To My Dear Mother
FROM 16th September 1915 TO 21st November 1915
193 Cpl R.D. Doughty
1st F.A. Brigade
1st Australian Division
Turkey in Europe
Still at Cape Helles
16th September 1915
Heavy shelling of the French Reserve lines in rear of our position by a new Turkish 6 gun battery. Not to much damage done however. After last nights rain the French had put out their blankets & waterproofs today on the sunward slopes of the hill and our friends had possibly taken these for tents. Saw one shell lob into a dug-out. Immediately after a Frenchie came out, dusted himself off and went back in again. Big beano during afternoon & night. Beautiful day after last nights squall. "Quiet" night. Particularly for N.S.H & myself.
17th September 1915
Occasional artillery duels the order of the day - evidently. Things awfully quiet generally "C" got into action towards dusk but only fired 4 rounds. Played 500 with Watson Delaney & Burnett in the evening. Had a visit from 2 of our old Drivers who were quartered in Alexandria. They managed to stow-away on some craft or other and got here via Anzac. Was told by our major that a special club has been formed in Sydney for the express purpose of "filling out" the 1st Brigade Artillery (N.S.W. only) with winter comforts. Believe we will want them here by all accounts.
18th September 1915
Some unfeeling gentleman must have lifted the lid of Hell today. Things moving some all day. Early morning a large Taube biplane came over evidently bent on blowing some of our heavies to Kingdom Come. Anyhow she must have forgotten her mission early for some British Destroyer at the Cape trained a gun on to her, and, well it wants working out by algebra why he didn't come down. Must have riddled his plane. Towards afternoon another enemy aeroplane came over but only waited until a machine gun got going, then headed for Asia. Artillery duels both naval and military the order of the day. Big beano tonight.
19th September 1915
Sunday again, and a Perfect Day. At least what I've seen of it that is. Suffering acutely from some minor complaint usually diagnosed as "The morning after the night before." Had a Champagne Supper with the Sergt's. Got about half way though when we got called into action and spent an hour or so torturing somebody up ahead. Managed to get some fruit and ye Gods, Egyptian cigarettes today. Active service uncertainties again. British airship due for a nights ramble any night now. Every body has been warned regarding its visit. Quiet night with the expectation of rifle fusillades.
20th September 1915
Blowing like old Nick and almost as cold as Charity. Had quiet day of rest today. Went to sleep in the morning for a couple of hours. Too windy and dusty to do much else. In the afternoon mail arrived. Caught a few from Milton and "Home". I would imagine by all the parcels being sent to me that they will want a special boat to bring them this far. Taube came over in the afternoon (late) and dropped a couple of bombs over on the French Sector, but was driven off by artillery fire. Glorious evening. Fizz Supper again. French artillery opened up during the night.
21st September 1915
Sundry artillery duels the order of the day. Turks replied very feebly. Several of our aeroplanes up for observation purposes. Glorious day. Managed to buy luxuries in the form of sugar (mainly) and milk. Sugar is 6d per lb nowadays. Milk 9d per tin. Always able to get unlimited supplies of the latter. Very quiet night. Cards the order of the evening. Bunk 10-30pm.
22nd September 1915
Glorious day again. Early visit from a Taube. One of our planes engaged him with his machine gun, whereupon the Taube found he had business elsewhere and turned tail letting rip from his own gun as he went. Heavy naval gunfire out towards Embros. Got marching orders at 11am. Packed up and left our position at 8pm. Bivouacked at our Waggon Line. Don't know where we're bound for. Camping with Heydon. Miss my little dug out some. Sat up and yarned half the night.
23rd September 1915
Got leave today and Delaney & myself walked to the beach. En route had a screw at the new 10 inch howitzers which the French have just got into position. They had to be brought up on a specially built railway and are enormous guns. Got into some Haven down at the beach bought some Grapes & apples also 4 bottles of Black & White. Don't half need it nowadays. Just before we arrived a shell from Asia landed square into the canteen and blew things about a bit. No word of our leaving as yet. Very chilly night.
24th September 1915
Glorious day again. Kicked about in vicinity of waggon line. Nothing much doing baring a bit of a rest. Awaiting orders to "get". Wish they would come straight away. "Duel" night.
25th September 1915
Just woke up to the fact that its Lottie's Birthday. Drank to her health immediately afterwards along with Barlow, Hollis Delaney &c. On Guard from 6pm. Managed to get on to a British Warm, a species of very warm overcoat. Sergt Major Barrow arrived tonight. Very heavy firing up at Anzac.
26th September 1915 (Sunday)
Duel day and extra hot. Rec a letter from Annie and answered same. Asia sent over a few towards evening but apart from that rec very little fire. Our Shore naval 6" guns engaged at 3pm. Duel night.
27th September 1915 (Monday)
Aubery killed tonight. Fairly quiet day. Camp routine same as Egypt. Mr Olding left us again owing to sprained ankle. Some Turkish Bty had a few pots at the main road to the beach, which was fairly well populated with waggons & horses, but did no damage. Duel night.
28th September 1915
Glorious day. Asia and our 10 inch and 7.5 guns engaging each other. Could see the effect of every one of Asia's. Had a stroll around the new winter quarters of the French. They're just like cow sheds. Duel night.
29th September 1915
Consistent shelling by Asia & our heavies. Went up and had a good view of Asia's vain attempt to silence the 10 inch howitzers. Taube over at night. Marching orders came to HQ this evening. Soon be at it again. Anzac, I believe our rendezvous is. Great excitement. Seems there is a war on somewhere.
30th September 1915
Packing up all day. Left waggon line 3pm. Got to the beach and embarked guns &c on a lighter. Just about finished loading them when I rec a parcel from Home containing a scarf & a cap comforter. Barlow and Hollis were about the first to put them on, since then they have been put on by half the Battery. Had a swim. Quick Dick had a final go at us. Landed one in the water 100 yards or so from our lighter. Put several on the beach. Left the pier at 8 and got alongside the "Princess Louise" a trouper of 9000 tons. Up all night boarding guns, ammunition & waggons.