Saturday, 28 November 2015

28th November 1915

AIF Artillery Headquarters, near 1st Divisional Headquarters at the top of
White's Valley, after the blizzard on morning of the 28th November.

Sunday 28th Nov

What a big surprise to-day. On waking up found it was snowing heavily. What a picture of whiteness everywhere it was lovely to look on but how cold. My feet were like lumps of lead. I can now well imagine the scenes pictured of Xmas snow storms etc. How the snowflakes dance merrily along sometimes to cling to me or to go on to some shrub where it hung till it became part of an icle. Some were whirled away down to the gullies where the snow was feet deep. The wind made it piercing cold. We had a meeting of Canteen Committee & fixed prices of goods on hand as we had to provide for boxes etc for transport. I went & visited 7th Battery & slipped & slided all over the place. Mud & slush everywhere & the snow commenced to fall a little intermittently & in places it was thawing. It looked a thoroughly Siberian Scene.

It took me a long time to get warm when I went between my blankets to-night but I pitied the Infantry who were not so well placed as we were. Some of the poor beggars had only arrived from Lemnos & had to dig positions while it was snowing.

The view, looking south down White's Valley from the 1st Division Heaquarters,
after the blizzard on the morning of the 28th November.

(Captain Alan Percy Crisp, temporary O/C 7th Battery)

During the night 27/28 snow fell + th continued to fall till about 1100 on 28th which blocked out all the distant landscape + made observation almost impossible.  The Battery did not fire.

Thick snow covers an 18 pounder field gun belonging to the 8th Battery, with members
of the 9th Battery standing around it, on the 28th November.  Left to right: 2866 Corporal
Clifton Kennard, 3055 Gunner William Francis Felan, 3072 Gunner Dermot Morrison
Ryan, 2885 Gunner Graham Parker & 1772 Sergeant Stanley George Brearley.

(Major Francis Augustus Hughes, temporary O/C 3rd Field Artillery Brigade)

1312 Enemy Heavy Gun firing from direction left of Ander Anderson's Knoll,fired into CLARKES GULLY . Not located.

1515 Enemy Gun from direction of WINE GLASS fired towards LONE PINE.Not located.

1550 Enemy gun from direction of OLIVE GROVE fired on our Right flank.Not located.

Snow started to fall at about 0200 and continued intermittently during the day making observation difficult.

A post card written home to Australia from Gallipoli, with a copy of the above
snow-covered 18 pounder on the reverse - the card has been trimmed, however
appears to be signed S.G.B, so may well have been written by Sergeant Stanley
George Brearley, who appears in the photo of the frozen gun (sitting foreground,
right).  The letter reads, "Don't lose this whatever you do.  This is a photo of one
of our 18 pounder guns on Gun Ridge at Anzac.  It was taken during one of the snow
storms we had there.  Every time we went into the trenches from our Bivouac we had
to pass in front of this.  One morning as we were going up one of the Chaps took this."
[Author's private collection]

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