Saturday, 27 June 2015

27th June 1915

 View of the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station to the left. Piles of timber boxes
are stored to the right of the Casualty Clearing Station. The path going up the mouth
of Shrapnel Valley lies to the right, past the sandbagged dugouts set into the hill, as
mentioned by Bombadier Sparkes below.

Sunday 27th 

At day-break the enemy gave us a warm fusilade of shell. Those that happened to be resting were rather unceremoniously wakened. It was a thrilling spectacle to see the explosion of the shells everywhere and to hear the rattle of the rifles all along the trench line. Several came over us and we got a shower of shrapnel in our pit. Luckily no one was hit. The attack lulled when the sun was high in the heavens.

There are many pathetic sights in our everyday life, and when one passes the casualty station there is often one of our brave heroes laid out for his last resting place. In places there will be a small gathering of men placing all that remains mortal of another away below or perhaps there will be a stretcher bearing away a wounded comrade from the firing line to the dressing Station.

A Proclamation dropped by a Turkish Aeroplane was sent round in the orders to-day. It was rather amusing and contained a lot of news to the effect that all our ships had now deserted us and it meant utter perdition for us as we would be unable to get stores water etc. We were called upon to surrender to avoid further bloodshed and the proclamation assured us we would get well treated.

It is needless to say that we treated the invitation with derision.

I have said before that this war life is an animal one – it’s not only the killing part but living like rats in holes often one comes to consider it is wonderful the patience shown by our lads in staying under the existing conditions. You can well understand that a number are chafing under the confinement and want to make a forward attack movement no matter what the sacrifice might be but of course that is impossible just now until the Imperial Forces link up from Achi Baba. Some of the enemy’s shells on the beach caught a number of victims this afternoon. A few were horribly mutilated.

Sunday 27th June 

Around with Major Stewart all day. Enemy attempted an attack this morning, so decided to register targets with Howitzers, before digging in is commenced. Registered Johnstone's Jolly, Lone Pine, Long Valley, Target C, Wine Glass Hill Guns etc very effectively. Col Hobbs saw one series from 7th Battery.

Gen Legge, Col White and Col Hobbs came to my Headquarters at 10AM and I accompanied them through our section. Gen Legge very affable, spoke of old associations. Came back to my Headquarters about 3 hours later and talked for some time. At last I have persuaded the "powers that be" to get our old Howitzers from Australia. I told Gen Legge the shooting with Howitzers today had given me a new lease of life. Capt Jopp temporarily transferred to Mountain Battery vice Toms and Rawson wounded yesterday.

I am just off for a swim – 8.15PM and still daylight.

In consequence of being so busy today I have not written letters, but will have to be up at 5 or 4.30 to write them tomorrow. Arthur King wrote me re my being wounded. Paper of May 12th from Nell.

Great excitement this afternoon. A rabbit started out of a bush and in a few minutes over 100 men were chasing it, and hundreds looking on cheering wildly. The Turks must have thought a charge was pending. Bunny dodged them all and got away so there was no stewed rabbit for tea.

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