Fri Aug. 20th.
Slept on deck fully dressed still waiting. Transhipped on to Troopship Osmanieh A.O. at 6.30pm and left at 7.15pm. Anchored off Anzac, where the first landing was made at midnight.
Sat Aug 21st.
Transhipped on to lighters and was brought ashore, landed at 4am and marched to bivouac in a big gully from where we could hear quite plainly shots being fired, Walkers Ridge was just above us. Left about 8pm and arrived in Argyle Gully about 2 miles further to the left, about 10.30pm without loss. During the afternoon we saw an engagement on our left when our men captured some Turkish trenches.
Sun Aug 22nd.
Left Argyle Gully about 10am and marched round still further to the left towards Suvla. On our way we passed through artillery fire on the double for about 150 yards with no great loss, a few wounded and 2 men killed. Entered trenches at 1pm and had to keep low as the trench was only about 3 feet deep and the bullets were whistling over. Moved off again about 10pm and worked till about 4am at trenching about ¼ mile away.
Mon Aug 23rd.
Came back into trenches about 4am and rested till about 11am and then widened our trench a bit till 4pm. About 10pm I was one of a fatigue party to take provisions to the new trenches and while on our way we passed through showers of bullets, none of us being hit. Came back at 2am.
Tues Aug 24th.
Rested most of the day and went out to do some more trenching about 9pm and came back to a new camp in The Donga about 2am.
Wed Aug 25th.
We went for a swim in sea in the morning and rested all day.
Thurs Aug 26th.
Swim in morning and did a little trenching in the afternoon.
Fri Aug 27th.
Swim in the morning, trenching in the afternoon and witnessed a big battle the warships and shore artillery breaking up the enemy’s trenches and causing them to retire. The Ghurkhas captured 2 trenches with the assistance of English & Australian forces, including 18th Batt.
Sat Aug. 28th.
Swim in the sea in the morning, more trenching in the afternoon.
Tues Aug 31st.
On Monday and this morning we had to turn out at 4.15am and stand to arms, merely I think as a matter of form, not that there was any danger. Left at 7.15pm for firing line at Hill 60 about 2 miles away and got in there about 10pm.
Wed Sept. 1st.
Laid low most of the day and deepened trenches a little. These trenches are very dirty and narrow and all round dead men are lying in all stages of decomposition and the smell is horrible. They are some trenches that have just recently been captured from the Turks. We went to work again about 8pm at widening and deepening communication trench leading into Ghurkhas firing line.
Thurs Sept 2nd.
Worked through the night and again this morning. The number of dead bodies lying about is awful, some of them nearly burnt right away through the grass catching alight from artillery fire. Left about 8pm and came back again to The Donga.
Fri Sept 3rd.
I received the first mail today since leaving Australia, which have taken 2 months to reach me.
Sat Sept 4th.
We have been worried very much lately by a big gun which the Turks got from the French and is called the French 75. She fires a shrapnel shell with terrific force and hardly ever fails to hit someone. In the last couple of days we have had several men wounded and one killed outright by it. C. Coy has had the most casualties in the Battalion, the number being now about 50 men. Rested all day.
Sun Sept 5th.
We seem to be having a good time now and the men are getting quite lively again after the 2 days complete rest. We were all very tired before. Last night they were singing along the lines and all seemed happy. This is the worst place I have been in for the number of flies, especially in the trenches where there are so many dead lying. When eating anything there, one has to be very careful he doesn’t get a dozen or so flies in his mouth. Went out about 10.30pm and did about 2 hours sapping.
Wed Sept. 8th.
Was out sapping from 1.30am till 4.30am, rested through the day and then went out at 7.30pm to do more sapping but had only just started when word was sent out to return to the Donga at once and then got everything ready to move off at any time.
Thurs Sept 9th.
Did not leave last night. Left about 9am and marched back to the Gully where we rested the first day we landed (Rest Gully) about 4 miles back.
Fri Sept. 10th.
I was up this morning in the trenches at Walkers Ridge and saw Ray and Os. McLardy for the first time since landing and found them alright. We see some lovely sunsets over here. They are very pretty and from where we are camped here, we get a view of part of the Agean Sera, with the Island of Imbros in the distance, and when the sun is setting, it reflects on the island and on the water, making it look very nice.
Sat Sept 11th.
We are still resting and living like fighting cocks. Some of the 7th Brigade landed last night and are camped in Rest Gully with us. Judging by the number of men being landed now, there must be some big move to be made soon.
Sun Sept 12th.
Left Rest Gully about 9am and marched further round to the right to Monash Valley and rested all day.
Tues Sept 14th.
There is a big artillery duel in progress this morning all round us and the noise is nearly deafening. Did nothing all day.
Rained for a while this morning making things very uncomfortable as we are camped out in the open, the only covering we can get when it rains being our waterproof sheets. This is the 2nd time it has rained in the few days we have been in this camp. The ground is clayey and when wet is very sticky and is heavy walking. We moved out about 2pm and came to the top of the ridge (Popes Post) where we have taken over the trenches.
Thurs Sept 16th.
The 1st Reinforcements have been drafted in with us today, making our company full strength again. We are sleeping now under iron roof, all sides open, but still it will be better than nothing when the heavy rains come. I was on sentry in the front trench and fired the first shots since arriving at Gallipoli, but only in a demonstration, not at any object in particular.
Fri Sept 17th.
Did 6 hours sentry and fired some more shots just to let the Turks know that I was there, but they don’t put their heads up much to be fired at. The place here is lousy and the fleas are very plentiful so that it keeps one scratching and rubbing.
There must have been another charge made by our men this afternoon as we manned the trenches here and fired a few shots just to keep the Turks occupied here. The warships were bombarding both on the left and right flanks but we haven’t heard yet what has been done.
Sun Sept 19th.
I am on sentry duty in the trenches at Popes Post. It is an easy life. We do 6 hours on and 6 hours off, 6 hours on and 12 off and so on. Things are very quiet here as both sides are in such a position along here that it is useless for either side to advance. Most of the time while on duty we sit down, and just stand up occasionally and look out through the loophole in the sandbags and sometimes fire a few shots at the Turks trenches just to let them know we are still here.
Mon Sept 20th.
There is plenty of noise here between the warships and our shore artillery. Sometimes when the batteries are firing here the noise is almost deafening with the roar of the cannons and the reverberations through the hills and gullies. There is also a fair amount of rifle fire on both sides, but very little damage is done by it. Our trenches here are about 150 yards from the Turks with a gully in between us, both lines of trenches being on top of a hill. On Quinns Post next us where the 17th Battalion are the trenches are bout 30 yards away and they have to keep a look out for bombs, but our trenches are too far away to get bombs in.
Wed Sept 22nd.
We were relieved today from the trenches by D. Coy. For a weeks rest. The rest we get when out of the trenches is work with a pick and shovel and other fatigues, so I think it should be called rest when we are in the trenches, as there is as much risk of being hit by stray bullets out here on the hill as there is in the trench.
Thurs Sept 23rd.
Sapping 1pm till 7pm.
Fri Sept 24th.
Sapping 1pm till 7pm. There was another demonstration tonight and we were standing to arms from 7pm till about 9.45pm.
Sat Sept 25th.
Sapping from 7am till 1pm.
Sun Sept 26th.
Our battalion is getting smaller every day now and we can only muster about 630 men, although we haven’t been in a charge. A lot of men are going away sick to the hospitals everyday.
There was a heavy bombardment through last night and this morning in the direction of Achi Baba, which is about 15 miles from here, I am told. Last night we could see the flashes from the explosions quite plainly from here. Last Friday night 3 new lines of Turkish trenches were captures on the left. Progress seems very slow as the enemy is so well dug in. They have plenty of lines of trenches to get into when they retreat.
Wed Sept 29th.
We are still working in the trenches deepening, widening and grading the fire trench, preparing for the rainy season which is expected at any time now. I wish the war would end as I don’t like the idea of winter and wet weather at all. I believe it rains almost continually here during the winter and the ground is clayey and crumbly and doesn’t look as if it will stand wet at all. The weather so far has been delightful except for a few very cold nights we have had.
Thurs. Sept 30th.
We shifted back to our former position today at 1pm for another week in the firing line trench. It is a relief as the work we have been doing has been very trying and we regard this as a rest. There isn’t much firing done here. We take up positions along the trench about 10 yards apart and have pot holes to look through and fire through. During the day there is one man on each post but at night the sentries are doubled.
Mon Oct 4th.
There was a fierce artillery duel this morning which lasted for about an hour and we had to stand to arms and man the trenches. We heard that the Turks made a charge on the left flank, but were repulsed by the Ghurkhas and Englishmen but I cannot say if it is true.
Tues Oct 5th.
After mentioning Ghurkhas above, it reminds me that I have never mentioned anything about them before. Nothing too good can be said about them. They are a fine, sturdy,strongly built lot of men. They appear to be all pretty well about the same size and are very brave, their religion being that if they die on the battlefield, they will surely go to Heaven. The Sikhs, another Indian tribe, are more of a mixed lot and are quieter, although they are also very brave. Both tribes have a great respect for the Australian and New Zealand boys, more particularly the Ghurkhas who do their best to talk to us, but very few of them speak English.
Mon Oct. 6th.
According to a communique from Sir John French, the allies are doing grand work on the Western front and are pushing the Germans back, the Russians doing the same on the Eastern front. I hope they succeed in finishing the job straight away.
Fri Oct 8th.
Shifted back again for our weeks rest trench digging.
Rained last night and early this morning and was very uncomfortable sleeping doubled up to keep ourselves dry.
Sun Oct 10th.
There have been so many men going away sick with dysentery that it has been found advisable to give us more substantial food. We now get fresh beef and bread 4 or 5 times a week and if that is kept up it ought to improve the strength of the men. We also get plenty of rice, but we have always had that. The tinned beef isn’t very appetising and the hard biscuits are little better.
Mon Oct 11th.
We have received a couple of lots of comforts from the 19th Battalion Comforts Fund, but as there isn’t enough things to go round all the men, we have to draw lots for them. I have drawn a pair of socks and 2 fly nets, a large and a small one.
Fri Oct 15th.
We have heard that there is a big concentration of troops over on the left flank and there is several hospital ships off here waiting, so we are inclined to think that a final flutter is to be expected very shortly. The bombardment of Achi Baba still continues. From here we can just see the crest of Achi Baba but cannot see how much damage is being done. It is rumoured that it may fall at any time now.
Sat Oct 16th.
Shifted back to do our 8 days sentry in the trenches. The Turks have started to use a new bomb, which is thrown by a strong trench mortar. Today was the first time it reached us and it did some damage wounding about 10 of D Company who were camped in the place we left at 1pm today so that our company just missed it. Our artillery were dropping shells over where the mortar was supposed to be and we heard that it had been smashed up but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Tues Oct 19th.
It is still very quiet except for a bit of sniping on both sides and artillery duels. Our artillery is far superior to that of the Turks they only having a few good guns. Their shells are nearly all 3 inch shrapnel but they have a couple of guns which throw 6 inch shells. We have noticed that a lot of their big ammunition is defective as they often fail to explode.
Wed Oct 20th.
I was down at Anzac Beach this morning where I haven’t been for some time. Everything seems altered since I last saw it. Great stacks of provisions for the winter are there. It put me in mind of some big industrial works. Mules carrying stuff and everybody busy running about or toiling at something. On the way down I saw 4 Turks, a fatigue party, who were the first of the enemy I have seen alive. They, of course, were prisoners, and were under armed guard, and were going to work with picks and shovels.
Fri Oct 22nd.
Two Turks were shot last night at the end of A Company’s lines. They had sneaked down and one had started to throw bombs but did no damage. I saw one this morning and if he is a sample of their army they must be in a bad way. His clothes were in rags and his boots worn out, so how they are to stand the winter in such conditions is a wonder.
Sun Oct 24th.
Moved out of the trenches again.
Mon Oct 25th.
I am on outpost duty at the head of Monash Gully and it is the touchiest job I have been on so far. The place is surrounded by bushes and the Turks could get within about 10 yards without being seen. This is the place, where the 2 Turks were killed on Friday night. We will be on it all the time we are out of the trenches at night and off all day.
Thurs Oct 28th.
We had some new clothing issued today, shirt, singlet, socks, underpants which makes it appear as if we are to stop here. We had hoped that we wouldn’t have to put in the winter here. It has been rumoured so many times that we are to be relieved by English or Canadians who would stand the intense cold better than we Australians. It has been warmer again the last few days.
Sun Oct 31st.
Went to Church this afternoon in Wellington Gully, the first time since we arrived at the Dardanelles. There is Church every Sunday but we don’t get many chances to go as if we are not in the trenches there is generally some fatigue to be done.
Mon Nov 1st.
Went round to Walkers Ridge this afternoon to see Ray but found out that he had been taken away about 3 days ago with an injured foot sustained by a bomb explosion.
Fri Nov 5th.
The Turks made an attack last night further round on the right and according to rumour were repulsed and driven back, our men capturing portion of their trench.
Sat Nov 6th.
I went round to Victoria Gully, further round to the right, across Lone Pine, and saw Clarrie. He looks well and says he feels well. They have just returned from Lemos Isles, where they have been resting and are going to take up their old position at Lone Pine.
Mon Nov 8th.
Our men opened up a new trench last night about 40 yards long and about 12 yards out from the original trench on Popes Post. It had been tunnelled and the top only had to be knocked in.
Thurs Nov 11th.
Last night I had a full night’s sleep which was very nice after a fortnights broken rest. We are now permanent outpost in Monash Gully and it is a strain on the eyes and nerves to be continually at it. We work shifts of 2 hours on and 4 off.
Sun Nov 14th.
Received sheepskin vest and sox from home today.
Wed Nov 17th.
I reported sick this afternoon and was told that I had jaundice, which seems to be breaking out a lot lately. The cases are not serious enough for removal and are being treated here.
Tues Nov 23rd.
The last few days it has been bitterly cold with a south-westerly wind blowing and at night it is almost too cold to sleep. Last night the Turks made another attack on our trenches at The Apex, but were driven back with loss.
Thurs Nov 25th.
We are trying a new ruse to trick the Turks and it is causing great amusement amongst the men. We are keeping low and rations are being drawn at night so as to make it appear that we have evacuated our positions. The men treat it as a huge joke and think it will not have any effect on the cunning Turks or their German Officers. The ruse is to keep it up until the Turks make an attack and then give them a surprise. It started last night so we are anxiously waiting developments. Things are very quiet,with no shots being fired by our side,who usually do more firing by day, but the Turks fire a few occasionally and also throw a few bombs.
Sun Nov 28th.
We have had the first fall of snow and it is very cold. It had been raining on Friday night and yesterday and last night the snow began to fall and has been falling most of the day.
Tues Nov 30th.
We are now experiencing the worst time since arriving on the peninsula. It is very cold and on the outpost at Monash Gully where most of our platoon is stationed at night there is no protection from the weather and so we have to stand out in it all. All night long for nearly a week now, we have stood up all night from 5pm till 6am but we have all day off to rest. The water supply is short now we are on ½ and sometimes ¼ rations, so we have not much stamina to withstand the cold.
Sun Dec 5th.
We are having good weather now for the last couple of days. After the snow had all thawed, it got much warmer but I am afraid it is not for long as it is cloudy again today. We get an issue of rum each day now, sometimes at night and sometimes in the morning. It is only a small tot of overproof, but it does a man good when it is cold. During the warm weather we only get one issue each week.
Thurs Dec 9th.
The weather is still fine and much warmer since the fall of snow we had. The sky is overcast today and it is not quite so warm so I suppose we are soon to have more rough weather.
Sun Dec 12th.
Every day is alike here so one hardly knows when it is Sunday. Anyhow it isn’t recognised as a day of rest and the same routine of war life is gone through as on week days.
Mon Dec 13th.
I was out with a patrol party last night until about midnight. A Turkish patrol party has been about lately above our position and we were sent out last night to lie in wait for them but we saw nothing.
Tues Dec 14th.
We are all excited now as we are to abandon Gallipoli. Some of the troops have gone and the 5th Brigade will be the last to leave. It is a bit risky, as our brigade is holding the greater part of the trenches of Anzac and there will be no supports available if the Turks find it out and attack us. The 4 Battalions are only about half strength so I hope they don’t leave us here too long as we would have no chance, or very little to escape. There are still some artillery left and the Navy is close handy, so as long as they don’t spring asurprise attack on us we still have a good chance of getting off alright.
Wed Dec 15th.
We have everything ready to quit at short notice but we don’t know when we are to go, but are expecting it any night now.
Thurs Dec 16th.
The cold weather has set in again. It has been windy yesterday and today but luckily we have had no rain with it. I hope we get off before it comes on properly.
Sat Dec 18th.
We have been told that most of the men are to go away this evening about dusk and a small force is to remain behind to cover their retreat. I am to be one remaining and perhaps we will follow on through the evening or tomorrow night.
Mon Dec 20th
Our party moved out about midnight and arrived at the beach about 10am this morning and went on board a trawler (Alkahara) which brought us to Lemmos Harbour arriving there about 7am. The Colonel, an officer and the men were left behind on Popes Post after we left, the Colonel and five men left about 2am and the rest about 3am, all getting off safely. The other battalions were all done the same way and so far as we know all got off safely. Tunnelling under the Turks trenches has been going on for months and they were all charged ready to be blown up in case of attack and there was a good many battleships and cruisers standing in ready to shell the whole place as soon as we are all safely away. We landed at Lemnos Island about 2pm and marched about 4 miles to camps.