pope had his ammunition. He then told me to take the mules to one place and the ammunition to another. I said that I had better take them both back to my Headquarters, from which I had come. He then tried to come with me, after saying that he would put me under arrest, but fell over two tent-ropes and was nearly kicked by a mule, and gave up in mute despair.
I may add that this officer was sent away shortly afterwards. The next night he was found with a revolver stalking one of the Staff officers, who was sleeping with a nightcap that looked like a turban, to shelter his head from the dew. My persecutor said that he thought he was a Turk.
Diary. Three of us slept crowded in one dug-out on Monday night. The cliff is becoming like a rookery, with ill-made nests. George Lloyd and Ian Smith have a charming view, only no room to lie down in. Everybody's dug-out is falling on his neighbour's head. I wnet round the corner of the cliff to find a clean place to wash in the sea, but was sniped, and had to come back quick. The Gallipoli Division of Turks, 18,000 strong, is supposed to be approaching, while we listened to a great artillery duel not far off. An Armenian who was captured yesterday reported the Gallipoli Division advancing on us. On Tuesday night things were better. I think most men were then of the opinion that we ought to be able to hold on, but we were clinging by our eyelids on to the ridge. The confusion of units and the great losses in officers increased the difficulty.
This was the third day of battle. My dugout was twice struck. A tug was sunk just in front of us . . . .The interpreters have all got three days' beards which are turning white from worry. The shells to-day did not do so much damage; they whirled over us in coveys, sometimes hitting the beach and flying off singing, sometimes splashing in the sea, but a lot of dead and wounded were carried by.
About this time the spy mania started, which is one of the inevitable concomitants of war. Spies were supposed to be everywhere. In the popular belief, that is "on the beach," there were enough spies to have made an opera. The first convincing proof of treachery which we had was the story of a Turkish girl who had painted her face green in order to look like a tree, and had shot several people at Helles from the boughs of an oak. Next came the story of the daily pigeon post from Anzac to the Turkish lone; but as a matter of fact, the pigeons were about their own business of nesting.
We had with us, too, a remarkable body of men who were more than suspect, and whose presence fed the wildest rumours. These were called Zionists, Zionites, and many other names. They were the Jewish exiles from Syria, who looked after the mules, and constituted the Mule Corps, under Colonel Patterson, of lion-hunting fame. They performed very fine service, and gave proof of the greatest courage. On several occasions I saw the mules blown to bits, and the men of the Mule Corps perfectly calm, among their charges. One night it did seem to me that at last we had got the genuine article. A panting Australian came to say that they had captured a German disguised as a member of the Mule Corps, but that he had unfortunately killed one man before being taken. When I examined this individual he gave his name as Fritz Sehmann, and the language in which we conversed most easily was German. He was able to justify himself himself in his explanation, which turned out to be true. He had been walking along the cliff at night with his mule, when the mule had been shot and fallen over the cliff with Fritz Sehmann. Together they had fallen upon an unfortunate soldier, who had been killed by the same burst.
It was work of some difficulty to explain to the Colonial troops that many of the prisoners that we took--as, for instance, Greeks and Armenians--were conscripts who hated their masters. On one occasion, speaking of a
(THE FIRST LANDING)
prisoner, I said to a soldier: "This man says he is a Greek, and that he hates the Turks." "That's a likely story, that is,"said the soldier; "better put a bayonet in the brute."
the trouble that we had with the native interpreters is even now a painful memory. If they were arrested once a day, they were arrested ten times. Those who had anything to do with them, if they were not suspected of being themselves infected by treachery, were believed to be in some way unpatriotic. It was almost as difficult to persuade the officers as the men that the fact that a man knew Turkish did not make him a Turk. There was one moment when the interpreters were flying over the hills like hares.
Diary. Wednesday, April 28th. I got up at 4 a.m. This morning, after a fine, quiet night, and examined a Greek deserter form the Turkish Army. He said many would desert if they did not fear for their lives. The New Zealanders spare their prisoners.
Last night, while he was talking to me, Colonel C. was hit by a bit of shell on his hat. He stood quite still while a man might count three, wondering if he was hurt. He then stooped down and picked it up. At 8 p.m. last night there was furious shelling in the gully. Many men and mules hit. General Godley was in the Signalling Office, on the telephone, fairly under cover. I was outside with Pinwell, and got grazed, just avoiding the last burst. Their range is better. Before this they have been bursting the shrapnel too high. It was after 4 p.m. Their range improved so much. My dugout was shot through five minutes before I went there. So was Shaw's . . . .
Colonel Chaytor was knocked down by shrapnel, but not hurt. The same happened to Colonel Manders. We heard that the Indian troops were to come to-night. Twenty-three out of twenty-seven Auckland officers killed and wounded.
11a.m. All firing except from Helles has ceased. Things look better. The most the men can do is to hang on. General Godley has been very fine. The men know it.
4.30 p.m. Turks suddenly reported to have mounted huge howitzer on our left flank, two or three miles away. We rushed all the ammunition off the beach, men working like ants, complete silence and furious work. We were absolutely enfiladed, and they could have pounded us, mules and machinery, to pulp, or driven us into the gully and up the hill, cutting us off from our water and at the same time attacking us with shrapnel. The ships came up and fired on the new gun, and proved either that it was a dummy or had moved, or had been knocked out. It was a cold, wet night.
The material which General Birdwood and General Godley had to work upon was very fine. The Australians and the New Zealanders were born fighters and natural soldiers, and learnt quickly on Active Service what it would have taken months of training to have tought them. But like many another side-show, Anzac was casual in many ways, as the following excerpt from this diary will show: --
Diary. Thursday, April 29th. Kaba Tepé. I was woken at 2.30 a.m., when the New Zealanders stood to arms. It was wet and cold, and a wind blew which felt as if it came through snowy gorges. The alarm had been given, and the Turks were supposed to be about to rush the beach from the left flank in force. Colonel Chaytor was sent to hold the point. He told me to collect stragglers and form them up. It was very dark, and the stragglers were very straggly. I found an Australian, Quinn, and told him to fetch his men along to the gun emplacement, beyond the graves, on the point where Chaytor was. Every one lost every one.
I found Colonel Chaytor with an Australian officer. He said to me: "Go out along the flank and find out where the Canterbury Battalion is, and how strong. On the extreme left there is a field ambulance. They must be told to lie down, so that the Turks will not shoot them." I said I would look after them. We started. I heard the Australian, after we had gone some hundred yards, ordering the Canterburys in support to retire. I said: "But are your orders to that effect? A support is ther to support. The Canterburys will be routed or destroyed if you take this support away." He said: "Well, that's a bright idea." He went back, and I heard him say, in the darkness: "This officer thinks you had better stay where you are." I don't know if he was a Colonel, or what he was, and he did not know what I was.
I found the field ambulance, a long way off, and went on to the outposts. The field ambulance were touchingly grateful for nothing, and I had some tea and yarned with them till morning, walking back after dawn along the beach by the graves. No one fired at me.
When I got back I heard the news of Doughty's(2)
death, which grieved me a great deal . . . .He seems to have saved the situation. The description of Helles is ghastly, of the men looking down into the red sea, and the dying drowned in a foot of water. That is what might have, and really ought to have happened to us.
One hears the praise of politicians in all men's mouths . . . .
A beautiful night, last night, and a fair amount of shrapnel. Every evening now they send over a limited number of howitzers from the great guns in the Dardanelles, aimed at our ships. That happens also in the early morning, as this morning. To-night an aeroplane is to locate these guns, and when they let fly to-morrow we are to give them an immense broadside from all our ships.
At this time the weather had improved, but we were living in a good deal of discomfort. We were not yet properly supplied with stores, the water was brackish, occasionally one had to shave in salt water, and all one's ablutions had to be done on the beach, with the permission of the Turkish artillery.
The beach produced a profound impression on almost all of us, and has in some cases made the seaside distasteful for the rest of our lives. It was, when we first landed, I suppose, about 30 yards broad, and covered with shingle. Upon this narrow strip depended all our communications: landing and putting off, food and water, all came and went upon the beach--and the Turkish guns had got the exact range. Later, shelters were put up, but life was still precarious, and the openness of the beach gave men a greater feeling of insecurity than they had in the trenches.
Diary. Our hair and eyes and mouths are full of dust and sand, and our nostrils of the smell of dead mules.
There were also colonies of ants that kept in close touch with us, and our cigarettes gave out. Besides these trials, we had no news of the war or of the outer world.
Diary. Tahu and I repacked the provisions this morning. While we did so one man was shot on the right and another on the left. We have been expecting howitzers all the time, and speculating as to whether there would be any panic if they really get on to us. The Turks have got their indirect, or rather enfilading, fire on us, and hit our mules. One just hit a few yards away. . . .Imbros and Samothrace are clear and delicate between the blue sea and the hot sky. The riband of beach is crowded with transport, and Jews, Greeks, Armenians, New Zealanders, Australians, scallywag officers, and officers that still manage to keep a shadow of dandyism between their disreputable selves and immaculate past. And there's the perpetual ripple of the waves that is sometimes loud enough to be mistaken for the swish of shrapnel, which is also perpetual, splashing in the sea or rattling on the beach. There is very little noise on the beach in the way of talk and laughter. The men never expected to be up against this. When we left Lemnos we saw one boat with an arrow, and in the front of it "To CONSTANTINOPLE AND THE HAREM." Precious few of those poor fellows will ever see Constantinople, let alone the Harem.
May 1st. A beautiful dawn, but defiled by a real hymn of hate from the Turks. Last night the Torgut Reiss sent us some shells. This morning it was supposed to be the Goeben that was firing. I woke to hear the howitzers that everybody had been talking of here droning over us, and watched them lifting great columns of water where they hit the sea. Then there came the sigh and the snarl of shrapnel, but that to the other is like the rustle of a lady's fan to the rumble of a brewer's dray. This hymn of hate went on for an ususually long time this morning from the big stuff. A lot of men were hit all round, and it has been difficult to wash in the sea. All the loading, unloading, etc., is done at night. The picket-boats are fairly well protected. The middies are the most splendid boys. We are all very cramped and the mules add to the congestion. We shall have a plague of flies before we are done, if we don't have a worse plague than that. The New Zealanders are all right. . . .
Colonel white, Rickes, and Murphy, all hit at breakfast this morning, but not hurt. One of the Greek donkey-boys says he is a barber. This would be a great advantage if he wasn't so nervous and did not start so much whenever there is a burst.
There is a fleet of boats in front of us, and even more at Helles; the Turks must feel uncomfortable, but another landing, between us, would be pretty risky. They are fighting splendidly. Opinion are divided as to what would happen if we fought our way to Maidos. Many think we could be shelled out again by the Goeben. This expedition needed at least three times the number of men. The Indians have not come, and the Territorials cannot come for a long time.
General Godley wants to change Headquarters for us. Colonel Artillery Johnston's battery is on our right, facing the Turks, and only a few yards away. The Turks spend a lot of time shooting at it, missing it, and hitting us. Another man killed just now. Shrapnel, heaps of it, is coming both ways on us. Nobody speaks on the beach. We have two tables on the top of the dugout. One is safe, and the other can be hit. The punctual people get the safe table.
B.has lunched. He says that Rupert Brooke died at Lemnos. I am very sorry; he was a good fellow, and a poet with a great future. B. was blown up by a shell yesterday. He has to go back to-night. While we lunched a man had his head blown off, 20 yards away. . . .
Orders have come that we are to entrench impregnably. We are practically besieged, for we can't re-embark without sacrificing our rearguard, and if the howitzers come up we shall be cut off from the beach and our water. A lot more men have been killed on the beach. . . .
Sunday, May 2nd. 6 a.m. Shrapnel all round as I washed. Beach opinion is if this siege lasts they must be able to get up their heavy guns. The Indians have gone to Helles, and the Naval Division is being taken away from us. New Turkish Divisions are coming against us. There are no chaplains here for burial or for anything else.
Waite took a dozen prisoners this morning--gendarmes, nice fellows. They hadn't much to tell us. One of them complained that he had been shot through a mistake after he had surrendered. There ought to be an interpreter on these occasions. . . .
It is a fiery hot day, without a ripple on the clear sea, and all still but for the thunder coming from Helles. I bathed and got clean. The beach looks like a mule fair of mutes, for it is very silent. We are to attack to-night at seven. We have now been here a week, and advanced a hundred yards farther than the first rush carried us. There is a great bombardment going on, a roaring ring of fire, and the Turks are being shelled and shelled.
At night the battleships throw out two lines of searchlights, and behind them there gleam the fires of Samothrace and Imbros. Up and down the cliffs here, outside the dugouts, small fires burn. The rifle fire comes over the hill, echoing in the valleys and back from the ships. Sometimes it is difficult to tell whether it is the sound of ripples on the beach or firing.
Monday, May 3rd. I was called up at 3 a.m. To examine three prisoners. Our attack had failed, and we have many casualties, probably not less than 1000. The wounded have been crying on the beach horribly. A wounded Arab reported that our naval gun fire did much damage.
The complaint is old and bitter now. We insist that the Turks are Hottentots. We give them notice before we attack them. We tell them what we are going to do with their Capital. We attack them with an inadequate force of irregular troops, without adequate ammunition (we had one gun in our landing) in the most impregnable part of their Empire. We ask for trouble all lover the East by risking disaster here.
The Goeben is shelling the fleet, and 11.30) had just struck a transport. The sea is gay, and a fresh wind is blowing, and the beach is crowded, but there is not a voice upon it, except for an occasional order. . . .
The Turks are now expected to attack us. We suppose people realize what is happening here in London, though it isn't easy to see now troops and reinforcements can be sent us in time--that is, before the Turks have turned all this into a fortification. A good many men hit on the beach to-day. The mules cry like lost souls.
Tuesday, May 4th. The sea like a looking-glass, not a cloud in the sky, and Samothrace looking very clear and close. The moon is like a faint shadow of light in the clear sky over the smoke of the guns. Heavy fighting between us and Helles. A landing is being attempted. Pessimists say it is our men being taken off because their position is impossible. The boats coming back seem full of wounded. It may have been an attempt at a landing and entrenching, or simply a repetition of what we did the other day at Falcon Hill or Nebronesi, or whatever the place is.
The attack has failed this morning. Perfect peace here, except for rifles crackling on the hill. Ian Smith and I wandered off up a valley through smilax, thyme, heath and myrtle, to a high ridge. We went through the Indians and found a couple of very jolly officers, one of them since killed. There are a good many bodies unburied. Not many men hit. We helped to carry one wounded man back. The stretcher-bearers are splendid fellows, good to friend and enemy. At one place we saw a beastly muddy little pond with a man standing in it in trousers, shovelling out mud. But the water in the tin was clear and cool and very good. . . .
General Godley and Tahu Rhodes got up to the Turkish trenches, quite close to them. The Turks attacked, threw hand-grenades, and our supports broke. The General rallied the men, but a good many were killed, amongst them the General's orderly, a gentleman ranker and a first-rate fellow.
Wednesday, May 5th. Kaba Tepé. The other day, when our attack below failed, the Turks allowed us to bring off our wounded. This was after that unfortunate landing.
Went on board the Lutzow to-day, and got some of my things off. Coming back the tow-rope parted, and we thought that we should drift into captivity. It was rough and unpleasant.
Thursday, May 6th. Very cold night. The dead are unburied and the wounded crying for water between the trenches. Talked to General Birdwood about the possibility of an armistice for burying the dead and bringing in the wounded. He thinks that the Germans would not allow the Turks to accept.
landed this morning. He brought the rumour that 8000 Turks had been killed lower down on the Peninsula. We attacked Achi Baba at 10 a.m. There was an intermittent fire all night.
This morning I went up to the trenches with General Godley by Walker's Ridge. The view was magnificent. The plain was covered with friendly olives. . . .General Birdwood and General Mercer, commanding the Naval Brigade, were also there. The trenches have become a perfect maze. As we went along the snipers followed us, seeing Onslow's helmet above the parapet, and stinging us with dirt. Many dead. I saw no wounded between the lines. On the beach the shrapnel has opened from a new direction. The Turks were supposed to be making light railways to bring up their howitzers and then rub us off this part of the Peninsula. This last shell that has just struck the beach has killed and wounded several men and a good many mules. . . .
Friday, May 7th. A bitter night and morning. . . .This morning a shell burst overhead, when I heard maniac peals of laughter and found the cook flying up, hit in the boot and his kitchen upset; he was laughing like a madman. It's a nuisamce one has to sit in the shade in our dining-place and not in the sun. They have got our exact range, and are pounding in one shell after another. A shell has just burst over our heads, and hit a lighter and set her on fire.
The mules, most admirable animals, had now begun to give a good deal of trouble, alive and dead. There were hundreds of them on the beach and in the gullies. Alive, they bit precisely and kicked accurately; dead, they were towed out to sea, but returned to us faithfully on the beach, making bathing unpleasant and cleanliness difficult. The dead mule was not only offensive to the Army; he became a source of supreme irritation to the Navy, as he floated on his back, with his legs sticking stiffly up in the air. These legs were constantly mistaken for periscopes of submarines, causing excitement, exhaustive naval manoeuvres and sometimes recriminations.
My special duties now began to take an unusual form. Every one was naturally anxious for Turkish troops to surrender, in order to get information, and also that we might have fewer men to fight. Those Turks who had been captured had said that the general belief was that we took no prisoners, but killed all who fell into our hands, ruthlessly. I said that I believed that this impression, which did us much harm, could be corrected. The problem was how to disabuse the Turks of this belief. I was ordered to make speeches to them from those of our trenches which were closest to theirs, to explain to them that they would be well treated and that our quarrel lay with the Germans, and not with them.
Diary. Friday, May 7th. At 1.30 I went up Monash Valley, which the men now call the "Valley of Death," passing a stream of haggard men, wounded and unwounded, coming down in the brilliant sunlight. I saw Colonel Monash(4)
at his headquarters, and General Godley with him, and received instructions. The shelling overhead was terrific, but did no damage, as the shells threw forward, but the smoke made a shadow between us and the sun. It was like the continuous crashing of a train going over the sleepers of a railway bridge.
Monash, whom I had last seen at the review in the desert, said: "We laugh at this shrapnel." He tried to speak on the telephone to say I was coming, but it was difficult, and the noise made it impossible. Finally I went up
the slope to Quinn's Post, with an escort, running and taking cover, and panting up the very steep hill. It felt as if bullets rained, but the fact is that they came from three sides and have each got about five echoes. There's a décolleté place in the hill that they pass over. I got into the trench and found Quinn, tall and open-faced, swearing like a trooper, much respected by his men. The trenches in Quinn's Post were narrow and low, full of exhausted men sleeping. I crawled over them and through tiny holes. There was the smell of death everywhere. I spoke in three places.
In conversations with the Turks acorss the trenches I generally said the same thing: that we took prisoners and treated them well; that the essential quarrel was between us and the Germans and not between England and the Turks; that the Turks had been our friends in the Crimea; and I ended by quoting the Turkish proverb: "Eski dost dushman olmaz" ("An old friend cannot be an enemy.") These speeches probably caused more excitement amongst our men than in the ranks of the Turks, though the Constantinople Press declared that a low attempt to copy the muezzin's call to prayer had been made from our lines. There were many pictures drawn of the speech-maker and the shower of hand-grenades that answered his kindly words. It must be admitted that there was some reason for these caricatures. Upon this first occasion nothing very much happened--to me, at any rate. Our lines were very close to the Turkish lines, and I was able to speak clearly with and without a megaphone, and the Turks were good enough to show some interest and in that neighbourhood to keep quiet for a time. I got through my business quickly, and went back to the beach. It was then that the consequences of these blandishments developed, for the places from which I had spoken were made the object of a very heavy strafe, of which I had been the innocent cause, and for which others suffered. When I returned two days later to make another effort at exhortation, I heard a groan go up from the trench. "Oh, Lord, here he comes again. Now for the bally bombs." On the first occasion, when not much had happened, it had been: "Law, I'd like to be able to do that meself."
diary. Friday, May 7th. On getting back here we had a very heavy fire, which broke up our dinner party, wounded Jack Anderson, stung Jack (my servant), hit me. Jack is sick. . . .Here are three unpleasant possibilities:
1. Any strong attack on the height. The Navy could help then. We should be too mixed in the fighting.
2. The expected blessed big guns to lollop over howitzers.
3. Disease. The Turks have dysentery already.
There is an uncanny whistling overhead. It must come from the bullets and machine guns or Maxims a long way off. It sounds eldritch. T. Very sick after seeing some wounded on the beach, and yet his nerves are very good. Eastwood told me that he was sure to get through. I told him not to say such things. He had three bullets through his tunic the other day. I went on the Lutzow to get the rest of my stuff off, and found Colonel Ryan "Turkish Charlie")(5)
full of awful descriptions of operations. Many wounded on the boat, all very quiet. . . Had a drink with a sailor, the gloomisest man that ever I met. He comes from Southampton, and thinks we cannot possibly win the war. It's become very cold.
Most of the diary of May 9th is too indiscreet for publication, but here are some incidents of the day:
says it's very hard to get work done on the beach; in fact its almost impossible. It was sad that the gun which had been enfilading us was knocked out, but it is enfilading us now, and it looks as if we shall have a pretty heavy bill to pay to-day. The beach is holding its breath, and between the sound of the shrapnel and the hiss there is only the noise of the waves and a few low voices. . . . Harrison, who was slightly wounded a few days ago, was yesterday resting in his dugout when he was blown out or it by a shell. To-day he was sent to the Lutzow, and we watched him being shelled the whole way, his boat wriggling. It seems as if the shells know and love him. I am glad he won't be dining with us any more; a magnet like that is a bore, though he is a very good fellow. The land between us and the 29th is reported to be full of barbed wire entanglements.
Monday, May 10th. Raining and cold. Jack better.
Colonel Braithwaite woke me last night with the news of the sinking of the Lusitania. Last night we took three trenches, but lost them again this morning. S.B. came last night; I was glad to see him.
S.B.had been a great friend of mine in Egypt and brought me and others letter, of which we were badly in need, and stores, which were very welcome. We met upon the beach and decided to celebrate the occasion in the Intelligence dugout, for my friend had actually got some soda and a bottle of whisky, two very rare luxuries on the beach.
Diary. We went into the Intelligence dugout and sat there. Then a shell hit the top of the dugout. The next one buzzed a lot of bullets in through the door. The third ricochetted all over the place and one bullet grazed my head. I then said: "We'd better put up a blanket to save us from the richchets." at the same time J. Was shot next door and Onslow's war diary was destroyed. A pot of jam was shot in General Cunliffe Owen's hand, which made him very angry. V., the beachmaster, dashed into our Intelligence dugout gasping while we held blankets in front of him. Two days ago a man was killed in his dugout next door, and another man again yesterday. Now two fuses had come straight through his roof and spun like a whipping-top on the floor, dancing a sort of sarabande before the hypnotized eyes of the sailors. . . .
Also S.B.'s whisky was destroyed in the luncheon basket. He broke into furious swearing in Arabic.
Wednesday, May 12th. Rain, mud, grease, temper all night, but we shall long for this coolness when it really gets hot. No bombardment this morning, but the Greek cook, Christopher of the Black Lamp, came and gave two hours' notice, with the rain and tears running down his face. I am not surprised at his giving notice, but why he should be meticulous about the time I can't think. Conversation about the shelling is getting very boring.
Had a picturesque walk through the dark last night, past Greeks, Indians, Australians, across a rain-swept, wind-swept, bullet-swept hill-side. Many of the Colonels here are business men, who never in hteir wildest dreams contemplated being in such a position, and they have risen to the occasion finely. The Generals have at last been prevailed upon not to walk about the beach in the daytime. . . .Two German and on Austrian submarines expected here. The transports have been ordered to Mudros.
Thursday, May 13th. Very calm morning, the echoes of rifle fire on the sea. I went with C. To take General Russell(7)
up from Reserve Gully to Walker's Ridge. It was a beautiful morning, with the sky flaming softly, not a cloud anywhere, and the sea perfectly still. The scrub was full of wildflowers; not even the dead mules could spoil it. Guns thundered far off. . . . After breakfast examined an intelligent Greek prisoner, Nikolas, the miller from Ali Keni. Then I was telephoned for by Colonel Monash in great haste, and went off up his valley with a megaphone as quickly as possible. In the valley the men were in a state of nerves along the road because of the snipers. The Turks had put up a white flag above their trenches opposite Quinn's Post. I think this was an artillery flag and that they hoped to avoid the fire of the fleet by all means. . . . The people at Helles aren't making tremendous headway, and it seems unlikely, except at tremendous cost, and probably not then, that they will. We are pretty well hung up except on our left; why not try there? The Turks are not yet entrenched or dug in there as in other places. . . .I had to bully Yanni of Ayo Strati till he sobbed on the cliff. I then threatened to dismiss him, after which he grew cheerful, for it was what he wanted. . . .
The Turks have again got white flags out. Have been ordered to go up at dawn.
Friday, May 14th. 4 a.m. Walked up the valley. The crickets were singing in the bushes at the opening of the valley and the place was cool with the faint light of coming dawn. Then a line of stretcher-bearers with the wounded, some quiet, some groaning. Then came the dawn and the smell of death that infects one's hands and clothes and haunts one.
They ereent over-pleased to see me at first, as after my speech the other day they had had an awful time from hand-grenades, and their faces fell when I appeared. I spoke from the same place. Then I went to another, and lastly to a trench that communicated with the Turkish trench. The Greek who had surrendered last night came down this trench and the Turks were said to be five to ten yards off. It was partly roofed, and there were some sandbags, between thwo and three feet high, that separated us from them. Leading into this was a big circular dugout, open to heaven. I got the men cleared out of this before speaking. In the small trench there were towo men facing the Turks and lying on the ground with revolves pointed at the Turks. I moved one man back out of the way and lay on the other--there wasn't anything else to be done--and spoke for five minutes with some intervals. Once a couple of hand-grenades fell outside and the ground quivered, but that was all. I then got the guard changed. . . .
the loss of the Goliath is confirmed and the fleet has gone, leaving a considerable blank on the horizon and a depression on the sunlit beach. Four interpreters were arrested to-day and handed over to me.
I put them on to dig me a new dugout, round which a colony of interpreters is growing; Kyriakidis, who is a fine boy, aristocratic-looking, but very soft, who I want to send away as soon as possible; and others. My dugout is in the middle of wildflowers, with the sea splashing round. Since the ships have all gone we are, as a consequence, short of water. . . . The Turks have been shelling our barges hard for an hour. We are to make an attack to-night and destroy their trenches.
Saturday, May 15th. The attack has failed. There are many of our wounded outside our lines. Have been told to go out with a white flag. Was sent for by Skeen(8)
tp see General Birdwood in half an hour. While Colonel Skeen and I were talking a shell hit one man in the lungs and knocked Colonel Knox on the back without hurting him. General Birdwood was hit yesterday in the head, but won't lie up, General Trottman the day before. While we talked water arrived. A message came from Colonel Chauvel to say there was only two wounded lying out. . . .In a few minutes telephone messages arrived from the doctor in the trenches that the two wounded had died. . . .I came back to Headquarters, and heard General Bridges(9)
asking the General if he might go up Monash Valley. In a few minutes we heard that he was shot in the thigh. The snipers are getting many of our men. If the Germans were running this show they would have had 200,000 men for it.
Last night Kyriakidis heard a nightingale. I notice that the cuckoo has changed his note, worried about the shrapnel. I don't blame the bird. My new dugout is built. It has a corridor and a patio, and is sort of Louis Quinze. The food is good, but we are always hungry.
Went out with Colonel N. He is a very great man for his luxuries, and looks on cover as the first of these. He is very funny about shelling, and is huffy, like a man who has received an insult, if he gets hit by a spent bullet or covered with earth. They have got the range of our new Headquarters beautifully--two shells before lunch, one on either side of the kitchen range. The men and the mess table covered with dust and stones. The fact is our ships have gone; they can now do pretty much as they like.
Most people here agree that the position is hopeless, unless we drive the Turks back on our left and get reinforcements from Helles, where they could quite well spare them.
Sunday, May 16th. A day fit for Trojan heroes to fight on. As a matter of fact, there is a good deal of Trojan friction. Went into the Intelligence dugout, as five men were hit below it. They have just hit another interpreter, and are pounding away at us again. I was warned to go out with a flag of truce and a bugler this afternoon.
Monday, May 17th. I walked out to the left with S.B., and bathed in a warm, quiet sea. Many men bathing too, and occasionally shrapnel also. There was a scent of thyme, and also the other smell from the graves on the beach, which are very shallow. I got a touch of the sun, and had to lie down. When I got back I heard that Villiers Stuart had been killed this morning, instantaneously. He was a very good fellow, and very good to me.
Tuesday, May 18th. Last night Villiers Stuart was buried. The funeral was to have been at sunset, but at the time we were savagely shelled and had to wait. We formed up in as decent a kit as we could muster, and after the sun had set in a storm of red, while the young moon was rising, the procession started. We stumbled over boulders, and met stretcher-bearers with dead and wounded, we passed Indians driving mules, and shadowy Australians standing at attention, till we came to the graves by the sea. The prayers were very short and good, interrupted by the boom of our guns and the whining of Turkish bullets overhead. His salute was fired above his head from both the trenches. . . .
We shelled the village of Anafarta yesterday, which I don't much care about. A good many here want to destroy the minaret of the mosque. I can see no difference in principle between this and the destruction of Rheims Cathedral. Kyriakidis told me a Greek cure for sunstroke. You fill the ears of the afflicted one with salt water; it makes a noise like thunder in his head, but the sunstroke passes. Christo thereupon got me salt water in a jug without telling me, and several thirsty people tried to drink it. . . .
A German submarine seen here. . . .A day of almost perfect peace; rifle fire ceased sometimes for several minutes together, but 8-inch shells were fired into the trenches. . . .Men are singing on the beach for the first time, and there is something cheerful in the air. The enfilading gun has been, as usual, reported to be knocked out, but gunners are great optimists. No news from Helles. . . .Turkish reinforcements just coming up. Attack expected at 3 a.m. We stand to arms here.
Wednesday, May 19th. Work under heavy shell fire. This grew worse about 6.30. Several heavy shells hit within a few yards of this dugout and the neighbouring ones, but did not burst. A little farther off they did explode, or striking the sea, raised tall columns and high fountains of white water. Colonel Chaytor badly wounded in the shoulder. A great loss to us. He talked very cheerfully. I have got leave to send away Ashjian. . . .This, after all, is a quarrel for those directly concerned. The Germans have brought up about twelve more field guns and four or five Jack Johnsons, and the shelling is very heavy. Saw a horrid sight: a barge full of wounded was being towed out to the hospital ship. Two great Jack Johnsons came, one just in front of them; then when they turned with a wriggle, one just behind them, sending up towers of water, and leaving two great white roses in the sea that turned muddy as the stuff from the bottom rose. They had shells round them again, and a miraculous escape. It's cruel hard on the nerves of wounded men, but of course that was bad luck, not wicked intentions, because the enemy couldn't see them.
If the Turks had attacked us fiercely on the top and shelled us as badly down here earlier, they might have had us out. Now we ought to be all right, and they can hardly go on using ammunition like this. Their losses are said to be very great. New Turkish reinforcements said to be at Helles. They have done what we ought to have done. Now they are throwing 11-inch at us. It's too bad. . . .I saw Colonel Skeen. He said to me: "You had better be ready to go out this afternoon. We have just shot a Turk with a white flag. That will give us an excuse for apologizing"; quite so: it will also give the Turk an excuse for retaliating. A Turkish officer just brough in says that the real attack is to be this afternoon, now at 1.30. I spent an hour in the hospital, interpreting for the Turkish wounded. The Australians are very good to them. On returning I found the General's dugout hit hard. Nothing to be done but to dig deeper in.
From the third week of May to the third week in June was the kernel of our time in Anzac. We had grown accustomed to think of the place as home, and of the conditions of our life as natural and permanent. The monotomy of the details of shelling and the worry of the flies are of interest only to those who endured them, and have been eliminated, here and there, from this diary.
During this month we were not greatly troubled. The men continued to make the trenches impregnable, and were contented. It was in some ways a curiously happy time.
The New Zealanders and the Australians were generally clothed by the sunlight, which fitted them, better than any tailor, with a red-brown skin, and only on ceremonial occasions did they wear their belts and accoutrements.
Our sport was bathing, and the Brotherhood of the Bath was rudely democratic. There was at Anzac a singularly benevolent officer, but for all his geniality a strong disciplinarian, devoted to military observances. He was kind to all the world, not forgetting himself, and he had developed a kindly figure. No insect could resist his contours. Fleas and bugs made passionate love to him, inlaying his white skin with a wonderful red mosaic. One day he undressed and, leaving nothing of his dignity with his uniform, he mingled superbly with the crowd of bathers. Instantly he received a hearty blow upon his tender, red and white shoulder, and a cordial greeting from some democrat of Sydney or of Wellington: "Old man, you've been amongst the biscuits!" He drew himself up to rebuke this presumption, then dived for the sea, for, as he said, "What's the good of telling one naked man to salute another naked man, especially when neither have got their caps?"
this month was marked by a feature that is rare in modern warfare. We had an armistice for the burial of the dead, which is described in the diary.
On the peninsula we were extremely anxious for an armistice for many reasons. We wished, on all occasions, to be able to get our wounded in after a fight, and we believed, or at least the writer was confident, that an arrangement could be come to. We were also very anxious to bury the dead. Rightly or wrongly, we thought that G.H.Q., living on its perfumed island, did not consider how great was the abomination of life upon the cramped and stinking battlefield that was our encampment, though this was not a charge that any man would have dreamed of bringing against Sir Ian Hamilton.
Diary. Wednesday, May 19th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. General Birdwood told me to go to Imbros to talk to Sir Ian Hamilton about an armistice, if General Godley would give me leave.
Thursday, May 20th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Have been waiting for four hours in Colonel Knox's boat, which was supposed to go to Imbros. Turkish guns very quiet. . . .Hear that Ock Asquith and Wedgwood are wounded. A liaison officer down south says: "When the Senegalese fly, and the French troops stream forward twenty yards and then stream back twenty-five yards, we know that we are making excellent progress." There is a Coalition Government at home. We think that we are the reason of that; we think the Government cannot face the blunder of the Dardanelles without asking for support from the Conservatives.
6 p.m.. "Arcadian." Found George Lloyd. Have been talking to Sir Ian Hamilton with regard to the armistice. . . .Clive Bigham(10)
was there. He lent me some Shakespeares.
Friday, May 21st, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Saw Sir Ian Hamilton again this morning. The Turks are said to have put up a white flag and to have masse behind it in their trenches, intending to rush us. Left with four "Ardadians."
There was a parley yesterday while I was away. The Turks had put up some white flags, but it was not a case of bad faith as the "Ardadians" believed. We are said to have shot one Red Crescent man by mistake. General Walker went out to talk to the Turks, just like that. Both sides had, apparently, been frightened. I walked back to Reserve Gully with the General, to see the new brigade. The evening sun was shining on the myrtles in all the gullies, and the new brigade was singing and whistling up and down the hills, while fires crackled everywhere.
Saturday, May 22nd, 1915. Kaba Tepé. S.B. was sent out yesterday to talk to the Turks, but he did not take a white flag with him, and was sniped and bruised. . . .This morning, suddenly, I was sent for. S.B.and I hurried along the beach and crossed the barbed wire entanglements. We went along by the sea, through heavy showers of rain, and at last met a fierce Arab officer and a wandery-looking Turkish lieutenant. We sat and smoked in fields splendid with poppies, the sea glittering at us.
Then Kemal Bey arrived, and went into Anzac with S.B., while I went off as hostage.
S.B.and Kemal Bey, as they went, provided the Australian escort with much innocent laughter. Our barbed wire down to the sea consisted only of a few light strands, over which the Turk was helped by having his legs raised high for him. S.B., however, wished him, as he was blindfolded, to believe that this defence went on for at least twenty yards. So the Turk was made to do an enormously high, stiff goose-step over the empty air for that space, as absurd a spectacle to our men as I was to be, later, to the Turks. The Australians were almost sick from internal laughter.
Diary. Kemal Bey asked for a hostage, and I went out. They bandaged my eyes, and I mounted a horse and rode off with Sahib Bey. We went along by the sea for some time, for I could hear the waves. Then we went round and round--to puzzle me, I suppose--and ended up in a tent in a grove of olives, where they took the handkerchief off, and Sabib Bey said: "This is the beginning of a life-long friendship."
at that moment, as I was riding along, the soldier who was supposed to be leading my horse had apparently let go and had fallen behind to light a cigarette or pick flowers. I heard Sahib Bey call out: "You old fool! Can't you see he's riding straight over the cliff?" I protested loudly as I rode on, blind as fate.
We had cheese and tea and coffee, Sahib Bey offering to eat first to show me that it was all right, which I said was nonsense. He said: "It may not be political economy, but there are some great advantages in war. It's very comfortable when there are no exports, because it means that all the things stay at home and are very cheap." He tried to impress me with their well-being. He said he hated all politicians and had sworn never to read the papers. The Turks had come sadly into the war against us, otherwise gladly. They wanted to regain the prestige that they had lost in the Balkans. . . . He said, after I had talked to him: "There are many of us who think like you, but we must obey. We know that you are just and that Moslems trrive under you, but you have made cruel mistakes by us, the taking of those two ships and the way in which they were taken." He asked me a few questions, which I put aside. He had had a conversation with Dash the day before, when we parleyed. Dash is a most innocent creature. He had apparently told him that G.H.Q. was an awful bore, and also the number of Turkish prisoners we had taken. . . .
Sunday, May 23rd, 1915. Kaba Tepé. We landed a month ago to-day. We now hold a smaller front than then. Also the Albion had gone ashore. The rest of the fleet has left; she remains a fixture. All the boats are rushing up to tow her off. The Turks are sending in a hail of shrapnel. . . .It will be a bad business is they don't get her off. . . .They have got her off, thank the Lord, and every one is breathing more freely.
We wonder if all the places with queer, accidental names will one day be historical: Johnson's Jolly, Dead Man's Ridge, Quinn's Post, The Valley of Death, The Sphinx, Anzac--by the way, that's not a name of good omen, as "anjak" in Turkish means barely, only just--Plugge's Plateau. Plugge is a grand man, wounded for the second time. The New Zealanders are all most galland fellows. . . .
The big fight ought to come off, after the armistice. Two more divisions have come up against us. All quiet last night, but a shell came into the New Zealand hospital on the beach and killed four wounded men and a dresser and some more outside. It's these new guns whose position we still do not know.
Tuesday, May 25th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. We had the truce yesterday. I was afraid something might go wrong, but it went off all right. Skeen, Blamey,(11)
Hough and I started early. Skeen offered me breakfast but, like a fool, I refused. He put some creosote on my handkerchief. We were at the rendezvous on the beach at 6.30. Heavy rain soaked us to the skin. At 7.30 we met the Turks, Miralai Izzedin, a peasant, rather sharp, little man; Arif, the son of Achmet Pasha, who gave me a card, "Sculpteur et Peintre," and "Etudiant de Poésie." I saw Sahib and had a few words with him but he did not come with us. Fahreddin Bey came later. We walked from the sea and passed immediately up the hill, through a field of tall corn filled with poppies, then another cornfield; then the fearful smell of death began as we came upon scattered bodies. We mounted over a plateau and down through gullies filled with thyme, where there lay about 4000 Turkish dead. It was indescribable. On was grateful for the rain and the grey sky. A Turkish Red Crescent man came and gave me some antiseptic wool with scent on it, and this they renewed frequently. There were two wounded crying in that multitude of silence. The Turks were distressed, and Skeen strained a point to let them send water to the first wounded man, who must have been a sniper crawling home. I walked over to the second, who lay with a high circle of dead that made a mound round him, and gave him a drink from my water-bottle, but Skeen called me to come on and I had to leave the bottle. Later a Turk gave it back to me. The Turkish captain with me said: "At this spectacle even the most gentle must feel savage, and the most savage must weep." the dead fill acres of ground, mostly killed in the one big attack, but some recently. They fill the myrtle-grown gullies. One saw the result of machine-gun fire very clearly; entire companies annihilated--not wounded, but killed, their heads doubled under them with the impetus of their rush and both hands clasping their bayonets. It was as if God had breathed in their faces, as "the Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold."
the line was not easy to settle. Neither side wanted to give its position or its trenches away. At the end Skeen agreed that the Turks had been fair. We had not been going very long when we had a message to say that the Turks were entrenching at Johnson's Jolly. Skeen had, however, just been there and seen that they were doing nothing at all. He left me at Quinn's Post, looking at the communication trench through which I had spoken to the Turks. Corpses and dead men blown to bits everywhere. Richards was with me part of the time: easy to get on with; also a gentleman called indifferently by the men Mr. or Major Tibbs. A good deal of friction at first. The trenches were 10 to 15 yards apart. Each side was on the qui vive for treachery. In one gully the dead had got to be left unburied. It was impossible to bury them without one side seeing the position of the other. In the Turkish parapet there were many bodies buried. Fahreddin told Skeen he wanted to bury them, "but," he said, "we cannot take them out without putting something in their place." Skeen agreed, but said that this concession was not to be taken advantage of to repair the trench. This was a difficult business.
When our people complained that the Turks were making loopholes, they invited me into their trench to look. Then the Turks said that we were stealing their rifles; this came from the dead land where we could not let them go. I went down, and when I got back, very hot, they took my word for it that we were not. There was some trouble because we were always crossing each other's lines. I talked to the Turks, one of whom pointed to the graves. "That's politics," he said. Then he pointed to the dead bodies and said: "That's diplomacy. God pity all of us poor soldiers."
Much of this business was ghastly to the point of nightmare. I found a hardened old Albanian chaoush and got him to do anything I wanted. Then a lot of other Albanians came up, and I said: "Tunya tyeta."(13)
I had met some of them in Janina. They began clapping me on the back and cheering while half a dozen funeral services
were going on all round, conducted by the chaplains. I had to stop them. I asked them if they did not want an Imam for a service over their own dead, but the old Albanian pagan roared with laughter and said that their souls were all right. They could look after themselves. Not many signs of fanaticism. One huge, savage-looking Anatolian looked curses at me. Greeks came up and tried to surrender to me, but were ordered back by the Turks pretty roughly.
Considering the number of their men we had killed, they remained extraordinary unmoved and polite. They wouldn't have, if we had been Russians. Blamey came to say that Skeen had lost H. and wanted me, so he, Arif and I walked to the sea. The burying had not been well done. It was sometimes impossible to do it. . . .As it went, we took our rifles from the Turkish side, minus their bolts, and gave the Turks their rifles in the same way. . . .
Our men gave cigarettes to the Turks, and beyond the storm-centre at Quinn's Post the feeling was all right. We sat down and sent men to look for Skeen. Arif was nervous and almost rude. Then Skeen came. He told me to get back as quickly as possible to Quinn's Post, as I said I was nervous at being away, and to retire the troops at 4 and the white-flag men at 4.15. I said to Arif: "Everybody's behaved very well. Now we must take care that nobody loses his head. Your men won't shoot you and my men won't shoot me, so we must walk about, otherwise a gun will go off and everybody will get shot." But Arif faded away. I got back as quickly as possible. Blamey went away on the left. I then found that the Turks' time was eight minutes ahead of ours, and put on our watches. The Turks asked me to witness their taking the money from their dead, as they had no officer there. They were very worried by having no officer, and asked me if anyone were coming. I, of course, had no idea, but I told them I would see that they were all right. They were very patient. . . .
The burying was finished some time before the end. There were certain tricks on both sides.
Our men and the Turks began fraternizing, exchanging badges, etc. I had to keep them apart. At 4 o'clock the Turks came to me for orders. I do not believe this could have happened anywhere else. I retired their troops and ours, walking along the line. At 4.7 I retired the white-flag men, making them shake hands with our men. Then I came to the upper end. About a dozen Turks came out. I chaffed them, and said that they would shoot me next day. They said, in a horrified chorus: "God forbid!" The Albanians laughed and cheered, and said: "We will never shoot you." Then the Australians began coming up, and said: "Good-bye old chap; good luck!" And the Turks said: "Oghur Ola gule gule gedejekseniz, gule gule gelejekseniz" ("Smiling may you go ans smiling come again"). Then I told them all to get into their trenches, and unthinkingly went up to the Turkish trench and got a deep salaam from it. I told them that neither side would fire for twenty-five minutes after they had got into the trenches. One Turks was seen out away on our left, but there was nothing to be done, and I think he was all right. A couple of rifles had gone off about twenty minutes before the end but Potts and I went hurriedly to and fro seeing it was all right. At last we dropped into our trenches, glad that the strain was over. I walked back with Temperley. I got some raw whisky for the infection in my throat, and iodine for where the barbed wire had torn my feet. There was a hush over the Peninsula. . . .
Wednesday, May 27th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. This morning I was talking to Dix, asking him if he believed there were submarines. "Yes," he said, and then swore, and added: "There's the Triumph sinking." Every picket-boat dashed off to pick up the survivors. The Turks behaved well in not shelling the survivors. There was fury, panic, and rage on the beach and on the hill. I heard Uncle Bill, half off his head, saying: "You should kill all enemies. Like a wounded bird, she is. Give them cigarettes. Swine! Like a wounded bird. The swine!" He was shaking his fist. Men were crying and cursing. Very different from yesterday's temper.
This afternoon I went round past Monash Gully, towards Kaba Tepé, and bathed. I got shelled, and came back over the ridges having a beastly time from the shrapnel which hunted me.
We have now got a sap under Quinn's Post. The flies and ants are past endurance.
Thursday, May 27th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. A very wet night. I wish the Turks would forget how to shoot. Here we are for an indefinite period without the power of replying effectively and with the knowledge that we are firmly locked outside the back door of a side-show. . . .
Went with the General to General Russell's trenches. They are very much improved. The men call an ideal trench a Godley-Braithwaite trench; that is, tall enough for General Godley and broad enough for Colonel Braithwaite. Bathed. Charlie Bentinck arrived. His destroyer lay just off the beach and was shelled. Some sailors and five soldiers killed. Forty-eight wounded. Very unfortunate. If they had come yesterday, it would have been all right--a quiet day, though we had thirty men sniped. The Majestic reported sunk off Helles. Off to Mudros to get stores.
Friday, May 28th, 1915. Mudros. Left after many delays, and slept on deck. Very cold. It's a pretty tall order for the French to put black Senegalese cannibals into Red Cross uniform. . . .
Saturday, May 29th, 1915. Lemnos. Drove across the island to Castro. There was a delightful spring half a mile from Castro and a café kept by a Greek. His wife had been killed by the Turks. Great fig-trees and gardens. I met two naval officers, who told me Wedgwood had died of wounds. I am very sorry; he was a very fine man. I admired him a lot. Castro is beautiful, with balconies over the narrow streets, half Turk and half Greek, and shady gardens. I bathed in a transparent sea, facing Athos, which was gleaming like a diamond. I watched its shadow come across the eighty miles of sea at sunset, as Homer said it did. I found a Greek, who had been Cromer's cook. He said he would come back and cook for me, if there was no danger. He said he knew that G.H.Q. cooks were safe, but his wife would not let him go on to the Peninsula. He said her idea of warfaare was wrong. She always thought of men and bullets skipping about together on a hillside.
Sunday, May 30th, 1915. Mudros. I bathed before dawn and went back to Mudros with masses of mosquito-netting, etc. Turkish prisoners of the French were being guarded by Greeks. It was rather like monkeys looking after bears. They were uniforms that were a cross between Ali Pasha of Janina and Little Lord Fauntleroy. I saw H., who had been on the River Clyde. He looked as if he were still watching the sea turn red with blood, as he described the landing on Gallipoli. Jack was sick, and I had to leave him with my coat. Went and saw my friend the Papas of the little Greek church on the hill.
Monday, May 31st, 1915. Anzac. I saw Hutton this morning, slightly wounded. Bathed at the farthest point towards Kaba Tepé, but had to fly with my clothes in my hand, leaving my cigarettes. . . .
Wednesday, June 2nd, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Had a picturesque examination of a Greek peasant this morning. It was a fine picture, with the settling of the blue sea and the mountains. The man himself was patriarchal and biblical, surrounded by tall English officers and half-naked soldiers. Last night we sent up bombs from Jananese mortars by Quinn's. It sounded beastly. This morning I went to Reserve Gully with the General. Monash's Brigade is resting there for the first time for five weeks. The General, looking like a Trojan hero, made them a fine speech from a sort of natural throne in the middle of the sunlit amphitheatre, in which they all sat, tier after tier of magnificent-looking fellows, brown as Indians. Bullets swept over all the time, sometimes drowning the General's voice. . . . Have just heard that Quinn is killed. I am very sorry. He was a fine, jolly, gallant fellow.
Friday, June 4th, 1915. Anzac. Nothing doing. George Lloyd came over. Very glad to see him. This morning I went with Shaw to the extreme left, through fields of poppies, thyme, and lavender. We saw a vulture high overhead, and the air was full of the song of larks. At Helles there was a savage attack going on. There was very bad sniping. In some places the trenches are only knee-high; in other places there are no trenches and the Turks are anything from four to eight hundred yards off. Yesterday seventeen men were hit at one place, they said, by one sniper. At one place on the way, we ran like deer, dodging. The General, when he had had a number of bullets at him, also ran. Sniping is better fun than shrapnel; it's more human. You pit your wits against the enemy in a rather friendly sort of way. A lot of vultures collecting.
Saturday, June 5th, 1915. Anzac. Examined sixteen prisoners. Food good, munitions plentiful, morale all right. The individuals fed up with the war, but the mass obediant and pretty willing. No idea of surrendering. They think they are going to win. There was one Greek, a Karamanly, who only talked Turkish. He did not say until to-night that he was wounded. The flies are bad.
Sunday, June 6th, 1915. Anzac. Went to the service this morning with the General, in the amphitheatre. The sermon was mainly against America for not coming into the war, and also against bad language. The Chaplain said he could not understand the meaning of it. The men laughed. So did I.
Monday, June 7th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. This morning the land was sweet as Eden and there was the calm of the first creation. H.has been made a new Uriah the Hittite, but not because of Mrs. H. Last night I was invaded by mice. There is tremendous shelling going on now. This afternoon S.B., Onslow and I climbed a hill and had a beautiful view. Every one is rather ill and feverish. I have no news about Jack. The Intelligence office had been moved to a higher and safer place. Pirie Gordon, poor chap, has gone sick a long time ago. I rather liked the stuffy old place, which was called "The Mountain Path to the Jackal's Cave."
The attack last night failed, but the drone of the rifles went on unceasingly, like the drone of a dry waterfall. We shall not get to Constantinople unless the flat-faced Bulgars come in.
Yesterday I lunched with Temperley at the H.Q. Of Monash Valley. Times have changed: it's fairly safe going
there through a long sap they have dug, and the noise is less bad.
Colonel ---- had seen a lot of the Crown Prince in India, and said he was a very good fellow. Dined with Woods, Dix, S.B., and Edwards. Lots of champagne for once; a very good dinner.
I went to No. 2 Outpost with the General. There is a sap all the way now. Only one sniper the whole way. The Turkish birds were singing beautifully as we went. There was also a Turkish snake, which I believed was quite harmless, but Tahu killed it. The men are getting pretty tired. They are not as resigned as their the thousand brother-monks over the way at Mount Athos.
Friday, June 11th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. The Australians and the New Zealanders have given up wearing clothes. They lie about and bathe and become darker than Indians. The General objects to this. "I suppose," he says, "we shall have our servants waitin on us like that." The flies are very badk, so are the mice, and so is the shelling. . . .
Sunday, June 13th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. A lot of mules and several men hit yesterday. Last night, S.B. And I were on the beach, when a man on a stretcher went by, groaning rhythmically. I thought he had been shot through the brain. Later on I went into the hospital to find a wounded Turk, and found that this man had never been hit at all. He had been doing very good work till a shell exploded near him and gave him a shock. Then he went on imitating a machine gun. Some men in a sap up at Quinn's have been going off their heads.
Awful accounts of Mudros: flies, heat, sand, no water, typhoid. To-day are the Greek elections.
Am dining with H. Woods. "The beach" now says that Ot has been poisoned by the Greek guides, who he illtreats and uses as cooks. I shouldn't wonder. The shelling is bad. I am going to make a new dugout to get away from the flies and mice. The Turkish prisoners will do this. I pay them a small sum.
Tuesday, June 15th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Colonel Chauvel(14)
has pleurisy, Colonel Johnston(15)
enteric. The sea's high and the Navy depressed. . . .One mand and two mules killed in our gully this morning; the body of one mule blown about 50 yards both ways.
Wednesday, June 16th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Rain. I was to have gone to Helles with Woods to SE Dedez, but no boats went; it was too rough. I was going to talk about spies to S.B., when General Cunliffe Owen said to me: "Wait a bit. The shelling is too bad. We will go along together." But I was in too much of a hurry. A shell fell in the gully as I crossed, and Woods came out to see where it had hit. It went into Machonochie's dugout, where H. Was, and blew him out of his dugout, black and shaken. It destroyed his furniture. I felt sorry for him. Ot tried to turn him out of the Intelligence dugout, but we protested.
The General has come back with the latest casualty lists from France. . . .
Thursday, June 17th, 1915. Helles. Thirty men killed and wounded on the beach to-day. This morning I came to Helles with Woods. As we got there a submarine had two shots at one of our transports by us. I was to have seen Dedez, but he had gone off to see Gouraud. George Peel walked in and took me round the beach, two miles on. We climbed on to the headland, in what he called "the quiet track of the Black Marias." He talked of every mortal thing--the future of Liberal and Socialist, the possibility of touching the heart of the people, the collapse of Christianity, our past and our policy. I left him and walked back across thyme and asphodel, Asia glowing like a jewel across the Dardanelles in the sunset. At night I talked late and long with Dash. Every Department is jealous, every one is at cross-purposes, no co-operation between the War Office and the Foreign Office.
Walked in the morning to the H.Q. of the R.N.D. with Whittall. We were shelled most of the way in the open landscape. There was no cover anywhere. It felt unfamiliar. I was unfavourably impressed with the insecurity of life in this part of the world, and wished for Anzac. In the evening we drank mavrodaphne and tried to get rid of----
Friday, June 18th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. I left Helles in the middle of very heavy shelling, a star performance. A lot of horses killed this morning. A submarine popped up last night. As we came back to Anzac the Turks shelled our trawler and hit her twice, but without doing any damage.
Shelling grew worse at Anzac, and sickness began to make itself felt. Men were sent across to Imbros when it was possible to rest.
Diary. On June 25th I went across to Imbros with H. Woods and the Greek miller, Nikolas. Hawker was there, and E.of Macedonia. E. is very unpopular. If he takes a dislike to a man he digs around his dugout, until it falls in on him. The chief R.A.M.C.officer, an Irishman, was mourning over the ruins of his home. We slept uncomfortably on the ground, with flies to keep us warm.
As I was writing this a shell burst outside my dugout, a lot of shrapnel coming through, and one bullet glancing off the typewriter, which has just come. At the same time Jack was hit across the gully going from my dugout to his. Conolly, the escort, and I carried him down, after binding his leg up, under heavy fire. Then I nipped back to get some of his stuff to take off, but on going back to the beach found that he had gone. Many men hit on the beach. Thousands of flies on the wounded. The General's blankets riddled with bullets. They have our range, pat. Two days ago Colonel Parker had his chair and table smashed while he was in his dugout. He left it to have tea with Wagstaffe. There he was reading when another bullet tore his paper in two. I have been covered with dirt several times in the last days. L.S. Amery came with K. I only saw him for a minute, worse luck, but he is coming back to-morrow, I hope, when we can have a talk. G.H.Q. turned up in force, and walked about like wooden images.
We have a clerk here, Venables. He has got tired of writing, and, wanting to change the pen for the sword, borrowed a rifle and walked up to the front line at Quinn's Post. There he popped his head in and said: "Excuse me, is this a private trench, or may anyone fire out of it?"
The sound of battle has ended. Men are bathing. The clouds that the cannonade had called up are gone, and the sea is still and crimson in the sunset to Imbros and Samothrace.
Tuesday, June 29th, 1915. Anzac. We have advanced 1000 yards down at Helles, but no details yet. Many men shot here yesterday by the Anafarta gun. I should think this gun had as good a tale of killed and wounded as any gun in the war. Every day it gets its twenty odd on the beach. The Australians attacked on the right yesterday. Fifty killed and wounded; they think the Turks suffered more heavily. I went with the General to the extreme left. Terrific heat. We came to a valley filled with thyme and lavender, which the Maoris are to inhabit. The men were bathing beyond Shrapnel Point. They say the Turks let them. I had two letters--one two months old, a curious one to receive here, from an Englishwoman, wife of the ex-Grand Vizier of Afghanistan. He was a progressive man, and is therefore in an Afghan prison. She wants work for her son. Wants him to be a saddler, a job a lot of men here would like. All my stuff looted coming from Egypt.
Men are practising bomb-throwing, all over the place. They are mostly half-naked, and darker than Red Indians. It's a day of blessed peace, but there's a lot of feeling about the Anafarta gun, and bathing is stopped on the beach till night.
Wednesday, June 30th, 1915. Anzac. Last night I went down to the hospital and was inoculated for cholera by C., a witty man. A trench had been blown in, and men were lying groaning on the floor, most of them suffering from shell-shock, not wounds, but some of the wounds horrible. . . .I asked C. Why the wounded men were not sent to Cyprus instead of Mudros. He said: "Because it's a splendid climate and there is heaps of water." The chief doctor at Mudros is useless, the second ---- (With regard to the second doctor I regret that the diary is libellous.) Anyway, what is certain is that the condition of the sick and wounded is awful. This morning it's very rough, and I can't get out to Jack at the hospital ship, as prisoners are coming in. . . .
July 1st, 1915. Anzac. I examined the prisoners, amongst them a tall Armenian lawyer, who talked some English. I asked him how he had surrendered. He said: " I saw two gentlemen with their looking glasses, and came over to them." By this he meant two officers with periscopes. He said that the psychology of the Turks is a curious thing. They do not fear death, yet are not brave. . . .
No water came in yesterday. The storm wrecked the barges and the beach is covered with lighters. We got brackish water from the hill. I could not get to Jack for work.
At lunch I heard there were wounded crying on Walker's Ridge, and went up there with Zachariades. We found a first-rate Australian, Major Reynell. We went through the trenches, dripping with sweat; it was a boiling day,
and my head reeled from inoculation. We had to crawl through a secret say over a number of dead Turks, some of whom were in a ghastly condition, headless and covered with flies. Then out from the darkness into another sap, with a dead Turk to walk over. The Turkish trenches were 30 yards off, and the dead lay between the two lines.
When I called I was answered at once by a Turk. He said he could not move. . . .I gave him a drink, and Reynell and I carried him in, stumbling over the dead among whom he lay. I went back for my water-bottle, but the Turks began shooting as a warning, and I had to go back into the trench.
An awful time getting the Turk through the very narrow trench. I got one other, unwounded, shaming dead. We threw a rope, and in he came.
The taking of the second Turk was a curious episode that perhaps deserves a little more description than is given by the diary. The process of catching Turks fascinated the Australians, and amongst them an R.A.M.C. doctor who came round on that occasion. This officer prided himself upon neatness and a smart appearance, when the dust and heat of the Dardanelles had turned every one else into scallyways. After he had attended to the first wounded man, he pointed out the second Turk lying between our trenches and the Turks' and only a few yards from either. "You go out again, sir," said the Australians; "it's as good as a show." I, however, took another view. I called out to the Turk: "Do you want any water?" "By God," he whispered back, "I do, but I am afraid of my people." We then threw him a rope and pulled him in. He told us that the night before he had lost direction in the attack. Fire seemed to be coming every way, and it had seemed to him the best plan to fall and lie still amongst his dead comrades. The doctor gave him some water, with which he rinsed his mouth, and I left him under the charge of the R.A.M.C. doctor. This is what happened subsequently. They had to crawl back through the secret sap, from which the bodies of the dead Turks had by that time been removed and left at the entrance. The Turk was blindfolded, but he saw his dead comrades, over whose bodies he had to step, he leapt to the conclusion that it was our habit to bring our prisoners to one place and there to kill them. He gave one panic-stricken yell; he threw his arms round the neck of the well-dressed officer; they fell and rolled upon the corpses together, the Turk in convulsions of fear clinging to the neck of the doctor, pressing his face to the faces of the dead till he was covered with blood and dust and the ghastly remains of death, while the soldiers stood round saying to the Turk: "Now, don't you carry on so."
Diary. Friday, July 2nd, 1915. Anzac. This morning I had a magnificent bathe with General Birdwell. At night a great storm blew up. The lightning played in splendid glares over Imbros and Samothrace. The sea roared, the thunder crashed, and rain spouted down. After a time that stopped and a cloud, black as ink, came down upon us like a pall.
Yesterday morning me the two Whittalls going to Helles with General de Lotbiniere and his periscopes.
I went off to the Sicilia to see Jack, and had a lot of trouble about a pass. I saw Jack. He said they had re-bound his leg on the beach, but that it had not been looked at for eighteen hours on the boat. It had swelled to double its size. Then a doctor came and said the bandage had been done too tight, and there was a chance of his losing his leg. I felt absolutely savage. . . .Saw General House,(16)
V.C., on shore and got him to promise to do what he could. We had a bad time going home. We were slung off the ship in wooden cases. It was very rough indeed, and when the wooden case hit the flat barge it bounced like anything. Then we were towed out on this flat barge, open to the great waves and shrapnel, to a lighter, and left off Anzac for a couple of hours. The Turks sent a few shells, absent-mindedly. Finally, a trawler brought us off, very angry.
S.dined, a scholarly fanatic, interesting about the next war, which he thinks will be with Russia, in fifteen years. A lot of people going sick.
I saw Cox to-night, who said that this is the worst storm we have had. We have only one day's water supply. We could have had as much as we had wanted, but many of the cans stored on the beach are useless, as they have had holes knocked in them by the shrapnel. We are not as abstemious as the Turks, who had been lying for so many hours under the sun, and shall suffer from thirst badly.
Saturday, July 3rd, 1915. Anzac. Macaulay has come as our artillery officer. I dined with him and H. Woods last night. Yesterday it rained. Jack's boat has gone. We are being badly shelled here. I shall have to change my dugout, if this goes on. The guide Katzangaris has been hit in the mouth.
Sunday, July 4th, 1915. Saw the Maoris, who had just landed. General Godley made them a first-class speech. They danced a fine Haka with tremendous enthusiasm in his honour when he had finished. They liked digging their dugouts, and seemed to like it when they came to human remains. . . .More people going sick. Doctor F. Told me that he and another doctor had asked to be allowed to help on board the hospital ships where they have more wounded than they can deal with, short-handed as they are, but have been refused permission by the R.A.M.C.
There has been a great explosion at Achi Baba. Macaulay saw a transport of ours sunk this afternoon. . . .G.L.came ashore with depressing accounts of Russia. He is probably going to come on this beach. Hope he does. Went off and bathed with Macaulay. Saw Colonel Bauchop, who promised me a present of some fresh drinking-water to-morrow.
Monday, July 5th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. A breathless, panting morning, still and blue and fiery hot, with not a ripple on the sea. Colonel Bauchop, commanding the Otago Mounted Rifles, was shot in the shoulder last night. This morning we have had an exhibtion of "frightfulness" in the shape of vast shells. They burst with a tremendous roar that echoes to the sky and across the sea for more than a minute. Their case of bullets fall over the sea (ed: noun/verb?) in a great area. They started by striking the sea and raising great columns of water. Now they burst and fall on land and sea.
It has had the great result of getting rid of Mr.. Lock, the Socialist Czech, from the doorway of my dugout. He was an undergraduate at ---- and afterwards a Labour candidate. Now he is Colonel P.'s cook.
The transport that Macaulay saw go down was French. Six lives lost. The explosion down south was a French ammunition store. This shelling makes one's head ache.
Tuesday, July 6th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Yesterday I went to Quinn's Post with General Godley in the morning. There was a fair amount of shelling. They had just hit thirteen men in Courtney's before we got there. We went into a mine that was being dug towards and under the Turkish trenches. At the end of the sap the Turks were only six to eight feet away. We could hear them picking. The time for blowing in had very nearly come. These underground people take it all as a matter of course. I should hate fighting on my stomach in a passage two feet high, yards under the ground. The Turks were throwing bombs from the trenches, and these hit the ground over us, three of them, making it shudder. Down below they talk in whispers. We went round the trenches. Saw none so fine as last time, when we came to the Millionaires' Sap, so called because it was made by six Australians, each the son of a millionaire.
In the afternoon I tried to sleep, but there was too much shelling. Kyumjiyan was hit, and has gone; S.B. was grazed. It was 11.2 shells filled with all kinds of stuff. We answered with a monitor whose terrific percussions shook my dugout, bringing down dust and stones. A submarine appeared, and all the destroyers were after her. Then two aeroplanes started a fight as the sun set down towards Helles, appearing and vanishing behind crimson clouds. Captain Buck, the Maori doctor and M.P., dined with us, to wind up an exciting day.
This morning is like yesterday. No breath of air, but the day is more clear, and Samothrace and Imbros look very peaceful. Early again the shelling began. As I was shaving outside three shells hit the beach just in front. I wasn't watching the third, but suddenly heard a great burst of laughter. At the first shell a bather had rushed back to his dugout; the shell had come and knocked it in on the top of him, and he was dug out, naked and black, but smiling and none the worse. "Another blasted sniper," he said, which made the men laugh.
Active preparations are being made to fight the gas, as the Intelligence says it is going to be used. Am going out with the General at 9.30. Was sent to get Colonel Parker, but found him sick, and under pretty heavy fire, having a new dugout built. Came back and stood with the General, Thoms and others outside Headquarters. A shell burst just by us, bruised the General in the ribs, and filled his eyes with dirt. Went out with Colonel Anthill and Poles. Talked of arranging a truce to bury the Turkish dead on our parapet. They said that otherwise our men must get cholera; the heat and sand and flies and smell is awful. We met Colonel Bauchop with his arm in a sling, but the bullet out of his shoulder, and Colonel White with his head still bandaged. The Australians very cheerful.
Wednesday, July 7th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. A fierce, expectant dawn. We shelled furiously at 4.30 a.m. Now absolute peace on a glassy sea. Last night Bentinck, Jack Anderson and I bathed. I was at the end of the pier; as I was beginning to dress a shell burst very close, the smoke and powder in my face. I fled half dressed; Colonel P. rose like Venus from the sea followed with nothing. A calm Marine gave me my cigarette-holder.
One of the prisoners reported that on the occasion of the armistice Turkish Staff officers had put on Red
Crescent clothes in order to have a look at our trenches. . . .No news of Jack.
The Turks put up five crosses yesterday, all of which we shot down. I first thought it was probably Greeks or Armenians who wanted to surrender, and telephoned to Courtney's to see if I could get into touch with them, but now I think it's probably Turks who were anxious to make us shoot at the sign of our own religion. In this they succeeded.
Colonel Johnson, Commanding the New Zealand Infantry Brigade, gone sick. I persuaded the mess to get inoculated for cholera. Last night I dined with Woods and Macaulay. They told Eastern stories, and we had a very contented time, drinking mavrodaphne and looking at the sea.
The Turks shelled a little after eight, in answer to our tiresome provocative monitor fire. This morning Tahu arrived from Egypt with letters. The Turks are bombing something cruel from Kaba Tepé . . . .It's a beautiful sight--a sea like lapis-lazuli and a burning sun, with columns of water like geysers where the shells hit. A good many men hit here to-day.
Saturday, July 10th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. I went with General Godley to the Triad, and dined with Admiral de Robeck. Took the General's things to put them on board the picket-boat, but as I got there a shell struck her and knocked a hole in her. There was another one, and we sat and waited uncomfortably in this till he came. . . .Found Alec Ramsay on board. Slept in Commodore Roger Keyes' cabin. Very comfortable. He was very kind. Went to G.H.Q. and had lunch with L. and Bob Graves.
Sunday, July 11th, 1915. Felt much better. Went ashore and saw Colonel Hawker and the Turkish prisoners. . . .Came back late at night, after some very jolly days. Best week-end I ever spent. The Turks have asked for another armistice in the south. This has been refused. If they attack, they will have to do it across their own dead, piled high, and this is not good for morale.
By this time the persecutions of the interpreters had greatly diminished. They were still badly treated by a man called Ot, but to a large extent they had won the respect of the troops by their behaviour. The chief interpreter was an old Greek of some sixty-two or sixty-three years, Mr. Kyriakidis, who was given a medal for conspicuous gallantry at the bombardment of Alexandria and had served with General Stuart's unfortunate expedition. He was a gentleman, and one of the straightest men I have met. His simplicity, courtesy, and unfailing courage had gained him many friends. He was also endowed with considerable humour.
A relation had sent me a gas mask, at that time a rarity at Anzac. I did not believe that I should need it, and made a present of it to the first man I met, who happened to be Mr. Kyreakidis. He went down and played poker with the other interpreters on the beach. He put on my respirator as a poker mask, with much swagger. This put the fear of death into the interpreters, who sent a deputation to G.H.Q. Intelligence, insisting that they should also be provided with masks.
Monday, July 12th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. By the way, an unhappy shadwo was shot yesterday, an interpreter of whom we none of us knew anything, and who was on no list. Things are not very comfortable. The fire is increasingly heavy. All the air is full of thudding and broken echoes. No one minds anything much, but high explosives. . . .The hospitals are being moved. They had too many casualties where they were before.
Tuesday, July 13th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. Tremendous fire around Achi Baba yesterday. French advanced 150 and we 200 yards. Don't know what the losses were. I went with Macaulay and Woods to No. 3 Post, to Bauchop's Fountain. They can snipe there very close, and killed a man a couple of days ago, two yards off under the olives, and wounded his mate, who crawled back into the sandy way. On both sides there is tall wild lavender and what M. calls pig's parsley.
We crawled down a sandy path to the sea, M. rather sick. Met the General going back, who told us not to bathe. In the evening Tahu got out his gramophone and we had some good songs when the shooting was not too much.
Ramadan began to-day. George Lloyd arrived this afternoon and said they wanted to send me to Tenedos for a special job.
Yesterday evening General Godley went to Courtney's Post. As he got there the Turks shelled with heavy stuff, killing and wounding about twenty men. Reynell came to see me. I like him very much indeed.
Diary. Sunday, July 18th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. They are now shelling the pier, and killed a doctor, cutting off both his legs, and several other people, when I was bathing from the pier. Everybody is again going sick. The
situation is changing. Every night we are landing guns. The moon is young now and growing. It seems, therefore, reasonable to expect that we cannot land forces of men that take time before the nights are moonless; that is, in about a month's time the preparations ought to be ready.
A few days ago we had an attack on Achi Baba, won about 400 yards and lost about 5000 men. Two battalions got out of touch and were lost for a considerable time. The "Imbros Journal," "Dardanelles Driveller," or whatever it's called, said "their return was as surprising as that of Jonah from the belly of the whale." Good, happy, author!
A German Taube over us throwing bombs and also heavy stuff, but not much damage lately. George Lloyd(17)
was here this afternoon, and while we talked a shell burst and hit four men.
Monday, July 19th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. My dugout has now become a centre for Australian and New Zealand officers, all good fellows. I had it made small on purpose, so that no one would offer to share it with me, and that makes it less convenient for the crowd that now sit in it. Two old friends come when the day's work is over, and grow sentimental by moonlight; both ill and, I am afraid, getting worse. All the talk is now about gassing. It is thought that they will do it to us here. As usual, new troops are reported to be coming against us.
Tuesday, July 20th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. There is always something fresh here. Now a lot of sharks are supposed to have come in. During the last two days there has been absolute silence, no shelling at all, nothing but the sound of crickets and at night a singsong chorus as the men drag up the great tanks prepared for water. S.B. Yesterday worked out a theory to prove that the Turks were to attack us last night. (1) No gunfire yesterday; the reason being they (the Turks) were moving troops. They didn't want us to fire at their troops, therefore didn't draw fire by shooting at us. (2) Ulemas have come down. There must be a special reason for this. (3) 10,000 coming up. Gas being prepared. All this means an attack on Anzac. To wipe us out would be a great feather in their cap. I am inclined to doubt another great attack. . . .Tempers all a bit ruffled. General Birdwood is sick. The heat is fierce and the stillness absolute. This afternoon I heard from Dedez, who asked me to go to Tenedos for a time. . . .
Wednesday, July 21st, 1915. Imbros. On Wednesday I went over to G.H.Q. and met old friends among the war correspondents. Met some of the New Zealanders who had come over for a rest, but were coming back for the expected attack. Meanwhile, they had been kept on fatigue most of the time, and were unutterably weary. At Imbros I was ordered to go to Tenedos and Mytilene.
Thursday, July 22nd, 1915. Came back to Anzac in the same boat with Ashmead Bartlett and Nevinson,(18)
and got leave to take them round in the afternoon.
Later on, during one of the worst days of the Sulva fighting, I met my friend Nevinson picking his way amongst the wounded on their stretchers under fire. "After this," he said, decisively, "I shall confine myself strictly to revolutions."
diary. July 23rd. Started for Imbros and went in the Bacchante pinnace, which was leaking badly from a shell hole. There were six of us on deck, and one man was hit when we were about a hundred yards out. We put back and left him on shore.
Saturday, July 24th. Imbros. Went for a ride on a mule, and had a bathe.
At this point in the campaign, though the morale was excellent, depression began to grow. There was a great deal of sickness, form which practically no one escaped, though it was less virulent in its form than later in the summer. I had been ill for some time, and was very anxious to avoid being invalided to Egypt, and was grateful for the chance of going to the islands for a change of climate and light work, for the few days that were sufficient to give another lease of health.
The feeling that invades almost every side-show, sooner or later, that the home authorities cared nothing and knew nothing about the Dardanelles, was abroad. The policy and the strategy of the expedition were bitterly
criticized. I remember a friend of mine saying to me: "All this expedition is like one of Walter Scott's novels, upside down. Walter Scott generally put his hero at the top of a winding stair, where he comfortably disposed, one by one, of a hundred of his enemies. "Now," he said, "what we have done was, first of all to warn the Turks that we were going to attack by having a naval bombardment. That made them fortify the Dardanelles, but still they were not completely ready. We then send a small force to attack, to tell them that we really are in earnest, and to ask them if they are quite ready. In fact, we have put the man who ought to be, not the hero, but the villain of the piece, at the top of the corkscrew stair, and we have given him so much notice that when the hero attacks the villain has more men at the top of the circular stair than the hero has at the bottom. It's like throwing pebbles at a stone wall," he said, mixing his metaphors.
Diary. Sunday, July 25th, 1915. On the Sea. I left for Tenedos; a most beautiful day. We have just been to Anzac, very burnt and wounded amongst the surrounding greenery. Pretty peaceful there, only a few bullets coming over.
Perhaps the record of a sojourn in the Greek Islands on what was really sick-leave, as the work was of the lightest, should not be included in a war diary, but the writer looks back with amusement and pleasure to days that were not uneventful. They were passed with friends who were playing a difficult and most arduous part, and whose services, in many cases, have not received the recognition that was their due.
It was pleasant once again to be lord of the horizon, to have space through which to roam, and lovely hills and valleys to ride across in the careless, scented air of the Mediterranean summer, with the sea shining a peacock-blue through the pines. It is this space and liberty that men cramped in a siege desire, more than the freedon from the shelling of the enemy's guns. There was much, too, that was opéra bouffe in the Islands, that made a not unpleasant contrast to the general life at Anzac.
If there was spy mania on the Peninsula, it was multiplied tenfold, and quite reasonably, on the Islands, where part of the population were strongly pro-Ally, another part pro-German, while others were anti-British by the accidental kind of recochet. These were the royalist followers of King Constantine, who hated Venizelos, and consequently the friends of Venizelos, Great Britain and France.
The situation on the Islands was one with which it was extremely hard to cope. We were very anxious to safeguard the lives of our men, and to prevent information going to the enemy, and, at the same time, not to pursue German methods. It was unceasing work, with a great strain of responsibility. There was an inevitable va et vient between the Peninsula and Imbros. From Imbros boats could slip across to Tenedos, Mytiline or the mainland. The native caïques would drop in at evening, report, be ordered to stay till further notice, and would drift away like ghosts in the night. Men, and women, performed remarkable feats, in appearing and disappearing. They were like pictures on a film in their coming and their going. Watchers and watched, they thrust and parried, discovered and concealed, glowed on the picture and darkened.
Anatasio, a Serbian by birth, was one of our workers, conspicuous for his quickness and intelligence. At the outbreak of the war he had already been five months in an Australian (ed: does he mean Austrian?) prison at Cattaro, but the prospect of battle stimulated his faculties, and he escaped. One day at luncheon, I asked him where it was that he had learned Italian, which he did not talk very well. "While I was in prison at Smyrna," said he. "What for?" said I. "For stabbing a Cretan," said he, and added that he would rather be five years in prison in Turkey than one in Austria. Then there was Avani, one of the most vivid personalities that I have ever met. He was a poet and a clairvoyant, a mesmerist and a masseur, a specialist in rheumatism and the science of detection, once a member of General Chermside's gendarmerie in Crete, and ex-chief of the Smyrna fire brigade. The stories of him are too many, and too flamboyant, to tell.
Diary. Avani mesmerized the wife of the Armenian dragoman. Unfortunately it went wrong. Her obedience to his volition was delayed and she only obeyed his commands in the wrong company some hours after.
He had given proof of rare courage, and also considerable indescretion. On one occasion, armed to the teeth, he burst into a perfectly innocent house at night, and, revolver in hand, hunted a terrified inhabitant. His only evidence against this man was, that when he had been caught and hurled to the ground and sat upon, his heart had beaten very fast, which would not happen, insisted Avani, if he had not been guilty of some crime.
Amongst our opponents were the romantic but sinister Vassilaki family, two brothers and three lovely sisters. Talk about them in the Islands was almost as incessant as was talk about shelling on the Peninsula.
Diary. Monday, July 26th, 1915. Tenedos. Yesterday I was very ill, and again to-day, but was injected with something or other and feel better, but weak. Tried to sleep yesterday, but one of our monitors at Rabbit Island
bombarded hugely, shaking the bugs down on me. This place is clean, but there are bugs and some lice. Last night I dined with the Governor, Colonel Mullins, and a jolly French doctor, and Thompson, who has fallen ill. Am carrying on for him at the moment.
Tuesday, July 27th, 1915. Tenedos. Went to the trenches at Tenedos. They face the enemy. That is the most military thing about them. Thompson went out to see the inhabitants. I was going with him, but felt worse and went to rest. The Turks here are in a very bad way. We do not allow them to work. It is inevitable. They mayn't fish or work at the aerodrome.
Wednesday, July 28th, 1915. Tenedos. Interpreted for the Governor of Tenedos, who, like Jupiter, rules with might, in the afternoon. In the evening I saw the Mufti, who had a list of starving, widows and indigent. . . .Last night the Cretan soldiers started ragging the Turks and singing, till I stopped them. They were quite good.
Still ill, but better. Had a beautiful walk in the evening, and a long talk with the Greek refugees working in the vines by the edge of the sea. The old patriarch addressed me all the time as "chorbaji" -- that is, Possessor of the Soup, the Headman of the village.
Thursday, July 29th, 1915. Tenedos. Yesterday I rode over to the French aerodrome, coming late for luncheon, but had coffee with about twenty French officers, all very jolly. Promised to let me fly over the Dardanelles. I went on to the Cretans in a pinewood. Their officer, a Frenchman, very keen on a show in Asia Minor. . . .The elder Vassilaki has been arrested. His brother saw him go by in a trawler. Am going to Mytilene, then return after three days, and leave here on Tuesday for Anzac. No news of anything happening. Tenedos is a beautiful town in its way, surrounded by windmills, with Mount Elias in the background. Its streets are narrow, picturesque, and hung with vines that make them cool and shady. At the end of the town there is a very fine old Venetian fortress, but its magnificence is outside; inside it is furnished with round stone cannon-balls, ammunition for catapults. In the last war the Greeks took the island, but one day a Turkish destroyer popped her nose in. All the Greeks fled, and the Mufti and the Moslems went and pulled the Greek flag down. Then in came a Greek destroyer, and the Turkish one departed. The Mufti and the Turks were taken off to Mudros, where he and they were beaten. He narrowly missed being killed. . . .
Friday, July 30th, 1915. Tenedos. Slept very badly again. Had a letter from the O.C. Poor Onslow killed, lying on his bed by his dugout. A good fellow and a fine soldier. Aden nearly captured. I prophesied its capture in Egypt. I shall be recalled before anything happens.
The radiant air of Tenedos gave health as it did in Homeric times, and I left with the desire that others should have the same chance as myself of using that beautiful island as a hospital; but all the pictures there were not bright. Under the wind-mills above the shining sea there were the motionless, dark-clad, desolate Moslem women, sitting without food or shelter. Their case, it is true, was no harder than that of the thousands of Greek refugees who had been driven from their homes, but these at any rate were living amongst kindred, while the unfortunate Moslems were without help or sympathy, except that which came from their enemies, the British.
Diary. Friday, July 30th, 1915. Mytilene. I left by the Greek boat yesterday. On the boat I met a man who might be useful as an interpreter, Anibal Miscu, Entrepreneur de Travaux Publiques, black as my hat, but talks English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Bulgar, Russian, and something else. The boat was stopped by our trawler, No. ----, and searched for contraband of war. The Greeks were furious. I landed at Mytilene, not having slept much and felling bad. Avani said they had tried to bribe him to allow some raisins through, and kicked up the devil of a row. He seemed to think that the raisins were dynamite. He was left guarding the raisins, all night, I believe, with his revolver.
I was given a warm welcome by Compton Mackenzie at Mytilene. He, fortunately for me, had been sent there by G.H.Q. I found several old friends--Heathcote-Smith, the Consul, whose work it would be impertinent for me to praise, and Hadkinson, whom I had last seen at my own house in England, where he was staying with me when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been murdered. Hadkinson had passed most of his life on his property in Macedonia. Of the Eastern and Southern languages he talked Greek, Italian, Turkish, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Albanian. His voice was as delightful as hisknowledge of Balkan ballads was wide, and his friends made him sing the endless songs of the mountaineers. His personality had carried him through experiences that would have been disastrous to most men; battles decisive in European's history had raged in front of his doors (ed: awkward), while his house had remained untouched; brigands of most of the Balkan races had crossed his farm, rarely driving off his stock, and most of the local peasantry in their misfortunes had come to him for help, for advice, doctoring or intercession. Until the European War had crashed upon the world, Hadkinson had been a good example of the fact that minorities, even when they are a minority of one, do not always suffer.
The people of Mytilene, at that time, were very pro-English, though the officials were of the faction of King Constantine. The desire I frequently heard expressed was that Great Britain should take over Mytilene, as she did the Ionian Islands, and that when Mytilene had been put in order it should be restored to Greece.
Diary. Friday, July 30th, 1915. Mytilene. ----and Hadkinson have gone out with a motor-boat and a machine gun. The Vassilakis, or some of them, have been deported. Vassilaki to Imbros and the beautiful sisters to Mudros. . . .It's a blazing, burning day.
Saturday, July 31st, 1915. Mytilene. A gaming-house. Moved from my first hotel to a larger and more disreputable one. Lunched with Hadkinson and Compton Mackenzie.(19)
. . . .At Thasos the Greeks have arrested our agents under the orders of Gunaris. Have worked, and am feeling better.
Later. The three Miss Vassilakis have not gone to Mudros. They turned up this morning, and I was left to deal with them. Not as beautiful, except one, as I had been led to believe. They got Avani out of the room and wept and wept and wept. I told them their brother would be all right. . . . They wanted to know who prevented them from leaving. I said it was the Admiral. That good man is far away.
Sunday, August 1st, 1915. Mytilene. Avani went off with the three Miss Vassilakis, in hysterics, last night. They were very angry with us. It seems probable that we shall have a landing on the mainland here to divert attention from the Peninsula. Sir Ian Hamilton is coming down to have a look. A good deal of friction over the blockade. The present system causes much inconvenience to all concerned.
They were enchanting days of golden light or starlit darkness, while one drank health almost in the concrete from the hot pine-scented air and the famous wine of Mytilene. The conditions of others was unfortunately less happy. There were soem 80,000 Greek refugess from the mainland, for who the Greek Government had done practically nothing, while the patriotic Greek communities of England and America had not had the opportunity of relieving their necessities. We all did what we could to help these people.
There was another question allied to this to be considered: whether a Greek Expeditionary Force, largely composed of these refugees, should be sent into Asia Minor. The danger of such a campaign to the native Greeks was obvious; mainly for this reason it was not undertaken. But while no expedition occurred, there was much talk about one. The fact that Sir Ian Hamilton had come was widely known. It was said that great preparations were being made, and these rumours porbably troubled the Turks and kept troops of theirs in a non-combatant area.
Dairy. Sunday, August 1st, 1915. Mytilene. Lunched with Mavromati Bey. He was very heroic, saying he preferred to diw rather than to lie under the German yoke, but there were no signs of a funeral at luncheon, which was delicious.
Dined with Hadkinson, and was taken ill, but got all right and went off with him on the motor-boat Omala after dinner. H. said that for a long time he had felt that I was coming, and had ordered a lamb for me to be executed the following day; told the cook, too, to get some special herbs.
The object of our journey was to find a wonderful woman, lithe as a leopard and strong as a horse, and put her somewhere near Aivali to gain information.
Monday, August 2nd, 1915. "Omala" Off Moskonisi. At dawn this morning we came to Moskonisi, luminous in the sea. A decrepit shepherd led a flock of sheep along the beach. His name is Panayotis and he has a Homeric past; he killed two Turkish guards who courted a beautiful sister-in-law before marriage. Then he killed two others for a pusillanimous brother-in-law after marriage, and he has also sent two other Turks to their rest, though H. does not knwo the reason for their death.
Hadkinson had collected a large band of Palikaris, but the motor-boat only held a few, the cream of them. He had English names for most of them--Little John, Robin Hood, etc. They were tall men with very quick, clever eyes and lithe movements, picturesquely dressed. One of them had a cross glittering in his kalpak, and A.M. (for Asia Minor) on both sides of the cross. He said to me, pointing to Aivali: "There is my country; we are an orphan people. For 150 years we have shed our blood and given our best to Greece. Now in her hour of triumph and in our day of wretchedness she denies us help. May she ever be less!" Another Greek had been to Mecca as a soldier and stayed there and in the Yemen for some years. The Captain was a quiet man, but
apparently very excitable. They were delighted with their army rifles. The woman, Angeliko Andriotis, did not turn up at Gymno, so we went on to Moskonisi, the men often playing on a plaintive flute, and sometimes singing low together. At breakfast, soon after dawn, we had a sort of orchestra.
We arrived opposite to Aivali. The Turks have sunk three mauna . . . .Hadkinson saw one of their submarines.
The situation at Aivali is curious. It lies at the head of a bay. Above it there are hills, not high hills, but high enough, the men said who were with us, to prevent its being bombarded by the Turks. They looked at it with longing eyes. Their families were there. They kept on cursing the "black dogs" and saying they would eat them. There were 35,000 people in Aivali, now only 25,000; 10,000 have left lately. The sword of Damocles hangs over the rest of them, for they might be sent off into the interior at any moment. We went on to the channel between Moskonisi and Pyrgos. There we found the child of the woman, who was sent with a note to her. Men were moving in the olives and the scrub some distance off, whom the Greeks said were their own compatriots.
The boy, who was thirteen, took the letter and put it under his saddle. He went off calmly to get past the Turks, without any air of adventure about him. The others realized the stage on which they were acting, and swaggered finely. I got off on Pyrgos with Hadkinson, and went to a small, rough chapel, where they were bringing the eikons back in triumph.
The beauty of it all was beyond words. I bathed on a silver sand in transparent water between the two islands. Moskonisi, by the way, doesn't mean the Island of Perfume, but takes its name from a great brigand who practically held the island against the Turks about thirty years ago.
After a time the boy returned with a letter from his mother, and a peasant with binoculars. He and the peasant both said that they had seen a great oil-pool in Aivali Bay. We thought that this must be from a submarine, and dashed round there at full speed, but found nothing. Then we decided to come home. We picked up some of the men we had dropped en route; and they brought us presents of gran Turco, basilica and sweet-scented pinks. Then they played their flutes as the sun set, and Hadkinson sang Greek, Bulgarian and Turkish songs, singing the "Imam's Call" beautifully and, to the horror of his Greek followers, reverently.
We might have bagged the twenty-five Turks, or whatever the number there were, quite easily, but H. Thought this would have produced reprisals. He was probably right.
Tuesday, August 3rd, 1915. Mytilene. We got back last night after dinner and heard that Sir Ian Hamilton, George Lloyd, and George Brodrick had been here. . . .One of the poor Whittall boys very badly wounded. They were a fine pair.
August 4th, 1915. Mytilene. Yesterday we heard that the Turks had sent the town-crier to the equivalent of the capital of Moskonisi to say that any Greek going beyond a certain line would be put to death. Miss Vassilake turned up, and said that she and her sister would come with me to Tenedos. I said they couldn't.
We dined with General Hill and his Staff and slept on the Canopus. . . .Mackenzie no better. . . .A good deal of friction at Tenedos. Athanasius Vassilaki has escaped, and every one is annoyed. Some men have been arrested for signalling.
Thursday, August 5th, 1915. Tenedos. Most of the officers sick. I was asked to stay on at Tenedos, but felt I must get back at once. Christo says that it's dull here, and Kaba Tepé is better than this house. Turkish guns have been firing at our trawlers. A couple of men wounded. Examined a man just escaped for Constantinople. Constantinople is quite cheery: theatres, carriages, boats, etc. The Germans say we can't hold out on the Peninsula when the bad weather comes.
Then I examined a Lebanon French soldier who had arrested a child and on (ed: an?)old man for signalling. . . .
Here there are some pages of my diary missing, but the events that occurred are still vividly in my mind.
In company with other officers I went first to Imbros, hearing the thunder of the guns from Helles. In passionate haste we tried every means to get to the Peninsula for the great battle. I left Christo to follow with my kit, if he could, with the future doubtful before him, and no certainty, except that of being arrested many times.
In the harbour at Imbros on that night there was a heavy sea, and in a small, dancing boat we quested through the darkness for any ship sailing to Anzac. One was found at last that was on the point of sailing, and off we
(THE SECOND LANDING)
The instructions of my friend Ian Smith were to get to Suvla, and luck favoured him, for at dawn we lay off Suvla, and a trawler took him ashore.
Along the geights and down to the seashore the battle growled and raged, and it was difficult to lnow what was the mist of the morning or battle smoke. I got off at Anzac, which was calm, realizing that I had missed the first attack.
Diary. Saturday, August 7th, 1915. Kaba Tepé. I went out to Headquarters, which are now beyond Colonel Bauchop's old Headquarters. He, poor fellow, had just been hit and was said to be dying. Dix(20)
again wounded in the leg and Cator killed when he had just been promoted. I saw the General; on the way out I met 300 Turkish prisoners and was ordered to return and embark them. We came to the pier on the beach, then three shells fell on and beside it; both S.B. and I thought we were going to have a very bad time, packed like sardines, with panicky prisoners. Embarking them took time; we were all very snappy, but we got them off. I was glad to find S.B. and Woods. All the dugouts here are desolate. I saw General Birdwood, who was very sad about Onslow.(21)
He talked of the water difficulties. He was cheerful, as usual, and said he thought we should know which way things were going by 5 o'clock. S. was less cheerful.
I went back to Headquarters, a weary trudge of two hot, steaming miles, past masses of wounded. The saps were constantly blocked. Then back to Anzac for a few hours' sleep, till I can get my kit.
Sunday, August 8th, 1915. Near Anafarta. Slept badly last night at Anzac. The place was very desolate with every one away. I got up before a clear dawn and went out to the observation post, where I found General Godley and General Shaw. Our assault began. We saw our men in the growing light attack the Turks. It was a cruel and beautiful sight, for it was like a fight in fairyland; they went forward in parties through the beautiful light, with the clouds crimsoning over them. Sometimes a tiny, gallant figure would be in front, then a puff would come and they would be lying still. We got to within about forty yards of the Turks; later we lost ground. Meanwhile, men were streaming up, through awful heat. There were Irish troops cursing the Kaiser. At the observation post we were being badly shelled. The beauty of the place was extraordinary, and made it better than the baldness of Anzac, but we were on an unpropitious hillside, and beyond there were mules and men, clustered thickly.
Then I was sent back to Kaba Tepé, where I found a lot of wounded prisoners, who had not been attended to. I woke a doctor who had not slept for ages. He talked almost deliriously, but came along and worked like a real good man. I saw General House, V.C., and suggested attaching one doctor to the prisoners, so that we should not get contagious diseases.
Returned to Bauchop's Post and examined a couple of Germans from the Goeben. Got a good deal of information. Then I was telephoned for to interrogate a wounded Greek, who had, however, got lost. I went back outside the hospital, where there were many wounded lying. I stumbled upon poor A.C. (a schoolfellow),
who had been wounded about 3 a.m. the day before, and had lain in the sun on the sand all the previous day. He recognized me, and asked me to help him, but was light-headed. There were fifty-six others with him; M. and I counted. It was awful having to pass them. A lot of the men called out: "We are being murdered." The smells were fearful. . . .I went down a sap to the north to find the Greek. Fierce shelling began. The sap was knocked down in front and behind.
I came to a field hospital, situated where the troops were going through. There no one knew where Taylor's Hollow, the place where the Greek was supposed to be, was. While I was there shelling was bad. Several of the wounded were hit again. One man was knocked in on the top of me, bleeding all over. I returned to meet
Thoms, who said he knew the way. We ran the gauntlet. . . .
I had a curious, beautiful walk, looking for the wounded Greek, going to nineteen hospitals. Many wounded everywhere. First I saw one of our fellows who had met ten Turks and had ten bayonet wounds. He was extremely cheerful. Then a couple of Turks in the shadow of some pines, one dying and groaning, really
(NO. 3 OUTPOST)
unconscious. I offered the other water from my bottle, but he refused because of his companion, using Philip Sidney's words in Turkish.
Men were being hit everywhere. After going by fields and groves and lanes I came back to where the wounded were lying in hundreds, in the sap going to the sea, near Bauchop's Fountain. There a man called to me in French. He was the Greek I was looking for, badly wounded. He talked a great deal. Said 200,000 reinforcements were expected from Gallipoli. No gas would be used here. . . .
Monday, August 9th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. Slept uncomfortably on the ground. Went before dawn to observation post; returned to examine prisoners. Had an unsuccessful expedition wht Hastings to find some guns which he said had been lost between the lines.
Bullets came streaming down our valley, and we put up a small wall of sacks, 3 feet high, behind which we slept. I was sitting at breakfast this morning listening to Colonel Manders(22)
talking, when suddenly I saw Charlie B. Put his hand to his own head and say: "By G----, he's killed!" Manders fell back dead, with a bullet through his temple, he was a very good fellow.
Sir Ian Hamilton came ashore. I saw him for a moment. Then to Kaba Tepé; going and coming one passes a lone of bodies, some dreadful, being carried for burial. Many still lying out. The last wounded have been more pitiful than anything I have seen. Cazalet is badly wounded; I hope he will recover; he is a good boy. Colonel Malone was killed last night and Jacky Hughes wounded. Lots of shelling.
Coming back I had to go outside the crowded sap, and got sniped. Thoms and I had a very lively time of it.
Came back for Manders' funeral. I was very fond of him. General Godley read a few sentences with the help of my electric torch, which failed. Four others were buried with him. Later I saw a great shell strike the grave. A cemetery, or rather lots, growing up round us. There are dead buried or half buried in every gully.
Tuesday, August 10th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. Christo arrived with my kit and some grapes last night. While we were eating these, two men, one of whom was our cook, were hit, and he being the second cook, it was decided to change our quarters, as a lot of bullets streamed down the gully and we had been losing heavily. I was called up in the night to see about some wounded. The General had said they had better go by boat, because of the difficulty of the saps, but there were no boats, and Manders' death had caused confusion at the hospital. The doctor on the beach said he could not keep the wounded there any longer, because of the rifle fire. I woke Charlied B. We got 200 men from the Canterbury reinforcements. They had been fighting without sleep since Sunday morning, but evacuated about 300 wounded to below Walker's Ridge. There were no complaints. The Turks still had to be left. They called to me at night and at dawn. I gave them drinks, and later, after sunrise, shifted them into the shade, which made them cheerful. The General had not slept for three nights. The day went badly for us. We lost Chunuk Bair, and without it we cannot win the battle. The Turks have fought very finely, and all praise their courage. It was wonderful to see them charging down the hill, through the storm of shrapnel, under the white ghost wreaths of smoke. Our own men were splendid. Tne N.Z. Infantry Bridade must have ceased to exist. Meanwhile, the condition of the wounded is indescribable. They lie in the sand in rows upon rows, their faces caked with sand and blood; one murmur for water; no shelter from the sun; many of them in saps, with men passing all the time scattering more dust on them. There is hardly any possibility of transporting them. The fire zones are desperate, and the saps are blocked with ammunition transport and mules, also whinnying for water, carrying food, etc. Some unwounded men almost mad from thrist, cursing.
We all did what we could, but amongst so many it was almost impossible. . . .The wounded Turks still here. I kept them alive with water. More prisoners in, report another 15,000 men at Bulair and a new Division, the 7th, coming against us here. I saw General Cooper,(23)
wounded, in the afternoon, and got him water. His Staff had all been killed or wounded. . . .
If the Turks continue to hold Chunuk Bair and get up their big guns there, we are, as a force, for worse off than at Anzac. What has happened is roughly this: we have emerged from a position which was unsatisfactory, but certain, into one that is uncertain but partly satisfactory. If the Turks have the time to dig themselves in, then
(NO. 3 OUTPOST)
we are worse off than before, because we shall again be held up, with the winter to face, and time running hard against us, with an extended front. The Turks will still have land communications, while we shall only have sea communications, and though we ourselves shall be possibly better off, because we shall now have a harbour, the Turks some time will almost certainly be able to break through, though possibly not able to keep what they take. But the men at Helles will not be freed as our move proposed to free them.
I thought one of the wounded Turks had cholera to-day. There is very little water, and we have to give them water out of our own bottles. We have a terrible view here: lines of wounded creeping up from the hospital to the cemetery like a tide, and the cemetery is going like a live thing to meet the wounded. Between us and the sea is about 150 yards; this space is now empty of men because of the sniping. There are a number of dead mules on it, which smell horribly but cannot be moved. A curious exhibition of sniping took place just below us this evening, about 50 yards away. Two men were on the open space when a sniper started to shoot at them. They popped into a dry well that practically hid them, but he got his bullets all round them---in front and behind and on the sides. They weren't hit. The camp watched, laughing.
Thursday, August 12th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. At 4.30 in the morning I got up and walked with the General. We went up to Rhododendron Ridge to have a look at the Turks. It is a steep, beautiful walk, and a glorious view--trees everywhere and cliffs. We are fastening the cliffs up, and camouflaging the trenches.
I took Nikolas the miller round the observation post in the morning. A new Division is supposed to be against us, the 8th. In the afternoon walked into Anzac to get a drink of water as have had fever and a cruel thirst. The dugouts smell, and washing's difficult. Anglesey gave me excellent water.
Friday, August 13th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. Nothing doing. Bullets singing about, but nobody's getting hit. The heat's ferocious, and everybody's feeling ill. Macaulay's wounded.
Workded yesterday morning, also started on new dugout. In the afternoon went with Turkish papers to Anzac. I saw C. He said that this beach for cruelty had beaten the Crimea. . . .Savage feeling with the R.A.M.C. . . .
Streams of mules took water out in the evening as the sun set. I met several men with sunstroke coming in. I saw George Hutton, Royal Welsh (ed: Welch?) Fusiliers, who has become a Colonel. He had a hand-to-hand bayonet tussle with a Turk, in the last fight. Another man came up, and killed the Turk with his bayonet. Then, he said, the man, instead of pulling his bayonet out, dashed to another man and asked him for his bayonet, saying: "I have let mine in the Turk."
the battle-cries, by the way, were for the Turks the sonorous, deep-voiced "Allah, Allah," and "Voor" ("God, God," "Strike"); while the New Zealanders used often to shout: "Eggs is cooked." This apparently irrelevant, unwarlike slogan had its origin in Egypt. There, on field days in the desert, when the men halted to rest, Egyptians would appear magically with primative kitchens and the cry of "Eggs is cooked!"
diary. Monday, August 16th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. Christo will spit on my razor-strop; otherwise he is a good servant. . . .Bathed with Charlie B. Yesterday afternoon. . . .I don't think we want Roumania in. If she had no ammunition and takes a very bad knock from Germany, it would give Germany a very strong strategic position. The Turks who have come in do not really seem very disheartened.
At about this time the Expeditionary Force entered upon a new phase. The agony of the struggle had passed its crisis. Both sides sat down grimly, to wait for the winter. In many ways our position had distinctly improved. There was more room, and space banished the sense of imprisonment that had afflicted us. The country was not as battle-scarred as Anzac, and walking over the heights at sunset was a feast of loveliness.
We moved our Headquarters again, and I went up to a large dugout in what had been a Turkish fort. The troops quartered in this fort were an Indian Field Battery and sixty-three New Zealanders, all that was left of their battalion. These men had been in the first landing. They had, every one of them, had dysentery or fever, and the great majority were still sick and over-ripe for hospital.
As time went on, and illness increased, one often heard men and officers say: "If we can't hold the trenches with sound men, we have got to hold them with sick men." When all was quiet, the sick-list grew daily. But when the men knew that there was to be an attack, they fought their sickness, to fight the Turk, and the stream to the hospitals shrank.
I admired nothing in the war more than the spirit of these sixty-three New Zealanders, who were soon to go to their last fight. When the day's work was over, and the sunset swept the sea, we used to lean upon the parapet
and look up to where Chunuk Bair flamed, and talk. The great distance from their own country created an atmosphere of loneliness. This loneliness was emphasized by the fact that the New Zealanders rarely received the same recognition as the Australians in the Press, and many of their gallant deeds went unrecorded or were attributed to their greater neighbours. But they had a silent pride that put these things into proper perspective. The spirit of these men was unconquered and unconquerable. At night, when the great moon of the Dardanelles soared and all was quiet except the occasional whine of a bullet overhead, the voices of the tired men continually argued the merits of the Expedition, and there was always one end of these discussions: "Well, it may all be a -----mistake, but in a war of this size you will have mistakes of this size, and it doesn't matter a ---- to us whether we are for it here or in France, for we came out to do one job, and it's nothing to us whether we finish in one place or another." the Turks were not the only fatalitys in those days.
We were now well supplied with water, but food of the right kind was a difficulty. It was very hard to obtain supplies for sick men, and here, as always, we met with the greatest kindness from the Navy.
Horlick's Malted Milk and fruit from the Islands did us more good than anything else. Relations of mine in Egypt sent me an enormous quantity of the first, which I was able to distribute to the garrison of the fort. Later, when I was invalided, I bequeathed the massive remnants to a friend who had just landed. Greedily he opened my stores, hoping for the good things of the world--tongues, potted ham and whisky--only to find a wilderness of Horlick's Malted Milk.
Our position had at last been appreciated at home, and we were no longer irritated, as in the early days by the frivolity and fatuousness of London. Upon one occasion, shortly after the first landing, one of the illustrated papers had a magnificent picture entitled, if I remember right, "The Charge that Won Constantinople." The picture was of a cavalry charge, led quite obviously by General Godley--and those were the days when we were living on the edge of a cliff, where only centipedes could, and did, charge, and when we were provided with some mules and my six donkeys for all our transport.
There was a remarkable contrast between our war against the Germans and the Turks. In France the British soldier started fighting good-naturedly, and it took considerable time to work him up to a pitch of hatred; at Anzac the troops from the Dominions began their campaign with feelings of contempt and hatred, which gradually turned to respect for the Moslems. At the beginning the great majority of our men had naturally no knowledge of the enemy they were fighting. Once, looking down from a gun emplacement, I saw a number of Turks walking about, and asked why they had not been shot at. "Well," said one man, "it seems hard on them, poor chaps. They aren't doing any harm." Then up came another: "Those Turks," he said, "they walk about as if this place belongs to them." I suggested that it was their native land. "Well," he said, "I never thought of that."
diary. Monday, August 16th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. It's curious the way the men speak of the Turks here. They still can't be amde to wear gas helmets, because they say the Turks are clean fighters and won't use gas. . . .
It's good to be high up in this observation post, above the smells, with a magnificent view of hill and valley. We shoot from here pretty often at the Turkish guns. Last night the Dardanelles droned on for hours. This morning the machine guns on both sides were going like dentists' drills. To-day it's absolutely still, with only the whirr of aeroplanes overhead.
Bartlett turned up to-night. He had not much hope. . . .Poor Bauchop is dead. News came to-night. . . .A gallant man.
On Wednesday, August 18th, I was sent to G.H.Q. at Imbros, and heard a full account of the tragic battle down at Helles, and the condition of the wounded at Mudros.
When men have gone to the limits of human endurance, when blood had been spilled like water, and the result is still unachieved, bitter and indiscriminate recrimination and criticism inevitably follow. But Anzac had one great advantage. Our leaders were able to see General Birdwood and General Godley every day in the front trenches with themselves, walking aobut under fire as if they had been on a lawn in England, and the men knew that their own lives were never uselessly sacrificed.
The work of many of the doctors on the Peninsula was beyond all praise, but there was black rage against the chiefs of the R.A.M.C. at Imbros and in Egypt. The anger woudl have been still greater if their attitude of complacent self-sufficiency had been known.
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diary. Thursday, August 19th, 1915. No. 3 Outpost. Returned to the Peninsula with Bettinson and Commander Patch, and Phillips, the navigator. When we had come up to the fort I told them not to show their heads at the observation post, as the fort did not belong to me, and I did not want to become unpopular. I got Perry, Captain of the fort, and he sat them down on the parapet, showing them the lines of our trenches. While we talked, a sniper shot at Patch, just missing him, and hitting the parapet beside him. They were very pleased, though the others said I had paid a man to shoot in order to give them fun. Perry said in a friendly way: "That's a good sniper; he's thirteen hundred yards off, so it was a pretty decent shot." then he talked to them, and they felt what anyone must feel talking to these men. They gave us a lot of things, and are sending all sorts of things to-morrow for the men here.
Friday, August 20th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Last night was the first cold night. This morning I went out with the General, who was like a bulldog and a cyclone. We met Birdweed, who was there to see the last Australians arrive, 17th and 18th Brigades, in Reserve Gully. They looked a splendid lot, and it did one's heard good to see them. Some more officers from the Bacchante turned up with stores, and special cocoa for me. I was just going off to find Perry when I met him. He is off out; there is a fight to-morrow. I gave him the cocoa. He was glad to have it. . . .The men are all tired out with heat and dysentery, and digging, and fightint. The General and I went up to Sazli Beit Deri. I didn't think it oversafe for him.
Saturday, August 21st, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Work in the morning. Was to have gone with the General in the afternoon, but prisoners came in to be examined. They said: "Curse the Germans! We can't go on. There are no more men left." One of them was killed by their own fire after I left. G.L. Came to luncheon. Charlie B., he and I started off together, I feeling pretty bad. It was very hot. We went at a great pace over two or three ridges and across valleys, our guns thundering about us. Finally, I felt so bad I let them go on, and came back. . . .The battle developed and the shooting was fierce and general. While I hunted for General Monash's Headquarters I met Colonel A.J., who was rather worried. We had a close shave. . . .I left him, and had an odd adventure. . . .Went home alone through deafening noise, all the valleys under fire. . . .Got at last into a shallow nullah that led into a regular gully, and so home.
That day I saw an unforgettable sight. The dismounted Yeomanry attacked the Turks across the salt lakes of Suvla. Shrapnel burst over them continuously; above their heads there was a sea of smoke. Away to the north by Chocolate Hill fires broke out on the plain. The Yeomanry never faltered. On they came through the haze of smoke in two formations, columns and extended. Sometimes they broke into a run, but they always came on. It is difficult to describe the feelings of pride and sorrow with which we watched this advance, in which so many of our friends and relations were playing their part.
Diary. August 21st. Charlie B. and G.L. came back all right. . . .The Turks had come over in three waves down Chunuk Bair. The first two were destroyed by naval fire; the third got home into our trenches. Charlie B. Was full of admiration for one old fellow whom he had seen holding up his finger and lecturing to the men when they hung back.
Hutton is wounded again.
Sunday, August 22nd, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Last night, or this morning at 1 o'clock, I was called up. They said there were 150 Turks in one place and others elsewhere, anxious to surrender. I took the miller, Zachariades and Kyreakidis out to Headquarters. Sent back Kyriakidis and the miller, as there was nothing doing and I wanted to keep Kyriakidis. Went on with Zachariades and guides sent by Poles to Colonel Agnew to his H.Q. There we lay on the ground, very cold. They said the Turks had wished to surrender, but there had been no interpreter, and they had been fired on. The Turks were then attacking heavily. Eastwood telephoned that they had fourteen prisoners. I went back to see if they could give any news about our immediate front.
Every one worried. The ---- Battalion of Australians had gone wrong. Nobody knew where they were. I sent my escort to try and find them. The Hampshires, who ought to have arrived, had not come. . . .They came along gradually.
We attacked at about four in the morning. The Turkish fire tarried a little, then got furious. We went towards Monash, and met the Hampshires, very tired and wayworn. Bullets sang very viciously, and burst into flame on the rocks. There was a thunder of rifle fire and echoes in the gullies, men dropping now and then. Lower down the gully I found the Hampshires running like mad upwards to the firing line; beyond this a mixed crowd of men without an officer. . . .My guide, wild as a hawk, took us up a ridge. I fell over a dead man in the darkness and hurt my ankle. We had to wait. There seemed a sort of froth of dust on the other side of the ridge, from the rifle fire, and I told the escort to take us down and round the ridge across the valley. He admitted afterwards we had no chance of crossing the other way. In the valley the bullets sang. We came to the (NO. 2 OUTPOST)
half-nullah where I had taken such unsatisfactroy cover in the afternoon. There we waited a bit, and then ran across the hundred yards to the next gully. Zachariades and the escort grazed. Found the prisoners; the other Zachariades examined them. . . .Spent bullets falling about, but the Greeks never winked. A surrendered Armenian could only tell us that the Turks were very weak before us. The rifle fire died away in the end, and we walked back at dawn, getting here by sunrise. The examinined more prisoners till about 11, and slept till 1.
The position is still indefinite. It's on the same old lines, on the hills we are the eyebrows and the Turks are the forehead.
Monday, August 23rd, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Perry is wounded, but not badly I hope, in the arm. There is hardly anyone in the fort. The interpreter question becoming very difficult. They are all going sick. Had a quiet evening last night, and read on the parapet. It will be very difficult to keep these old troops here during the winter. The Australians and New Zealanders who have been here a long time are weak, and will all get pneumonia. There was a great wing blowing and the sound of heavy firing. I went to Anzac to-day, and found men bombing fish. They got about twenty from one bomb, beautiful fish, half-pounders.
Tuesday, August 24th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. General Shaw has gone sick to England; General Maude has taken his place. He commands the 13th. He and Harter dined here last night. Longford was killed, Milbanke said to be killed or wounded, and the Hertfordshires have suffered.
This morning we talked about the winter seriously and of preparations to be made. I am for a hill-side. The plain is a marsh and the valley a watercourse. We ought to have fuel, caves for drying clothes, cooking, etc., and mostly this hill is made of dust and sand. A great mail came in last night, but the machine guns got on to the men as they passed by the beach in the moonlight, killed some and wounded five men. So there are the mails lying now, with the machine guns playing round them. . . .
I advised Lawless yesterday at Anzac to move out from the beach, lest the sea should rise and take him like a winkle from his shell.
Saw D. to-day. He has a curious story to tell of the other night, when I was telephoned for. He said I was called three hours too late. A lot of Turks had come out of their trenches, some unarmed and some armed, and some with bombs. He had gone out and pointed his revolver at one of them, who shouldered arms and stood to attention. Some of the Turks came right up, and the New Zealanders said: "Come in here, Turkey," and began pulling them into the front trench. D. Had feared that the Turks, who were about 200, might rush the trench, and had waved them back and finally fired his revolver and ordered our fellows to fire. It was a pity there was no one there who could talk. Later I saw Temperley, who said when we took Rhododendron Ridge there were 250 Turks on the top. They piled their arms, cheered us and clapped their hands.
To-night I went to Chaylak Dere with the General and saw General Maude, and his Staff, who looked pretty ill, also Claude Willoughby, who was anxious to take the Knoll by the Apex.
There was a tremendous wind, and dust-storms everywhere. In the gullies men were burying the dead, not covering them sufficiently. My eyes are still full of the dust and the glow of the camp-fires on the hill-side, and the moonlight. It is an extraordinary country to look across--range after range of high hills, precipice and gully, the despair of Generals, the grave and oblivion of soldiers.
Here the diary stops abruptly, and begins again on Saturday, September 23rd.
No. 2 Outpost. After writing the above I had a bad go of fever, and was put on to hospital ship. Went aboard with General Birdwood, General Godley, and Tahu Rhodes. The Generals had come to inspect the New Zealand hospital ship, which was excellent. That night there was a very heavy fire. I felt some friend of mine would be hit on shore, and the next morning I found Charlie B. on board, not badly wounded, hit in the side.
My friend Charlie B. Had a temper, and was often angry when others were calm, but in moments of excitement he was calm to the point of phlegm. When we were off Mudros there was a great crash, and a jarring of the ship from end to end. I went into Charlie B.'s cabin and said: "Come along. They say we're torpedoed. I'll help you." "Where are my slippers?" he asked. I said: "Curse your slippers." "I will not be hurried by these Germans," answered Charlie B., and he had the right of it, for we had only had a minor collision with another boat.
At Mudros the majority of the sick and wounded on our hospital ship were sent to England, but my friend and I
were luckily carried on to Egypt.
Diary. Septemver 23rd. There was a remarkable man on board the Manitou, Major K. He had led 240 men into a Turkish trench; three had returned unwounded, but he got most of his wounded back with eighteen men. The Adjutant was killed on his back. He himself had already been wounded twice. Finally, he left the trench alone, and turned round and faced the Turks at 200 yards. They never fired at him, because he said, "they admired me." This officer found a D.S.O. waiting for him in Egypt and has since earned the V.C. in France, for which he had been previously recommended in South Africa. He and I returned to the Dardanelles together while he still had a long, unhealed bayonet wound in his leg.
At Alexandria, fortunately for myself, I had relations who were working there. I went to the hospital of a friend. It was a great marble palace, surrounded by lawns and fountains, and made, at any rate, gorgeous within by the loves of the gods, painted in the colours of the Egyptian sunset on the ceilings.
The Englishwomen in Alexandria were working like slaves for the wounded and the sick. They did all that was humanly possible to make up for the improvidence and the callousness of the home medical authorities. Thanks to their untiring and unceasing work, day and night, these ladies saved great numbers of British lives.
One day the Sultan came to inspect the hospital where I was a patient. For feasons of toilette, I should have preferred not to have been seen on that occasion by His Highness, but the royal eye fixed itself upon my kimono, and I was taken aside for a few minutes conversation.
Diary. (Subsequently written on the Peninsula.) The Sultan said that he was very grieved about the Conservative party, because of the Coalition, I suppose, and also about Gallipoli. There I cordially agreed.
I went up to Cairo for a few days, and found the city and life there very changed. Shepheard's was filled with the ghosts of those who had left on and since April 12th.
In Egypt the danger of the Canal had passed, but anxiety had not gone with it. There was much doubt as to what the Senoussi would be likely to do and what consequences their action would have. They had little to gain by attacking, but all knew that this would not necessarily deter them. I was in Cairo when Fathy Pasha was stabbed, and those in authority feared for the life of the Sultan.
My friend Charlie B. and Major K. and I left Alexandria in brilliant moonlight. Our boat could do a bare twelve knots an hour. On the journey rockets went up at night, S.O.S. signals were sent us, all in vain: we were not to be seduced from our steady spinster's course to Mudros. When we again reached that place we found our sistership, the Ramadan, had been torpedoed.
Diary. (Written September 23rd.) General Godley was on the Lord Nelson. He had been sick for some time, and had been taking three days off. Roger Keyes desperately anxious to go up the Dardanelles, come what may. He is the proper man to do it, but I think it's only singeing the King of Spain's beard.
At Imbros the General, Charlie B. and I had a stormy row ashore and a long walk to G.H.Q., where I found Willy Percy, who had been badly wounded, now recovering. I saw Tyrrell, G.L., and Dedez. The news had just come through of Bulgaria's mobilization, but they did not know against whom. I wonder if the Bulgars will attack both the Serbs and the Turks. That would be a topsy-turvy, Balkan thing to do, and might suit their book. We ought to have had them in on our side six months ago. From G.H.Q. we came back to Anzac. The General has had my dugout kept for me in the fort, where Christo and I now live in solitude, for all the rest are gone. I found a lot of new uniforms and a magnificent cap. When I put this on Christo cried violently: "No, no, no, not until we ride into Constantinople as conquerors."
H.Q. are on the other side of the Turkish fort, in a tiny valley across which you can throw a stone. They have all the appearance of a more comfortable Pompeii, and are scarcely more alive; it is the quietest town I have ever seen; there lies in front a ridge of valley, a dip of blue sea, and good deal of the Anafarta plain. The first night on arriving the cold was bitter, also next morning. Pleurisy has already started. This morning the General went up to the Apex and behind it. He was not at all pleased with the fire trenches. He nearly drove C., the officer at that moment instructing the Australians, mad first by criticising everything--I thought pretty justly--and then by standing about in view of the Turks and not worrying about shells or bombs. I did my best to get him in. The Australians were all laughing at C. for his caution and fussiness. Incidentally, one of the big mortar-bombs fell in the trench as we arrived. Hastings is Intelligence officer. It's luck to have got him.
Sunday, September 24th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. A lovely morning. There was a bracing chill of autumn and yet
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warm air and a smiling, southern look across Anafarta Plain, with great hills on the other side, stately and formidable. Swallows everywhere. Up till now it's been very silent. I thought that the noise of war was past, but bullets and shells have been whining and moaning over us. At Anzac yerterday morning they had about twenty men hit by one shell, and I saw a lot of mules being dragged down to the sea as I went in. We walked through the "Camel's Hump," with Colonel Chauvel and Glasgow, on to No. 1 Outpost, now deserted, with the beautiful trench made by the six millionaires. I wonder what has happened to them all.
Cazalet, of whom I had grown very fond, is dead, Hornby's missing. I was very sas to hear that Reynell was killed on the night of the 27th, when we left. A fine man in every way. His men worshipped him. . . .
A lot of French transports were leaving Egypt as we left, maybe for Asia. We shall do nothing more here unless we have an overwhelming force. We have never done anything except with a rush. Directly we have touched a spade we have ceased to advance, and have gone on adding bricks to the wall which we first built and then beat our heads against.
This morning we had a service in the valley, which is extraordinarily beautiful. The flies are awful, horrible, lethargic; they stick to one like gum. The men in the trenches are wearing the head-dresses that Egypt has sent. I went with the General in the afternoon to Anzac. We walked back as shelling began. We ahd one whizz round us, and a man fell beside me on the beach. I heard a tremendous smack, and thought he was dead, and began to drag him in to cover, but he was all right, though a bullet had thumped him.
The flies and their habits deserve to live in a diary of their own. They were horrible in themselves, and made more horrible by our circumstances and their habits. They lived upon the dead, between the trenches, and came bloated from their meal to fasten on the living. One day I killed a fly on my leg that made a splash of blood that half a crown would not have covered.
Diary. Monday, September 27th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Last night F. Dined. He said that the Indians could get back from Mudros if they gave the hospital orderly ten rupees. The hospital orderly would then certify them as having dysentery. Most of them did not wand to go back, some did. When they were reluctant about fighting he thought it was due to the fact that it was Moslems they were against.
This morning the General and I went round Colonel Anthill's trenches. Billy H. was there, as independent and casual as ever. He came out here as a sergeant and is now Acting-Brigade-Major. I am giving him a shirt.
Billy H. was not the only member of his family who was independent. His father, a well-known Australian doctor, on one occasion gave one of the chiefs of the British R.A.M.C. his sincere opinion about the treatment of the sick and wounded. After a while the chief of the R.A.M.C. said: "You don't seem to understand that it is I who am responsible for these things." "Oh yes, I do," said the Australian doctor, "but it's not you I'm getting at; it's the fool who put you there."
diary. Thursday, September 28th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Last night I dned with S.B. And H. Woods. Walked back through a still, moonlit night, with the sea and the air just breathing. Very bright stars. We sent up flares. The General was ill this morning, so did not go out. The Greek interpreters have been called up for mobilization. This Greek mobilization ought to do some good about the German submarines. Last night at Anzac they had iron needles dropped from aeroplanes. I always objected to this. This morning over our heads there was a Taube firing hard at something with a machine gun. It produces an unpleasant impression, I suppose because it is unfamiliar, to hear the noise straight above one. Two bombs were dropped--at least, I suppose they were. They fell with a progressive whistle, but not close to us; another big one, however, and 8-inch one, I believe, from the Dardanelles, fell with a tired and sensuous thud just over the ridge.
Wednesday, September 29th, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. The General went out at nine this morning, P. and I with him. He went to the Apex and round. In the evening Kettle and I talked in the fort.
Friday, October 1st, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. Yesterday morning General Godley, General Birdwood, de Crespigny and I went round the trenches, Apex, Anthill's, etc., from 9.30 until 3. A very hot day; I wish that Generals were a hungrier, thirstier race. We had some light shelling, into which the Generals walked without winking or reason, though they made us take intervals.
G.L. Has gone home. Ross turned up last night; glad to see him again. He said that a statement was to be made almost at once, and that we weren't going to be here for the winter. He had a notion that the Italians were going to take our place. . . .
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this morning there was a very heavy mist; the hills and the sea were curtained in it. My clothes were wringing wet. The Greek interpreters have been called up by the Greek mobilization and have gone to Imbros, some of them to try to avoid going. They have, says Christo, "kria kardia" ("cold feet"). Xenophon, in a moment of enthusiasm, changed Turkish for Greek nationality. He now speaks of the days of his Ottoman nationality with a solemn and mournful affection, as of a golden age. He envies his cousin, Pericles, who was not so carried away. Kyriakidis is too old to go, thank goodness.
Going into Anzac with the General, and glas to be quit of the trenches. It's a weary business walking through these narrow mountain trenches, hearing the perpetual iteration of the same commands. The trenches are curiously personal. Some are so tidy as to be almost red-tape--the names of the streets, notices, etc., everywhere--and others slums. (Later) I went into Anzac with the General to see General Birdwood, but he had gone out to see the bombardment from the sea. The General went off to the New Zealand hospital ship, Mahino. I went to get P. off, who was ill. The General and I had a very philosophical talk coming back. There was a radiance over Anzac; the sunken timbership shone against the sunset, with the crew half of them naked. Shells screamed over us, and in the Headquarters hollow parts of them came whimpering down.
Saturday, October 2nd, 1915. No. 2 Outpost. This morning General Godley, Colonel Artillery Johnson and I went round to see the guns, all across th Anafarta Plain. Yesterday they had been shelling a good deal and had killed some Gurkhas. . . .We trudged about in the open, the Turkish hills in a semicircle round us. We kept about fifty yards apart. . . .I thought it very risky for the General; however, nothing happened. Have been meeting various school acquaintances these days. . . .
Sunday, October 3rd, 1915. The General and Charlie B. went to Suvla. I lunched with S.B. and H. Woods. We played chess. A good deal of shelling. A fair number hit. . . .
Monday, October 4th, 1915. Changed my dugout this morning with an infinity of trouble. I didn't like doing it; it involved men standing on the roof, and if one of them had been hit I should have felt responsible. However, we did it all right. I stole some corrugated iron, and am well off. This morning the Turks had a fierce demonstration. The bullets kicked up the dust at the mouth of the gully. Colonel Artillery Johnson just missed being hit, but only one man struck. They shelled us with big stuff that came over tired and groaning, bursting with a beastly noise and torrents of smoke. General C. lunched. He said people sent curiously inappropriate stores sometimes. In the middle of the summer they had sent us here mufflers and cardigan jackets, and two thousand swagger canes. These were now at Mudros. Chauvel has taken over command while the General is sick. He borrowed all my novels.
Tuesday, October 5th, 1915. General C.O. turned up. He said we are going to attack through Macedonia. Heaven help us! Bulgaria has been given twenty-four hours' ultimatum by Russia.
Went into Anzac, to go by boat to Sulva. Met C., who was at W---- (my private school). He said there was no boat. I went on and played chess, coming back through one of the most beautiful evenings we have had, the sea a lake of gold and the sky a lake of fire; but C. and I agreed we would not go back to Anzac or to W----, if we could help it.
Wednesday, October 6th, 1915. I was going into Suvla with Hastings, but in the morning a Turkish deserter, Ahmed Ali, came in. He promised to show us two machine guns, which he did (one German, immovable, and the other Turkish, movable), and seven guns which he had collected; this he failed to do, and also to produce three more comrades by firing a Turkish rifle as a signal.
In the afternoon I had a signal from S.B. to say he was leaving, sick, for Egypt. I walked in to see, and found he had gastritis. . . .
Thursday, October 7th, 1915. N.Z. and A.H.Q. This morning we went up with Ahmed Ali, and lay waiting for the Turkish deserters until after six. One Turkish rifle shot, a thicker sound than ours, was fired at Kidd's Post, but no Turks came. Ahmed Ali was distressed. The dawn was fine; clouds of fire all over the sky.
The Turkish deserters and prisoners were put through a number of inquisitions. There was first of all the local officer, who had captured the Turk and was creditably anxious to anticipate the discoveries of the Intelligence. Then there was G.H.Q., intensely jealous of its privileges, and then Divisional H.Q., waiting rather sourly for the final examination of the exhausted Turks.
The Turkish private soldiers, being Moslems, were inspired rather with the theocratic ideals of comradeship than by the esprit de corps of nationality, and spoke freely. They were always well treated, and this probably
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loosened their tongues, but Ahmed Ali was more voluble than the majority of his comrades, and I append information which he supplied as an illustration of our examinations and their results. The two sides of Turkish character were very difficult to reconcile. On the one hand, we were faced in the trenches by the stubborn and courageous Anatolian peasant, who fought to the last gasp; on the other hand, in our dugouts we had a friendly prisoner, who would overwhelm us with information. "The fact is you are just a bit above our trenches. If only you can get your fire rather lower, you will be right into them, and here exactly is the dugout of our captain, Riza Kiazim Bey, a poor, good man. You miss him all the time. If you will take the line of that pinetree, you will get him."
diary. Saturday, October 9th, 1915. A. and N.Z.. H.Q. Ahmed Ali proposed coming to England with me when I went there. . . .Last night we had bad weather; a sort of whirlwind came down. It whizzed away the iron sheeting over my dugout and poured in a cascade of water, soaking everything. Iron sheeting was flying about like razors; it was not possible to light candles. Finally, Ryrie came and lent me a torch, and I slept, wet but comfortable, under my cloak. Our people and the Turks both got excited, and heavy rifle fire broke out, as loud as the storm. An angry dawn, very windy and rifles crackling.
At this point the diary ends, for the writer was evacuated on the hospital ship, and did not return to Active Service for several months. Of all those who had sailed from Egypt with General Godley on April 12th, the General himself remained the only man who saw the campaign through from the first to the last day, with the rare exception of a few days of sickness.
1.Now Admiral Boyle, C.B., C.M.G., M.V.O.
2. Colonel Doughty Wylie, V.C.
3. Colonel Esson was Q.M.G. of the New Zealand Division
4. Now Lieut.-General Sir John Monash, commanding the Australians force.
5. Because he had been through the siege of Plevna and was covered with Turkish decorations.
6. Supply officer of the New Zealand Division.
7. Now Lieut.-General Sir A.H. Russell, K.C.M.G., K.C.B.
8. New Chief of Staff in India.
9. Commanding Australian Division.
10. Now Lieut.-Colonel Bigham, C.M.G., Grenadier Guards
11. Now Brigadier-General Australian Forces.
12. Now Surgeon-General and Director-General Medical Services of Australia.
13. The usual Albanian greeting.
14. Commanding 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade. Now Lieut.-General Sir H. Chauvel, G.C.M.G., K.C.B.
15. Commanding New Zealand Infantry Brigade. Afterwards killed at battle of Messines in 1917.
16. Now Lieut.-General Sir Nivelle, Director of the Australian Medical Service.
17. Now Sir George Lloyd, Governor of Bombay.
18. War correspondents.
19. The novelist.
20. Naval beachmaster.
21. His A.D.C., a Captain in the Indian Lancers, who had been killed.
22. A.D.M.S., New Zealand Division.
23. Irish Guards. Commanding 29th Irish Brigade.
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