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Remembered Today:

27th April 1915


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At Helles

Tuesday 27 April: Did hard forenoon’s work digging up transport cuts from the beach. No roads, so stiff work. Heat intense and flies a perfect plague. A great profusion of wild flowers. Turks poured in the shrapnel in afternoon. Saw forty mules killed by bursting of one shell [after being delayed when their transport grounded, the Zion Mule Corps landed on this day]. Top of my helmet knocked off by splinter, therefore got rid of helmet and wore cap comforter thereafter. Stared to move forward at 4 p.m. Shelled all the way. An awful march. Had to carry all our gun stuff. Found a wee dog which had been wounded in the leg. General attack on Turkish lines began. Joined up with the French. Stared to dig ourselves in once more. Grierson and I made a dug-out. Then made a gun-pit. Very hard work as ground was very stony. Never got the use of our dug-out as we had to stand all night. ‘Abdul the Damned,’ a Turkish gun planted in the middle of an olive grove, proved very troublesome. Had sharp shower of rain in the early hours which soaked us through. Turks seem to be liveliest between dusk and dawn. Snipers very troublesome on all side of us. Caught one to-day with his face and hands painted green.”

from the ‘Diary of John F. Goate, Machine Gun Section, 5th Royal Scots, 29th Division’ [discovered after his death in 1946, by his daughter Ms Dorothy Goate] as reproduced in ‘The Gallipolian’ issue No.91, Winter 1999


At Anzac

“After another rather jumpy night, I was off betimes for orders and was this time sent to General McCoy further south than yesterday. He did not know where he wanted fire, no one did in those days, all round was equally necessary. I went up to the front trenches, a rather parlous business, communication trenches were only about a foot deep, and any Australian one met, always lay down at the bottom and allowed one to crawl over him, full in view of the Turks at a few yards range. I got up there all right and was asked to step along the trench to identify or otherwise some alleged Gurkhas. I knew that there were none about, but the Australians would not be satisfied till I went. I did not like it as the trench was only about two feet deep. On my way back a polite Australian got up a little to let me pass and promptly got a bullet through his head, and I received many bits of his skull in my face and pagri, but not enough to report myself wounded.

The greatest difficulty was to get positions for guns. Gallipoli was pre-eminently a Howitzer country, but England in those days possessed no Mountain Howitzer though the specifications for them had been out for years. While I was away the Battery had been improving yesterday’s position and on my return I was told that Queensland Ridge was the safest place in Anzac, the Turkish guns evidently could not clear the ridges to their front at a short range to hit it. We therefore decided to make that our HQ for the guns and to dig in the mules just inland of it. We did very well for about a week when Beachy Bill opened up and got us plumb in enfilade, causing many casualties.”

from the account written in 1916 by the late Colonel A. C. Fergusson, known to his troops as ‘Percussion Sahib,’ who when a Major, commanded 21 (Kohat) Mountain Battery. Made available to The Gallipoli Association by his son Colonel Kenneth Fergusson and published in the journal, ‘The Gallipolian’ No.85, Winter 1997.

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Hi Michael,

I enjoyed those, sitting here reading them I could see through my minds eye what was happening,

Looking forward to seeing more.


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The morning of 27 April dawned bright and warm on Gallipoli. Early on 27 April the 2nd Battery (of NZEF) came ashore. The guns, limbers (?), and ammunition were unloaded from TS Surada aboard 2 big barges. These were towed bya trawler to within 100 yards of the beach near Hell Spit at the southern end of Anzac Cove, from where gunners using ropes and poles manoevred the barges over the remaining distance.

The guns were hidden at the back of the beach and did not see action during the day. Artillery officers wanted to position the guns very carefully; they wanted cover from Turkish artillery but wanted to be able to fire on most Turkish positions to the north and northeast. The favourable positions were inaccesssible- above cliffs or impassible slopes- and the guns. being flat trajectory, could not lob shells over the cliffs

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The Wellington Infantry Battalion assembled in Howitzer Gully after breakfast, and after an hour's rest, moved off at 9. 45 am to Walker's Ridge on the left flank where a strong Turkish counter-attack had developed against positions held by the Australian Brigade.

(They) split at the foot of Walker's ridge.

The Wellington West Coast and Hawkes Bay companies proceeded up Walker's Ridge. Leaving their packs half way up, they struggled on in single file under the midday sun to relieve the Australians on top. Sections were immediately rushed off to the firing line.

.. These two companies were to see the severest fighting during the day. The Australians at Walker's Ridge had held the position for 2 days now and were physically exhausted. Because the position had been under constant Turkish fire, the trenches were not properly developed, so with the sudden influx of the Wellingtons conditions were very cramped

Bloody Gallipoli; Richard Stowers

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"The total casualties of the {NZ & Australian} Division for the 3 days were 17 officers and 224 other ranks killed; 35 officers and 655 other ranks wounded and missing- a total of 931"

Lt Col Braithwaite to General Birdwood.

Bloody Gallipoli- Richard Stowers

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