Daily Diaries
Diary One
Diary - 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
5th April 1915 to the 15th September 1915
Page - 01 - 02 - 03 - 04 - 05
Page Two
Page - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10
13th April 1915
Found out that the unknown battleship of yesterday is the Queen Elizabeth, known generally throughout this Division as just plain 'Lizzie'. Believe she is to support us in our first scrap. Been around several of the fleet today with Lt Selmes etc. Brought a luxury in the form of three loaves of bread. Got it pretty rough coming home. Nelsonian days over again. Got wet through, but didn't mind that as it was a welcome change to that infernal sand. Mail came aboard today. Mine 'nonest'. Heard an amusing thing about Lizzie. She leaves here early in the morning and goes up to the Dardanelles tickles the Turks up a bit, and returns here in time for tea.

14th April 1915
Real NZ day after yesterday's squall. Norman OK again. Arrival of more troopships. Believe we are going to get particular 'Hell' when we land. Let 'em all come. All our 18 lb ammunition fused and ready packed with 1000 rounds per gun. Guess the Turks will think its Christmas or Guy Fawkes night when the eighteens start. Chas and I played 500 with Burnell and Challen tonight. It's a shame what we did to them. Chas and I always did play together and really I reckon we're 'hot stuff'. Got a present of one bottle of wine. Active service uncertainties again.

15th April 1915
Another NZ day today although a bit chilly. Feel it somewhat after being fairly well stewed in Australia and Egypt. Still awaiting the arrival of more troopships. Saw a British Dirigible today. Believe it is to work in conjunction with our forces for observation purposes. Considerable number of aeroplanes and hydroplanes here also. Rumoured that we leave here tomorrow night. Hope so. We're all itching to have a go, more so, because we were done out of that camel affair. On picquet

16th April 1915
Weather still fine. Went for another pull around several troopships today although was disappointed at not getting ashore. Was alongside our biggest transport, the Minnewaski only 15,000 tons. No word about our leaving as yet. A circular issued by General Birdwood says that our coming fight will be one of the hardest and greatest in the war. Hope so. Lizzie leaves here at 12 pm loaded with 15 inch shrapnel and our friends will be wondering what on earth's up by this time tomorrow. Still waiting for mail.

Activity in Mudros Bay, Lemnos, with troopships in the background and French troops in the foreground.

17th April 1915
Tried to get ashore today. FAILED MISERABLY. Got official news of a scrap somewhere in Asia Minor where our troops routed the 25th Turkish Div. and a cavalry regiment. Some beggars have all the luck. Wish we could shift from here. Can't find out anything. Got a new 'possie' tonight. Slept under the guns. Had a pal come round after lights out, and bought two bottles of G.S. also one of port. Didn't do anything with them either.

18th April 1915
Still here and feeling desperate. Awfully funny to have the desire to slay someone. Got ashore today (Lemnos Is). Had a ripping swim but on the first plunge thought the north pole had shifted. Bought luxuries in the form of bread milk and cocoa. Got aboard again, and varied the programme by driving the port winch, Chas driving the starboard do. At tea tonight had a fine view of our aeroplanes in flight. More comfortable than watching Guillaux at Victoria Park. Just a minor diversion from feeding.

19th April 1915
Last night one of our troopships was chased by a German submarine. They fired three torpedoes at her, none of which took effect. Our troopships managed to get a 'wireless' through to the Queen and a few minutes afterwards three destroyers were going some for the scene of the fun. They didn't half fix things up either, only took quarter of an hour. Troopships and destroyers arrived back safe and sound. Been transferring horses over the side into punts. Great fun. Sealed orders came tonight. Something doing I fancy.

20th April 1915
Lemnos weather woke up and shows what it can do in the way of gales, not particularly warm either. Think the equator must have dropped south an extra few degrees. Nothing great doing today. Had a vaccination inspection. The M.O. had the colossal hide to tell me I had to be done again. Wish he had had the loan of my arm when I was done in Sydney. Anyhow, I'll see him in a much warmer place than this before a second injection eventuates. Done a bit more winch driving today. Really expert at driving such animals. On picquet tonight.

21st April 1915
A continuance of the gale. Raining like Old Nick. A storm in a tea cup at lunch today. Two individuals disputed our M.O.'s right to two certain dixies of tea and supported their argument by planting him a couple, one of which broke his nasal organ and a real silencer on the back of the head. Our fighting men immediately equalised the scene, both pugilists being handled in good old British way. Submarine AE2 passed our port quarter this evening. Beef tea, cards, a lecture by Sgt Olding the order of the evening.

22nd April 1915
Weather a bit better today. Got a great surprise last night. Mail came aboard. Rec one each from Lot and Bert, and some person brought down a bottle of port. Australian mail this morning, caught a few. Informed that our Battery has been chosen to land and get to it first. We must be dogs. Bought some bread and coffee from a bumboat tonight. Preparation for a little select supper tonight. Guests Sgt Gibson, Norman, Chas and myself. List of goods consumed to follow. Lecture by someone who didn't know what he was talking about.

23rd April 1915
Beano almost honest. Couldn't get any sandwiches and Norman dropped a bottle of claret, and of course bent it! Lovely day. Sgt Clowes, Grs Tanner and Brown left here today. Sgt C being detailed to go ashore and direct the shrapnel fire from the warships. Great excitement at present. Expecting sailing orders any minute. All units been detailed for landing. Kept beano up tonight.

24th April 1915
Issued with 50 rounds 303. Individual positions detailed for landing. Weighed anchor at 12 am. Grand sight, must have been 50 warships anchored in there. Escorted by two French subs, and Her Majesty 'Lizzie'. Passed quite close to the famous Triumph. Have several of her crew on board. Had a long yarn with two of them. Gee but they've seen something. Sea smooth as glass. Arrived at rendezvous at 5 pm. Expect to disembark tomorrow morning. Then the curtain goes up and the drama starts. All feeling fit as fiddles 'oout yer'.

25th April 1915
Anchor hoisted at 11.45 pm. Norman and I there to see it come up all right. Had a final beano, very satisfactory. Norman and I partook of supper again at 12.30. Went and done an hour's stoking in the stoke hold. Woke up at 5.30 by the roar of guns. Twelve battleships shelling Old Nick out of the forts and batteries of our friends. Range about 5 miles. Gunfire ripping, execution ditto. It's now 11.45 and they're still at it only a mile away from us. Had to up anchor and get out at about 10.30. The Turks had the hide to range on us sent over 11 6 inch shells altogether. One shell lobbed 100yds from the next boat to us (about 200yds away) and threw an immense column of water over her bows. A destroyer about 600yds away nearly stopped one. Thought she was hit, for she keeled over. But she's still going strong. Bombardment lasted until dark. Extra heavy between 5 and 6.30 pm. The Majestic was particularly warming things up. One fort was completely demolished. Haven't had a shot from there since 2 pm. All day long our infantry have been storming the sea front entrenchments. Chas and I took Challen and Burnell down again at night.

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