April 2011


continued from Part 2….

The Landing……continued
Eric Wren, Randwick to Hargicourt (pages 44-60).

Opposite MacLaurin’s Hill on Sunday afternoon a file of men was seen proceeding along the front at a range of about 150 yards. Immediately they came into view the cry passed along the line, “Don’t shoot; they are Indians.” Fire was withheld for a few minutes, but Major Brown decided to renew the attack. It was known to him that there were no Indians with the Australian Troops.

Early in the night a verbal message passed along the line to the effect that British troops were now behind the Turks, and warning the Australians to refrain from firing. This message created a great deal of enthusiasm among some, but a feeling only of distrust in others, because the Turkish fire never slackened. Soon it was quite obvious that the message was false, and the belief spread in the firing line that the message was merely a ruse on the part of the enemy, who had been clever enough to make contact somewhere and cause it to be relayed. Similar messages were received in other parts of the line. At Courtney’s Post at about 9 p.m. a message was passed along purporting to come from the commanding officer, Colonel Owen. This was to the effect: “Indian scouts are going out in front. Do not fire at them.”

Sergeant Keith Martyn recalled this particular incident: “Shortly afterwards, ” he said, “a line of men in extended order rose in front if us and an order came from the left not to fire. The leader, a few paces in front of the others, happened to be directly in front of my position, and turned, to wave to the others. As he did so, the manner in which his greatcoat was fastened to his pack gave me the clue to the identity of these troops. I called on those in my vicinity for rapid fire, and this was commenced all along the line. Most of those advancing were shot down. Needless to say we kept the ground in front of us well sprayed with rifle during the remainder of the night.”

“Shortly after, I heard a commotion in the pit on our right flank. Going to investigate, I found several Turks in the pit with their arms thrown down, and about 20 or 30 just below the pit, evidently similarly intentioned. As our garrison was very small I gave the corporal in charge instructions to keep the Turks covered while I went back to battalion headquarters to get a party to take charge of the prisoners. I passed Sergeant Bob McLelland, who was among those dug in between the lines and the cliff. On my telling him what was going on he said he would go down and keep an eye on things.”

At battalion headquarters, Sergeant Martyn was directed to apply to brigade headquarters. Failing to locate brigade headquarters, he returned to his original position to find that as a result of the delay the Turks had become restive. Several of our men in the rear had opened fire on the party, whereupon the Turks had returned fire and bolted. In the confusion several Australians were hit, including Bob McLelland, who was shot through the stomach, the wound proving fatal.

At Wire Gully Lieut G. E. McDonald succeeded in capturing a Turkish officer who was endeavouring to approach his post on the pretence of being an Indian. Corporal Harry Allen, Private J. Towers, and a few others – men who had served as “regulars” in India – were of great assistance during the “Indian” scare. Able to speak Hindustani, they were in a position to challenge the bona fides of those out in front.

The fighting near Wire Gully was of a particularly desperate nature. As Lieut McDonald scambled through the bushes below MacLaurin’s Hill, he first caught sightof the Turks through his glasses from the little dip between what ultimately came to be known as Steele’s Post and Johnston’s Jolly. This officer was quick to size up the situation. Major Brown and Captain McConaghy with the men under their command were crowded on the hilltop to McDonald’s left, and, anticipating that this platoon would not be required there McDonald dived down Wire Gully, ensconced himself in a little water-course, and established a post that was destined to play one of the post important parts in the fight that was to follow.

This little post in Wire Gully was peopled throughout its short but-all-important existence by men of all brigades. Perhaps no other isolated position on the whole of the Peninsula suffered more, or put up a more heroic defence. Exhausted and isolated parties of all brigades were lying out in the scrub, and there appeared to be little hope of their hanging on. Behind, and to the left of McDonald’s Post in Wire Gully, towered the heights of Maclaurin’s Hill, packed with men of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Brigades, all in the state of anxiety induced by the uncertainty of the immediate future. Just as twilight came to the Gallipoli scrub, there was a great movement of troops in the gullies below where McDonald with his handful of men lay hidden. As indicated previously, the spirits of the assaulting troops in places had been raised during the day by whispers of help from Indian regiments presumed to have landed with the 29th Division farther south.

Now from out of the approaching darkness came voices shouting: “For God’s sake don’t shoot: we are Indians.” It was a critical moment. All that could be seen were shadows moving  in the scrub. McDonalds and his men lay with bayonets fixed, sceptical [sic] but not not daring to fire. Crouching law, the better to get a silhouette against the now fading light, McDonald was a tall officer undoubtedly in the uniform of a Turk. Quick to realize the significance, he grabbed a rifle, and, by gentle persuasion of the bayonet, brought the Turk in, but unfortunately not before his prisoner had given some rapid monosyllable instructions to the figures moving about in the scrub behind him. Then did McDonald realize that his suspicions had been well-grounded. The Turks had planned a counter-attack through Wire Gully, in the guise of Indian Troops.

As his little company poured volley after volley into the scrub at short range, there came frantic cries from the Australian line above, exhorting him to stop firing. “You are firing on Indian troops.” Shouting back the information that the supposed Indians were Turks, the by now more slender garrison rapidly slipped and slammed the bolts in their almost red-hot rifles.

It was indeed a stroke of fortune for the precariously placed Australian invaders that this tony “battle out-post” stood in the way of the advancing pseudo-Indians. Had it not been there, and had not Lieut McDonald acted with promptitude, the odds are that some hundreds of Turks – who could guess the number – would have penetrated unobserved through Wire Gully, and by morning the Australians would have been fighting both in their front and rear. It was a cruel circumstance that, after sticking so tenaciously and bravely to his key-post until Tuesday, McDonald should have his arm badly shattered by Turkish bullets.

On the left flank, in the vicinity of the Bloody Angle, Private Markovitch relates that he went out to ascertain what the troops were to the front. Another rumour had gained currency that the French were approaching. Arriving at a spot where he could discern a semi-circle of men in a prone position, he called out in French, “Who are you?” “Troops of the Ottoman,” came the answer. Markovitch dashed back to his own lines, and the order was “rapid fire.”

Throughout the first night there was much confusion as a result of the multitude of false orders and baseless rumours of the nature that has been indicated being passed along and discussed in the line. *
[* footnote: Some men were seen out in front who said they were Indian scouts. I was told by Captain Wilson to investigate and was about to go and see who the men were when one turned and ran. At once a fusillade of bullets swept them all over. We roared “Cease fire”, but all had been shot. One man, Foley, went out and brought in a body to satisfy me that they they were Turks. There was no doubt – Extract from the diary of Lieut-Col. O. G. Howell-Price.]

The battalion machine-gunners had their share of the fighting. On the Sunday the section, consisting of two guns, operated from Plugge’s Plateau, where Lance-Corporal Thomas Wilson was shot through the head. He was carried into an enclosure, formerly used as a sheep-pen by the Turks, where he was given every aid, but his wound proved fatal.

When night fell both guns were pushed out in front of Steele’s Post, in anticipation of an attack at dawn on the Monday. As the attack did not materialize, the guns were withdrawn just before daylight.

During the process of digging in, three gunners of A section and five of B were wounded. Lieut T. H. Evans displayed great gallantry in effecting the rescue of several of these men. A score or so of bullets found a billet in the water-jacket of one of the guns, and it was rendered useless. However, repairs were speedily effected, and the gun was back in service again at 4 p.m. on the first day.

Lest We Forget

continued from Part 1….

The Landing……continued
Eric Wren, Randwick to Hargicourt (pages 44-60).

” No. 9 Platoon maneuvered to a point about in rear of Bloody Angle, ” wrote Lieut R. O. Cowey. “The platoon was skirmished for perhaps 300 to 400 yards towards Baby 700. with the right flank just touching Mule Valley. On the way over, some tents came into view at the head of Mule Valley, and some anxious moments were experienced, while rifle fire was poured into this locality in case the tents and environs were being used as an ambush. “

“On attaining the advanced position, it was considered advisable to take stock of the country in front and to the flanks before moving forward, because we did not know where any other troops were. Sergeant Palmer was instructed to fire at bare patches of ground while I observed with field-glasses, endeavouring to pick up the ranges of various positions. I did not observe any hits, as the sergeant’s shots were, apparently, masked by bushes. So we charged over, and in this way established the fact that the Turkish tranches near Scrubby Knoll were between 900 and 1200 yards distant, and that a concealed enemy trench, at about the junction of Owen’s Gully and Mule Valley was about 600 yards distant.”

“Turks cuold be seen advancing in open order from Scrubby Knoll towards the 400 Plateau. A few shots were fired at them, but the range was too great to be effective. It was considered, too, to be bad tactics to cause the enemy to be put to much on their guard before they approached our troops who, we believed, were waiting for them at 400 Plateau.”

“As we watched, about half a battalion of Turks were skirmished to a trench near Owen’s Gully, and others were moved similarly to the valley on the far side of Mortar Ridge, from No. 9 Platoon, and up re-entrants giving covered approaches to the Battleship Hill locality. Capitan Leer, about this time,  brought up men who extended our line towards Baby 700. I asked him for covering fire while No. 9 Platoon raced the Turks for possession of Mortar Ridge, but the request was not granted. The Turks finally occupied Mortar Ridge, and commenced to pour a deadly fire upon us, from there as well as from the east of Baby 700. Many of our men were killed. The wounded, as well as some others towards Baby 700, commenced retiring. Captain Leer ordered them back to the line, but the majority retired. A steady retirement of individuals from the locality meant that at the end of an hour no men were left on Captain Leer’s extreme left.”

“Captain Leer was sitting down smoking a pipe in full view of my position, where I was among my men who were lying down. Once he stood up in full view of Mortar Ridge, during a burst of heavy firing, and gazed towards it. A bullet struck his cap and twisted it round so that the peak was at the back of his head. He put up his hand to touch the right-hand side of his head, as if he were feeling for blood. Then he sat down again.”

At the end of an hour’s fighting Captain Leer was shot through the neck and chest, and died almost immediately. Lieut Cowey, who was about ten yards away, took charge. While in command Leer had displayed the utmost disregard for his own safety, and shown the greatest coolness. He was a fine example to his men.

“Private Glasgow just previously was shot dead within a yard of me,” continues Lieut Cowey, “and on the other side Private Carr was killed by a bullet which must have only just missed me. I now made a sketch of the locality, addressed it to Colonel Owen, wrapped it round a stone, and threw it to the rear. This sketch was subsequently delivered to Major A. J. Bennett. It was made with a view to showing Colonel Owen how advantageous a machine-gun would have been in firing at moving Turkish troops from where I was.”

“Ammunition commenced to run short. I tried to get word to the rear, but could not. I turned Private Carr’s dead body over, and distributed his unused ammunition. My men cried out that they were being fired on from the rear, and asked what they should do. I told them to hang on and continue firing. Several times they called to me that our reinforcements were firing upon them, and we endeavoured to make those to the rear understand that we were not Turks.”

“Late in the afternoon, about 5 p.m., several men rushed to the rear. They had not previously been able to move, owing to the intensity of the Turkish fire. As these men were not immediately shot down, I ordered the survivors to retire, and followed as soon as I saw them on their way.”

“The reverse fire alone was what made me decide to retire, as it appeared that reinforcements had mistaken us for Turks, and could not be convinced by our shouting that we were not.When I had gone back about 100 yards, I found all my men rallied under a slight eminence by Lieut Heugh, of the 2nd Battalion A.I.F. Lieut Heugh and I then held a consultation, with the result that I gave him covering fire while he took half my men back to the empty Turkish trnech at the Bloody Angle. He then covered my retirement.”

[Lieut Cowey also writes about this episode in a letter to his father which was published in ‘The Advertiser’, Adelaide, 15 June 1915]

Some hours after this retirement, under cover of darkness, Company Quarter-Master-Sergeant Dargin went out alone in search of Captain Leer’s body. He was never seen or head of again. On Tuesday [27th April] a similar attempt was made by Private Aubrey Farmer. He, too, was never heard of again. [The circumstances of these three men will be reviewed in a future post as they among the many men who have no known grave and are listed on the Lone Pine Memorial.]

Farmer was one of the most extraordinary men in the battalion. He made no secret of the fact at Mena, when the battalion was training, that everything that savoured of war was abhorrent to him, and he elected to remain in the Q.M.’s store during that period. But during those first days on the Peninsula he proved himself to be a man of quite unexpected calibre – the great crisis developed another man, and Farmer’s work throughout those first three days was of such a nature that he was awarded a posthumous D.C.M. – an honour probably unique in A.I.F. history.

As the darkness and rain set in on the Sunday night (April 25th), Lieut Cowey set his men to digging trenches. The work was not only difficult but dangerous, as, by this time, the Turks had concentrated a continuous rifle and machine-gun fire along the edge of the cliffs to which Cowey’s men were clinging. This fire in some instances was at ranges as as 100-125 yards. Actually the Turkish infantry frequently came much closer, but always they were thrust back by the sheer ferocity of Cowey’s defence. At about 10 p.m. a company of the 15 Battalion reinforced Cowey’s right. The newcomers were placed on neighbouring high ground, thus prolonging the line thereabouts and helping to give Cowey’s flank an urgently-needed greater measure of security. Lieut Heugh, of the 2nd Battalion, joined Cowey in strengthening the position, and splendid use was made of the packs and shovels the men had carried with them from the beach in the early morning.

But the trench-digging was rudely interrupted. The greater portion of Sunday night till dawn was spent in meeting a rapid succession of Turkish attacks, which aimed at dislodging the defending troops from the position they so precariously occupied. There was fierce hand-to-hand fighting during the awful night watches. At times the Turks approached so closely and so boldly that it was impossible to distinguish friend from foe. There were occasions when the defenders were actually firing at each other. Such was the nature of the greatly confused and uncertain conflict on the left flank.

While Captain Leer and Lieut Cowey were in the thick of it there, the remainder of the battalion were experiencing very severe trails and having a most hazardous time generally in other parts of the line. Early on the Sunday morning, Captain Ronald Burns, adjutant of the battalion, hearing that the 10th Battalion badly needed reinforcements, took a party of men across MacLaurin’s Hill to Courtney’s Post. Here they occupied a shallow trench which had been hastily scooped out by the Turks.

Captain Burns had just settled down to the task of directing the fire of the men about him, when a Turkish bullet ended his life. The loss to the 3rd Battalion was a severe one. Burns had many special qualifications, and , in addition to his knowledge of infantry work, he was one of the select few who then held an air pilot’s certificate.

Captain J. C. Wilson now assumed command at Courtney’s, and Lieut O. G. Howell-Price took over the duties of adjutant. Howell-Price was a brilliant young subaltern who afterwards commanded the battalion. The enemy fire in this particular locality was most deadly, and there were many casualties. Next day, Captain Wilson was wounded in the head; subsequently he died in hospital at Alexandria. Lieut C. E. M. Brodziak was badly shot while in the same trench.

Two 3rd Battalion men, Private A. Mullins and H.W. Minter, who helped to garrison this post, must be specially mentioned for their gallantry in carrying messages under heavy fire to and from headquarters. For several days they kept Colonel Owen posted with news from Courtney’s. Rather than return empty-handed, each man regularly carried back supplies of ammunition and water.

On MacLaurin’s Hill, early on Sunday morning, Sergeant-Major D. N. McGregor of A Company, formerly a master at Newington College and a splendid athlete, lost his life while attempting to get his men safely under cover. About the same time Lieut G. E. McDonald, who had taken most of his platoon (No. 3) down to Wire Gully, returned to an old Turkish trench behind the same hill to pick up a section of this men who had lost touch. Crossing the hill he was greeted with a terrif burst of fire, and the section he led back passed through a regular hail of bullets. A sergeant was shot in the neck, the man on one side of him had his water-bottle pierced, while another on the other side had his puttees riddled. It is on record that shortly afterwards the same section burst into loud spontaneous laughter when a young lance-corporal, receiving the full impact of a spent bullet on his shin, exploded in a series of shrieks. “Listen to him, ” said one man, “yelling like a stick pig.”

But such humours were few and short lived. The crescendo of rifle and machine-gun fire, the moan and sharp crack or thud of Turkish bullets as they struck the ground or human flesh, the screen and crash of Turkish shrapnel, the back and whip of spiteful machine-guns, and the whine and roar of the heavy shells from the battleships – all this made it a nerve -and soul-racking ordeal for new and till then unblooded troops. The earsplitting detonations of great guns and huge shells were echoed and re-echoed from cliff to cliff, until they seemed to shake the whole countryside. The only cover available, in the main, was low scrub and slight folds in the ground; real shelter there was none. Throughout the whole of that fateful Sunday the troops sniped whenever a target offered, and scraped anxiously with their entrenching tools the protection for their aching bodies that even shallow holes offered.

continued in Part 3…..

The Landing
Eric Wren, Randwick to Hargicourt (pages 44-60).

On Historic April 25th Reveille was set forward for 4 a.m., but there was not the slightest necessity to waken any man of the 3rd Battalion. All ranks had lain down to sleep, or to attempt to sleep, in their clothes the previous evening. The first faint streaks of dawn found the troops climbing to all possible vantage points on the ship and straining their eyes in a vain endeavour to catch a glimpse of the terrain and – the fighting. *
[* footnote: It should be noted at this stage of the narrative that the Turks had received a thorough warning of the pending attack. The warning had begun with the naval attack on March 18, when the fleet vainly endeavoured to force the Narrows. Further warnings were in the form of air reconnaissances by British observers on April 14 and 15. Then again, commanding and staff officers were taken along the coast for observation purposes in patrolling warships under the very eyes of the enemy. The departure of troops from Egypt and the huge gathering of ships in Mudros Harbour could scarcely have escaped the notice of the Turks, who had many active spies on the mainland, and small trading boats were allowed to come in and out of Mudros Harbour at will during the period that the fleet of troopships was anchored there.]

It was a very hurried breakfast at 5 a.m. “The destroyer was to be alongside at 6 a.m.”, wrote Captain Bean, the medical officer, “to take us in as close as possible, and the last 200 yards was to be travelled in open boats. At dawn I was up and saw that we were lying a couple of miles or so off shore, in company with other boats. Closer in were several men-of-war already shelling the indistinct shore hills. You could hear the boom of the guns after the flashes – followed by other little flashes on shore and puffs of smoke, and little scatters of dust where the shells burst. I watched for a minute or two – intensely interested.”

“Punctually to time the destroyer came alongside, and at once the lieutenant in command called to me. He had wounded on board. So I was the first to board her, and immediately went below – though not before I had noticed a tarpaulin spread over something lying very still on the deck, and with little red trickles running away to the waterway along the ship’s side. It was at that moment I fully realized that the war had begun for us. Down below I found a few slight flesh wound cases, and, with my men, attended to them. I just got up again in time to get into a shore-going boat. There were several, and we bundled in anyhow and in no particular order. A couple of sailors rowed and another fine breezy old salt took the helm – grand chaps those tars were – as cheery as if we were setting out on a pleasure cruise. A shell or two whistled by, none very close. There were no bullets. We couldn’t beach right up, we had to wade ashore. I got a wetting up to my hips.”

The other boats did not have such an easy passage. Lieut E. N. Litchfield, then a platoon seargeant, relates his experience: “No. 9 Platoon filled one boat and half-filled another. Lieut O. G. Howell-Price, my officer, told me to fill the second boat with No. 10 Platoon men. The Turks by this time were peppering away at the boats. Two shells hit one of the destroyer’s funnels. At the same moment a little midshipman, facing the bridge beside the funnel, without so much as turning a hair, called out in a drawling voice, ‘You chaps want to keep down there or you will be hit.’ Several more shells hit the destroyer in that few minutes. As we were towed in by a pinnace we had a hot time. When we cast off and rowed from the pinnace, each boat independently, Lieut Howell-Price’s boat was just on the right of mine. He was sitting high up in the stern. The shell that hit our boat under the water line must have just missed his head.”

“My boat started to fill rapidly. Luckily, the lads put their backs into the hole, and we landed on a reef about 20 or 30 feet from the shore, with the boat settling down to the gunwale. Men started to scramble ashore in full kit, and the two Jack Tars [sailors] who were with us to take the boat back were diving about grabbing men heavily loaded with equipment, and helping them into shallow water when they fell into the deep holes of the reef.”

Private C. M. Geddes and his companions had a unique experience. Geddes wrote: “For a while our boat was rowed along safely. Then suddenly there was a crash, and a piece of shell passed through the bottom. Nobody was hit, bu the boat began to fill, and we felt she’d go down. An old sailor, wearing a cap-band H.M.S. Ocean – he had been on that ship when she was sunk in the Narrows – was in charge. He called out ‘Keep on rowing, lads, she can’t sink, she’s a life boat.’ The oars were getting difficult to pull, as the water rose higher and higher in the boat. The old sailor said, ‘Keep on, boys, I can see the bottom.’ I could too, but it was a mighty long way down as the Aegean is nice and clear. He then yelled out, ‘Hi, picket-boat, hi!’ to an empty boat returning from shore. Luckily she saw our plight and steamed towards us.”

“The water in the boat had now risen to the level of that outside, and we all just stepped into the sea. As I left the boat she was three feet under, and I carried my rifle, full pack, three days’ rations, and 120 rounds of ammunition. Down I went, and the thought flashed into my mind, ‘What a rotten way to die in the dark, and, without having fired a shot, too.’ When I came up again, my cap, which had been fixed tightly on my head with the chin strap, was gone, and my beloved rifle, which I had been taught to look after and treat as my best friend, had gone also, to a watery grave in the Aegean. The picket-boat hauled the sailor in with a boat hook, and I tried to reach his legs as they hauled him in, but couldn’t reach him. Finally they threw me a lifebuoy on a line and dragged me in when I was almost done.”

“Soon after we got on the picket-boat, a little pink-faced middy [midshipman] in charge asked us each to move up one place to trim the boat. We moved just as a huge shell threw a column of water in the air, half-way between us and another boat. We felt nothing, but the chap near me, Bill Logan, who was sitting in the place I had just moved from, swooned back and was caught by the sailor who had thrown the lifebouy. A fragment of the shell has entered his side, and he lived only a few minutes.”

“The middy then said, ‘Are we making water?’ and the Jack Tar replied, ‘I think we are sir’; I though ‘Great Scott, we’re out of one shipwrecked boat into another.’ The picket-boat steamed hard for the Galeka and reached the gangway just as she began to sink. We stripped off our wet clothes and were given hot tea, and blankets to wrap in. There were thirteen of us, and poor Bill Logan belonged to No. 13 section.”

Despite the fact that the 1st Brigade landed in full daylight, while the 3rd Brigade – the covering troops – set foot on Gallipoli just before dawn, the battalion had a comparatively easy passage ashore. As the men stepped or jumped from the tows to the beach they were speedily marshalled and formed up in platoons and companies by their officers under the shelter of that great physical prominence which subsequently came to be known as “Plugge’s Plateau.”

The instructions which had been issued to all ranks in the division the night before the Landing were explicit. In them was nothing that could possibly be misunderstood. In effect, they were the orders given to the 3rd Brigade – “push on at all costs”.

The result of the battalion’s strenuous and most effective training at Mena was immediately apparent. Delays and indecisions there were none. Colonel Owen at once found himself supported by an orderly force eager to carry out his first commands. The sound of incessant rifle and machine-gun fire was wafted down from the hills, and it was apparent that there was fierce skirmishing. The covering force had, it was clear, already made considerable headway. Men of the 3rd Battalion were straining to be away.

B Company, under Major M. St. J. Lamb, was first to move. Officers and men scrambles willingly up the steep sea-face of Plugge’s Plateau, and, making their way through the scrub at the summit in orderly military fashion, filed down into Monash Gully. The remaining companies either followed the same route, or proceeded with all haste to the fighting by way of Shrapnel Gully, to become at once absorbed into the struggling firing line that had by this time been formed by widely dispersed unites of the 3rd Brigade.

The platoons which worked along the track in Monash Gully had a particularly strenuous time scrambling up the farther side of that valley, where men of the “dawn” battalions were bravely and frantically endeavouring to establish a line. Unlike those in the first wild rush, the men of the 3rd Battalion carried full packs in addition, each was weighted down with 250 rounds of ammunition, to say nothing of picks and shovels supplementary to the ordinary entrenching equipment.

Among the earliest casualties was Sergeant Walter Cavill, one of the most popular non-commissioned officers in the battalion. He has seen service in the South African War, with the New South Wales Lancers, but his soldiering experience was destined to benefit the men of A Company for very long on that eventful day.

By Approximately 10 a.m. every man of the battalion was in action reinforcing the 3rd Brigade wherever a junction could be effected. Major E. S. Brown with the majority of A Company worked to a position just beyond McLaurin’s Hill, and Lieutenants G. E. McDonald and W. B. Carter began a firece action a little to the right at Wire Gully. On Major Brown’s left, at Courtney’s Post, Captain J. C. Wilson has reinforced the 11th Battalion. Near by were Captain Ronald Burns, Lieutenants L. W. Street, Eric Goldring, and O .G. Howell-Price, Captain D. McF. McConaghy and the major portion of B Company settled down to serious work facing the position afterwards known as German Officer’s Trench.

Perhaps the most vital phase of the early fighting was on the left of the Australian line up near Russell’s Top, directly fronting the Turkish counter-attack which was rapidly developed on Baby 700. There the Turkish position dominated nearly every section of the Australian line, and men began to fall with cruel frequency until the toll was bewildering.

C Company, under Captain C. E. Leer, lost many men before it was able to make any progress in establishing itself at the head of Monash Gully near the Bloody Angle. This company was fortunate to have, in addition to its commanding officer, the services of two very fine leaders in the persons of Lieut R. O. Cowey and Sergeant-Major W. B. Phipps, was the latter an olf African campaigner who had seen long service with a British regiment.

Machine-gun and rifle bullets were now pouring into the Australian line from all directions, and the slaughter was appalling. Turkish machine-guns were operated from the hidden recesses of Baby 700, while snipers carried on their deadly work with ghastly precision from the shelter of innumerable “hide outs” in the scrub. This most spirited opposition, added to the fact that the Turks had all the advantage of position, made it extremely difficult for Captain Leer and his men to come into holts with the enemy.

continued in Part 2…..