Daily Diaries
Diary One
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5th April 1915 to the 15th September 1915
 
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Page Eight
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12th July 1915
6 am. Have just got orders for the big bombardment. For the last 2hrs the warships and batteries on the left have been letting loose and already the air smells thickly of cordite and H.E. We are to open fire at 6:30 supporting the Naval Div. and the French left. Everything O.K. and feeling fit to bombard for 24hrs non stop run.

13th July 1915
Up at 4 am this morning. Turks counter attacked in force and gave us particular 'H' with vengeance. We've just stopped firing for the 3rd time this morning and as far as we can find out, the ground gained yesterday (1000yds) has been held by our chaps. 6 am. Had a glorious time. Started at 6:30 am, stopped firing at 9:10 pm. Worked the old gun til the springs broke and the piece itself was so hot that the bearings expanded with the heat and stopped the recoil. We fired 1160 rounds. My hands are burnt beautifully. Can hardly close my left. Got a whack on the knee which put me off the gun for half an hour but it's O.K. again. Heavy fighting all night. 8 pm. What a day. One of the hottest and best we've had. Got another 3 trenches in the centre, but don't know how the right got on. Have Clark, Adams, Cairns and 2 others all out of it. Later... Have just repulsed a mass attack by the Turks. Can't close my right hand, agony to write. We're all like niggers. Absolutely black with cordite smoke and dust. Like Mater to see me now.

14th July 1915
At it all night. Gee, these Turks are some fighters. They counter attacked all night. Their finest flutter was at 3:30 am. Lasted about an hour, but were beaten back with terrible slaughter all along the centre and right. We fired 100 rounds from our gun in one series only. McCormick wounded tonight. If this keeps on, the original Battery up till tonight who came away with us, we'll be nonest. About 70% casualties already. Got shelled by Asia tonight. Killed a lot of French troops who are in reserve trenches around our guns. Rec. mail, 1 from home, 2 Hossie Rene (?). Very hot all day today.

15th July 1915
Hot as 'H' with the lid off. Managed to get a swim today. About time too. Very quiet up till about 5 pm when the circus started again, the French charging and capturing the last trench this side of Achi Baba. What remains now is the big assault for the hill and when that eventuates there will be a few thousand men won't turn up for break the following morning. It's the worst hill I've ever seen, in some places resembling Mitre Peak or Baldy. Have got to the stage where I can sleep standing up. They don't try to kill us by letting us sleep believe me.

16th July 1915
Another roaster. Our major came down this morning and congratulated the Battery on it's excellent work. Had a ripping afternoon down at the beach. Had a dip and we all crawled out and went to sleep on the beach. Went down the waggon line in the evening and had tea with Rowling and Moore. Learned that Sheppard and Mechinson have died of their wounds. Got back to the Battery at 8, and got into some Turks who were making too much noise in one of their trenches. Quietened them.

17th July 1915
Awfully hot again today. Flies making things not much pleasanter. Got orders to accompany Clowes to the trenches again for observation work. Came up here, and are quartered in a 'H' of a hole. In the Turks original 2nd line. The trench for close on a mile is full of dead Turks with but 6ins of earth over them. The ramps of the trench are thick with dead. The odour is, well I won't try and describe it, but it's not eau de cologne. And we're here for 48hrs. HOW ROMANTIC

18th July 1915
Up at 2 am, can't sleep. The Turks won't let us. They're only 80yds away, and kicking up an awful din with rifles, machine guns, shrapnel and bombs. 7 chaps have just been knocked out with their shrapnel. Went down to the Battery this morning at 6 am. Back at 8:30. Went all around our first line and mapped out our next targets. Saw things. Won't put them down here. Down to the Bty again for maps etc. at 4 pm. Had a bath. Back again at 7. Got shrapnel poured at us all the way up. Didn't even stop when we got there.

19th July 1915
Good old round scrap last night. Didn't we give them something. The aerial torpedoes played particular 'H'. Got into one bit of a dust up. Great. Had a screw at a probable position for a 15 pounder. Had to crawl out of our 2nd line trench, and must have been spotted by one of their snipers, made things that warm that we had to get back again. Completed our map this afternoon. Got relieved by Mr Olding. Awfully sorry to get down here again (I don't think). Had tea down at the Bty. Quite a change to have a meal without 14 dead Turks within 5yds of you.


Landing at Cape Helles

20th July 1915
Got sent a 6 inch armour piercing shell which landed about a dozen yards away from our dug-out. Failed to explode as they usually do. Didn't hear anything of it though. Too tired. Hadn't had half hours sleep during the previous 48hrs so slept like a log last night. Swim this morning. Utilised a Turkish mine for a diving board. Doesn't go bad at all. This evening Asia started again and blew things about considerably. 2 destroyers have just gone over to see what's wanted. Believe the Turks are concentrating 100,000 men here. What a time they'll have.

21st July 1915
Up at 4:30 this morning, at our observation station on the look-out for early birds. Got a few. Relieved by the major at 9. Very quiet day, although there are a few thousand reinforcements arriving daily. Asia and Chanac woke up this evening and gave us a few, but they couldn't play well at all today. Big beano tonight.

22nd July 1915
Practically no sleep last night, our friends making things untidy by rifle or shrapnel. Fairly quiet morning. Swim ho this afternoon. Saw a destroyer engaging some of the Asiatic batteries. Got a few 7.5 armour piercing shells at us. Lobbed two quite close to the mine, while we were diving off it. Rotten ammunition though never explode. Had a great swim. Expecting great doings shortly. Turks are expected to attack anytime, but we're ready for them. Suicide to attack on their part.

23rd July 1915
Saw an interesting scrap between two niggers this morning. Ripping diversion from annihilating Turks, swim ho later. Been waiting for the Turks to attack all day, but they're not having any. Rec. photos and parcel from Annie and Nellie G. last night while we were in action. Those devils interfered again and put a bullet hole through a writing block they kindly sent me. Wrote them. Heavy shelling on the left tonight.

24th July 1915
Quiet night. Taube over this morning. Dropped bombs. Didn't hit anything in particular, only the peninsular. Got shelled by some insignificant Battery this morning. Got a fine specimen of a shell which I'll try to hang on to. Went for a swim, and Asia wanted the beach too. But we didn't go back until we had had our share. They put 3 H.E. 4.7 into the water, and when we were leaving lobbed one just 12yds away. We all got covered in sand and stuff but no damage done. We're all going to take a ticket in Tatts when we get back. Sent 3 over after us as we were going back to the Bty. But we signalled W.O. each time.

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