Hundreds of soldiers in Gallipoli recorded their experiences in diaries and letters. Some also took photographs, snapshots for a personal album of Gallipoli memories. Major Hore, however, recorded his sense of Gallipoli in drawings using at different times ink, pencil, wash and watercolour. He worked on small pieces of paper measuring in the main 13 x 17 cms or 12.5 x 55 cms. Hore does not seem at the time to have titled individual works but he wrote notes on them in pencil. These notes indicate place names and explain particular features of the scene. Later, Hore seems to have added, in pen, further annotations, some titles and his own initials.
Hore’s drawings reveal a personal view of Gallipoli through the eyes of a man sensitive to the beauty and drama off his surroundings and the tragedy of war. These works have lain largely unseen in the Mitchell Library since c.1919. The annotations that Hore made on them now require some explanation to bring out their significance. Hore’s 44 Gallipoli drawings are in the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales, at catalogue numbers PXE 702 and PXE 703.
Presented here are 25 of Hore’s drawings with accompanying notes and contemporary sources such as documents and passages from publications. These passages have been chosen to assist in the interpretation of features of Galllipoli that Hore portrayed in his drawings. Where a drawing currently has no notes they may be added later.
Captain L F S Hore arrived at Gallipoli with his unit, the 8th Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Light Horse Brigade, AIF, in the third week of May 1915. The 8th Light Horse went into the trenches along Walker’s Ridge and Russel’s Top above North Beach. This drawing – numbered by Hore as the second in the series that he produced on Gallipoli – shows the opposing Turkish and Australian trenches at Quinn’s Post. It is most likely the scene at approximately 3.20 a.m. on 29 May when the Turks exploded an underground mine close the parapet of the Australian trenches. They then broke into part of the position. Fierce fighting ensued but a successful Australian counter-attack eventually recaptured most of that section of Quinn’s which the enemy had occupied. This short, sharp action cost 33 Australian lives and 178 were wounded. Approximately 50 to 60 Turks were killed and a further 300 wounded.
Quinn’s Post was regarded as one of the most hazardous and notorious positions on Anzac. The trenches at Quinn’s, and the two other posts at the top of the steep slope leading up from Monash Valley – Courtney’s and Steele’s – were just metres from the Turkish front line. They were essential to the safety of the Anzac position. If the Turks could break through here, they could look down upon the heart of the Anzac position, Monash Valley, leading back to Anzac Cove. The fighting for Quinn’s Post –named after Queenslander, Captain Hugh Quinn, 15th Battalion – during the early days at Gallipoli was fierce.
‘... As a man looks at a haunted house’
In April and throughout May the stress of battle at Quinncs Post was almost constant. The Turks threw bombs (grenades) into Quinn’s and sniped incessantly at the Austalian garrison with rifles and machine gunes. Charles Bean described something of the fear and loathing of Quinn’s Post.
But the mere strain of holding the post was equivalent to a battle. Stray men from other companies, who had served there, used to speak in awestruck tone of the bombs which the enemy threw. Stories were related of Turkish attacks during which the garrison fired until rifles jammed with the heat and bayonets became twisted. Men passsing the fork of Monash Valley, and seeing and hearing the bombs bursting up at Quinn’s, used to glance at the place (as one of them said) ‘as a man looks at a haunted house’.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol I, Sydney, 1921, p.91]
For Australians, Anzac Cove is the best-known spot on Gallipoli. By the afternoon of 25 April, the beach was crowded with the wounded from the ferocious actions being fought out along the ridges. Anzac Cove was being transformed into the main port and administrative centre for the Anzac area. Piers were built to offload essential supplies and reinforcements. For the remainder of the campaign, huge rectangular piles of boxes were crammed into the narrow beach.
In this view from the water, looking towards Walker’s Ridge on the left and Plugge’s Plateau in the centre, which Hore notes in his annotations on the drawing, he shows the stores and many soldiers on the beach, with piers and barges in the foreground. Immediately beneath Walker’s Ridge, he notes in pencil ‘This is where the 12th Batt. Tasmania landed and fought up the hill.’
In pencil, underneath the ink caption — ‘a breather on Walker’s Ridge’ — Hore has written, ‘opposite my tent in Mule Gully’. Soldiers of the British Empire’s India Army were a common sight in Mule Gully and at Gallipoli. Among Hore’s drawings are a number depicting the Indians, especially the men of the Indian Mule Cart Transport. This unit — 22 officers and 227 other ranks – landed at Anzac Cove between 1 and 5 May 1915. Their role was the carrying of stores from the cove to dumps to the north and south along the beaches and, by mule train, up into the hills as close as possible to the front lines.
The Indian soldier ‘having a pot shot’ is using a periscope rifle. This device was invented and developed at Anzac to allow a soldier to take accurate aim and fire at an enemy without exposing himself the over the top of the trench. Devised by Lance Corporal W C B Beech, 2nd Battalion, a builder’s foreman, it was first observed in use on 19 May.
The upper glass of a periscope was so fixed that it looked along the sights of a rifle while a lower glass revealed the sights to the rifleman. Beech was brought to AIF Headquarters where, on 26 May, a periscope rifle factory was started at Anzac Cove. Soon periscope rifles were in use in many front line trenches, especially those close to the enemy lines. The rifle was found to be effective for sniping at ranges of up to 500 metres. It was particularly useful at Quinn’s Post where, so close were the trenches, it had been virtually impossible to fire a shot by day.
Two batteries of the Indian Mountain Artillery Brigade — the 21st (Kohat) Battery and the 26th (Jacob’s) Battery, 12 officers and 652 other ranks – landed on 25 April. Indeed, the guns of the Kohat Battery were, until 6 p.m. on 25 April, the only land-based artillery support available to the Anzacs.
‘... Adept in the management of mules’
In this passage, Colonel Jospeh Beeston, commander of the 4th Australian Field Ambulance on Gallipoli, paid tribute to the Indians soldiers responsible for the delivery of ammunition to the infantry:
The Divisional Ammunition Column was composed of Sikhs, and they were a brave body of men. It was their job to get the ammunition to the front line, so that they were always fair targets for the Turks. The mules were hitched up in threes, on in the rear of the other, each mule carrying two boxes of ammunition. The train might number anything from 15 to 20 mules. All went along at a trot, constantly under fire. When a mule was hit he was unhitched, the boxes of ammunition were rolled off, and the train proceeded; nothing stopped them. It was the same if one of the men became a casualty; he was put on one side to await the stretcher-bearers — but almost always one of the other men appeared with a water bottle.
They [the Sikhs] were adept in the management of mules. Frequently a block would occur while the mule train occupied a sap; the mules at times became fractious and manipulated their hind legs with the most marvellous precision – certainly they placed a good deal of weight in their arguments. But in the midst of it all, when one could see nothing but mules’ heels, straps and ammunition boxes, the Indian drivers would talk to their charges and soothe them down. I don’t know what they said, but presume it resembled the cooing, coaxing and persuasive tongue of our bullock-driver.
[Joseph L Beeston, Five Months at Anzac: A Narrative of Personal Experiences of the Officer Commanding the 4th Field Ambulance, Australian Imperial Force, Sydney, no date, pp.33–34.]
‘... Deserted back to his battery’
The 26th (Kohat) Indian Mountain Battery landed at Anzac Cove on 25 April at 10.30 am. In command was Captain H M Kirby, an Englishman from South Weald, Essex. The battery immediately set off into the hills to support the Australian infantry:
When the 26th (Jacob’s) landed, the small guns — wheels, trail, and two parts of the barrel packed on a string of mules – would up through the steep scrub of the Razorback, where it was ever afterwards camped, to a point on the 400 Plateau close behind the crest … at five minutes before noon, Jacob’s Battery opened fire … The mere sound of Kirby’s battery close behind them came to the Australian infantry like a draught of cool water to one perishing from thirst. From end to end of the line it brought fresh heart to the men. But it could not last long. Although the position of the guns was screened from the Turks immediately ahead, Battleship Hill and the main heights to the north looked down upon it almost as the gallery of a theatre looks down upon the stage. The battery had scarcely made its appearance there, when the Turkish battery in the folds of the main range was turned upon it. From then on the shrapnel seemed to concentrate upon these guns and upon the parts of the line about them … Captain P C Chapman was wounded in the forehead and shoulder. He was sent away and died in Egypt. Jemadar Dulla Khan, and Indian officer was wounded. Ammunition was running short …
At 2.25 the Turkish shrapnel and rifle fire became more intense. Men were dropping every minute. At last Kirby, who had been wounded in the head but was still working, decided to withdraw the guns to shelter. The Turkish fire was far too deadly for him to bring up the mules; the valley behind was littered with dead animals. Consequently he ordered the guns’ crews to drop part of the equipment, and to run the guns back off the plateau by hand. This was done. Guns, men, and mules were taken towards the Beach and there reorganised. When they went into action again in another position towards the end of the afternoon, only four of the six guns could be manned, and those with difficulty. Kirby, after working until he fainted through loss of blood, was sent to a hospital ship. Next day, finding her still off the Beach and a boat beside her about to leave, he slipped overboard and deserted back to his battery.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol I, Sydney, 1921, pp393–395]
‘... Deserve a heap of praise’
All who served on Gallipoli were aware of how much they depended for supplies on the mules and their Indian drivers. In this passage from his diary Lance Corporal Archibald Barwick, 1st Battalion, AIF, described the work of the Indians:
I don’t know what we would have done without the mules at Anzac. I reckon we would have starved you should have seen some of the tracks they had to climb and talk about slippery every bit of food, ammunition, clothing and nearly all our water had to be carried by the mule teams up to the trenches it was a task I can tell you and it had practically all to be done at night time for the Turks could see them in daylight the Indians were responsible for all this work and deserve a heap of praise, there were a good few of them chaps killed at Anzac.
[Archibald Barwick, diary, item 2, 22 August 1914-c.11 September 1915 ML Mss 1493, pp.201–202, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales]
Proclamation to the Hindustani Sepoys and Troops
On Gallipoli both the British and the Turks made attempts to persuade the soldiers of the other side to desert. Many of these efforts were directed at the various ethnic groups within the British and Turkish armies. This proclamation was written by the Turkish authorities and aimed at soldiers of the British Indian Army:
Proclamation to the Hindustani Sepoys and Troops
Be it known in the world it is natural for every man to fight for his religion, or tribe, or the peace of his country, or for his dignity and honour, or to obtain release from the clutches of tyrants. He will go into the field of battle and fight with the enemy, and sacrifice his dear life — But Oh, Hindus and Mussulmans, and Sikhs of Hindustan, just think for a moment. Why have you come here? And why are you wasting and ruining your lives here? Why are you dying from the swords and rifles of the Turks, with whom you have no quarrel, widowing your wives and orphaning your children? What benefit will there be to you or to your children, to your country, or to your people from your dying here? None whatever!
Oh men of India do you not know that the English are the very people who stole your country from you and made you into their slaves, and are now governing you with great cruelty. Every day they put on new taxes, and are sucking your blood. They have impoverished your country, and looted its wealth and the riches of your houses, and are taking them away to their own home in London. And as for the way in which the English treat your dignity, your know well that in the British Empire a man of Hindustan is counted less that an English dog. But alas, and a thousand times alas, that even knowing this, you do not think of yourself or your country, but have come here to assist your very enemies, and fighting with us Mohammedans are wasting and ruining your lives for no cause whatever.
The affairs of the English and their friends are now in the greatest confusion. The heroic German shave captured the whole country of Belgium, and a great portion of France, and have killed three hundreds of thousands of English soldiers. The Germans have taken the whole of the Russian country of Poland. The Austrians and Germans have inflicted a severe defeat on Russia, and up to now have captured about 1,800,000 Russian soldiers. The German Submarine war boats are day by day sinking one or tow English ships. The warships of the English which have escaped and blockaded in the English ports and for very fear they dare not go to sea.
Our august Sultan, the Khalifa of Islam, has proclaimed all Mohammedans the Jehad against the blackguardly English and French. The English are in great difficulties throughout the world: in Singapore and Ceylon, the Hindoo and Sikh troops, joining with the Moslems have killed all the English and taken the towns and forts, and here in the War of the Dardanelles you yourselves know well that, even with the help of the warships, the English and French troops have been regularly defeated by the Turkish army.
So many thousands of thousands of English lives have been lost, but still they could not win. How many submarines have come to us, by which, in your presence, some English warships were sunk. For fear of these the remaining warships are hiding among the islands and cannot help you as they did before. How many more submarines are on the way to us, from which the English ships will not be able to escape. Then no ships will be able to come to your help, and then what will be your state, except that you will be slaughtered, there will be no result.
Enough! Oh Hindustani Sepoys, now is the time for you instead of fighting for no reason with the Turks and dying, to kill your cruel enemies, the English, and to take revenge for your forefathers, and for your country, in order that you may establish a name in the world, and that there may also be the benefit of the [?] of India: – and if you cannot do this then run away from your camps and come to us, come into the Turkish army and enlist and save your lives. We will treat you as your brothers, and there will be no sort of ill treatment. You will live in great ease and dignity. In proof of this, look at the picture above of the Hindustani Sepoys who ran away from Suez and came to us and were enrolled, and to whom His Majesty, the Sultan, gave honour that he appointed them his own personal bodyguard, and who have higher pay and more dignity than the Turkish soldiers even.
It was our duty as Mussilmans to give you this advice which we have done, for the rest it is for you to chance, whether you will desert to us and save your lives, or whether you will uselessly get your throats cut along with the English.
[Source: Appendix III (a) — Oct 15th/15, Intelligence, GHQ, MEF, 1/5/1–1/5/12, PC2, Australian War Memorial 4]
Walker’s Ridge was a sharp spur leading up from the North Beach area to the heights beyond. By early May, Walker’s Ridge formed the most northerly trench line in what became the ‘Old Anzac’ position — that part of Gallipoli captured and held by the Anzac Corps on 25 April. Although traditionally associated with the New Zealanders, Hore would have known Walker’s Ridge well. In June 1915 the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, of which Hore’s unit, the 8th Light Regiment, was a part, after their arrival on Gallipoli went into the trenches along Walker’s Ridge and at Russell’s Top.
At the bottom centre of the painting Hore has indicated with a pencil arrow and dark curves what was called the ‘Big Sap’ or the ‘Long Sap’. This was a deep trench that ran from Anzac Cove inland of the beach behind North Beach to the New Zealand outpost positions just north of Walker’s Ridge. This was a particularly deep trench because the Turks overlooked North Beach from a position within their lines above No 1 Outpost known as the Sniper’s Nest. The outposts marked the end of the Anzac position between late April and the ‘August offensive’ that began on 6 August.
At the foot of the drawing, Hore writes, ‘The road up to Walker’s Ridge – the foreground to North Beach in the early days – afterwards, covered with tents, hospitals, etc…’
Among Hore’s drawings of Gallipoli is one produced in June 1915 of Anzac Beach. Indeed, it would be astonishing if Hore had not done this drawing for the ‘Beach’ or ‘Anzac Cove’, as it was called, was at the heart of the Anzac position. By the end of 1915 most people in Australia would have seen a photograph or press drawing of the ‘Beach’ and ever since this scene of Anzac Cove has remained one of the best-known images of Australians on Gallipoli.
The failure of the Anzacs to capture more than a few square kilometres of the Gallipoli peninsula turned the Beach from an initial landing place into the main forward base for the ANZAC Corps until after the August offensive. Hore’s drawing, with its great piles of boxes of stores, reflects this development. Everything required by those who fought in the Anzac area – food, water, ammunition, clothing, and other essential engineering equipment – was landed at the Beach from barges, trawlers and other small craft. All of this sea-borne activity was handled by the men of the British Royal Navy and upon the proficiency of that navy the Anzacs depended for their very survival. In this drawing Hore has also shown one of the major dangers of working at the Beach – the almost daily shelling by the Turkish artillery.
‘... The beach on summer days’
In this passage Charles Bean describes the scene at Anzac Cove on a hot day in May 1915:
When the struggle of the Landing had subsided, the Beach on summer days reminded many onlookers of an Australian coastal holiday resort. The shoreline itself resembled rather an old time port, with its crowded barges (often beached to prevent their being sunk), a few short piers, piles of biscuit boxes and fodder stacked behind them, the smell of rope, of tar, of wet wood, of cheese and other cargo; but in the open water the hundreds of bathers, and on the hillside the little tracks winding through the low scrub, irresistibly recalled the Manly of New South Wales or theVictorian Sorrento, while the sleepy 'tick-tock' of rifles from behind the hills the assiduous practice of batsmen at their nets on some neighbouring cricket field.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.346]
‘... Leave we there thy warrior sleeping’
One of the best known cemeteries of the Anzac area, both during the campaign and since, is Beach Cemetery situated on Hell Spit at the southern end of Anzac Cove. It was used from the landing to the evacuation and among its 380 graves is that of the now most famous of all Australian Anzacs – Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick. Other well-known figures on Anzac lie buried here one of whom is Major Charles Herbert Villiers-Stuart, age 40, of the 56th Punjabi Rifles, British Indian Army. He was the chief intelligence officer at Anzac Headquarters, located just above Anzac Cove, and on 17 May 1915, whilst out checking maps in a forward area he was struck through the heart by a shrapnel pellet. His body was brought to Beach Cemetery:
He was buried that night after dark in the little cemetery at a certain corner of the beach. That shoulder, with its little collection of crosses, should be very sacred to Australians. All of those crosses are simple, some of them pathetically so, just a little bit of broken biscuit box nailed across another, with some name scored on it in indelible pencil --save the mark, some of them washed out already – one of them is just the top end of an improvised broken crutch. There are other collections of little graves all over the hills, many of them bordered over so neatly with brass fuse cases or shrapnel. But this is the main cemetery, and after the war is over the Commonwealth might well take some steps towards its preservation. The blue Aegean washes almost to its foot – the knoll, from which the enemy did most of his execution on the beach on the first morning, rises straight above it. It was there that he was buried. They waited until dark, in order that the Turkish guns might not interfere – they were working up at that time towards the day of their big attack. As the procession went along the beach it was almost too dark to see. Out across the sea the exquisite last lights of sunset were just fading over Imbros. The old volcanic cone was showing out dark-grey against them. As we stood there amongst the frail wooden crosses we could hear the 'clink! clink!' of the mules along a path above – you could see their dark shapes passing with the Indians leading them. Far out over the island behind us the new moon was hanging – on the sea below floated the warships like toy boats on the sea. Every now and again the backs and bent heads of the men in that crowd would flash up as if lit by a distant red lightning – then came the r-r-roll, r-r-roll of a warships' guns as she fired away behind us. High overhead was the constant low sibilant hiss of bullets, with an occasional high dropping whistle, as some richochet that had struck a stone or a parapet far above, whirled itself out to sea. The knocking of the rifles came incessantly like the crack of a cricket bat.
Some man passed along the path below us whistling. Suddenly the whistling stopped when he heard the voice of the clergyman, and knew what this dark crowd meant. Strong grave-diggers of the Army Medical Corps, with the brown knotted muscles of their forearms showing below the short sleeves of their grey flannel shirts, were bending low. You could hear the voice of the clergyman:
Now the battle day is o'er,
Jesu in thy gracious keeping,
Leave we there thy warrior sleeping.
The strong men lift him tenderly from the stretcher. The congregation melts. A little figure that everyone here has learned to look on with something like affection files past at the head of it, and there we leave him to the waves and the sea-breezes amid the little wooden crosses on that shrapnel-swept point.
[Charles Bean, A Fine Officer, Gaba Tepe 18 June, official dispatch, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 86, 4 August 1915, pp.1499–1500]
Out to sea in his drawing Hore shows the tall plume of water sent up by an exploding Turkish shell. Charles Bean described the shelling of Anzac Cove by a well-known Turkish artillery battery:
On May 5th there was first remarked the fire of a Turkish battery from a then unascertained position. This battery, afterwards known as 'Beachy Bill', was during the campaign reputed to have caused over 1,000 casualties on the Beach alone. The early shell-fire upon the Beach and boats approaching it came from a battery on the neck of the Gaba Tepe promontory, the shrapnel sweeping along the foreshore from the direct flank. This battery was destroyed or driven out of action, chiefly by the fire of the Bachannte, and only a few short bursts of shelling were ever again received from Gaba Tepe itself. The fire by which the enemy attempted to harass the work on the Beach during the week following the Landing came from batteries directly inland. The shrapnel, however, was burst at such a height that it had little effect. Piles of biscuit and ammunition boxes, medical comforts, bales of fodder, which now rose in stacks on the strand, formed sufficient protection for men waiting on various duties. Meanwhile, the beach parties continued to work without regarding the shell, and the mules and horses, then picqueted in long lines down the centre of the strand, appeared mostly to receive only slight wounds from occasional pellets ... Early in the morning of May 6th the comparative quiet of the Beach was interrupted by several ranging shots coming from the south-east. At first these fell near Hell Spit at the southern end of the cove. Then range was gradually lengthened to reach the crowded Beach itself, which was systematically lashed with shrapnel. Men quickly found shelter behind the stacks of stores and in dugouts on the hillside, but numbers of the horses and mules tied to the picquet line were being hit. The Turkish guns were shooting excellently, lengthening their range by fifty yards at each burst, and it was apparent that the mule lines at the southern end of the Beach were within view of those directing the fireof the battery. About half of the Indian drivers fled; the remainder, though not knowing what action to take, stood bravely by their animals. Some officer gave the order to untether the mules and lead them southwards, a proceeding which only increased the danger. In the midst of the bursting shells were stacks of ammunition for the field-guns; around them were men of the Australian ammunition-columns and beach parties, clearing them as fast as they could into safety. At the moment when the Indian mule-drivers had their animals entangles with the stores and the picqueting ropes, and great confusion prevailed, Colonel Lesslie, of the corps staff, came among them and , shouting in Hindustani and working as usual in his shirt-sleeves, turned the animals up the gullies. With him were Captain Alexander of the Indian Mule Cart Corps, Captains Brian Onslow and Foster, A’sDC to Birdwood and Bridges, and an Indian officer and several natives of the Carts Corps. These and a few others gradually led the mules clear of the shell-fire. In doing so Foster was wounded, Major Young, Senior Supply Officer in the 1st Australian Division, and a number of others were hit during the bombardment, while thirty-four mules were killed and fourteen horses out of the twenty-four which had been landed.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, pp.77–78]
It is sunset in the Anzac positions at Gallipoli and Hore has sketched a group of men (officers?) having a homely cup of tea, as if on the terrace of an hotel in peacetime. An ironic comment, surely, on the lack of peace around them. In the distance are the Greek islands of Imroz (Imbros), to the left, and Samothráki (Samothrace), to the right.
In 500 BC Imroz was a colony of Athens and the ruins of an Athenian city have been found on the island. When the British and Dominion forces fought on Gallipoli, Imroz was Greek having been seized by Greece from Turkey during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913. In February 1915, the Greek government offered the islands of Imroz, Límnos (Lemnos), and Bozcaada (Tenedos) to the British as bases for their assault on Gallipoli. In 1923, Imroz and Bozcaada were ceded to Turkey under the terms of the Treaty of Lausanne which brought a final post-war settlement to the area.
During the Gallipoli campaign, Imroz was familiar territory to the war correspondents and the staff of General Headquarters, Middle Eastern Expeditionary Force (MEF). On 1 June 1915, General Sir Ian Hamilton established his HQ at Kefeles Bay where, he maintained, he wanted to ‘live the simple life; the same life, in fact, as the men’. Near HQ was the only stone building in the bay — the war correspondents’ hut. Apart from that the bay foreshore was covered with tents for all sorts of purposes — recreation and rest for troops from Gallipoli, casualty clearing stations, field bakeries and supply depots. The only fresh bread available to the Anzacs came from the ovens of the 1st Australian Field Bakery on Imroz.
The greatest amount of battle related activity seen in Kefeles Bay during the campaign occurred between 7 and 13 August, the height of the great ‘August Offensive’. During those days, 12,497 wounded passed through the bay.
Charles Bean, Australia’s official war correspondent, knew Imroz well. Initially, he had been told that he would have to base himself on the island and make only intermittent visits to Anzac. Upon complaining to General Hamilton that he would never be able to do his job properly under such restrictions, Hamilton told him he could visit Gallipoli as often as he liked as long he did not inform Hamilton officially about the length of his stay there! Bean thereafter lived happily at Anzac but was glad of the ‘inestimable privilege of being able to visit Imbros for a day or two’s holiday whenever he liked’.
Imroz was also the site of two airfields used both during the campaign and from then until the end of the war. Planes flew from here on reconnaissance, bombing operations, spotting Turkish positions for fire from British warships. The photographs taken on reconnaissance flights were used to make maps. After the evacuation of the peninsula, the airfields were maintained and used for bombing operations against the Turks. A prime target was the Turkish Ministry of War building in Istanbul. The Turks hit back with air raids on the Imroz airfields.
[Sources: Phil Taylor and Pam Cupper, Gallipoli: A Battlefield Guide, Kenthurst, 1989, pp.76–80: A G Butler, Gallipoli, Palestine and New Guinea, Vol 1, Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services 1914–1918, Canberra, 1930, p.328]
The 1st Australian Field Bakery – Imroz (Imbros)
The daily supply was at first towed from Imbros to Anzac in a barge; but since these consignments were always held up by any freshness in the wind, the bread was eventually carried in a trawler, which sailed almost daily from Imbros. Shortage of the Imbros water-supply constantly interrupted the baking, and fuel was difficult to obtain, grass being used on at least one occasion. Shipments of wood were eventually obtained from a Greek contractor named Goulandris, who brought them — partly from Mt. Athos — at #2 2s. a ton. Until the end of July the rations to Anzac, daily supplied G.H.Q. [General Headquarters] and any troops on the island. At this stage numerous bakeries arrived, all of which were placed under Captain Prior’s [Captain J G Prior, commander, 1st Australian Field Bakery, a café manager from Adelaide, South Australia] command until by August 30 he had, besides his own (then known as the ‘13th Australian’ Company), the 10th, 11th, 29th, 50th and 51st Divisional Bakeries, though most of these were at first handicapped through being unaccustomed to brew their own yeast. After August the daily supply was normally — to Anzac, 20,000 rations; to Suvla — 40,000 rations.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Canberra, 1924, p.364]
‘... There was a magnificent sunset’
On 27 June 1915, Sergeant Cyril Lawrence, 2nd Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, in his diary described the sunset behind the islands of Imbros and Samothrace:
There was a magnificent sunset. They all are here — just simply glorious. I do wish I had a decent photo or something of them. Away about fifteen miles off our position are two mountainous islands, Imbros and Samothrace. The sun goes below the sea’s horizon just off the northern end of the latter throwing them both, great jagged peaks, into silhouette on a crimson background. The sea is nearly always like oil and as the crimson path streams across the water the store ships, hospital ships, torpedo boats and mine sweepers stand out jet black. God, it’s just magnificent.
[Sir Ronald East (ed), The Gallipoli Diaries of Sergeant Lawrence of the Australian Engineers, Melbourne, 1983, entry 27 June 1915, p.35]
During June, the 8th Light Horse, Captain Hore among them, spent time garrisoning the trenches at Walker’s Ridge. Hore draws attention to the boots of a dead New Zealand soldier sticking out from the wall of the trench. New Zealand units were prominent in the defence of this part of the Anzac line in the weeks after the landing. Indeed, this area was the responsibility of the New Zealand and Australian Division and the New Zealanders dug the initial trench line along Walker’s Ridge and over Russell’s Top to Monash Valley.
Hore’s annotation at the bottom of the sketch reads:
In the back wall of the trench are the boots of a dead New Zealander killled probably the day after the landing. The trench was turned to avoid him.
Hore also writes in pencil that they ‘came on his grave when sapping’ and that ‘further on is a hand just showing’. He also identifies the location of ‘Turkish trenches on opposite hill’.
‘...Was referred to in “orders” as the “Stand To”’
The ‘stand-to’ in the Gallipoli trenches is well described by this passage from the history of the 28th Battalion, AIF:
Dawn brought increased activity. At that hour the then accepted hour for an attack every man in the Battalion was awake and stood to his post fully armed and equipped. This state of readiness was referred to in ‘orders’ as the ‘Stand To’, and was observed morning and evening. Thus the soldier remained until some 30 minutes later, when the order ‘Stand Down’ was passed along. On such occasions the absence of fuss and noise in movement, it is generally agreed, is an indication that a unit is well disciplined.
One of our battalions momentarily went astray in this respect, and its men in the front trenches, early one morning, were treated to an unexpected touch of humour on th epart of the enemy, from whose locality a voice, in more or less perfect English, was heard calling ‘Stand To, _th Battalion!’
[Colonel H B Collet, The 28th: A Record of War Service with the Australian Imperial Force, 1915–1919, Perth, 1922, pp.77–78]
During June 1915 Hore had his tent in Mule Gully, a ravine or valley between Walker’s Ridge and the Sphinx above North Beach. It was occupied by elements of the Indian Mule Cart Transport in early May 1915 after severe Turkish shelling had killed a number of mules in positions around Anzac Cove and Brighton Beach. Mule Gully was only about 220 metres from the front line trenches on Walker’s Ridge but its sides were steep and, as Captain H M Walker wrote, ‘it afterwards proved to be the safest place in the whole position’. Eventually, the unit developed a supply-depot at the foot of the gully.
Between 1 and 4 May 1915, 2 officers and 227 men of the Indian Mule Cart Transport landed in the Anzac position at Gallipoli under the command of Captain H M Alexander. Within five days, this small transport unit had suffered one man killed, 10 wounded while 44 mules had been killed and 67 wounded. The role of the unit on Anzac was to transport supplies of food, ammunition, water and other essential stores from the landing beaches to scattered dumps and depots. Uncoupled from their carts, the mules were also used in trains to take supplies up into hills to brigade dumps closer to the front line trenches.
‘... It was a perfectly comfortable habitation’
In this passage Major H M Walker, Indian Mule Cart Transport, described his dug-out accommodation in Mule Gully. It is possible that Walker’s dug-out is the one shown by Hore on the right of the drawing. This sketch was done in June when Hore’s unit, the 8th Australian Light Horse, was in the line along Walker’s Ridge above Mule Gully. Hore would have known the road down from the ridge through the gully well. Indeed, he at one stage met Major Walker of the Mule Cart Transport who described Hore as a ‘clever artist’ who produced ‘admirable sketches drawn in the trenches’:
A supply depot was established at the foot of Mule Gully, in charge of Lieutenants Eliot and Higginson of the New Zealand A.S.C. [Army Service Corps]. These two officers joined Brown and me in our mess, and this arrangement lasted for three months. The mess dug-out, in which I also slept, was made very comfortable and quite proof against splinters and bullets. Brown was both architect and builder, and showed considerable aptitude for the work. The earth was dug to a depth of about three feet: walls were made of grain-bags filled with sand, a large biscuit-box, with top and bottom knocked off, forming a good window on the west side.
A roof was put on, strips of wood collected from the wreckage of a boat being used as rafters, with a cart tarpaulin stretched over them, and two inches of earth on top. The whole south side above the ground line was left open to give a splendid view across the position to Ari Burnu Point, and Imbros Island behind. The furniture consisted of shelves and cupboards of biscuit-boxes, a tarpaulin on the floor, a large-size bully-beef box as a table, a most luxurious camp-chair contributed by Hashmet Ali, and two stools cleverly made by the Corps carpenter from odds and ends. My valise on a layer of hay was the bed, and when rolled up was used as a fourth chair. The open side was fitted with curtains made of ration-bags, which could be let down to keep out the afternoon sun. It was a perfectly comfortable habitation, though a little cramped at times. The dimension were not more than seven feet long and five feet wide, and about four feet deep
[Major H M Alexander, On Two Fronts: Being the Adventures of an Indian Mule Corps in France and Gallipoli, London, no date, p.173–174]
General Sir Ian Hamilton praises the Indian Mule Cart Transport
On 27 September 1915, General Sir Ian Hamilton, the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, wrote this letter to the commander of the British Indian Army concerning the work of the Indian Mule Cart Transport on Gallipoli:
Sir Ian Hamilton’s letter:
I have the honour to bring to your Excellency’s notice that in April 1915 a cart Train of Indian Mule Transport was organised at Marseilles, from Indian Transport sent to France, for duty with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C H Beville. The Train includes contingents of Imperial Service Transport from theStates of Baratpore and Indore.
This unit was landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula at the commencement of operations here and has since been distributed throughout the Force at Helles, at Anzac and latterly at Suvla. I desire to place on record the excellent work every one of its detachments has performed, thereby adding greatly to the efficiency of the fighting troops.
This work has been carried out under trying and difficult conditions owing to constant shell fire, but in spite of the casualties the whole Train retained its high standard of efficiency and the spirit of the men remains excellent. The Australian sand New Zealanders get on capitally with the Indian rank and file of this train and are genuinely fond of them. In no campaign that have yet served in have I seen men so well treated, so well fed, or so happy.
So highly do I estimate the value of this unit that I venture to express a hope that the Government of India will see its way to maintain it up to its original establishment by means of drafts and animals.
I trust that my appreciation of the work done by their contingents will be brought to the notice of the two Native States concerned.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
(Signed) Ian Hamilton, General
Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.
[Source: Appendix M.F.Q. 226/5 of 27/9/15(copy), AWM 6, 190]
This drawing shows Turkish dead lying out in no-man’s-land in front of the Australian 8th Light Horse Regiment’s lines on Russel’s Top on the morning of 30 June 1915. Hore knew this scene personally as was in the trenches on Russel’s Top when the 18th Turkish Regiment attacked the Australian light horse positions there at 12.30 am on 30 June.
The 18th was an elite and enthusiastic unit that had just been attached to Colonel Mustafa Kemal’s 19th Turkish Division. Kemal, and other Turkish commanders, had long felt that the most vital position at Anzac lay on Russel’s Top just down the slope from the Nek. If the Turks could break through here, and hold the heights at Russel’s Top and Walker’s Ridge, they could command North Beach and Anzac Cove thus making the allied position on Anzac untenable. Kemal determined an attack across the Nek using the 18th Regiment.
As the Turkish soldiers swept across the Nek that night, Captain Hore was in the front line:
In the saps on the right half of the front there were only thirty-eight men of the 8th Light Horse under captain Hore, with another thirty-eight in the support trenches; but their reliefs were on the way to the firing line when the clamour of ‘Allah’ arose and the enemy appeared ... The enemy threw bombs into the open portion [of the trench], killing or wounding a number of the 8th Light Horse and causing them to recoil.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.312]
To the left of the 8th' position about 50 Turks broke through the weakly held Australian forward line – a ‘secret sap’ which was lightly held – and made for a machine gun position known as 'Turk’s Point' at the edge of Walker’s Ridge. At this point a counter-attack led by Major C Reynell of the 9th Light Horse got in behind these Turks and cut them off. One or two of these brave men, however, rushed the Australian machine guns before being killed.
On the right, in front of Hore’s position, the Turks pressed their attack but failed to break into the Australian trenches. Because these men got in close to the Australian front line their own artillery and machine guns were unable to support them. The Australians threw out flares into no-man’s-land and the enemy became clearly visible. Charles Bean wrote later:
Under these conditions the Australians fired practically as they pleased, and the attack, which appeared to come in three waves, withered before them ... The attack of the 18th Turkish Regiment, though gallantly delivered, had by 2 a.m. been everywhere defeated. About the first break of dawn another wave emerged, but was met by fire from the spas and by the machine guns at Turk’s Point, which caught some of the enemy on the horizon, and subsequently caused heavy loss among others who were streaming down Baby 700 to reinforce the front.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, pp.315–316]
The Turk’s regarded 30 June as a 'black night'. An estimated 100 Turks lay dead in no-man’s-land and it was this sad scene that Hore depicts in his drawing. When daylight came, many wounded and uninjured Turks tried to crawl back to their own lines. Some of these were shot but efforts were also made to help the wounded and dying. Captain Aubrey Herbert, described by Bean as ' a gallant and chivalrous British officer', walked out in front of the lines at great risk to himself to bring in a badly wounded Turk.
Overall that night the 18th Regiment lost 200 killed and three times that number were wounded. The Australian light horse had seven men killed and 19 wounded. Ironically, just five weeks later the 8th Light Horse was virtually destroyed in its famous charge across the Nek on 7 August 1915, an operation in which Hore was again involved.
[For a full description of the Turkish attack of 30 June 1915 across the Nek see Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, pp.307–316].
The French 75 millimetre field gun was among the most feared weapons used by the Turks on Gallipoli. It fired a high velocity, high explosive shell which burst in the Anzac trenches before men became aware of the whistling sound of its approach. Generally, a 75 shell burst on top of the parapet of a trench and sent jagged pieces of hot steel hurtling along the trench. The wounds from such a shell bust can well be imagined and Hore’s drawing captures the fear with which men regarded the 75s.
‘... Is the gun alright, Sergeant?’
Charles Bean described the following artillery duel on Anzac between Tukish 75s and the 18 pounder guns of the 8th Battery, Australian Field Artillery located at the Pimple on 400 Plateau behind Lone Pine. It presents a graphic illustration of the effects of a 75 shell-burst on human flesh:
From July 13th to 17th, when the bombardments of Steele’s [Post] were most severe, Browne’s battery in the Pimple fought a daily duel with the 75s. The position from which some of them were firing was already known to the Australian artillery as that of the enemy’s ‘sandpit’ battery. Presently, however, it was discovered that at least one of the 75s was firing from some other direction. The infantry detected a flash, apparently of a gun, behind Battleship Hill. On to this Browne on July 17th endeavoured to register a section of his battery. Since only two guns under Lieutenant Edwards were available, and since the 75s at once returned their fire, rapid shooting became necessary in order to ‘smother’ them. Other gun-detachments were ordered to stand by, in order to ‘carry on’ if either of the crews were disabled.
The expected happened. After several high-explosive shells from the 75s had burst on the parapet, another struck the shield of No.1 gun and blew away its crew. Sergeant Taylor, covered with wounds, struggled to continue firing, but the relieving detachment, which had sprung at once to the gun, forced him, strongly protesting, away from it. ‘See after the others’ he said, ‘I'm only scratched.’ Of ‘the others’ one gunner, Barrett-Lennard, a youngster of twenty-one, lay with an arm and a thigh shattered, but his life lingered for a minute or two. 'Look after the sergeant,' he insisted. 'I'm all right – I'm done, but, by God, you see, I'm dying hard.' Another, Stanley Carter, part of whose back had been torn away, also regained a brief consciousness before he died. 'Is the gun all right, sergeant?' were his first words. Of such mettle were the men who, under the almost insuperable difficulties of Anzac, fought their guns throughout the campaign.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, pp.343–344]
This drawing shows the sweeping panorama seen from Walker’s Ridge of the northern part of the Anzac and Suvla positions captured after the August offensive. Hore has marked the spot at the Nek where he was wounded during the famous charge of the Australian light horsemen on 7 August 1915.
Hore has also marked on the drawing the locations of No.1, 2 and 3 Outposts in the middle ground near the sea, and Table Top ‘where we are now – 5 Oct 15’. Behind the Outposts and near the sea toward Suvla, Chocolate Hill is marked. On the horizon further inland from west to east Hore has marked Karakol Dagh, W. Hill, Little Anafarta, Rhododendron Ridge, Chunk Bair and 971. In the foreground at right, he has marked the location of ‘our fire trench’ directly in front of Monash Gully and the position from where he and his men charged on 7 August.
‘... And so perished the 8th Light Horse’
Of all the actions on Gallipoli known is probably now better known in Australia than the charge of the lighthorsemen – 8th Light Horse (Victoria) and 10th Light Horse (Western Australia) Regiments – on 7 August 1915 at the Nek. This is largely the result of the Peter Weir film Gallipoli released in 1982 which featured this action as the film’s bloody climax. At the Nek Hore was a Captain in the 8th Light Horse and he charged for the Turkish line in the second wave. Charles Bean wrote of Hore’s fate that morning. He was on the extreme right of the second wave and managed, by running as fast as he could, to get within 20 metres of the Turkish line. Looking back he saw he was the only one left moving in that line so he flung himself to the ground. This undoubtedly saved his life although he was wounded. Hore later wrote a letter to his mother in Australia describing the action at the Nek. The letter was published in the Melbourne Argus:
I write on board the hospital ship with a bullet through the bone of my right foot and another through my right shoulder, the later only an inconvenience and the former a clean hole which ought to heal in about six weeks. Truly we have been through the valley of the shadow of death as our Regiment has been cut to pieces and all our officers killed or wounded except two, out of eighteen officers present twelve were killed and four wounded.
Our orders were that at half past four on August 7th we were to rush the Nek which divides us from the Turks and ...after that bayonet our way up the trenches as far as we could.
The Navy was to bombard them heavily for about half an hour and it was expected that this would hurt them so much that we could get across without much loss. All our preparations and thoughts were concentrated upon our action once we were in the [Turkish] trenches. We paraded in shirt sleeves, six biscuits, water bottles full and two hundred rounds [of ammunition] per man, magazines not to be charged till we were in their front line. The attack would be in four lines to be followed by others if successful. At four am we stood to arms in our trenches, the bombardment started and in twenty-five minutes it stopped. Immediately a fierce cackle of fire came out of the Turkish trenches. We knew we were doomed. The bombardment had failed and had simply advertised our attack. I was in charge of the right wing of the second line, under me three subalterns and about one hundred and seventy five men. We were to start our charge after the first line had gone about fifty yards.
We had about one hundred yards to go, the first line starting from saps which are trenches in front of the firing line leading in the enemy’s direction. At twenty-five minutes past four we stood up in the banquettes of our tranches and in a few minutes the crackle of musketry turned into a roar. Never have I heard such an awful sound and no wonder. We knew they had three machine guns trained on the Nek and quite possibly there were more. The trench must have had at least two hundred men. Judging from the number we had in ours more likely two hundred and fifty. Now a machine gun fires at top speed six hundred rounds per minute and a rifleman fifteen rounds per minute. So we had concentrated on a piece of land say two hundred yards long and one hundred yards deep no fewer than five thousand bullets per minute.
Out went the first line and we waited for our word, by the time that they had gone the first forty yards they were down to a man. What could one hundred and seventy five men do against that volume of fire? We saw our fate in front of us but we were pledged to go and to their eternal credit the word being given not a man in the second line stayed in his trench. As I jumped out I looked down the line and they were all rising over the parapet. We bent low and ran as hard as we could. Ahead we could see the trench aflame with rifle fire. All round were smoke and dust kicked up by the bullets. I felt a sting on my shoulder and remember thinking that it could not be a hit or it would have hurt more. It bled a lot afterwards but was only a flesh wound.
I passed our first line all dead or dying it seemed and went on a bit further and flung myself down about forty yards from the Turkish trenches. I was a bit ahead of my men and got a good start and travelling lighter. I looked back and saw them all down mostly hit.
I did not know what to do, the dirt was spurting up all around like rain from a pavement in a thunderstorm. Some bigger spurts near me were either bombs or pom poms. I could notice they were much bigger. The trench ahead of me was a living flame, the roar of musketry not a bit diminished. I was protected by a little, a very little, fold in the ground and by a dead Turk ... I had looked around again and reckoned I could get about six men to follow and it would have been murder to take them on.
Lastly the supports had not started and if they had, they were only about one hundred and seventy five for the whole line, absolutely and totally inadequate. I made up my mind and started to shove myself backwards on the flat of my stomach. After going a few yards I felt a hard sting in my right foot but so long as my arms and chest were right I didn't mind. I passed through our dead and fell into one of the saps and managed to limp out into one of the back trenches and lay down wondering how on earth I got out of it. My three subalterns were killed and should say about seventy per cent of my men. There were no live men near me when I started back except one who did the same as I did and I hope got back.
Our Colonel was killed, one Major killed the other wounded, the only Captain (myself) wounded and ten subalterns killed and there wounded, and about five percent of the men. And so perished the 8th Light Horse.
[Hore’s letter, Melbourne Argus, no date, quoted in Cameron Simpson, Maygar’s Boys – A Biographical History of the 8th Light Horse Regiment AIF, 1914–1919, Moorooduc, 1997, p.281]
‘... A splendid holiday resort in happier times’
Many men who gazed around them at Gallipoli were impressed with the magnificent view from Walker’s Ridge and Russel’s Top. Major H M Alexander, commander of the Indian Mule Cart Corps on Anzac, was one of them:
The view from Walker’s Ridge at sundown on a fine day was hard to beat: its peaceful beauty ought never to have been disturbed by the din of battle. Anzac would have been a splendid holiday resort in happier times, with its grand climate in the early summer months: fine golf links could be laid out along the stretch between the old position and Suvla [ie along North Beach]; There is good sea-fishing, too; and those rugged hills must surely contain some kinds of game, while the sea bathing is of the very best – the water clear and warm, and deep within a few yards of the shore.
[Major H M Alexander, On Two Fronts: Being the Adventures of an Indian Mule Corps in France and Gallipoli, London, no date, p.166]
‘... The men have left everything to god’
Beyond the ranges to the north on this drawing Hore has marked the Turkish village of Anafarta. This was behind the Turkish lines and from this area a Turkish artillery battery shelled Anzac positions, notably Anzac Cove. These extracts are from the diary of an Under-Officer (Cadet) of the 17th Turkish Regiment who served in the Anafarta area. The diary fell into the hands of British intelligence and a translation can be found in a British General Headquarters Intelligence Bulletin.
29 August, Saturday.
I left GALLIPOLI [town] to camp in the night at BAIR KEUY.
30 August, Sunday.
Before sunrise we marched towards ULGHAR DERE.
Here the men had dinner and supper; they were also given two days rations and were separated for different units.
31 August, Monday.
Left wing of KEMIKLI (?) group off ANAFARTAS. I pass the night near the stores of our regiment about a half hour back of firing line. I see the Regiment Commander. I was sent to the 7th Coy [company].
1st September, Tuesday.
There was a continuous artillery battle today. I took command of the second platoon. The regularity I found here, I had not seen in school [training?]. There is tea every morning and regular food. There are always olives and raisins.
2nd September, Wednesday.
I went to the firing line with the commander of the 1st Platoon. I was desiring to see the enemy from a shorter distance. I was rather anxious. There are special instruments to see the enemy without being seen [periscopes]. I had hardly lifted the instrument, an enemy bullet broke it. This welcome was not so pleasant; however I went away the same evening. After tea I took my platoon to make somecommunication trenches. I am rather careless to the Dum-Dums [bullets] bursting all around me.
3rd September, Thursday.
Nothing worth recording.
4th September, Friday.
There are always enemy aeroplanes above us. Our artillery is shelling them, but without result. Bombs dropped from the aeroplanes cause great damage. The men have left everything to God and are expecting to be killed every moment. After the flying of the enemy aeroplanes four of the warships, left of Kemieli Burun began an unprecedented bombardment on our back trenches only 30 metres away deprivse us of many of our dear comrades. My ears are deafened; the ships ceased firing; with fixed bayonets we are waiting for the enemy’s attack.
5th September, Saturday.
Our men will take the trenches today. I saw that our part was safer than the others, because, while on the right the opposite trenches are almost touching each other, our distance is about 150 metres.
[Appendix II, Intelligence Bulletin, 10/10/15, Intelligence, GHQ, MEF, 1/5/1–1/5/12, PC2, Australian War Memorial 4]
In this drawing Hore has depicted mules of the Indian Mule Cart Transport carrying so-called ‘fantassies’ of water. The unit historian of the 28th Battalion, AIF, described the carrying of water supplies to the men in the front line trenches located in the Sari Bair ranges in the northern part of the Anzac position:
It has already been said that water was scarce. A few wells existed, but were quite unequal to the demands made upon them. It was therefore necessary to carry water for some distance. Two-gallon petrol tins were used for this purpose by special fatigue parties. Larger quantities were carried in ‘fantassies’ – 10 gallon tanks borne in pairs on mules – and delivered to theQuartermaster, who was responsible for the distribution of all supplies and stores. Not always was it possible to secure sufficient for ablution purposes, and at one time – during November – the issue was restricted to quarter gallon per diem per man for all purposes. At the Apex, while water was scarce, small parties from the reserve companies were taken in turn to the beach and allowed to bathe. A certain amount of risk was attached to these proceedings, as the enemy shelled the locality whenever a target offered. Fortunately the parties escaped without casualty.
[Colonel H B Collet, The 28th: A Record of War Service with the Australian Imperial Force, 1915–1919, Perth, 1922, p.99]
This scene is at North Beach, Anzac. There is some difficulty in deciding just when Hore painted this scene. In pen, he has dated it ‘Oct 1915’. However, he may have imagined this particular occasion in retrospect for by October North Beach had become the main winter base for the Anzac position and was covered in stores, tents and other equipment. Where the bathers are shown on the painting there was, by September 1915, a landing pier.
‘...The closest call of my life’
Swimming on Anzac could be a dangerous activity as this passage from Lance Corporal Archibald Barwick’s (1st Battalion, AIF) diary shows:
On the next day [14 July] I had the closest call of my life and I have had a few. It had been a scorching day and in the evening I went down for a swim. There were thousands in bathing and the water was lovely. I had a good swim and was drying myself along with 4 others on an old barge, when without any warning, I heard a terrific bang and the next thing I knew was that I was laying on my back in the water and I could hear someone singing out. I scrambled out pretty fast you bet, and saw what had happened. A shell had burst on the barge and 2 of the chaps were killed. One of them a Tr [Trooper] in the 7th Light Horse had both his legs blown off. There were also 4 others badly wounded. It was a terrible sight to see the legs and arms laying about and hard as I was I was [it] quite sickened me for a while. How on earth I escaped is a mystery to me for I was right among them. You may laugh at me but I declare I felt the pieces of shell as they shot past me. That sacred me for a while as I had seen so many accidents on the beach.
[Archibald Barwick diary, 22 August 1914-c.11 September 1915, pp.139–140, ML MSS 1493, item 1, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales]
This ink and wash sketch shows the view from the heights above Anzac Cove and North Beach looking to the north towards Suvla Bay, with ships at sea. It is annotated with the note ‘Early morning, Gallipoli. Oct. 1915. Old No. 3 Outpost captured from Turks by Maoris Aug 6/7 night. The islands Samothrace and Imbros are labeled, and the ships are noted as minesweepers. On the hillside in the lower left of the sketch are the words ‘Tunnel connecting 2 positions’.
This sad picture shows Hore’s sympathy with the horses and mules on Gallipoli. This is not surprising, as Hore himself was clearly something of a horseman having joined a light horse unit. The scene is on the beach to the north of the Anzac position close to Suvla Bay. In the background across the water Hore has marked the mountainous island of Imbros.
‘...Mistaken for the periscope’
As this passage from the official British history of the veterinary services in World War I indicates, the sight of dead animals was a common one on Gallipoli:
The disposal of carcasses was even more difficult. Cremation was impracticable, so burial was tried in the early stage. Owing to the limited ground available it was not easy to find suitable places, and after selecting them troops resting from the severe hardships of battle, or unfit for the front line, had to be called upon to assist in digging enormous graves. Some of the places selected were very sandy, and as fast as the sand was thrown out it fell in at the sides. On one occasion at Suvla a rough sea washed all the top of a burial ground away leaving the carcasses exposed. Some of the carcasses were towed out into the current from the Narrows; some of these were thus washed out into the sea, but the majority drifted in the current and were cast up on the beaches and rocks along the shore road, where they lay till broken up by the waves. At first the carcasses were not cut open and, after drifting out to sea, the hoofs projected out of the water and were on more than one occasion mistaken for the periscope of a hostile submarine.
[Major-General Sir L J Blenkinsop and Lieut-Colonel J W Rainey (eds), History of the Great war Based on Official Documents, Veterinary Services, London, 1925, p.112]
This drawing shows the turn off to the Maori camp from the ‘Great Sap’ along North Beach. On 2 July 1915, 16 officers and 461 men of what was known as the Maori Contingent of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) landed at Anzac Cove on Gallipoli. The Maoris were sent to No 1 Outpost above North Beach where they established their camp. This area of the Anzac defences for which they became responsible the Maoris named the ‘NZ Mauripah’.
The carving is called a ‘poupou'. The poupous were erected around a ‘pa’ or site to indicate its boundaries and to show that the people who possessed it were connected with that particular place. The most likely meaning of the word ‘Mauripah’ in this context is simply ‘Maori camp’ or place. Around the carving Hore has drawn a line running from the right, then underneath the carving and on to the left. This was a telegraph line and the New Zealand official historian wrote that:
The telegraph linesmen of the Signal Troop have condescended to drop their wire a little to avoid the figure.
[Major Fred Waite, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli, Auckland, 1921, p194.
This page also shows a photograph of the Maori carving]
‘... The long handled shovels swung without ceasing’
One of the early tasks of the Maori contingent on Gallipoli was to assist with the widening of the ‘Great Sap’ the deep trench leading from Ari Burnu inland of North Beach to the New Zealand posts in preparation for the planned ‘August Offensive’. This needed to be done in order that both men and mules could pass in the trench and that supplies could be built up at the bottom of the valleys leading up into the ranges. The early part of the trench lay through sand and had been easy to widen and excavate. Throughout the July nights of 1915, the Maoris, along with men from the 4th Australian Brigade, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and the Australian Light Horse, toiled at the harder clay soils inland of the beach. The Maoris were regarded as the best workers:
Man is naturally a lazy animal. When men work hard, there is always some incentive. The Maori soldier, picked man that he was, wished to justify before the world that his claim to a front-line soldier was not an idle one. Many a proud rangatira served his country in the ranks, an example to some of his pakeha brothers. Their discipline was superb and when their turn came for a working party, the long handled shovels swung without ceasing until, just before the dawn, the signal came to pack up and get home.
[Major Fred Waite, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli, Auckland, 1921, p194]
A Maori soldier’s letter home
Private Huirua Rewha, of Ngapuhi, New Zealand, wrote this letter from Malta (the Maori contingent trained on Malta before arriving on Gallipoli) to his parents at Rawhiti, Bay of Islands, North Island, New Zealand:
Come to me, go from me, my letter of love to my parents, Rewha and Mae. Vaguely the thought steals through my mind that this is my last letter. That is why I greet you thus. So, again, goodbye to all at home, to all my relations who live there, and whom I did not see before leaving. Only if luck guides my steps shall I return. For the order has come that we are to move to the forefront of battle, to enter the scorching flames of the firing line. For many days have we been quite ready. We Maoris are now off to strike to finish what we came here for. The head officers of our party are here after greeting us, and are now instructing us in methods of warfare. Your letter of love has come to me. I am well; my only grief is I hear nothing but the English voice. It is so; therefore, I must not grieve. I now feel my spirit, my soul, my whole body are not mine. Never mind.
[James Cowen, The Maoris in the Great War A History of The New Zealand Native Contingent and Pioneer Battalion, Auckland, 1926, p.25]
Hore depicts here the slopes leading up to the peak of Chunuk Bair which were attacked and temporarily held by New Zealand and British units during the ‘August Offensive’ of 6–10 August 1915. Hore’s use of the word ‘sinister’ to describe Chunuk Bair is perhaps a reference to the thousands of New Zealand, British, Indian, Gurkha and Turkish troops who died here during those days. After the Turks, on the morning of 10 August, had hurled the New Zealanders and British from the peak of Chunuk Bair, new trench lines and defensive positions were established by both sides on the seaward slopes of the hills and valleys leading to the peak. Two places specifically marked by Hore are the Apex and the Farm.
The Apex was a nek or junction of land connecting the spur of high land between the valleys of the Sazli Beit Dere and the Aghyl Dere to Rhododendron Spur. Rhododendron Spur led on to the peak of Chunuk Bair itself. After the August Offensive, the Apex became one of the most important defensive positions on Anzac. The Turkish trenches were up the slope at various distances ranging from 50 to 100 metres. If the Apex was rushed and taken then the whole of the Anzac line further north could be fired upon and forced back.
Between 12 September and 4 October 1915, the 28th Battalion (Western Australia) held the Apex trenches. During that period the unit suffered 103 casualties in what was a quiet period on Gallipoli: 13 killed, 9 died of wounds, 46 wounded and 35 evacuated sick. Altogether the battalion’s 22 days at the Apex cost it over half of all its dead on Gallipoli where it served until evacuated between 12 and 19 December. While at the Apex, the men of the 28th lived with the constant reminder of death in front of their trenches:
In No-man’s Land, in front of the two posts [No 2 and 3 Posts positions at the Apex] mentioned, could be seen the remains of a trench dug by the New Zealanders in their August advance. This they had been compelled to abandon together with their dead comrades who lay about, still unburied, rapidly decomposing in the sun which yet retained the strength of summer.
[Colonel H B Collet, The 28th: A Record of War Service with the Australian Imperial Force, 1915–1919, Perth, 1922, p.81]
The 28th Battalion’s unit history contains a well written and detailed narrative of the unit’s time at the Apex – Colonel H B Collet, The 28th: A Record of War Service with the Australian Imperial Force, 1915–1919, Perth, 1922, pages 67–95.
The Farm was a cleared terrace of land on the seaward side of Chunuk Bair, a few hundred metres below the summit. In 1915 there stood here a small hut made of rocks. In March 1919, Charles Bean, now Australia’s official war historian, visited Chunuk Bair and walked down to the Farm:
On the small open field or terrace of the Farm a few tumbled stones showed where the hut had stood. We noticed no traces of men on the terrace itself. But when we came to the seaward edge, where the valley dipped deep and steeply the remains of men were everywhere.
[C E W Bean, Gallipoli Mission, reprint, Sydney, 1990, p.232]
These men were the soldiers of Baldwin’s column who, on 10 August 1915, were killed in their hundreds by the Turks counter-attacking down the slopes from Chunuk Bair. This force, commanded by Brigadier General A H Baldwin, consisted of four battalions of British infantry, approximately 3,500 men. They had been sent to the Farm to support a planned New Zealand assault on the heights of Chunuk Bair at dawn on 9 August. By that time, however, they had not reached the Farm and the New Zealand attack came to nothing. When they arrived later and tried to move across the open field they were subjected to fierce fire from the Turks on the heights. Baldwin’s men found cover under the steep seaward slope of the terrace and dug in. It was there on the morning of 10 August that the Turks found them as they charged down the slope of Chunuk Bair and across the terrace. A British soldier, Sergeant Hargrave, was watching the scene through his binoculars from Suvla:
Below the oncoming shoulder-to-shoulder mass we saw little groups of men scattering, breaking down the gully-forks, taking cover behind crook-backed knolls, crossing scrub-covered architraves from one gully-fork to another, crawling forward, firing uphill
[Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli, London, 1999, p.300]
It is estimated that in that attack the Turks killed about 1,000 British soldiers. Others fled into the ravines and valleys and were never seen again. Bean recorded that the scenes that he and his party looked at around the Farm ‘got us down’:
For some reason the dissolution of human remains in that lofty area was not quite so complete as at Old Anzac; and the number that must have been trapped, and the hopelessness of the situation on those steep ridges when once they were caught there, did not bear thinking of
[C E W Bean, Gallipoli Mission, reprint, Sydney, 1990, p.234]
Today the most visible thing at the Farm is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery of that name. In it lie the remains of 634 British soldiers in unmarked graves. Special memorials record the names of seven soldiers believed to be buried among them. One of these memorials commemorates Lieutenant Colonel Mervyn Nunn, the commanding officer of the 9th Battalion, the Worcestershire Regiment. During his search of the Farm area in 1919, Bean found the coat of colonel of the Worcestershire Regiment and that it must have belonged to Nunn.
General Sir Ian Hamilton was an old India hand and appreciated the Gurkha’s ability to fight in hilly terrain and he had lobbied hard to get a Gurkha Brigade included when organizing the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. In this sketch Hore shows their camp as being very close to the Turkish-held ridge, with shellfire landing very close.
This seemingly peaceful autumn scene at Gallipoli shows the sweep of the coast looking south along North Beach from a point just beyond the so-called ‘Outposts’ and inland of the coast. Beyond the ‘The Outposts’ is the great promontory of the ‘Sphinx’ with the heights of Plugge’s Plateau to the right. The first headland or point is Ari Burnu, and beyond, hidden from view, is Anzac Cove. Hore has also marked Achi Baba, the hill rising from the plain at the British position at Helles, Gaba Tepe point, and the Greek island of Tenedos, a bump rising from the sea in the far distance at the right of the sketch.
These small hills lie at the end of spurs running down from the main Sari Bair range. They marked the northern extremity of the Anzac position before the start of the August Offensive on 6 August 1915. New Zealanders of the Nelson Company established No 1 and No 2 Outpost on 30 April 1915. Their purpose was to protect a howitzer located behind Walker’s Ridge on North Beach. It was from the outposts that scouts of the Canterbury Battalion, 1st New Zealand Infantry Brigade – notably Major Percy Overton – explored the rugged valleys, ravines and spurs leading up from the coast behind the Turkish positions on the ranges. From the encouraging results of these expeditions the plan for the great ‘August Offensive’ at Anzac was evolved.
During the August offensive and for a few weeks thereafter, Englishman, Captain Aubrey Herbert, an intelligence officer with the staff of the New Zealand and Australian and Division, was based at the Outposts. To his diary he confided some interesting observations about the New Zealanders on Anzac. In particular, he spent some time with 63 New Zealanders in an old Turkish fort up in the ranges near No 3 Outpost:
I admired nothing in the war more than the spirit of these sixty-three New Zealanders, who were soon to go to their last fight [possibly at Hill 60]. When the day’s work was over, and the sunset swept the sea, we used to lean upon the parapet and look up to where Chunuk Bair flamed, and talk. The great distance from their own country created an atmosphere of loneliness. This loneliness was emphasised by the fact that the New Zealanders rarely received the same recognition as the Australians in the Press, and many of their gallant deeds went unrecorded or were attributed to their greater neighbours. But they had a silent pride that put these things into proper perspective. The spirit of these men was unconquerable. At night, when the great moon of the Dardanelles soared and all was quiet except the occasional whine of a bullet overhead the voices of the tired men continually argued the merits of the Expedition, and there was always one end of these discussions: 'Well, it may all be a __ mistake, but in a war of this size you will have mistakes of this size, and it doesn't matter a _ to us whether we are for it here or in France, for we came to do one job, and its nothing to us whether we finish it in one place or another'. The Turks were not the only fatalists in those days.
[Aubrey Herbert, Mons, Kut and Anzac, London, 1919, pp.83–84, internet edition, http://www.raven.cc.ukans.edu/~libsite/ww1-www/mons.htm]
The sketch shows two soldiers possibly tending the wounds of a donkey or mule. The title is a quote from Alexander Pope, suggesting that the men’s kindness to animals makes them better people. The donkey is a separate breed from the horse. A mule is the progeny of either of a stallion and female donkey, or, as is more common, a mare and male donkey. A mule is always infertile. Donkeys were used by stretcher bearers from the start of the campaign, as made famous by Simpson. The mules on the other hand were in constant demand to carry supplies to the front line. They were particularly suited for this role because of their resistance to drought and temperature extremes. However, they are stubborn, difficult to handle and often irritable.
During June 1915 Hore had his tent in Mule Gully, a ravine or valley between Walker’s Ridge and the Sphinx above North Beach. This sketch shows the mule trains being loaded by their Indian handlers. On the left Hore has identified the narrow trench through which a mule train is passing as the ‘main sap to Anzac’. At right he has marked the ‘main sap to outposts...’
The first cases of frostbite on Gallipoli were experienced after the snowfall of 28 November 1915. Occasional storms had buffeted the Anzac beaches during October and November. On 26–27 November there was a strong westerly gale and it rained hard. Sergeant Cyril Lawrence recalled the wind and the rain:
Great streams of water came streaming down the gully and I thought it was ‘good bye dugout’, but they just missed it. Golly, how it blew and blew
[Sir Ronald East (ed), The Gallipoli Diaries of Sergeant Lawrence of the Australian Engineers, Melbourne, 1983, entry 27 June 1915, p.116]
At Suvla so heavy and sudden was the downpour that soldiers were drowned in the trenches. Then on 28 November the wind changed to the north, followed by a snowfall and two days of freezing weather. ‘An unforseen natural phenomenon with casualties worse than a battle’, was how one British officer described this weather. At Anzac there were 414 cases of frostbite but in the more open trenches at Suvla, 200 British soldiers literally froze to death. Between 30 November and 8 December 15,791 men were medically evacuated from Gallipoli and of these 12,000 were due to the weather.
[Source: A G Butler, Gallipoli, Palestine and New Guinea, Vol 1, Official History of the Australian Army Medical Services, 1914–1918, Canberra, 1930, p.440]
Captain Watson Smith, 1/6th Gurkha Rifles, described how frostbite affected his men at Anzac:
The 29th [29 November] was the first time since the 26th evening that I was able to get of the men’s boots, and the state of their feet appalled me. In nearly every case they had lumps of ice between their toes; their feet were white as far as the ankle and insensible to touch.
Throughout all this time I never heard a single complaint. The men were cheerful and ready to laugh at a joke. No praise could be too high for them.
To give one instance, my field orderly, Hastabir Pun, had accompanied me everywhere during those three days; always he was at my heels, and never had been anything but cheerful and keen. Yet on the 30th, when I made him show me his feet, to my horror I found them black with gangrene from neglected frostbite. He had never said a word to me and never would have. His case is not an exceptional one, but merely a typical example of the courage these Gurkhas displayed.
[Byron Farewell, The Gurkhas, London, 1984, pp.102–103]
This drawing, done by Hore on 14 December 1915, captured the mood of the Australian soldiers when they learnt that Anzac was to be evacuated. This fact only became common knowledge on 13 December. Hore’s reaction, on the very next day, was to draw a scene depicting someone they would have to leave behind – an ‘unknown comrade’ in a grave high up in the Sari Bair ranges. Charles Bean wrote that the news came as a great shock to the troops and that many bitterly resented the abandonment of a campaign which had cost the lives of so many of their mates. Sergeant Cyril Lawrence, 2nd Field Company, Australian Engineers, confided to his diary that he had heard that the men of the 1st and 2nd Australian Brigades were ‘raising Cain’ about the thought of leaving and that they had said that they would refuse to leave their trenches. However, a more peaceful reaction was the appearance of many men in the cemeteries tidying up and contemplating the graves.
Immediately after the war, the Imperial War Graves Commission (later Commonwealth War Graves Commission) set about constructing the war cemeteries and battle memorials which today, along with Turkish memorials, are the most visible reminder of what happened at Gallipoli in 1915. Charles Bean returned there in early 1919 to explore the ‘riddles’ of Anzac and to report on the cemeteries. He foresaw that eventually Gallipoli would become a place of pilgrimage for Australians, New Zealanders and the British. Today, thousands are turning up for the Anzac Dawn Service now being held at the Anzac Commemorative Site at North Beach where on 25 April 1915 such fierce fighting took place around the Sphinx in the early stages of the landing.
‘... I hope they wont hear us’
Charles Bean was conscious of the way in which Australian soldiers felt the evacuation of Gallipoli as a desertion of their dead mates:
But the consideration which did go straight to every man’s heart was the tragedy of confessing failure after so many and well-loved comrades had given their lives to the effort. The men hated to leave their dead mates to the mercy of the Turks. For days after the breaking of the news there were never absent from the cemeteries men by themselves, or in twos and threes, erecting new crosses or tenderly 'tidying-up' the grave of a friend. This was by far the deepest regret of the troops. ‘I hope’ said one of them to Birdwood [General Birdwood] on the final day, pointing to a little cemetery, 'I hope they don't here us marching down the deres [gullies]'.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.882]
‘... Here lies a Turk’
In one of his final despatches from Anzac Australia’s official war correspondent, Charles Bean, recorded this story of the burial of a dead Turkish soldier:
The most pathetic evidence that I have heard of [of Australian regard for the Turks] is a little wooden cross found in the scrub, just two splinters of biscuit box tacked together, with the inscription 'Here lies a Turk'. The poor soul would probably turn in his grave if his ghost could see that rough cross above him. But he need not worry. It was put there in all sincerity. Some Australian found him and buried him exactly as he would bury one of our own men – with that last little homage to mark the resting-place of a man fighting for his country.
[Charles Bean, Dispatch, 1 December 1915, Commonwealth Gazette, 13 January 1916, p.92]
‘... We'll call it ‘Anzac’ still’
One of the best known valedictory poems about Gallipoli is Major Oliver Hogue’s 'Anzac'. Hogue, from Sydney, New South Wales, served on Anzac as a staff officer in the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and produced a book about his experiences – Trooper Bluegum at the Dardanelles: Descriptive Narratives of the More Desperate Engagements on the Gallipoli Peninsula. His poem ‘Anzac’ first appeared in that book and it caught the mood of sadness the Anzacs felt at leaving their dead behind. Notice, too, Hogue’s praise for the men – especially the young Midshipmen – of the British Royal Navy who had made possible the landing of 25 April, who had supported them with shellfire, who had kept them supplied, and who eventually risked their lives to take the Anzacs away.
Ah, well, we're gone! We're out of it now. We've something else to do.
But we all look back from the transport deck to theland-line far and blue:
Shore and valley are faded; fading are cliff and hill;
The land-line we called ‘Anzac’ ... and we'll callit ‘Anzac’ still.
This last six months, I reckon, 'll be most of my life to me:
Trenches, and shells, and snipers, and the morninglight on the sea,
Thirst in the broiling mid-day, shouts and grasping cries,
Big guns' talk from the water, and ...flies, flies,flies, flies, flies.
And all the trouble wasted! All of it gone for nix!
Still ... we kept our end up – and some of the story sticks.
Fifty years on in Sydney they'll talk of our first big fight,
And even in little old, blind old England possibly some one might.
But, seeing we had to clear, for we couldn't get no more,
I wish that, instead of last night, it had been the night before.
Yesterday poor Jim stopped one. Three of us buried Jim –
I know a woman in Sydney that thought the world of him.
She was his mother. I'll tell her – broken with grief and pride –
‘Mother’ was Jim’s last whisper. That was all. And died.
Brightest and bravest and best of us all – none could help but to love him –
And now ... he lies there under the hill, with a wooden cross above him.
That’s where it gets me twisted. The rest of it I don't mind,
it don't seem right for me to be off, and to leave old Jim behind.
Jim, just quietly sleeping; and hundreds and thousands more;
For graves and crosses are mighty thick from Quinn’s Post down to the shore.
Better there than in France, though, with the German’s dirty work:
I reckon the Turk respects us, as we respect the Turk;
Abdul’s a good, clean fighter – we've fought him, and found him so.
Not just to say, precisely, 'Good-bye' but 'Au revoir'!
Somewhere or other we'll meet again, before the end of the war!
But I hope it'll be in a wider place, with a lot more room on the map,
the airmen over the fight that day'll see a bit of a scrap!
Meanwhile, here’s health to the Navy, that took us there, and away;
Lord! they're miracle-workers – and fresh ones every Day!
My word those Mids* in the cutters! Aren't they properly keen!
ever say old England’s rotten – or not to us, whov'e seen!
Well! We're gone. We're out of it all! We've some-where else to fight.
And we strain our eyes from the transport deck, but ‘Anzac’ is out of sight!
Valley and shore have vanished; vanished are cliff and hill;
And we'll never go back to ‘Anzac’ ... But I think that some of us will!
[Oliver Hogue, Trooper Bluegum at the Dardanelles, London, no date, pp.282–284]
* British Midshipmen, young apprentice officers who commanded many of the boats which took the Anzacs ashore form the battleships, destroyers and transports on 25 April 1915.
‘... These by the Dardanelles laid down their shining youth’
In 1932 the Australian poet Christopher Brennan drew Charles Bean’s attention to a Greek epigram which seemed to sum up the desire of the ancient Athenians to give honour and commemoration to those who had died in battle to defend the city’s interests. This particular epigram (text below) referred to men who had died on the Gallipoli peninsula. For Bean this showed how the Australians, who had lost their lives there over 2,300 years later, were in a long line of soldier patriots who had died for their country. It has been pointed out that Bean’s great two-volume work – The Story of Anzac – is devoid of any reference to the classical setting of the Gallipoli tragedy:
Bean’s official history was almost chilling in its curt factuality; the only reference to Troy concerned an Australian sergeant of that name.
[Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli, London, 1999, p.351]
However, Bean’s quick appreciation of the ancient Greek epigram and his desire to hang a replica of it in his proposed Australian War Memorial, is evidence that he was alive to the ancient tradition of battle and death associated with the peninsula.
These by the Dardanelles laid down their shining youth In battle and won fair renown for their native land, So that their enemy groaned carrying war’s harvest from the field – But for themselves they founded a deathless monument of valour.
‘... The task was practically finished’
In his Gallipoli Mission, first published in 1948, Charles Bean provided a clear description of the Imperial War Graves Commission cemeteries and monuments on Gallipoli:
By the end of 1924 the task was practically finished. The grave of each soldier whose name was known was marked by a low headstone. The unknown, of whom there were even more, especially in the new cemeteries in which the bodies that lay close around were collected, were buried among, and beside, the known; but, often, owing to the difficulty of identifying the remains as those of any one body, they were marked by no headstone but covered only by the green lawn of the plot, the lines of those graves being sometimes marked by rosemary. Thus in some cemeteries, where there were few known graves, the plot of lawn itself, surrounded by plantation and partly by wall and memorial stone, was the cemetery. The names of those whose individual graves were not known, and of those who were not found or who were buried at sea from the hospital ships or transports, were carved on stone memorials: those of New Zealanders on the walls of the cemetery nearest to which they fell and where they possibly lie; those of British and Indian soldiers on the beautiful memorial at Cape Helles; and those of Australians at our main memorial at Lone Pine, or else at Helles with the British. A New Zealand memorial was raised on Chunuk Bair.
[Charles Bean, Gallipoli Mission, Canberra, 1948, pp.341–342]
‘... One big graveyard’
In his Gallipoli Mission, first published in 1948, Charles Bean set out his vision for the cemeteries of Gallipoli:
This report [Bean’s second report on the Anzac cemeteries written in 1919] like the first, envisaged the whole Anzac area as on big graveyard which would probably be visited by thousands of Australians and others yearly, and in which the dead, merely by being buried where they fell, or where their comrades had carried them, would commemorate their achievements better than any inscription. Thus anyone standing by the graves on Baby 700 or Quinn’s, or the Nek, or Chunuk Bair, or the line of them on Pine Ridge – especially if he knew the story of the campaign – could not fail to grasp something of what those men, and indeed those opposed to them, had done and were. After perhaps all great wars – certainly after all modern ones – soldiers and relatives and, later, interested visitors have flowed to the battlefields; and one’s mind could see Anzac, the most striking battlefield of that war, being the goal of pilgrimages from Britain and the Anzac countries, a calling place on Mediterranean tours, a regular stopping place for those who visited Egypt and the Holy Land and thence made their way by Damascus and the Taurus to Asia Minor, Constantinople and Greece. Here was a battlefield in which, though the trenches could not be preserved – as was being done in France – the graves themselves would mark the front line and even the farthest lines reached in the struggle so heroic on both sides.
[Charles Bean, Gallipoli Mission, Canberra, 1948, pp.327–328]
‘... Eager to see the tragic peninsula’
As Charles Bean predicted it was not long before visitors began arriving at the cemeteries of Gallipoli. He even recorded one Australian father who, in April 1920, managed to reach Gallipoli where the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission was in full swing. In 1924 the Australian Prime Minister, Stanley Melbourne Bruce, visited; in 1925 the liner Ormonde brought the New Zealand High Commissioner to London and 400 others to unveil the New Zealand Memorial on Chunuk Bair; and in 1935 General Sir William Birdwood, the Anzac Corps commander in 1915, walked again on the sand of Anzac Cove. Those who visited in those early days after the Great War were usually relatives of the dead with a strong personal need to see the grave or commemorated name of a loved one. Some of the emotion they must have felt is conveyed in this passage describing the arrival of the cruise ship Duchess of Richmond at the Dardanelles in April 1934:
In the quietude of the Aegean evening a white-haired lady accompanied by a chaplain, walked slowly to the stern-rail of the Duchess of Richmond which was passing between the islands. Almost unnoticed by anyone on board, the padre offered a prayer and the lady dropped a wreath upon the sea, for it was near this spot where the transport Royal Edward, conveying 1,400 troops, was lost in August 1915. Among the hundreds of young men who went to their death in that swift tragedy had been her only son. The island of Lemnos was screened by darkness, but that night on board, many episodes were recalled of the days when Mudros was a naval and military base seething with activity. Many former ranks made arrangements with the steward for an early call the following morning, the Monday (April 30th), when the ship was due to arrive in Kelia Bay. Long before dawn, many of them were on the open deck, muffled against the chill breeze caused by the liner’s progress. The silence, and the lighthouse beam which marked the position of Cape Helles, were in contrast to the dull thunder of the guns and the vivid yellow flashes which greeted the reinforcements who approached by night during the campaign. Before five o'clock, the hardy few who had talked in whispers in the darkness, were joined by numerous men and women swathed in dressing-gowns or wraps, eager to see the tragic Peninsula lifting into view with the dawn.
‘... How quiet it is’
The remark was made by an ex-corporal of the 29th Division, who was standing near me on the port side of the boat-deck. The same thought must have occurred to other ex-Service men returning to this well-known scene. What emotions were raised by this approach to Gallipoli, so many years after the events which formed the most heroic tragedy in British history. Men and women talked in hushed tones, like visitors in the transept of a cathedral. Imbros lay on the port beam; there is no mistaking the contours of this island, where Sir Ian Hamilton had his headquarters and where later many Gallipoli survivors went to be ‘fattened’ for the trenches of France. To starboard was Rabbit Island, useful cover for monitors and other naval craft, and on the starboard bow were the Asiatic hills, dark in contrast with the glowing eastern sky. Those who took part in the original landings on April 25th,'15, were repaid especially for leaving the warm comfort of their state-rooms. The sky was pink over Asia, and the sea smooth. By a fortunate chance, Nature reproduced similar weather to that of the landings nineteen years ago. The white lighthouse at Helles' heel and the grey memorial like a finger pointing skyward, were the first features which struck an unfamiliar note. Ignoring Kum Kale on the Asiatic side where a minor landing took place, the returning ‘veterans’ gathered along the port rails to identify the landmarks of the Peninsula. The battered forts of Sedd-el-Bahr became plainly visible, and V Beach where the River Clyde was put aground. Lancashire Landing, round the headland, slipped out of view as the ship steamed into the Dardanelles, affording a clear view of Achi Baba, Morto Bay and de Tott’s Battery. Near de Tott’s, an unfamiliar aspect was given by the French Memorial of snow-white marble. Another landmark beyond was where the Kerves Dere forms a gully through the cliffs to the sea. Here roughly was the limit of the Allied advance on the Dardanelles side of the Peninsula, and further on the coastline and general contours were strange to most of us. Perhaps after the great emotional experience, some in the gathering crowd had thoughts for the more remote drama of these historic lands. Eyes were turned towards the Plains of Troy across the Straits; someone quoted lines of Virgil about the return of Aeneas to blazing Troy. Those whose memory carries well to schooldays, may have recalled the account in Ovid’s ‘Heroides’ of Leander 'the young, the beautiful, the brave,' who used to swim the Hellespont at night from Abydos to visit his beloved Hero, priestess of Aphrodite at Sestos, and who at last drowned in a storm. From the safe deck of a liner it needed imagination to take the measure of a swimming feat, which centuries later, was emulated by the poet Byron and a Mr Ekenhead.
[Stanton Hope, Gallipoli Revisited, London, 1934, pp.35–36]
Sunset was a time appreciated by all who served on Gallipoli. There are many descriptions of this time of day in the hundreds of books, letters and diaries about the Gallipoli campaign. Here the soldier peacefully brews his cup of tea while the firing of the British warship in the distance is a reminder that this is a place of death and destruction.
‘... Tolls the knell of parting day’
This title echoes the first line of English poet Thomas Gray’s (1716–1771) ‘Elegy written in a country churchyard’:
The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward wends his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
A footnote in the Oxford edition of Grey’s works The Poems of Grey and Collins, Austin Lane Poole (ed), Oxford, 1961, p.91 suggests that Grey’s inspiration for these famous lines may have been the Italian medieval poet, Dante, whose Divine Comedy, ‘Purgatory’, Canto VIII begins:
Now – in the hour that melts with homesick yearning
The hearts of seafarers who’ve had to say
Farewell to those they love, that very morning
Hour when the new made pilgrim on his way
Feels a sweet pang go through him, if he hears
Far chimes that seem to knell the dying day.
[Dante, The Divine Comedy, ‘Purgatory’, Canto VIII, Penguin, 1972, p.126]
In choosing these famous lines of Grey for his title Hore may have been making an ironic comment on the nature of the Gallipoli battlefield. In the ‘Elegy’, Grey, the poet, sits peacefully in a churchyard at sunset and ponders on the meaning of the graves he sees around him. For him, those who lie there mostly simple rural farmers and labourers may in their own lowly and forgotten sphere of life have been men of courage and sensitivity. Poverty and lack of education and opportunity kept their talents hidden from the world. On Gallipoli, however, Hore is surrounded by the graves of men whom bullets and artillery have deprived of the chance fully to live their lives. There is irony, also, in suggesting that the Bacchante, a warship the monstrous noise of whose firing at the Turks disturbs the of the sunset, can be compared to Grey’s ‘curfew’ bell. That tranquil sound quietly marked for Grey the passing of another day and called humanity to ponder the meaning of this short earthly existence.
The British Royal Navy (RN) warship HMS Bacchante was a familiar sight to all who served in the Anzac area of Gallipoli. The ship was one of six Cressy Class cruisers built and launched in British shipyards between 1898 and 1903 and it had a top speed of 22 knots.
There are numerous references to the Baccahante in the Australian official histories of the Gallipoli campaign. The ship’s guns often fired on the Turks to support Australian attacks and against enemy artillery positions. Baccahante was part of the British naval force at the landing on 25 April 1915. Shortly after the landing began 4.45 am Turkish artillery fired at the Australians from a position near Gabe Tepe. Destroyers taking men to the shore from the transports were also shelled. Bacchante steamed inshore and went into action:
The cruiser Bacchante was firing regularly at the flashes. Her shells were high explosive that is to say, they hit the ground before they burst and depended for their effect upon the powerful explosive, which scattered abroad deadly fragments of the shell-case and tore great clouds of dust and earth from the neck [of land] upon which were the Turkish guns The men of the 2nd and 1st Brigades in the transports, which moved in between the battleships before the dawn, had been raised to a high state of excitement by the Bacchante’s shooting. By gum, that’s pat! shouted a private of the 1st Battalion on the Minnewaska’s well-deck, as he rushed to the side waving his cap.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol 1, Sydney, 1935, pp.278–279]
Bacchante remained in support at Anzac for the whole of the campaign and was part of the naval covering force for the evacuation of December 1915. The ship’s captain, Algenon Boyle, along with Captain C M Staveley, drew up the naval arrangements for the final two nights of the evacuation on 18–19 and 19–20 December 1915.
[Source: For full specifications of the Bacchante see Janes Fighting Ships, 1914, p.61]
From inside a boat about to leave North Beach, Anzac, we see the heights of the Sphinx and Plugge’s Plateau in the light of a huge fire just inland of the beach. Two men officers? may be standing either on the beach or just inside the boat. Hore’s title and date Finis, 20 Dec 1915 – indicates that this is the final evacuation of Anzac on the night of 19–20 December. On the final two days of the evacuation 18–19 and 19–20 December the Royal Navy removed without casualties approximately 20,200 British, Gurkha, New Zealand and Australian soldiers from Anzac. Hore’s unit the 8th Australian Light Horse had a party of approximately 38 manning the front line at Rhododendron Ridge in the northern sector of Anzac until 2.15 am on the morning of 20 December. They would have been among the last to leave that area and, as Bean, wrote ‘except for the rifles which had been left at a certain number of points to fire automatically, the whole northern half of the Anzac trenches was now lifeless’.
The fire on the beach is probably the one that broke out on the morning of 18 December in the main supply dump. It was contained but continued to burn in one area.
‘... The sky reddened’
In this passage Charles Bean described the fire at North Beach that burnt throughout the final days of the evacuation of Anzac:
An event which for a moment appeared likely to put the enemy on the qui vive [alert] was an accident which occurred at the very end of the intermediate stage [of the evacuation]. At 1 o’clock on the morning of December 18th, through some cause never ascertained, the central block of the large supply-dump on the foreshore of North Beach caught fire. The conflagration, feeding on thousands of biscuits, bacon, and tinned meat, and on drums of oil, quickly enveloped the whole stack. The sky reddened, and a gun in the Olive Grove began to fire. There was a moment of keen anxiety, since any general burning of stores might have suggested to the enemy that an evacuation was in progress. The desultory nature of his shelling, however, made it clear as was the case that he supposed the blaze to have been caused by the fire of his own guns, and that he was merely shelling the spot in an endeavour to increase the conflagration. General Lesslie, as always, went to the centre of the trouble on the beach and, working with a company of the 21st Battalion, some light horsemen, and other bystanders, succeeded in confining the fire to a single stack.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.885]
‘... Begging to be members of the last parties’
By 13 December 1915 most soldiers on Anzac were aware that Gallipoli was being evacuated. In this passage Charles Bean descried their reaction to the news:
Most officers and men, although not now expecting casualties such as those first estimated* believed that a large part of the rear-guard would probably be killed or captured. Yet from the moment when the scheme for retirement became known the officers of every unit were besieged with men begging to be members of the last parties. The general order, however, was that the personnel of those parties must be obtained by selection of the most active and suitable, not by volunteering. Nevertheless many demanded inclusion almost as a right ‘I was here at the beginning and I have a right to stay at the end’; when refused, they asked to be paraded before their commanding officers, and to be informed what they had done to debar them from inclusion. The eventual selection, in most instances, was well done, and the last parties at Anzac included a high proportion of men afterwards to become well known both in the AIF and in Australia.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.882]
*It had been estimated that as much as half the force might be lost in an evacuation.
‘... Found the area silent’
According to Charles Bean one of the last to leave the front line trenches was Private F Pollack of Sydney, New South Wales. Pollock was a member of the last party of 75 of the 13th Battalion garrisoning the trenches at Durrant’s Post near the Apex in the northern sector of Anzac. This was his story of the evacuation:
He had obtained permission for several reasons to have a rest in his dugout, having previously arranged with his mates to call him before they left. They, however, understood him to refer to a different dugout, and, having thoroughly searched the one in which he usually slept and found it empty, assumed that he had gone on to the beach. Pollock, waking later, found the area silent. He went along the trenches, but they were empty. Running to the shore shore, he found no sign of movement until at North Beach he came on men embarking on one of the last lighters, and went with them.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.896]
‘... Lay dead in long rows’
As the evacuation proceeded it was vital to convince the Turks that life was proceeding normally on Gallipoli. Consequently, much material had to be left behind as taking it away would have shown the watchful enemy that the British Empire force was pulling out. This would probably have led to a strong Turkish attack on an ever-weakening force and to the high casualties that many thought all along would occur during an evacuation. This passage was written by Liman von Sanders, the German officer who was in overall command of the Turkish force at Gallipoli:
An enormous amount of war stores of every kind had been left behind by the English in their retirement. In the space from Suvla Bay to Ari Burnu five smaller steamers and over sixty boats were left on the beach. Narrow-gauge railways, telephone stores, barbed-wire and entanglement material in very great quantities, also heaps of tools of every sort, dispensaries, many medical stores and drinking-water clarifiers were found. A great quantity of artillery and infantry ammunition, also whole rows of wagons and limbers, had been left behind, likewise small arms of every sort, chests of hand-grenades, and machine-gun barrels. Many dumps of tinned rations, flour, provisions and piles of wood were found. The complete camp tentage of the enemy had been left standing and was sacrificed! Several hundred horses, which had not been able to be embarked, lay dead in long rows.
[von Sanders, quoted by Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.903]
‘... No campaign was so identified with them as this’
This concluding passage from Charles Bean’s monumental two volume work The Story of Anzac is one of the most famous he ever wrote. This is especially true of the last lines in which he spelled out, as he saw it, the significance of 25 April 1915. For Bean, it was the day on which the Australian nation was born. Many today might wonder about the way in which he interprets the British-Australia connection. However, Bean’s point about the equal suffering of the British and French troops on Gallipoli is worth making at a time when many Australians need reminding that Gallipoli was never an all-Australian affair. Indeed, there were times at Anzac itself for example during the August offensive of 6–10 August when Australian troops, although a large section of the force, were actually in the minority.
The Australian force had lost in all 26,094 men in Gallipoli, and the New Zealanders 7,57; of the Australians 7,594 were killed, of the New Zealanders 2,431.* There were few people in Australasia of whom some close friend or near relative did not lie on those hillsides abandoned to the enemy. The shock of the news of the Evacuation was, it is true, tempered by intense relief at the absence of loss. Yet even had the casualties been severe, there is little reason to believe that the reception of the tidings would have been in any way different from what it was.
Neither among the troops nor among the people was there a moment’s doubt as to their attitude towards the British Government and people. It was one of loyal partnership in an enterprise, and of complete trust. If Australian troops had been sacrificed at Gallipoli, so and equally freely had British and French. If the expedition had been undertaken in error, and the British Government had found it advisable to withdraw the troops, no one in Australia would question the wisdom of the action. The sense of the people was strongly adverse from any idle bickering while the conflict was proceeding. The subsequent inquiry by a Royal Commission into the conduct of the campaign was not approved by general opinion; in some quarters some objections were urged to Australia’s being represented. The same qualities that invariably led the Australian soldier to stand by his mates caused the Australian people to give unswerving loyalty to its partner in the struggle. The failure of the Dardanelles Expedition made it evident that the war must be longer and more difficult than had been generally imagined; but the difficulty of the common task tended, as always, to draw closer to each other the several branches of the British people.
Anzac now belonged to the past, and during the war all energy was concentrated on the future; but the influence of the Gallipoli Campaign upon the national life of Australia and New Zealand had been far too deep to fade. Though the expeditionary forces of the two Dominions were only in their infancy, and afterwards fought with success in greater and more costly battles, no campaign was so identified with them as this. In no unreal sense it was on the 25th of April 1915, that the consciousness of Australian nationhood was born. Anzac Day a national celebration held on the anniversary of the Landing is devoted to the memory of those who fell in the war.
[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, pp.909–910]
*Bean’s totals for the ‘killed’ do not seem to include those who were evacuated from Gallipoli and died of wounds elsewhere. This brings the number of Australians who died as a result of the Gallipoli campaign to approximately 8,700 and the New Zealanders to 2,700.