Thursday, April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day




This is my husband's great-grandfather, William Walter Phillips.  He landed with the ANZAC troops on the Gallipoli shore on that fateful 25th of April so long ago.  He kept a diary of his war-time experiences and my uncle-in-law faithfully transcribed it into a digital form some years ago.




Here's Gramps' account of the landing and the immediate days following:

Wednesday, 28th April 1915

Somewhere on Gallipoli. This is the first quiet moment we have had since leaving the Ship on Sunday last. We have had a terrible four days and still at it. Landed at 6am Sunday morning. Naval Petty Officer and 4 others were knocked in our boat, two shells landed right into a boat on our right with C Company chaps in. Not many could have escaped. We waded ashore, water up to our shoulders. Just as we stepped on the Beach a shell landed right at our feet but buried in the sand and never exploded. The roar of the Guns beggared description. We left our packs on the beach with our rations and charged up the hill and across a big valley with bullets and shells bursting everywhere. Capt McGuire went early Sunday morning, Lieut May just after him, Sergt Singleton next. Tom Haurakans had his head blown right off.  My God but it was a terrible time, we haven’t many of our Platoon left, at least not here abouts. I am at present dug in with Sergt Pinkstone of the  3rd Battalion, Perc Davies and Karl Amos, we have subsisted on one tin of Bully Beef and one tin of Jam since Sunday. We have had lots of charges but only got to close quarters on Monday. A man undoubtedly loses all reason then. I remember getting two Turks, the first was nearly too good for me. I don’t want any more bayonet charges. The Turks have been attacking night and day, so far we are keeping them back but if we don’t soon get a sleep I don’t know what will happen. We have wounded chaps all around crying for stretcher bearers and water. 

We drew lots to see who would go for water, it fell to Karl, he was shot dead within 20 yards of our trench on his return. In him we lost a good Pal, we shall avenge him. We have had no chance to make communication trenches yet. The Turks charge crying Allah. We have a lot of spies among us giving all sorts of wrong orders. Our losses are terrible heavy, dead bodies of Turks but more of our chaps lying all around us. I shot a German Officer last night, he is lying right in front of my trench now. Lizzies (Battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth) shells are giving Abdul pie, blew up an armoured tram today. We don’t know when we are to get a spell but hope it is soon, we are keeping awake now by banging one another. Abdul tried to lull us by putting up dummies on the ridges but we were not having any of them jokes.
  
 
 
 




2 comments:

Petrina said...

Wow. Thanks for posting.

Deb said...

The whole diary is a fascinating read! I'm so glad we have access to it.