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Title: Trenching at Gallipoli - The personal narrative of a Newfoundlander with the - ill-fated Dardanelles expedition
Author: Gallishaw, John, 1890-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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TRENCHING AT GALLIPOLI

   [Illustration: Dugouts]



TRENCHING AT GALLIPOLI

THE PERSONAL NARRATIVE OF A
NEWFOUNDLANDER WITH THE ILL-FATED
DARDANELLES EXPEDITION

BY
JOHN GALLISHAW

_ILLUSTRATED WITH
PHOTOGRAPHS_

[Illustration]

NEW YORK
THE CENTURY CO.
1916



Copyright, 1916, by
THE CENTURY CO.

_Published, October, 1916_



TO
PROFESSOR CHARLES TOWNSEND COPELAND

OF ALL THAT HARVARD HAS GIVEN ME I VALUE MOST
THE FRIENDSHIP AND CONFIDENCE OF "COPEY"



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                                      PAGE

     I GETTING THERE                                              3

    II THERE                                                     33

   III TRENCHES                                                  63

    IV DUGOUTS                                                   93

     V WAITING FOR THE WAR TO CEASE                             123

    VI NO MAN'S LAND                                            141

   VII WOUNDED                                                  164

  VIII HOMEWARD BOUND                                           192

    IX "FEENISH"                                                224



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                               PAGE

  Dugouts                                            _Frontispiece_

  Lord Kitchener talking to some Australians at Anzac             9

  Scene at Lancashire Landing, Cape Helles                       27

  Allies landing reinforcements under heavy fire of Turks
    in Dardanelles                                               38

  Troops at the Dardanelles leaving for the landing beach        47

  A remarkable view of a landing party in the Dardanelles        57

  Australians in trench on Gallipoli Peninsula, using the
    periscope                                                    67

  First line of Allies' trench zigzagging along parallel
    to the Turkish trenches                                      78

  Washing day in war-time                                        95

  Cleaning up after coming down from the trenches at Suvla      114

  Landing British troops from the transports at the
    Dardanelles under protection of the battleships             131

  Australians in the trenches consider clothes a superfluity    157

  Some of the barbed wire entanglements near Seddel Bahr
    are still in position                                       175

  A British battery at work on the Peninsula                    186

  With the French at Seddel Bahr                                203

  Where troops landed in Dardanelles, showing Fort
    Sed-ne-behi battered to pieces by Allied Fleet              213



TRENCHING AT GALLIPOLI



The reader is hereby cautioned against regarding this narrative as in
any way official.

It is merely a record of the personal experiences of a member of the
First Newfoundland Regiment, but the incidents described all actually
occurred.



TRENCHING AT GALLIPOLI



CHAPTER I

GETTING THERE


"Great Britain is at War."

The announcement came to Newfoundland out of a clear sky. Confirming
it, came the news of the assurances of loyalty from the different
colonies, expressed in terms of men and equipment. Newfoundland was
not to be outdone. Her population is a little more than two hundred
thousand, and her isolated position made garrisons unnecessary. Her
only semblance of military training was her city brigades. People
remembered that in the Boer War a handful of Newfoundlanders had
enlisted in Canadian regiments, but never before had there been any
talk of Newfoundland sending a contingent made up entirely of her own
people and representing her as a colony. From the posting of the
first notices bearing the simple message, "Your King and Country Need
You," a motley crowd streamed into the armory in St. John's. The city
brigades, composed mostly of young, beautifully fit athletes from
rowing crews, football and hockey teams, enlisted in a body. Every
train from the interior brought lumbermen, fresh from the mills and
forests, husky, steel-muscled, pugnacious at the most peaceful times,
frankly spoiling for excitement. From the outharbors and fishing
villages came callous-handed fishermen, with backs a little bowed from
straining at the oar, accustomed to a life of danger. Every day there
came to the armory loose-jointed, easy-swinging trappers and woodsmen,
simple-spoken young men, who, in offering their keenness of vision and
sureness of marksmanship, were volunteering their all.

It was ideal material for soldiers. In two days many more than the
required quota had presented themselves. Only five hundred men could
be prepared in time to cross with the first contingent of Canadians.
Over a thousand men offered. A corps of doctors asked impertinent
questions concerning men's ancestors, inspected teeth, measured and
pounded chests, demanded gymnastic stunts, and finally sorted out the
best for the first contingent. The disappointed ones were consoled by
news of another contingent to follow in six weeks. Some men, turned
down for minor defects, immediately went to hospital, were treated,
and enlisted in the next contingent.

Seven weeks after the outbreak of war the Newfoundlanders joined the
flotilla containing the first contingent of Canadians. Escorted by
cruisers and air scouts they crossed the Atlantic safely and went
under canvas in the mud and wet of Salisbury Plain, in October, 1914.
To the men from the interior, rain and exposure were nothing new.
Hunting deer in the woods and birds in the marshes means just such
conditions. The others soon became hardened to it. They had about
settled down when they were sent on garrison duty, first to Fort
George in the north of Scotland, and then to Edinburgh Castle. Ten
months of bayonet-fighting, physical drill, and twenty-mile route
marches over Scottish hills molded them into trim, erect, bronzed
soldiers.

In July of 1915, while the Newfoundlanders were under canvas at Stob's
Camp, about fifty miles from Edinburgh, I was transferred to London
to keep the records of the regiment for the War Office. At any other
time I should have welcomed the appointment. But then it looked like
quitting. The battalion had just received orders to move to Aldershot.
While we were garrisoning Edinburgh Castle, word came of the landing
of the Australians and New Zealanders at Gallipoli. At Ypres, the
Canadians had just then recaptured their guns and made for themselves
a deathless name. The Newfoundlanders felt that as colonials they had
been overlooked. They were not militaristic, and they hated the
ordinary routine of army life, but they wanted to do their share. That
was the spirit all through the regiment. It was the spirit that
possessed them on the long-waited-for day at Aldershot when Kitchener
himself pronounced them "just the men I want for the Dardanelles."

That day at Aldershot every man was given a chance to go back to
Newfoundland. They had enlisted for one year only, and any man that
wished to could demand to be sent home at the end of the year; and
when Kitchener reviewed them, ten months of that year had gone. With
the chance to go home in his grasp, every man of the first battalion
reënlisted for the duration of the war. And it is on record to their
eternal honor, that during the week preceding their departure from
Aldershot, breaches of discipline were unknown; for over their heads
hung the fear that they would be punished by being kept back from
active service. To break a rule that week carried with it the
suspicion of cowardice. This was the more remarkable, because many of
the men were fishermen, trappers, hunters, and lumbermen, who, until
their enlistment had said "Sir" to no man, and who gloried in the
reputation given them by one inspecting officer as "the most
undisciplined lot he had ever seen." From the day the Canadians left
Salisbury Plain for the trenches of Flanders, the Newfoundlanders had
been obsessed by one idea: they must get to the front.

I was in London when I heard of the inspection at Aldershot by Lord
Kitchener, and of its results. I had expected to be able to rejoin my
battalion in time to go with them to the Dardanelles; but when I
applied for a transfer, I was told that I should have to stay in
London. I tried to imagine myself explaining it to my friends in No.
11 section who were soon to embark for the Mediterranean. Apart
altogether from that, I had gone through nearly a year of training,
had slept on the ground in wet clothes, had drilled from early morning
till late afternoon, and was perfectly fit. It had been pretty
strenuous training, and I did not want to waste it in an office.

That evening I applied to the captain in charge of the office for a
pass to Aldershot to bid good-by to my friends in the regiment. He
granted it; and the next morning a train whirled me through pleasant
English country to Aldershot. At the station I met an English Tommy.

"I suppose you're looking for the Newfoundlanders," he said, glancing
at my shoulder badges. I was still wearing the service uniform I had
worn in camp in Scotland, for I had not been regularly attached to the
office force in London.

"I'll take you to Wellington Barracks," volunteered the Englishman.
"That's where your lot is."

We trudged through sand, on to a gravel road, through the main street
of the town of Aldershot, and into an asphalt square, surrounded by
brick buildings, three storied, with iron-railed verandas. Men in
khaki leaned over the veranda rails, smoking and talking. A regiment
was just swinging in through one of the gaps between the lines.

   [Illustration: Lord Kitchener talking to some Australians at
   Anzac]

"Company, at the halt, facing left, form close column of platoons."
Company B of the First Newfoundland Regiment swung into position and
halted in the square just in front of their quarters. "Company,
Dismiss!" Hands smacked smartly on rifle stocks, heels clicked
together, and the men of B Company fell out. A gray-haired,
iron-mustached soldier, indelibly stamped English regular, carrying a
bucket of swill across the square to the dump, stopped to watch them.

"Wonder who the new lot is?" said he to a comrade lounging near. "I
cawn't place their bloomin' badge."

"'Aven't you 'eard?" said the other. "Blawsted colonials; Canydians, I
reckon."

A tall, loose-jointed, sandy-haired youth who approached the two was
unmistakably a colonial; there was a certain ranginess that no amount
of drilling could ever entirely eradicate.

"Hello, Poppa," he greeted the gray-haired one, who had now resumed
his journey toward the dump. "What will you answer when your children
say, 'Daddy, what part did you play in the great war?'"

He of the swill bucket spat contemptuously, disdaining to answer. The
sandy-haired youth continued airily across the square and up the
stairs that led to his quarters. I followed him up the stairs and
through a door on which was printed "Thirty-two men," and below, in
chalk, "B Company." We entered a long, bare-looking room, down each
side of which ran rows of iron cots. Equipments were piled neatly on
the beds and on shelves above; two iron-legged, barrack-room tables
and a few benches completed the furniture. At one of the tables sat
two young men. One of them, a massively built young giant, looked up
as the door opened.

"Hello, Art," he said to my conductor. "You're just the man we want.
Don't you want to join us in a party to go up to London?"

"No," answered Art; "if you break leave this week, you don't get to
the front."

The big fellow stretched his massive frame in a capacious yawn.

"I don't think we'll ever get to the front," he said. "This isn't a
regiment. It's an officers' training corps. They gave out a lot more
stripes to-day, and one fellow got a star--made him a second
lieutenant. You'd think this was the American army; it's nothing but
stars and stripes. Soon 't will be an honor to be a private. The worst
of it is, they'll come along to me and say, 'What's your name and
number?' The only time they ever talk to me is to ask me my name and
number; and when I tell them, they put me on crime for not calling
them 'Sir,' and when I don't they have me up for insolence."

Art laughed. "Cheer up, old boy," he said; "you'll soon be at the
front, and then you won't have to call anybody 'Sir.'"

"What's the latest news about the regiment?" I inquired of my
conductor.

"I suppose you know that the King and Lord Kitchener reviewed us," he
said, "and this afternoon we are to be reviewed once more. It's a
formality. We should leave this evening or to-morrow for the front. I
suppose we'll go to some seaport town and embark there."

While we were talking a bugle blew. "There's the cook-house bugle,"
said Art. "Come along and have some dinner with us." He took some tin
dishes from the shelves above the beds, gave me one, and we joined in
the rush down the stairs and across the square to the cook house.

In the army, the cook house corresponds to the dining-room of
civilization. B Company cook house was a long, narrow, wooden
building. On each side of a middle aisle that led to the kitchen were
plain wooden tables, each accommodating sixteen men, eight on each
side. When we arrived, the building was full. When you are eating as
the guest of the Government, there is no hostess to reserve for you
the choice portions; therefore it behooves you to come early. In the
army, if you are not there at the beginning of a meal, you go hungry.
Thus are inculcated habits of punctuality. But if you are called and
the meal is not ready, you have your revenge. Two hundred and
sixty-two men of B Company were showing their disapproval of the
cooks' lack of punctuality. Screeches, yells, and cat cries rivaled
the din of stamping feet and the banging of tin dishes. Occasionally
the door of the kitchen swung open and afforded a glimpse of three
sweating cooks and their group of helpers, working frenziedly.
Sometimes the noise stopped long enough to allow some spokesman to
express his opinion of the cooks, and their fitness for their jobs,
with that delightful simplicity and charming candor that made the
language of the First Newfoundland Regiment so refreshing. Loud
applause served the double purpose of encouraging the speakers and
drowning the reply of the incensed cooks. This was a pity, because the
language of an army cook is worth hearing, and very enlightening. Men
who formerly prided themselves on their profanity have listened,
envious and subdued, awed by the originality and scope of a cook's
vocabulary, and thenceforth quit, realizing their own amateurishness.
Occasionally, though, one of the cooks, stung to retort, would appear,
wiping his hands on his overalls, and in a few well-chosen phrases,
cover some of the more recent exploits of the one who had angered him,
or endeavor to clear his own character, always in language brilliant,
fluent, and descriptive.

But the longest wait must come to an end, and at last the door of the
kitchen swung open and the helpers appeared. Some mysterious mess fund
had been tapped, and that day dinner was particularly good. First came
soup, then a liberal helping of roast beef, with potatoes, tomatoes,
and peas, followed by plum pudding. B Company soon finished. In the
army, dinner is a thing not of ceremony, but of necessity.

I did not wait for my sandy-haired friend; his name, I gathered, was
Art Pratt. He and a neighbor were adjusting a difference regarding the
ownership of a combination knife, fork, and spoon. I found my way back
to the room marked "Thirty-two men." Just as I entered, I heard the
bugle sound the "half-hour dress."

All about the room men were busy shining shoes, polishing buttons,
rolling puttees, and adjusting equipments. This took time, and the
half hour for preparation soon passed. In the square below, at the
sound of the "Fall In," eleven hundred men of the first battalion of
the First Newfoundland Regiment sprang briskly to attention. After
their commanding officer had inspected them, the battalion formed into
column of route. As the tail of the column swung through the square, I
joined in. A short march along the Aldershot Road brought us to the
dusty parade ground. Here we were drawn up in review order, to await
the inspecting general. When he arrived, he rode quickly through the
lines, then ordered the men to be formed into a three-sided square.
From the center of this human stadium he addressed them.

"Men of the First Newfoundland Regiment," said he, "a week ago you
were reviewed by His Majesty the King and by Lord Kitchener. On that
day, Lord Kitchener told you that you were just the men he needed for
the Dardanelles. I have been deputed to tell you that you are to
embark to-night. You have come many miles to help us; and when you
reach the Dardanelles, you will be opposed by the bravest fighters in
the world. It is my duty and my pleasure on behalf of the British
Government and of His Majesty the King to thank you and to wish you
God-speed."

This was the moment the Newfoundlanders had been waiting for for
nearly a year. From eleven hundred throats broke forth wave upon wave
of cheering. Then came an instant's hush, the bugle band played the
general salute, and the regiment presented arms. Gravely the general
acknowledged the compliment, spurred his horse, and rode rapidly away.
The regiment reformed, marched back to barracks, and dismissed.

I joined the crowd that pressed around the board on which were posted
the daily orders. My friend Art Pratt was acting as spokesman.

"A and B Companies leave here at eight this evening," he said. "C and
D Companies an hour later. They march to Aldershot railway station,
and entrain there."

I left the group around the board and walked over to the office of the
adjutant. He was busy giving instructions about his baggage.

"Well," he said, "what do you want?"

"I want to go with the battalion this evening, sir," I said.

He questioned me; and when he found out all the facts, told me that I
couldn't go. I didn't wait any longer. As I went out the door, I could
just hear him murmur something about my not having the necessary
papers. But I wasn't thinking of papers just then. I was wondering how
I could get away. I vowed that if I could possibly do it I would go
with the battalion. I was passing one of the stairways when I heard
some one yell, "Is that you, Corporal Gallishaw?" I turned. It was Sam
Hiscock, one of my old section.

"Hello, Sam," I said. "I didn't know where to look for old No. 11
section. They've all been changed about since they came here."

"Come up this way," said Sam, and I followed him up the stairs and
into a room occupied by the men of No. 11 section, my old section at
Stob's Camp in Scotland.

Disconsolately I told them my plight, and disclosed my plan guardedly.
Sam Hiscock, faithful and loyal to his section, voiced the sentiment.
"Come on with old No. 11; we'll look after you. All you have to do is
hang around here, and when we're moving off just fall in with us, and
nobody'll notice then; 't will be dark."

"The big trouble is," I said, "I have no equipment, no overcoat, no
kit-bag; in fact, no anything."

"You've got a rain coat," said Pierce Power, "and I've got a belt you
can have." Another offered a piece of shoulder strap, and some one
else volunteered to show me where a pile of equipments were kept in a
room. I followed him out to the room. In the corner a man was sitting
on the floor, smoking. He was the guard over the equipments. He
belonged to an English regiment, and so did the equipments. Sam
Hiscock engaged him in conversation for a few minutes. The topic he
introduced was a timely one: beer. While Hiscock and the guard went to
the canteen to do some research work in beverages, I took his place
guarding the equipments. By the time the two returned I had managed to
acquire a passable looking kit. I spent the rest of the afternoon
going around among my friends and telling them what I proposed to do.
At eight o'clock I joined the crowd that cheered A and B Companies as
they moved away, in charge of the adjutant and the colonel. When the
major called C and D Companies to attention, I fell in with my old
section C Company. The lieutenant in charge of the platoon I was with
saw me, but in the dusk he could not recognize my face. I was thankful
for the convenient darkness; and because it was fear of his invention
that caused it, I blessed the name of Count Zeppelin.

"Where's your rifle?" asked the lieutenant.

"Haven't got one, sir," I said.

The lieutenant called the platoon sergeant. "Sergeant," he snapped,
"get that man a rifle." The sergeant doubled back to the barracks and
returned with a rifle. The lieutenant moved away, and I had just begun
to congratulate myself, when disaster overtook me. The platoon was
numbered off. There was one man too many, and of course I was the man.
The lieutenant did not waste any time in vain controversy. He ordered
me out of his platoon.

"Where shall I go?" I asked.

"As far as I am concerned," he answered, "you can go straight to
hell."

I left his platoon; but when I did, I carried with me the precious
rifle. The sergeant, a thorough man, had been thoughtful enough to
bring with it a bayonet.

The time had now come to risk everything on one throw. I did. In the
army, all orders from the commanding officer of a regiment are
transmitted through the adjutant. I knew that both the colonel and the
adjutant had gone an hour ago, and could not now be reached. So I
walked up to Captain March, the captain of D Company, saluted, and
told him that I had been ordered to join his company.

"Ordered by whom?" he asked.

"By the Adjutant," said I, brazenly.

"I haven't had any orders about that," said Captain March.

Just then, Captain O'Brien, who had been my company commander in camp,
came up. I think he must have known what I was trying to do.

"If the Adjutant said so, it's all right," he said, thus leaving the
burden of proof on me.

"Go ahead then," said Captain March; "fall in."

I fell in. We formed up, and swung out of the square and along the
road that led to the station. At intervals, where a street lamp threw
a subdued glare, crowds cheered us; for even Aldershot, clearing house
of fighting forces, had not yet ceased to thrill at the sight of men
leaving for the front. Half an hour after we left the barracks, we
were all safely stowed away in the train, ten men in each of the
compartment coaches. Just as we were pulling out, a soldier went from
coach to coach, shaking hands with all the men. He came to our coach,
put his head in through the window, and shook hands with each man. I
was on the inside. "Good-by, old chap," he said, then gasped in
astonishment. The train was just beginning to move. It was well under
way when he recovered himself. "Gallishaw," he shouted, "you're under
arrest." It was the sergeant-major of the Record Office I had quitted
in London.

During war time in England, troop trains have the right of way over
all others. All night our train rattled along, with only one stop.
That was at Exeter where we were given a lunch supplied by the
Mayoress and ladies of the town. I spent the night under the seat; for
I thought the sergeant-major might telegraph to have the train
searched for me. Early next morning, we shunted onto a wharf in
Devonport, alongside the converted cruiser _Megantic_. Her sides were
already lined with soldiers; another battalion of eleven hundred men,
the Warwickshire Regiment, was aboard. As soon as our battalion had
detrained, I hid behind some boxes on the pier; and when the last of
the men were walking up the gangplank. I joined them. A steward handed
each man a ticket, bearing the number of his berth. I received one
with the rest. Since I was in uniform, the steward had no way of
telling whether or not I belonged to the Newfoundlanders.

All that day the _Megantic_ stayed in port, waiting for darkness to
begin the voyage. In the afternoon, we pulled out into the stream; and
at sunset began threading our way between buoys, down the tortuous
channel to the open sea. A couple of wicked-looking destroyers
escorted us out of Devonport; but as soon as we had cleared the
harbor, they steamed up and shot ahead of us. The next morning they
had disappeared. The first night out I ate nothing, but the next day I
managed to secure a ticket to the dining-room. With two battalions on
board, there was no room on the _Megantic_ for drills; the only work
we had was boat drill once a day. Each man was assigned his place in
the lifeboats. At the stern of the ship a big 4.7 gun was mounted; and
at various other points were placed five or six machine guns, in
preparation for a possible submarine attack. In addition, we depended
for escape on our speed of twenty-three to twenty-five knots.

During the boat drills, I stayed below with the Warwickshire Regiment,
or, as we called them, the Warwicks. This regiment was formed of men
of the regular army, who had been all through the first gruelling part
of the campaign, beginning with the retreat from Mons, to the battle
of the Marne. They were the remnants of "French's contemptible little
army." Every one of them had been wounded so seriously as to be unable
to return to the front. Ordinarily they would have been discharged,
but they were men whose whole lives had been spent in the army. Few of
them were under forty, so they were now being sent to Khartum in the
Sudan, for garrison duty. At night, I came on deck. In the submarine
area ships showed no lights, so I could go around without fear of
discovery. The only people I had to avoid were the officers, and the
caste system of the army kept them to their own part of the ship. The
men I knew would sooner cut their tongues out than inform on me.

Just before sunset of the third night out, because we passed several
ships, we knew we were approaching land. At nine o'clock, we were
directly opposite the Rock of Gibraltar. After we had left Gibraltar
behind, all precautions were doubled; we were now in the zone of
submarine operations. Ordinarily we steamed along at eighteen or
nineteen knots; but the night before we fetched Malta, we zigzagged
through the darkness, with engines throbbing at top speed, until the
entire ship quivered and shook, and every bolt groaned in protest.
With nearly three thousand lives in his care, our captain ran no
risks. But the night passed without incident. The next day, at noon,
we were safe in one of the fortified harbors of Malta.

After we left Malta, since I knew I could not then be sent back to
England, I reported myself to the adjutant. He and the colonel were in
the orderly room, as the office of a regiment is called. The
sergeant-major in charge of the orderly room had been taken ill two or
three days before, and the other men had been swamped by the extra
rush of clerical work, incident on the departure of a regiment for the
front. Perhaps this had a good deal to do with the lenient treatment I
received. The adjutant came to the point at once. That is a
characteristic of adjutants.

"Gallishaw," he said, "do you want to come to work here?"

"Yes, sir," I answered.

"All right," he said; "you're posted to B Company."

That night, it appeared in orders that "Lance-Corporal Gallishaw has
embarked with the battalion, and is posted to B Company for pay." The
only comment the colonel made on the affair was to say to the
adjutant, "I've often heard of men leaving a ship when she is going on
active service, but I've never heard of men stowing away to get
there." Thus I went to work in the orderly room; and in the orderly
room I stayed until we arrived at Alexandria, Egypt, and entrained
for Cairo. At Heliopolis, on the desert near Cairo, we went into camp.
There I joined my company and drilled with it, and bade good-by to the
orderly room and all its works.

   [Illustration: Scene at Lancashire Landing, Cape Helles]

We stayed in Egypt only ten days or so to get accustomed to the heat,
and to change our heavy uniforms and hats for the light-weight duck
uniforms and sun helmets, suitable for the climate on the Peninsula of
Gallipoli. The heat at Heliopolis was too intense to permit of our
drilling very much. In the very early morning, before the sun was
really strong, we marched out a mile across the desert, skirmished
about for an hour or so, and returned to camp for breakfast. The rest
of the day we were free. Ordinarily we spent the morning sweltering in
our marquees, saying unprintable and uncomplimentary things about the
Egyptian weather. In the late afternoon and evening, we went to Cairo.
About a mile from where we were camped, a street car line ran into the
city. To get to it we generally rode across the desert on donkeys.
Every afternoon, as soon as we had finished dinner, little native boys
pestered us to hire donkeys. They were the same boys who poked their
heads into our marquees each morning and implored us to buy papers. We
needed no reveille in Egypt. The thing that woke us was a native
yelling "Eengaleesh paper, veera good; veera good, veera nice; fifty
thousand Eengaleesh killed in the Dardanelle; veera good, veera nice."

About a quarter of a mile across the desert from us was a camp for
convalescent Australians and New Zealanders. As soon as the Australians
found that we were colonials like themselves, they opened their hearts
to us in the breezy way that is characteristically Australian. There is
a Canadian hospital unit in Cairo. One medical school from Ontario
enlisted almost _en masse_. Professors and pupils carry on work and
lectures in Egypt just as they did in Canada. It was not an uncommon
thing to see on a Cairo street a group composed of an Australian, a New
Zealander, a Canadian, and a Newfoundlander. And once we managed to
rake up a South African. The clean-cut, alert-looking, bronzed
Australians, who impressed you as having been raised far from cities,
made a tremendous hit with the Newfoundlanders. One chap who was
returning home minus a leg, gave us a young wallaby that he had
brought with him from Australia. One of our boys had a small donkey,
not much larger than a collie dog, that he bought from a native for a
few shillings. The men vied with each other in feeding the animals.
Some fellows took the kangaroo one evening, and he acquired a taste for
beer. The donkey's taste for the same beverage was already well
developed. After that, the two were the center of convivial gatherings.
The wallaby got drunk faster, but the donkey generally got away with
more beer. When we were certain we were to go to the front, a meeting
was held in our marquee. It was unanimously decided that not a man was
to take a cent with him--everybody was to leave for the front
absolutely broke--"to avoid litigation among our heirs," the spokesman
said. The wallaby and the donkey benefited. The night before we left
the desert camp, they were wined and dined. The next morning, the
kangaroo, bearing unmistakable marks of his debauch, showed up to say
good-by. We were not allowed to take him with us, and he was relegated
to the Zoo in Cairo. The donkey, who had been steadily mixing his
drinks from four o'clock the afternoon before, did not see us go. When
we moved off, he was lying unconscious under one of the transport
wagons.

Although we took advantage of every opportunity for pleasure, we had
not lost sight of our real object. We were grateful for a chance to
visit the Pyramids, and enjoyed our meeting with the men from the
Antipodes, but Egypt soon palled. The Newfoundlanders' comment was
always the same. "It's some place, but it isn't the front. We came to
fight, not for sightseeing."



CHAPTER II

THERE


It was with eleven hundred eager spirits that I lined up on a Sunday
evening early in August, 1915, on the deck of a troopship, in Mudros
Harbor, which is the center of the historic island of Lemnos, about
fifty miles from Gallipoli. Around us lay all sorts of ships, from
ocean leviathans to tiny launches and rowboats. There were gray and
black-painted troopers, their rails lined with soldiers, immense
four-funneled men-o'-war, and brightly lighted, white hospital ships,
with their red crosses outlined in electric lights. The landing
officer left us in a little motor boat. We watched him glide slowly
shoreward, where we could faintly discern through the dusk the white
of the tents that were the headquarters for the army at Lemnos. To the
right of the tents, we could see the hospital for wounded Australians
and New Zealanders. A French battleship dipped its flag as it passed,
and our boys sang the Marseillaise.

A mail that had come that day was being sorted. While we waited, each
man was served with his "iron ration." This consisted of a one-pound
tin of pressed corn beef--the much-hated and much-maligned "bully
beef"--a bag of biscuits, and a small tin that held two tubes of
"Oxo," with tea and sugar in specially constructed air-and-damp-proof
envelopes. This was an emergency ration, to be kept in case of direst
need, and to be used only to ward off actual starvation. After that,
we were given our ammunition, two hundred and fifty rounds to each
man.

But what brought home to me most the seriousness of our venture was
the solitary sheet of letter paper with its envelope, that was given
to every man, to be used for a parting letter home. For some poor
chaps it was indeed the last letter. Then we went over the side, and
aboard the destroyer that was to take us to Suvla Bay.

The night had been well chosen for a surprise landing. There was no
moon, but after a little while the stars came out. Away on the port
bow we could see the dusky outline of land; and once, when we were
about half way, an airship soared phantom-like out of the night,
poised over us a short time, then ducked out of sight. At first the
word ran along the line that it was a hostile airship, but a few
inquiries soon reassured us.

Suddenly we changed our direction. We were near Cape Hellas, which is
the lowest point of the Peninsula of Gallipoli. Under Sir Ian
Hamilton's scheme, it was here that a decoy party was to land to draw
the Turks from Anzac. Simultaneously, an overwhelming force was to
land at Suvla Bay and at Anzac, to make a surprise attack on the
Turks' right flank. Presently, we were going up shore past the wrecked
steamer _River Clyde_, the famous "Ship of Troy," from the side of
which the Australians had issued after the ship had been beached; past
the shore hitherto nameless, but now known as Anzac. Australian, New
Zealand, Army Corps, those five letters stand for; but to those of us
who have been on Gallipoli, they stand for a great deal more: they
represent the achievement of the impossible. They are a glorious
record of sacrifice, reckless devotion, and unselfish courage. To put
each letter there cost the men from Australasia ten thousand of their
best soldiers.

And so we edged our way along, fearing mines, or, even more
disastrous than mines, discovery by the enemy. From the Australasians
over at Anzac, we could hear desultory rifle fire. Once we heard the
boom of some big guns that seemed almost alongside the ship. Four
hours it took us to go fifty miles, in a destroyer that could make
thirty-two knots easily. By one o'clock, the stars had disappeared,
and for perhaps three quarters of an hour we edged our way through
pitch darkness. We gradually slowed down, until we had almost stopped.
Something scraped along our side. Somebody said it was a floating
mine, but it turned out to be a buoy that had been put there by the
navy to mark the channel. Out of the gloom directly in front some one
hailed, and our people answered.

"Who have you on board?" we heard the casual English voice say. Then
came the reply from our colonel:

"Newfoundlanders."

There was to me something reassuring about that cool, self-contained
voice out of the night. It made me feel that we were being expected
and looked after.

"Move up those boats," I heard the English voice say, and from right
under our bow a naval launch, with a middy in charge, swerved
alongside. In a little while it, with its string of boats, was
securely fastened.

   [Illustration: Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
   Allies landing reinforcements under heavy fire of Turks in
   Dardanelles]

Just before we went into the boats, the adjutant passed me.

"Well," he said, "you've got your wish. In a few minutes you'll be
ashore. Let me know how you like it when you're there a little while."

"Yes, sir," I said. But I never had a chance to tell him. The first
shrapnel shell fired at the Newfoundlanders burst near him, and he had
scarcely landed when he was taken off the Peninsula, seriously
wounded.

In a short time we had all filed into the boats. There was no noise,
no excitement; just now and then a whispered command. I was in a tug
with about twenty others who formed the rear guard. The wind had
freshened considerably, and was now blowing so hard that our unwieldy
tug dared not risk a landing. We came in near enough to watch the
other boats. About twenty yards from shore they grounded. We could see
the boys jump over the side and wade ashore. Through the half darkness
we could barely distinguish them forming up on the beach. Soon they
were lost to sight.

During the Turkish summer, dawn comes early. We transhipped from our
tug to a lighter. When it grounded on the beach, day was just
breaking. Daylight disclosed a steeply sloping beach, scarred with
ravines. The place where we landed ran between sheer cliffs. A short
distance up the hill we could see our battalion digging themselves in.
To the left I could see the boats of another battalion. Even as I
watched, the enemy's artillery located them. It was the first shell I
had ever heard. It came over the hill close to me, screeching through
the air like an express train going over a bridge at night. Just over
the boat I was watching it exploded. A few of the soldiers slipped
quietly from their seats to the bottom of the boat. At first I did not
realize that anybody had been hit. There was no sign of anything
having happened out of the ordinary, no confusion. As soon as the boat
touched the beach, the wounded men were carried by their mates up the
hill to a temporary dressing station. The first shell was the
beginning of a bombardment. "Beachy Bill," a battery that we were to
become better acquainted with, was in excellent shape. Every few
minutes a shell burst close to us. Shrapnel bullets and fragments of
shell casing forced us to huddle under the baggage for protection. A
little to the left, some Australians were severely punished. Shell
after shell burst among them. A regiment of Sikh troops, mule drivers,
and transport men were caught half way up the beach. Above the din of
falling shrapnel and the shriek of flying shells rose the piercing
scream of wounded mules. The Newfoundlanders did not escape. That
morning "Beachy Bill's" gunners played no favorites. On all sides the
shrapnel came in a shower. Less often a cloud of thick black smoke,
and a hole twenty feet deep showed the landing place of a high
explosive shell. The most amazing thing was the coolness of the men.
The Newfoundlanders might have been practising trench digging in camp
in Scotland. When a man was hit, some one gave him first aid, directed
the stretcher bearers where to find him, and resumed digging.

About nine, I was told off to go to the beach with one man to guard
the baggage. We picked our way carefully, taking advantage of every
bit of cover. About half way down, we heard the warning shriek of a
shell, and threw ourselves on our faces. Almost instantly we were in
the center of a perfect whirlwind of shells. "Beachy Bill" had just
located a lot of Australians, digging themselves in about fifty yards
away from us. The first few shells fell short, but only the first few.
After that, the Turkish gunners got the range, and the Australians had
to move, followed by the shells. As soon as we were sure that the
danger was over, we continued to the beach, and aboard the lighter
that contained our baggage. We had not had a chance to get any
breakfast before we started, but the sergeant of our platoon had
promised to send a corporal and another man to relieve us in two
hours. About twelve o'clock the sergeant appeared, to tell me to wait
until one o'clock, when I should be relieved. He brought the news that
the adjutant had been wounded seriously in the arm and leg. At the
very beginning of the bombardment, a shell had hit him. About forty of
our men had been hit, the sergeant said, and the regiment was
preparing to change its position. He showed us the new position, and
told us to rejoin there as soon as relieved.

About a hundred yards to the right of us rose a cliff that prevented
our boat being seen by the enemy. The Turks were devoting their
attention to some boats landing well to the left of us. The officer in
charge of landing was taking advantage of this and had a gang near us
working on dugouts for stores and supplies. Right under the cliffs a
detachment of engineers were building a landing as coolly as if they
were at home. Every fifteen or twenty minutes, to show us that he was
still doing business, "Beachy Bill" sent over a few shells in our
direction. The gunners could not see us, but they wanted to warn us
not to presume too much. As soon as the first shell landed near us,
the officer in charge shouted nonchalantly, "Take cover, everybody."
He waited until he was certain every man had found a hiding place,
then effaced himself. The courage of the officers of the English army
amounts almost to foolhardiness. The men to relieve us did not arrive
at once, as promised. The hot afternoon passed slowly. Each hour was a
repetition of the preceding one. "Beachy Bill" was surpassing himself.
From far out in the bay our warships replied.

About five o'clock I espied one of the Newfoundland lieutenants a
little way up the beach in charge of a party of twenty men. I
signaled to him and he came down to our boat. The party had come to
unload the baggage. When I asked the lieutenant about being relieved,
he told me that he had sent a corporal and one man down about one
o'clock, and ordered me back to the regiment to report to Lieutenant
Steele. Half way up the beach we found Lieutenant Steele. The corporal
sent down to relieve me, he told me, had been hit by a shell just
after he left his dugout. The man with him had not been heard from. I
went back to the beach, and found the man perched up on top of the
cliff to the right of the lighter. He had been waiting there all the
afternoon for the corporal to join him.

Having solved the mystery of the failure of the relief party, I
returned to my platoon. Their first stopping place had proved
untenable. All day they had been subjected to a merciless and
devastating shelling, and their first day of war had cost them
sixty-five men. They were now dug in in a new and safer position. They
were only waiting for darkness to advance to reinforce the firing line
that was now about four miles ahead. Since to get to our firing line
we had to cross the dried-up bed of a salt lake, no move could be
made in daylight. That evening we received our ration of rum, and
formed up silently in a long line two deep, beside our dugouts. I fell
in with my section, beside Art Pratt, the sandy-haired chap I had met
in Aldershot. He had been cleaning his rifle that afternoon when a
shell landed right in his dugout, wounded the man next him, knocked
the bolt of the rifle out of his hand, but left him unhurt. He
accepted it as an omen that he would come out all right, and was
grinning delightedly while he confided to me his narrow escape, and
was as happy as a schoolboy at the thought of getting into action.

Under cover of darkness we moved away silently, until we came to the
border of the Salt Lake. Here we extended, and crossed it in open
order, then through three miles of knee high, prickly underbrush, to
where our division was entrenched. Our orders were to reinforce the
Irish. The Irish sadly needed reinforcing. Some of them had been on
the Peninsula for months. Many of them are still there. From the beach
to the firing line is not over four miles, but it is a ghastly four
miles of graveyard. Everywhere along the route are small wooden
crosses, mute record of advances. Where the crosses are thickest,
there the fighting was fiercest; and where the fighting was fiercest,
there were the Irish. On every cross, besides a man's name and the
date of his death, is the name of his regiment. No other regiments
have so many crosses as the Dublins and the Munsters. And where the
shrapnel flew so fast that bodies mangled beyond hope of identity were
buried in a common grave, there also are the Dublins and the Munsters;
and the cross over them reads, "In Memory of Unknown Comrades."

The line on the left was held by the Twenty-ninth Division; the
Dublins, the Munsters, the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and the
Newfoundlanders made up the Eighty-eighth Brigade. The Newfoundlanders
were reinforcements. From the very first day of the Gallipoli
campaign, the other three regiments had formed part of what General
Sir Ian Hamilton in his report calls "The incomparable Twenty-ninth
Division." When the first landing was made, this division, with the
New Zealanders, penetrated to the top of Achi Baba, the hill that
commanded the Narrows. For forty-eight hours the result was in doubt.
The British attacked with bayonet and bombs, were driven back, and
repeatedly reattacked. The New Zealanders finally succeeded in
reaching the top, followed by the Eighty-eighth Brigade. The Irish
fought on the tracks of a railroad that leads into Constantinople. At
the end of forty-eight hours of attacks and counter attacks, the
position was considered secure. The worn-out soldiers were relieved
and went into dugouts. Then the relieving troops were attacked by an
overwhelming hostile force, and the hill was lost. A battery placed on
that hill could have shelled the Narrows and opened to our ships the
way to Constantinople. The hill was never retaken. When reinforcements
came up it was too late. The reinforcements lost their way. In his
report, General Hamilton attributes our defeat to "fatal inertia."
Just how fatal was that inertia was known only to those who formed
some of the burial parties.

   [Illustration: Troops at the Dardanelles leaving for the landing
   beach]

After the first forty-eight hours we settled down to regular trench
warfare. The routine was four days in the trenches, eight days in rest
dugouts, four days in the trenches again, and so forth, although three
or four months later our ranks were so depleted that we stayed in
eight days and rested only four. We had expected four days' rest
after our first trip to the firing line, but at the end of two days
came word of a determined advance of the enemy. We arrived just in
time to beat it off. Our trenches instead of being at the top were at
the foot of the hill that meant so much to us.

The ground here was a series of four or five hog-back ridges, about a
hundred yards apart. Behind these towered the hill that was our
objective. From the nearest ridge, about seven hundred yards in front
of us, the Turks had all that day constantly issued in mass formation.
During that attack we were repaid for the havoc wrought by Beachy
Bill. As soon as the Turks topped the crest, they were subjected to a
demoralizing rain of shell from the navy and from our artillery.
Against the hazy blue of the skyline we could see the dark mass
clearly silhouetted. Every few seconds, when a shell landed in the
middle of the approaching columns, the sides of the column would bulge
outward for an instant, then close in again. Meanwhile, every man in
our trenches stood on the firing platform, head and shoulders above
the parapet, with fixed bayonet and loaded rifle, waiting for the
order to begin firing. Still the Turks came on, big, black,
bewhiskered six footers, reforming ranks and filling up their gaps
with fresh men. Now they were only six hundred yards away. But still
there was no order to open fire. It was uncanny. At five hundred yards
our fire was still withheld. When the order came, "At four hundred
yards, rapid fire," everybody was tingling with excitement. Still the
Turks came on, magnificently determined, but it was too desperate a
venture. The chances against them were too great, our artillery and
machine gun fire too destructively accurate. Some few Turks reached
almost to our trenches, only to be stopped by rifle bullets. "Allah!
Allah!" yelled the Turks, as they came on. A sweating, grimly happy
machine gun sergeant was shouting to the Turkish army in general,
"It's not a damn bit of good to yell to Allah now." Our artillery
opened huge gaps in their lines, our machine guns piled them dead in
the ranks where they stood. Our own casualties were very slight; but
of the waves of Turks that surged over the crest all that day, only a
mere shattered remnant ever straggled back to their own lines.

That was the last big attack the Turks made. From that time on, it
was virtually two armies in a state of siege. That was the first night
the Newfoundlanders went into the trenches as a unit. A and B
Companies held the firing line, C and D were in the support trenches.
Before that, they filled up gaps in the Dublins or in the Munsters, or
in the King's Own Scottish Borderers. These regiments were our tutors.
Mostly they were composed of veterans who had put in years of training
in Egypt or in India. The Irish were jolly, laughing men with a soft
brogue, and an amazing sense of humor. The Scotch were dour, silent
men, who wasted few words. Some of the Scotchmen were young fellows
who had been recruited in Scotland after war broke out. One of these
chaps shared my watch with me the first night. At dark, sentry groups
were formed, three reliefs of two men each; these two men stood with
their heads over the parapet watching for any movement in the no man's
land between the lines; that accounts for the surprisingly large
number of men one sees wounded in the head. The Scottie and I stood
close enough together to carry on a conversation in whispers. It
turned out that he had been training in Scotland at the same camp
where the Newfoundlanders were. He had been on the Peninsula since
April, and was all in from dysentery and lack of food. "Nae meat," was
the laconic way he expressed it. Like every Scotchman since the world
began, he answered to the name of "Mac." He pointed out to me the
position of the enemy trenches.

"It's just aboot fower hundred yairds," he said, "but you'll no get a
chance to fire; there's wurrkin' pairties oot the nicht." Then as an
afterthought, he added gloomily, "There's no chance of your gettin'
hit either."

"Why," I asked him in astonishment, "you don't want to get hit, do
you?"

Mac looking at me pityingly. "Man," he burst out, "when ye're here as
long as I've been here, ye'll be prayin' fer a 'Blighty one.'"

Blighty is the Tommies' nickname for London, and a "Blighty one" is a
wound that's serious enough to cause your return to London.

For a few minutes Mac continued looking over the parapet. Without
turning his head, he said to me: "I'll gie ye five poond, if ye'll
shoot me through the airm or the fut." When a Scotchman who is getting
only a shilling a day offers you five pounds, it is for something
very desirable. Before I had a chance to take him up on this handsome
offer, my attention was attracted by the appearance of a light just a
little in front of where Mac had said the enemy trench was located. I
grabbed my gun excitedly.

"Dinna fire, lad," cautioned Mac. "We have a wurrkin' pairty oot just
in front. Ye would na hit anything if ye did. 'Tis only wastin'
bullets to fire at night."

For almost an hour I continued to watch the light as it moved about.
It was a party of Turks, Mac explained, seeking their dead for burial.
When I was relieved for a couple of hours' sleep they were still
there.

Just where I was posted, the trench was traversed; that is, from the
parapet there ran at right angles, for about six feet, a barricade of
sandbags, that formed the upright line of a figure T. The angle made
by this traverse gave some protection from the wind that swept through
the trench. Here I spread my blanket. The night was bitterly cold, and
I shivered for lack of an overcoat. In coming away hurriedly from
London, I did not take an overcoat with me. In Egypt, it had never
occurred to me that I should need one in Gallipoli; and the chance to
get one I had lost. But I was too weary to let even the cold keep me
awake. In a few minutes I was as sound asleep as if I had been far
from all thought of war or trenches.

It seemed to me that I had just got to sleep when I was awakened by a
hand shaking my shoulder roughly, and by a voice shouting, "Stand to,
laddie." It was Mac. I jumped to my feet, rubbing my eyes.

"What's the matter?" I asked.

"Nothing's the matter," said Mac. "Every morning at daybreak ye stand
to airms for an hour."

I looked along the trench. Every man stood on the firing platform with
his bayonet fixed. Daybreak and just about sunset are the times
attacks are most likely to take place. At those times the greatest
precautions are taken. Dawn was just purpling the range of hills
directly in front when word came, "Day duties commence." Periscopes
were served out, and placed about ten feet apart along the trench.
These are plain oblong tubes of tin, three by six inches, about two
feet high. They contain an arrangement of double mirrors, one at the
top, and one at the bottom. The top mirror slants backward, and
reflects objects in front of it. The one at the bottom slants forward,
and reflects the image caught by the top mirror. In the daytime, by
using a periscope, a sentry can keep his head below the top of the
parapet, while he watches the ground in front. Sometimes, however, a
bullet strikes one of the mirrors, and the splintered glass blinds the
sentry. It is not an uncommon thing to see a man go to the hospital
with his face badly lacerated by periscope glass.

During the daytime, the men who were not watching worked at different
"fatigues." Parapets had to be fixed up, trenches deepened, drains and
dumps dug, and bomb-proof shelters had to be constructed for the
officers. Every few minutes the Turkish batteries opened fire on us,
but with very poor success. The navy and our land batteries replied,
with what effect we could not tell. Once or twice I put my head up
higher than the parapet. Each time I did, I heard the ping of a
bullet, as it whizzed past my ear. Once a sniper put five at me in
rapid succession. Every one was within a few inches of me, but
fortunately on the outside of the parapet. Just before landing in
Egypt, we had been served out with large white helmets to protect us
from the sun. It did not take us very long to discover that on the
Peninsula of Gallipoli these were veritable death traps. Against the
landscape they loomed as large as tents; they were simply invitations
to the enemy snipers. We soon discarded them for our service caps. The
hot sun of a Turkish summer bored down on us, adding to the torment of
parched throats and tongues. We were suffering very much from lack of
water. The first night we went into the firing line we were issued
about a pint of water for each man. It was a week before we got a
fresh supply. We had not yet had time to get properly organized, and
our only food was hard biscuits, apricot jam, and bully beef; a pretty
good ration under ordinary conditions, but, without water, most
unpalatable. The flies, too, bothered us incessantly. As soon as a man
spread some jam on his biscuits, the flies swarmed upon it, and before
he could get it to his mouth it was black with the pests.

   [Illustration: A remarkable view of a landing party in the
   Dardanelles]

These were not the only drawbacks. Directly in front of our trenches
lay a lot of corpses, Turks who had been killed in the last attack. In
front of the line of about two hundred yards held by B Company there
were six or seven hundred of them. We could not get out to bury them,
nor could we afford to allow the enemy to do so. There they stayed,
and some of the hordes of flies that continually hovered about them,
with every change of wind, swept down into our trenches, carrying to
our food the germs of dysentery, enteric, and all the foul diseases
that threaten men in the tropics.

After two days of this life, we were relieved and moved back about two
miles to the reserve dugouts for a rest, to get something to eat, and
depopulate our underwear; for the trenches where we slept harbored not
only rats but vermin and all manner of things foul.

The regiment that relieved us was an English regiment, the Essex. They
were some of "Kitchener's Army." We stood down off the parapet, and
the Englishmen took our places. Then with our entire equipment on our
backs we started our hegira. We had about four miles to go, two down
through the front line trenches, then two more through winding, narrow
communication trenches, almost to the edge of the Salt Lake. Here in
the partial shelter afforded by a small hill were our dugouts. In
Gallipoli there was no attempt at the ambitious dugout one hears of
on the Western front. Our dugouts resembled more nearly than anything
else newly made graves. Usually one sought a large rock and made a
dugout at the foot of it. The soil of the Peninsula lent itself
readily to dugout construction. It is a moist, spongy clay, of the
consistency of thick mortar. A pickax turns up large chunks of it;
these are placed around the sides. A few hours' sun dries out the
moisture, and leaves them as hard and solid as concrete.

While we had been in the firing line, another regiment had made some
dugouts. There were four rows of them, one for each company. B
Company's were nearest the beach. We filed slowly down the line, until
we came to the end. A dugout was assigned to every two men. I shared
one with a chap named Stenlake. We spread our blankets, put our packs
under our heads, and for the first time for a week, took off our
boots. Before going to sleep, Stenlake and I chatted for a while. When
war broke out, he told me, he had been a missionary in Newfoundland.
He offered as chaplain, and was accepted and given a commission as
captain. Later some difficulty arose. The regiment was made up of
three or four different denominations, about equally divided. Each one
wanted its own chaplain, which was expensive; so they decided to have
no chaplain. Stenlake immediately resigned his commission, and
enlisted as a private.

Our whisperings were interrupted by a voice from the next dugout. "You
had better get to sleep as soon as you can, boys; you have a hard day
before you, to-morrow." It was Mr. Nunns, the lieutenant in command of
our platoon. Casting aside all caste prejudice, he was sleeping in the
midst of his men, in the first dugout he had found empty. He could
have detailed some men to build him an elaborate dugout, but he
preferred to be with his "boys." The English officers of the old
school claim that this sort of thing hurts discipline. If they had
seen the prompt and cheerful way in which No. 8 platoon obeyed Mr.
Nunns' orders, they would have been enlightened.



CHAPTER III

TRENCHES


Somebody has said that a change of occupation is a rest. Whoever sent
us into dugouts for a rest, evidently had this definition in mind.
After breakfast the first morning we were ordered out for digging
fatigue just behind the firing line. In this there was one
consolation. We did not have to carry our packs. Each man took his
rifle and either a pick or a shovel. Communication trenches had to be
dug to avoid long tramps through the firing line; and connecting
trenches had to be made between the existing communication trenches.
While we were in dugouts we had eight hours of this work out of every
twenty-four; four hours in the daytime and four at night.

The second day in dugouts when we came back from our morning's
digging, we found some new arrivals making some dugouts about two
hundred yards behind our lines. They were Territorials, who correspond
to the militia in the United States. "The London Terriers," they
called themselves. Mostly they were young fellows from eighteen to
twenty-two years old. They had landed only that morning and were in
splendid condition, and very eager for the coming of evening when they
were to go to the firing line. The ground they had selected was
sheltered from observation by the little ridge near our line of
dugouts; but some of our men in moving about attracted the attention
of the Turkish artillery observer. Instantly half a dozen shells came
over the ridge, past our line, and bang! right in the midst of the
Londons, working fearful destruction. Every ten or fifteen minutes
after that, the Turks sent over some shells. Some regiments are lucky,
others seem to walk into destruction everywhere they turn. The shells
fired at the Newfoundlanders landed in the Londons. About two minutes'
walk from our dugouts our cooks had built a fire and were preparing
meals. A number of our men passed continually between our line and the
cooks'. Not one of them was even scratched. The only two of the
Londons who ventured there were hit; one fellow was killed instantly,
the other, seriously wounded through the lungs, lay moaning where he
had fallen. It was just dusk, and nobody knew he had been hit until
one of our men, coming down, heard his hoarse whispering request to
"get a doctor, for God's sake get a doctor." While somebody ran for
the doctor, our stretcher bearers responded to the all too familiar
shout, "Stretcher bearers at the double," but by the time they reached
him he was beyond all need of doctor or stretcher bearers. Before the
London Terriers even saw the firing line, they lost over two hundred
men. They simply could not escape the Turkish shells. The enemy had a
habit of sending over one shell, then waiting just a minute or less,
and following it with another. The first shell generally wounded two
or three men; the second one was sent over to catch the stretcher
bearers and the comrades who hastened to aid those who were hit.
Before they had completed their dugouts, the shrapnel caught them in
the open; after they were dug in, it buried them alive. Never did a
regiment leave dugouts with so much joy as did the London Terriers
when they entered the trenches for the first time. Ordinarily a man is
much safer in the firing line than in rest dugouts. Trenches are so
constructed that even when a shell drops right in the traverse where
men are, only half a dozen or so suffer. In open or slightly protected
ground where the dugouts are, the burst of a shrapnel shell covers an
area twenty-five by two hundred yards in extent.

A shell can be heard coming. Experts claim to identify the caliber of
a gun by the sound the shell makes. Few live long enough to become
such experts. In Gallipoli the average length of life was three weeks.
In dugouts we always ate our meals, such as they were, to the
accompaniment of "Turkish Delight," the Newfoundlanders' name for
shrapnel. We had become accustomed to rifle bullets. When you hear the
zing of a spent bullet or the sharp crack of an explosive, you know it
has passed you. The one that hits you, you never hear. At first we
dodged at the sound of a passing bullet, but soon we came actually to
believe the superstition that a bullet would not hit a man unless it
had on it his regimental number and his name. Then, too, a bullet
leaves a clean wound, and a man hit by it drops out quietly. The
shrapnel makes nasty, jagged, hideous wounds, the horrible
recollection of which lingers for days in the minds of those who see
them. It is little wonder that we preferred the firing line.

   [Illustration: Australians in trench on Gallipoli Peninsula,
   using the periscope
   Note the different shaped hats worn by the men, five kinds
   appearing in the little group]

Every afternoon from just behind our line of dugouts an aëroplane
buzzed up. At the tremendous height it looked like an immense
blue-bottle fly. We always knew when it was two o'clock. Promptly at
that hour every afternoon it winged its way over us and beyond to the
Turkish trenches. At first the enemy's aëroplanes came out to meet
ours, but a few encounters with our men soon convinced them of the
futility of such attempts. After that, they relied on their artillery.
In the air all around the tiny speck we could see white puffs of smoke
that showed where their shrapnel was exploding. Sometimes those puffs
were perilously close to it; at such times our hearts were in our
mouths. Everybody in the trench craned his neck to see. When our
aëroplane manoeuvered clear, you could hear a sigh of relief from
every man.

After about the eighth day in dugouts we were ordered back to the
firing line. We had to take over a part of the trench near Anafarta
Village. In this vicinity the Fifth Norfolks, a company formed of men
from the King's estate at Sandringham, had charged into the woods,
about two hundred and fifty strong, and had been completely lost sight
of. This was the most comfortable trench we had yet been in. It had
been taken over from the Turks, and when we faced toward them we had
to build another firing platform. This left their firing platform for
us to sleep on. After the cramped, narrow trenches of the first couple
of weeks, this roomy trench was very pleasant. On both sides of the
trench were some trees that threw a grateful shade in the daytime.
Along the edge grew little bushes that bore luscious blackberries, but
to attempt to get them was courting death. Nevertheless, the
Newfoundlanders secured a good many. Best of all though was the "Block
House Well." For the first time we had a plenitude of water. But by
this time conditions had begun to tell on the men. Each morning more
and more men reported for sick parade. They were beginning to feel the
enervating effect of the climate, and of the lack of water and proper
food. While we were intrenched near the block house, the men were
sickening so fast that in our platoon we had not enough men to form
the sentry groups. The noncommissioned officers had to take their
place on the parapet, and the ordinary work of the noncoms, changing
sentries, waking reliefs, and detailing working parties had to be done
by the commissioned officers. Just about an hour before my turn to
watch, I was suddenly stricken by the fever that lurks on the
Peninsula. In the army, no man is sick unless so pronounced by the
medical officer. Each morning at nine there is a sick parade. A man
taken ill after that has to wait until the next morning, and is
officially fit for duty. My turn came at eleven o'clock at night. The
man I was to relieve was Frank Lind. He went on at nine. When eleven
o'clock came, I was burning up with fever. Lind would not hear of my
being roused to relieve him, but continued on the parapet until one
o'clock, although in that part of the trench snipers had been doing a
lot of execution. Then he rested for a couple of hours and at three
o'clock resumed his place on the parapet for the remainder of the
night. At daybreak he was still there. I slept all through the night,
exhausted by the fever, and it was not till a few days after that some
one else told me what Lind had done. From him I heard no mention of
it. Whenever somebody says that war serves only to bring out the
worst in a man I think of Frank Lind. The fever that had weakened me
so, continued all that day. I reported for sick parade and was given a
day off duty. The next day I was given light duty, and the following
day the fever left me and that night I was fit for duty again, and was
sent out to a detached post about halfway between us and the enemy.
The detached post was an abandoned house about twenty feet square. All
the doors and windows had been torn out, and now it was nothing but
the merest skeleton of a house. We had been there about three hours
when there occurred something most extraordinary and unaccountable. It
was a pitch dark night, and working parties were out from both sides.
Ordinarily there would have been no firing. Suddenly from away on the
right where the Australians were, began the sharp crackling of rapid
fire. A boy pulling a wooden stick along an iron park railing makes
almost the same sound. The crackling swept down the line right past
the trench directly behind us and away on to the left. The Turks,
fearing an attack, replied. Between the two fires we were caught.
There were eight of us in the blockhouse. Only two of us came from No.
8 platoon, Art Pratt, my sandy-haired friend of Aldershot days, and I.
The sergeant in charge was from another platoon. When the rapid fire
began, he became melodramatic. He had the responsibility of seven
other men's lives, and the thing that seemed rather comic to us was
probably very serious to him. There was nothing the matter, though,
with the way in which he handled the situation. There were eight
openings in the house for the missing doors and windows. At each
window he placed a man, and stood at the door himself, then ordered us
to fill our magazines and fix our bayonets. But psychologically he
made a mistake. He turned to me and said,

"Corporal, we're in a pretty tight place. We may have to sell our
lives dearly. I want every man to stand by me. Will you stand by me?"

When the thing had started I had just experienced a pleasant tingle of
excitement, but at this view of the situation I felt a little serious.
Before I had a chance to reply Art Pratt relieved the situation by
shouting,

"Did you say stand by you? I'll stand by this window and I'll bayonet
the first damn Turk I see."

There was a general laugh and the moment of tension passed. In a few
minutes the exchange of rapid fire died down as suddenly as it had
started. The rest of the night passed uneventfully. Just before
daybreak we returned to our platoons.

We never found out the reason for the sudden exchange of rapid fire.
Some Australians away on the right had started it. Everybody had
joined in, as the firing ran along the line of trenches. As soon as
the officers began an investigation it was stopped.

It seems to me that most of the time we were in the blockhouse trench
we spent our nights out between the lines. Most of our work was done
at night. When we wished to advance our line, we sent forward a
platoon of men the desired distance. Every man carried with him three
empty sandbags and his intrenching tool. Temporary protection is
secured at short notice by having every man dig a hole in the ground
that is large and deep enough to allow him to lie flat in it. The
intrenching tool is a miniature pickax, one end of which resembles a
large bladed hoe with a sharpened and tempered edge. The pick end is
used to loosen hard material and to break up large lumps; the other
end is used as a shovel to throw up the dirt. When used in this
fashion the wooden handle is laid aside, the pick end becomes a
handle, and the intrenching tool is used in the same manner as a
trowel. The whole instrument is not over a foot long, and is carried
in the equipment.

Lying on our stomachs, our rifles close at hand, we dug furiously.
First we loosened up enough earth in front of our heads to fill a
sandbag. This sandbag we placed beside our heads on the side nearest
the enemy. Out in no man's land with bullets from rifle and machine
guns pattering about us, we did fast work. As soon as we had filled
the second and third sandbags we placed them on top of the first. In
Gallipoli every other military necessity was subordinated to
concealment. Often we could complete a trench and occupy it before the
enemy knew of it. In the daytime our aëroplanes kept their aërial
observers from coming out to find any work we had done during the
night. Sometimes while we were digging, the Turks surprised us by
sending up star shells. They burst like rockets high overhead.
Everything was outlined in a strange, uncanny light that gave the
effect of stage fire. At first, when a man saw a star shell, he
dropped flat on his face; but after a good many men had been riddled
by bullets, we saw our mistake. The sudden, blinding glare makes it
impossible to identify objects before the light fades. Star shells
show only movement. The first stir between the lines becomes the
target for both sides. So, after that, even when a man was standing
upright, he simply stood still.

   [Illustration: First line of Allies' trench zigzagging along
   parallel to the Turkish trenches which are not thirty yards
   distant]

After the block-house trench, our next move was to a part of the
firing line that I have never been able to identify. It was very close
to the Turks, and in this spot we lost a large number of men. From one
point, a narrow sap or rough trench ran out at right angles very close
to the Turkish position. It may have been twenty-five or thirty yards
away. To hold this sap was very important; if the Turks took it, it
gave them a commanding position. About twenty men were in it all the
time, four or five of them bomb throwers. The men holding this sap at
the time we were there were the Irish, the Dublin Fusiliers or, as
we knew them, the Dubs. The Turks made several attempts to take it,
but were repulsed. When our men were not on sentry duty, several of
them spent their rest hours out in this sap, talking to the Dubs. The
Dubs were interesting talkers. They had been in the thing from the
beginning, and spoke of the landings with laughter and a fierce joy of
slaughter. Most of them had been on the Western front before coming to
Gallipoli. From the Turkish trenches directly in front of this sap,
the enemy signaled the effect of our shots. They used the same signals
that we used in target practice, waving a stick back and forth to
indicate outers, inners, magpies, and bull's-eyes. Whoever did it, had
a sense of humor; because as soon as he became tired, he took down the
stick for an instant, then raised it again and waved it back and forth
derisively, with a large red German sausage on the end of it. This did
not seem to bear out very well the tales that the enemy was slowly
starving to death. Prisoners who surrendered from time to time told us
that at any moment the entire Turkish army might surrender, as they
were very short of food. One thing we did know: the Turks felt the
lack of shoes; out between the lines we found numbers of our dead with
the boots cut off.

While we were in this place the Turks dug to within ten or twelve
yards of us before they were discovered. One of the Dublins saw them
first. He seized some bombs, and jumped out, shouting, "Look at Johnny
Turrk. Let's bomb him to hell out of it." But Johnny Turk was
obstinate; he stayed where he was in spite of our bombs. One of our
fellows, the big chap whom I had heard at Aldershot complaining about
being asked for his name and number, had crawled into the sap. He made
his way through the smoke and dirt to the end of the sap where only a
few yards separated him from the Turks. In one item of armament the
British beat the Turks. We use bombs that explode three seconds after
they are thrown; the Turks' don't explode for five seconds. The
difference of only two seconds seems slight, but that day in the
sap-head it was of great importance. For a short while the supply of
bombs for our side ran out. The man who was trying to get the cover
off a box of them found difficulty in doing it. The men in the
sap-head were without bombs. Meanwhile the Turks kept up an
uninterrupted throwing of bombs. Most of them landed in the sap. The
big Newfoundlander who had crawled out looking for excitement found
it. As soon as the supply of bombs ran out, instead of getting back
into safety, he stood his ground. The first bomb that came over
dropped close to him. He was swearing softly, and his face was glowing
with pleasure. He bent down coolly, picked up the bomb and threw it
back over the parapet at the Turks who had sent it. With our bombs he
could not have done it, but the extra two seconds were just enough.
Five or six of the bombs came in and were treated in the same way,
before our supply was resumed. A brigade officer, who had come out
into the sap, stood gazing awe-struck at the big Newfoundlander.
Open-mouthed, with monocle in hand, the officer was the picture of
amazement. At last he spoke, with that slow, impersonal English drawl:

"I say, my man, what is your name and number."

The look on the Newfoundlander's face was a study. He knew he should
not have come out into that sap, and every time that question had been
shot at him before it had meant a reprimand. At last he shrugged his
shoulders, then with a resigned expression, answered the officer in a
fashion not entirely confined to Newfoundlanders--by asking a
question: "What in hell have I done now?"

Without a word the officer turned on his heel and left the sap. The
big fellow waited until he felt the officer was well out of sight,
then departed for his proper place in the trench. One of the Dubs
looking after him, said to me:

"There's a man that would have been recommended for a Distinguished
Conduct Medal if he'd answered that officer right."

That Irishman was a man of wide experience.

"I've been seventeen years in the army, and I've been in every war
that England fought in that time," said he, "and I'll tell you now,
the real Distinguished Conduct Medal men and the real V.C. heroes
never get them. They're under the ground." Coming from the man it did,
this expression of opinion was interesting, for he was Cooke, the man
who had been given a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his work on the
Western front. Since coming to the Peninsula he had been acting as a
sharpshooter, and had been recommended for the V.C., the Victoria
Cross, which is the highest reward for valor in the British army. He
was only waiting then, for word to go to London, to get the cross
pinned on by the King.

"There's one man on this Peninsula," continued Cooke, "who's won the
V.C. fifty times over; that's the donkey-man."

The man Cooke meant was an Australian, a stretcher-bearer. His real
name was Simpson, but nobody ever called him that. Because he was of
Irish descent, the Australians, who dearly love nicknames, called him
Murphy, or, Moriarty, or Dooley, or whatever Irish name first occurred
to them. More generally, though, he was called the Man with the
Donkey, and by this name he was known all over the Peninsula. In the
early days, the Anzacs had captured some booty from the Turks and in
it were some donkeys. It was in the strenuous time when men lay in all
sorts of inaccessible places, dying and sorely wounded, Simpson in
those days seemed everywhere. As soon as he heard of the capture he
went down, looked appraisingly over the donkeys, and commandeered two
of them. On one donkey he painted F.A. No. 1, and on the other, F.A.
No. 2; F.A. being his abbreviation for Field Ambulance. Day and night
after that Simpson could be seen going about among the wounded, here
giving a man first aid, there loosening the equipment and making
easier the last few minutes for some poor fellow too far gone to need
any medical care. The wounded men who could not walk or limp down to
the dressing station he carried down, one on each of the donkeys and
one on his back or in his arms. He talked to the donkeys as they
plodded slowly along, in a strange mixture of English, Arabic
profanity, and Australian slang. Many an Australian or New Zealander
who has never heard of Simpson remembers gratefully the attentions of
a strangely gentle man who drove before him two small gray donkeys
each of which carried a wounded soldier. In Australia long after this
war is over men will thrill at the mention of the Man with the Donkey.
I agreed with Cooke that this man had won the V.C. fifty times over.

Cooke was going out that night, he told me, to stay for three or four
days, sniping, between the lines. As soon as he came back he expected
to go to London.

"Before I go out," he said, "I'll show you a good place where you can
get a shot at Abdul Pasha."

I followed Cooke out through the sap and up the trench a little way to
where it turned sharply to avoid a large boulder. Just in front of
this boulder was some short, prickly underbrush. Cooke parted the
bushes cautiously with his hand, and motioned me to come closer. I did
and through the opening he pointed out the enemy trench about four
hundred yards away, and about thirty yards in front of it a little
clump of bushes.

"Just in front of those bushes," said Cooke, "there's a sniper's
dugout. Keep your eyes open to-morrow and you ought to get some of
them."

I noted the place for the next day, and walked down to the sap with
Cooke. There I shook hands with him, wished him good luck, and
returned to my platoon.

That night I had to go out on listening patrol between the lines. At
one o'clock my turn came. An Irish sergeant came along the trench for
me to guide me out to the listening post. I went with him a short
distance along the trench, picked up four others, then with a
shoulder from a comrade, we got over the parapet. The listening post
was about a hundred yards away. We had gone only a few yards when we
heard firing coming from that direction, first one shot followed by
twenty or thirty in quick succession, then silence. A man stumbled out
of the darkness immediately in front of us. He was panting and
excited. It was a messenger from the corporal that we were going to
relieve. He had been walking along without the least suspicion of
danger when he had run full tilt into a party of fifteen or sixteen of
the enemy. He had dropped down immediately and yelled to one of his
men to go back to the trench with word. We followed the panting
messenger to the post. The enemy had now disappeared. We opened rapid
fire in the direction in which they had gone. Evidently it was right,
for in a few seconds they returned it, wounding one man. For about
five minutes we kept up firing, with what success we could not tell,
but at any rate we had the satisfaction of driving off a superior
force. Those two hours straining through the darkness were not
particularly pleasant. I did not know what moment or from what
direction the enemy might come, and I knew that if he did come it
would be in force. Apparently the whole thing was unplanned, because
during the remainder of my two hours, although I peered unceasingly in
all directions, I could see nothing, nor could I hear the slightest
sound. Evidently Johnny Turk was willing to let well enough alone.
That night when I returned to the trench I was told that the next
night at dark we were to go into dugouts.

Ordinarily the thought of dugouts was distasteful, but it seemed years
since I had taken my boots off. Our platoon had lost heavily, mostly
from disease. All the novelty had worn off the trench life. Instead of
six noncoms, there were only three. Each of us was doing the work of
two men. Our ration had been the eternal bully beef, biscuit, and jam.
Our cooks did their best to make it palatable by cooking the beef in
stew with some desiccated vegetables, but these were hard and
tasteless. Most of us had got to the stage where the very sight of jam
made us sick. That night, looking down through the ravine, I saw,
winking and blinking cheerfully, the only light that brightened the
Stygian darkness, the Red Cross of the hospital ships. I have wondered
since if the entrance to heaven is illuminated with an electric Red
Cross. There was not a man in the whole battalion who was really fit.
Most of them had had a touch of one or more of the prevalent diseases.

Stenlake, the young clergyman, who had been my dugout mate, was
scarcely able to drag himself about the trench. And by this time we
had the weather to contend with. It was nearing the middle of October,
and the rainy season was almost upon us. Occasionally the sky darkened
up to a heavy grayness that seemed to cover everything as with a pall.
Following this came heavy, sudden squalls that swept through the
trenches, drenching everything, and tearing blankets and equipments
with them. Although the sun still continued to bore down unremittingly
in the daytime, the nights had become bitterly cold, and to the
tropical diseases were added rheumatism and pneumonia. On the men from
Newfoundland the climate was especially telling. We had ceased to
wonder at the crowd of men who reported sick each morning, and simply
marveled that the number was not greater.

All over the Peninsula disease had become epidemic until the clearing
stations and the beaches were choked with sick. The time we should
have been sleeping was spent in digging, but still the men worked
uncomplainingly. Some, too game to quit, would not report to the
doctor, working on courageously until they dropped, although down in
the bay beckoned the Red Cross of the hospital ship, with its
assurance of cleanliness, rest, and safety. By sickness and snipers'
bullets we were losing thirty men a day. Nobody in the front line
trenches or on the shell-swept area behind ever expected to leave the
Peninsula alive. Their one hope was to get off wounded. Every night
men leaving the trenches to bring up rations from the beach shook
hands with their comrades. From every ration party of twenty men we
always counted on losing two. Those who were wounded were looked on as
lucky. The best thing we could wish a man was a "cushy wound," one
that would not prove fatal, or a "Blighty one." But no one wanted to
quit. Men hung on till the last minute. Often it was not till a man
dropped exhausted that we learned from his comrades that he had not
eaten for days. The only men in my platoon who seemed to be nearly fit
were Art Pratt, and a young chap named Hayes. Art seemed to be
enjoying the life thoroughly. He went about the trench, cheerfully,
grinning and whistling, putting heart into the others. Whenever there
was any specially dangerous work to be done, Art always volunteered.
He spent more time out between the lines than in the trench. Whenever
a specially reliable, cool man was needed, Art was selected. Young
Hayes was a small chap who had been in my platoon at Stob's Camp in
Scotland. He had made a record for being absent from parade, and was
always in trouble for minor offenses. I took him in hand and did my
best to keep him out of trouble. Out in the trenches he remembered it,
and followed me around like a shadow. Whenever I was sent in charge of
a fatigue party he always volunteered. The men all did their best to
make the work of the noncoms easy. As a study in the effects of
colonial discipline it would have been enlightening for some of the
English officers. The men called their corporals and sergeants, Jack,
or Bill, or Mac, but there never was the slightest question about
obeying an order. Everybody knew that everybody else was overworked
and underfed, and every man tried to give as little trouble as
possible. Such conduct from the Newfoundlanders was astonishing, as
in training they simply loved to make trouble for the noncoms, and the
most unenviable job in the regiment was that of corporal or sergeant.

Such were the conditions the next afternoon when we moved from the
firing trench to rest near some dugouts that had been forsaken by the
Royal Scots. They had been relieved, some said, to go to the island of
Imbros, about fifteen miles away, for a rest. At Imbros, rumor said,
you could buy, in the canteen, eggs and butter, and other heavenly
things that we had almost forgotten the taste of. At Imbros, too, you
were free from shell fire, and drilled every day just as you did in
training. It was whispered, too, but scornfully discredited, that
Imbros boasted shower baths, and ovens for the disinfecting of
clothing. Others claimed that the Royal Scots had been withdrawn from
the Peninsula and were going to the Western front. They were the first
regiment to leave of the Twenty-ninth Division. The whole division was
to be withdrawn gradually. The Twenty-ninth was our division, and we
were to go with it to England. We were to winter in Scotland and after
we had been recruited up to full strength were to go to France in the
spring. An examination of the empty dugouts strengthened this belief.
Blankets, rubber sheets, belts, pieces of equipment, and even
overcoats were lying around. In one of the dugouts I found a copy of
the Odyssey, and half a dozen other books. A few dugouts away I came
upon one of our fellows gazing regretfully upon an empty whisky
bottle. As I approached him, I overheard him murmur abstractedly, "My
favorite brand too, my favorite brand." I passed on without
interrupting him. It was too sacred a moment.



CHAPTER IV

DUGOUTS


The afternoon sun poured down steadily on little groups of men
preparing dugouts for habitation. I had a good many details to attend
to before I could look about for a suitable place for a dugout. Men
had to be told off for different fatigues. Men for pick and shovel
work that night were placed in sections so that each group would get
as much sleep as possible. All the available dugouts had been taken up
by the first comers. The location here was particularly well suited
for dugouts. A mule path to the beach ran along the bottom of a narrow
ravine. On one side of the path the ground shelved gradually up till
it merged into a plain, covered with long grass, overgrown and
neglected. On the other side, a ridge sloped up sharply and formed a
natural protection before it also merged into a "gorse" covered
plateau. Small evergreen bushes served the double purpose of hiding
our movements from the enemy and affording some shade from the
broiling sun. At the foot of the ridge we made our line of dugouts.
The angle of the ridge was so steep that an enemy shell could not
possibly drop on our dugouts. A little further away some of A
Company's dugouts were in the danger zone. After much hunting, I found
a likely looking place. It was about seven feet square, and where I
planned to put the head of my dugout a large boulder squatted. It was
so eminently suitable that I wondered that no one else had preëmpted
it. I took off my equipment, threw my coat on the ground, and began
digging. It was soft ground and gave easily.

A short distance away, I could see Art Pratt, digging. He was finding
it hard work to make any impression. He saw me, stopped to mop his
brow, and grinned cheerfully.

"You should take soft ground like this, Art," I yelled.

"I've gone so far now," said Art, "that it's too late to change," and
we resumed our work.

After a few more minutes' digging, my pick struck something that felt
like the root of a tree, but I knew there was no tree on that
God-forsaken spot large enough to send out big roots. I
disentangled the pick and dug a little more, only to find the same
obstruction. I took my small intrenching tool, scraped away the dirt I
had dug, and began cleaning away near the base of a big boulder. There
were no roots there, and gradually I worked away from it. I took my
pick again, and at the first blow it stuck. Without trying to
disengage it I began straining at it. In a few seconds it began to
give, and I withdrew it. Clinging to it was part of a Turkish uniform,
from which dangled and rattled the dried-up bones of a skeleton.
Nauseated, I hurriedly filled in the place, and threw myself on the
ground, physically sick. While I was lying there one of our men came
along, searching for a place to bestow himself. He gazed inquiringly
at the ground I had just filled in.

   [Illustration: Washing day in war-time]

"Is there anybody here?" he asked me, indicating the place with a
pick-ax.

"Yes," I said, with feeling, "there is."

"It looks to me," he said, "as if some one began digging and then
found a better place. If he don't come back soon I'll take it."

For about fifteen minutes he stood there, and I lay regarding him
silently. At last he spoke again.

"I think I'll go ahead," he said. "Possession is nine points of the
law, and the fellow hasn't been here to claim it."

"I wouldn't if I were you," I said. "That fellow's been there a hell
of a long while."

I left him there digging, and crawled away to a safe distance. In a
few minutes he passed me.

"Why didn't you tell me?" he demanded, reproachfully.

"Because half of the company saw me digging there and didn't tell me,"
I said.

I was prospecting around for another place when Art Pratt hailed me.
"Why don't you come with me," he said, "instead of digging another
place?"

I went to where he was and looked at the dugout. It wasn't very wide,
and I said so. Together we began widening and deepening the dugout,
until it was big enough for the two of us. It was grueling work, but
by supper time it was done. The night before, a fatigue party had gone
down to the beach and hauled up a big field kitchen. Our cooks had
made some tea, and we had been issued some loaves of bread. Art
unrolled a large piece of cloth, with all the pomp and ceremony of a
man unveiling a monument. He did it slowly and carefully. There was a
glitter in his eyes that one associates with an artist exhibiting his
masterpiece. He gave a triumphant switch to the last fold and held
toward me a large piece of fresh juicy steak!

"Beefsteak!" I gasped. "Sacred beefsteak! Where did you get it?"

Art leaned toward me mysteriously. "Officers' mess," he whispered.

"I've got salt and pepper," I said, "but how are you going to cook
it?"

"I don't know," said Art, "but I'm going up to the field kitchen;
there's some condensed milk that I may be able to get hold of to
spread on our bread."

While Art was gone, I strolled down the ravine a little way to where
some of the Royal Engineers were quartered. The Royal Engineers are
the men who are looked on in training as a noncombatant force, with
safe jobs. In war-time they do no fighting, but their safe jobs
consist of such harmless work as fixing up barbed wire in front of the
parapet and setting mines under the enemy's trenches. For a rest they
are allowed to conduct parties to listening posts and to give the
lines for advance saps. Sometimes they make loopholes in the parapet,
or bolster up some redoubt that is being shelled to pieces. The Turks
were sending over their compliments just as I came abreast of the
Engineers' lines. One of the engineers was sifting some gravel when
the first shell landed. He dropped the sieve, and turned a back
somersault into some gorse-bushes just behind him. The sieve rolled
down, swayed from side to side, and settled close to my head, in the
depression where I was conscientiously emulating an ostrich. I
gathered it to my bosom tenderly and began crawling away. From behind
a boulder I heard the engineer bemoaning to an officer the loss of his
sieve, and he described in detail how a huge shell had blown it out of
his hands. Joyfully I returned to Art with my prize.

"What's that for?" said Art.

"Turn it upside down," I said, "and it's a steak broiler."

"Where did you get it?" said Art.

I told him, and related how the engineer had explained it to his
officer.

Up at the field kitchen a group was standing around.

"What's the excitement?" I asked Art.

"Those fellows are a crowd of thieves," answered Art, virtuously.
"They're looking about to see what they can steal. I was up there a
few minutes ago and saw a can of condensed milk lying on the shaft of
the field kitchen. They were watching me too closely to give me a
chance, but you might be able to get away with it."

The two of us strolled up slowly to where Hebe Wheeler, the creative
artist who did our cooking, was holding forth to a critical audience.

"It's all very well to talk about giving you things to eat, but I
can't cook pancakes without baking powder. You can't get blood out of
a turnip. I'd give you the stuff if I got it to cook, but I don't get
it, do I, Corporal?" said Hebe, appealing to me.

I moved over and stood with my back to the shaft on which rested the
tin of condensed milk.

"No, Hebe," I said, "you don't get the things; and when you do get
them, this crowd steals them on you."

"By God," said Hebe, "that's got to be put a stop to. I'll report the
next man I find stealing anything from the cookhouse."

I put my hand cautiously behind my back, until I felt my fingers close
on the tin of milk. "You let me know, Hebe," I said, as I slipped the
tin into the roomy pocket of my riding breeches, "and I'll make out a
crime sheet against the first man whose name you give." I stayed about
ten minutes longer talking to Hebe, and then returned to my dugout.
Art had finished broiling the piece of steak, and we began our supper.
I put my hand in my breeches' pocket to get the milk. Instead of
grasping the tin, my fingers closed on a sticky, gluey mass. The tin
had been opened when I took it and I had it in my pocket upside down.
About half of it had oozed over my pocket. Art was just pouring the
remainder on some bread when some one lifted the rubber sheet and
stuck his head into our dugout. It was the enraged Hebe Wheeler. As
soon as he had missed his precious milk he had made a thorough
investigation of all the dugouts. He looked at Art accusingly.

"Come in, Hebe," I said pleasantly. "We don't see you very often."

Hebe paid no attention to my invitation, but glared at Art.

"I've caught you with the goods on," he said. "Give me back that milk,
or I'll report you to the platoon officer."

"You can report me to Lord Kitchener if you like," said Art, calmly,
as he drained the can; "but this milk stays right here."

Hebe disappeared, breathing vengeance.

After supper that night a crowd sat around the dying embers of one of
the fires. This was one of the first positions we had been in where
there was cover sufficient to warrant fires being lighted. A mail had
been distributed that day, and the men exchanged items of news and
swapped gossip. There were men there from all parts of Newfoundland.
They spoke in at least thirty different accents. Any one who made a
study of it could tell easily from each man's accent the district he
came from. Much of the mail was intimate, and necessitated private
perusal, but much more was of interest to others. It was interesting
to hear a man yell to a friend who came from his same "bay" that
another man had enlisted from Robinson's, making up eighteen of the
nineteen men of fighting age in the place. Sometimes the news was that
"Half has volunteered, and Hed was turned down by the doctor."

This from some resident of the northern parts where the fog is not,
and where aspirates are of little consequence. This news gives rise
to the opinion that "that's the hend o' Half." This with much
discussion and ominous shaking of the head. Sometimes a friend of the
absent "Half" would tell of Half's exploit of stealing a trolley from
the Reid Newfoundland Railway Company and going twenty miles to see a
girl. Sometimes the hero was a married man. Then it was opined that
his conjugal relations were not happy, and the reason he enlisted was
that "he had heard something." All these opinions and suggestions were
voiced with that beautiful freedom from restraint so characteristic of
the ordinary conversation of the members of our regiment. Much was
made of the arrival of a mail. It did not happen often, and the
letters that came were three or four months old. "As cold waters to a
thirsty soul," says Solomon, "so is good news from a far country." The
Newfoundlanders in that barren, scorched country caught eagerly at
every shred of news from that distant Northern country that they loved
enough to risk their lives for. With such a setting it is little
wonder that the talk was much of home. Behind the persiflage of the
talk there was a poignant longing for those dark, cool forests of
pine where the caribou roam, and the broad-bosomed lakes and rivers
that were the highways for the monsters of the Northern forests on
their journey to the mills. The lumbermen of Notre Dame Bay and Green
Bay told fearsome and wondrous tales of driving and swamping, of
teaming and landing, until one almost heard the blows of the ax, the
"gee" and "haw" of the teamsters, and smelt the pungent odor of
new-cut pine. The Reid Newfoundland Railway, the single narrow gage
road that twists a picturesque trail across the Island, had given
largely of its personnel toward the making of the regiment. Firemen
and engineers, brakemen and conductors, talked reminiscently of forced
runs to catch expresses with freight and accommodation trains. There
is an interesting tale of two drivers who blew their whistles in the
Morse code, and kept up communication with each other, until a girl
learned the code and broke up the friendship. A steamship fireman
contributed his quota with a story of laboring through mountainous
seas against furious tides when the stokers' utmost efforts served
only to keep steamers from losing way. By comparison with the
homeland, Turkey suffered much; and the things they said about
Gallipoli were lamentable. From the gloom on the other side of the
fire a voice chanted softly, "It's a long, long way to Tipperary, It's
a long way to go." Gradually all joined in. After Tipperary, came many
marching songs. "Are we downhearted? NO," with every one booming out
the "No." "Boys in Khaki, Boys in Blue," and at last their own song;
to the tune of "There is a tavern in the town."

    And when those Newfoundlanders start to yell, start to yell,
    Oh, Kaiser Bill, you'll wish you were in hell, were in hell;
    For they'll hang you high to your Potsdam palace wall,
    You're a damn poor Kaiser, after all.

The singing died down slowly. The talk turned to the trenches and the
chances of victory, and by degrees to personal impressions.

"I'd like to know," said one chap, "why we all enlisted."

"When I enlisted," said a man with an accent reminiscent of the
Placentia Bay, "I thought there'd be lots of fun, but with weather
like this, and nothing fit to eat, there's not much poetry or romance
in war any more."

"Right for you, my son," said another; "your King and Country need
you, but the trouble is to make your King and Country feed you."

"Don't you wish you were in London now, Gal?" said one chap, turning
to me. "You'd have a nice bed to sleep in, and could eat anywhere you
liked."

"Well," I said, "enough people tried to persuade me to stop. One
fellow told me that the more brains a man had, the farther away he was
from the firing-line. He'd been to the front too. I think," I added,
"that General Sherman had the right idea."

"I wish you fellows would shut up and go to sleep," said a querulous
voice from a nearby dugout.

"You don't know what you're talking about, Gal; General Sherman was an
optimist."

"It doesn't do any good to talk about it now," said Art Pratt, in a
matter of fact voice. "Some of you enlisted so full of love of country
that there was patriotism running down your chin, and some of you
enlisted because you were disappointed in love, but the most of you
enlisted for love of adventure, and you're getting it."

Again the querulous subterranean voice interrupted: "Go to sleep, you
fellows--there's none of you knows what you're talking about. There's
only one reason any of us enlisted, and that's pure, low down,
unmitigated ignorance." Amid general laughter the class in applied
psychology broke up, and distributed themselves in their various
dugouts.

Halfway down to my dugout, I was arrested by the sound of scuffling,
much blowing and puffing, and finally the satisfied grunt that I knew
proceeded from Hebe Wheeler.

"I've got a spy," he yelled. "Here's a bloody Turk."

"Turk nothing," said a disgusted voice. "Don't you know a man from
your own company?"

Hebe relinquished his hold on his captive and subsided, grumbling. The
other arose, shook himself, and went his way, voicing his opinion of
people who built their dugouts flush with the ground.

"What do you think of the news from the Western front?" said Art, when
I located him.

"What is it?" I asked.

"The enemy are on the run at the Western front. The British have taken
four lines of German trenches for a distance of over five miles in the
vicinity of Loos. The bulletin board at Brigade headquarters says
that they have captured several large guns, a number of machine guns,
and seventeen thousand unwounded prisoners. If they can keep this up
long enough for the Turks to realize that it is hopeless to expect any
help from that quarter, Abdul Pasha will soon give in."

We were talking about Abdul Pasha's surrendering when we dropped off
to sleep. We must have been asleep about two hours when the insistent,
crackling sound of rapid fire, momentarily increasing in volume,
brought us to our feet. Away up on the right, where the Australians
were, the sky was a red glare from the flashing of many rifles.
Against this, we could see the occasional flare of different colored
rockets that gave the warships their signals for shelling. Very soon
one of our officers appeared.

"Stand to arms for the Newfoundlanders," he said.

"What is it?" I asked.

"The Australians are advancing," he answered. "We'll go up as
reinforcements if we're needed. Tell your men to put on their
ammunition belts, and have their rifles ready. They needn't put on
their packs; but keep them near them so that they can slip them on if
we get the order to move away."

I went about among the men of my section, passing along the word.
Everybody was tingling with excitement. Nobody knew just what was
about to happen; but every one thought that whatever it was it would
prove interesting. For about half an hour the rapid fire kept up, then
by degrees died down.

"Did you see that last rocket?" said a man near me; "that means
they've done it. A red rocket means that the navy is to fire, a green
to continue firing, and a white one means that we've won."

In a few minutes Mr. Nunns walked toward us. "You can put your
equipments off, and turn in again," he said, "nothing doing to-night."

"What is all the excitement?" I asked.

"Oh, it's the Anzacs again," he said; "when they heard of the advance
at Loos, they went over across, and surprised the Turks. They've taken
two lines of trenches. They did it without any orders--just wanted to
celebrate the good news."

I was awakened the next morning by the sound of a whizz-bang flying
over our dugout. Johnny Turk was sending us his best respects. I shook
Art, who was sleeping heavily.

"Get up, Art," I said. I might as well have spoken to a stone wall. I
tried again. Putting my mouth to his ear, I shouted, "Stand to, Art.
Stand to."

Art turned over, sleeping. "I'll stand three if you like, but don't
disturb me," he muttered, and relapsed into coma.

In a few minutes, two or three more shells came along. They were well
over the ridge behind us, but were landing almost in the midst of
another line of dugouts. I stood gazing at them for a little while. A
man passed me running madly. "Come on," he gasped, "and yell for the
stretcher." I followed him without further question. "It's all right,"
he said, slowing up just before we came to the line of dugouts that
had just been shelled. "They've got him all right." We continued
toward a group that crowded about a stretcher. A man was lying on it,
with his head raised on a haversack. He rolled his eyes slowly and
surveyed the group. "What the hell is the matter?" he said dazedly;
then felt himself over gingerly for wounds. Apparently he could find
none. "What hit me?" he asked, appealing to a grinning Red Cross man.

"Nothing," said the other, "except about a ton of earth. It's a lucky
thing some one saw you. That last shell buried you alive."

The whistle of a coming shell dispersed the grinning spectators. I
went back to my dugout, and found Art busily toasting some bread over
the sieve that I had commandeered the day before.

"What was the excitement?" he asked.

"Charlie Renouf," I said, "was buried alive."

"Heavens," said Art, "he's the postman; we can't afford to lose him.
That reminds me that I've got to write some letters."

   [Illustration: Cleaning up after coming down from the trenches at
   Suvla]

After we had finished breakfast, Art produced some writing paper and
an indelible pencil. I did not have any writing paper, but I
contributed a supply of service postcards, that bear such meager
information as "I am quite well," "I am sick," "I am wounded," "I am
in hospital and doing well," "I am in hospital and expect to be
discharged soon," "I have not heard from you for a long time," "I have
had no letter from you since ----," "I have your letter of ----," "I
have received your parcel of ----," and a space for the date and the
signature. When a man writes home from the front, he crosses out
all but the sentences he wants read, puts in the date, and adds his
signature. This is the ordinary means of communication. About once a
week a man is allowed to write some letters; but these are censored by
his platoon officer, who seals them, and signs his name as a record of
their having been passed by him. Sometimes the censor at the base
opens a few of them. Perhaps once a fortnight a few privileged
characters are given large blue envelopes, that have printed in the
corner:

    NOTE.--

    Correspondence in this envelope need not be censored
    Regimentally. The contents are liable to examination at the
    Base.

    The following Certificate must be signed by the writer:

    _I certify on my honour that the contents of this envelope refer
    to nothing but private and family matters._

  _Signature_

  (_Name only_)

While we were writing, the orderly sergeant, that dread of loafers,
who appoints all details for fatigue work, bore down upon our dugout.
"Two men from you, Corporal Gallishaw," he said, "for bomb throwers.
Give me their names as soon as you can. They're for practice this
afternoon."

"One here, right away," said Art, "and put Lew O'Dea down for the
other."

Lew O'Dea was a character. He was in the next dugout to me. The first
day on the Peninsula, his rifle had stuck full of sand, and some one
had stolen his tin canteen for cooking food. He immediately formed
himself into an anti-poverty society of one thereafter, and went
around like a walking arsenal. I never saw him with fewer than three
rifles, usually he carried half a dozen. He always kept two or three
of them spotlessly clean; so that no matter when rifle inspection
came, he always had at least one to show. He had been a little late in
getting his rifle clean once and was determined not to be caught any
more. His equipment always contained a varied assortment of canteens,
seven or eight gas masks, and his dugout was luxurious with rubber
sheets and blankets. "I inherited them," he always answered, whenever
anybody questioned him about them. With ammunition for his several
rifles, when he started for the trenches in full marching order, he
carried a load that a mule need by no means have been ashamed of.

"Do you want to go on bomb throwing detail this afternoon?" I called
to O'Dea across the top of the dugout.

"Sure," he answered; "does a swim want to duck?"

"Fine," I said; "report here at two o'clock."

At two o'clock, accompanied by an officer and a sergeant, we went down
the road a little way to where some Australians were conducting a
class in bomb throwing. A brown-faced chap from Sydney showed me the
difference between bombs that you explode by lighting a match, bombs
that are started by pulling out a plug, and the dinky little
three-second "cricket balls" that explode by pressing a spring. I
asked him about the attack the night before. He told me that they had
been for some time waiting for a chance to make a local advance that
would capture an important redoubt in the Turkish line. Every night at
exactly nine o'clock, the Navy had thrown a searchlight on the part of
the line the Anzacs wanted to capture. For ten minutes they kept up
heavy firing. Then, after a ten minutes' interval of darkness and
suspended firing, they began a second illumination and bombardment,
commencing always at twenty minutes past nine, and ending precisely
at half past. After a little while, the enemy, knowing just the exact
minute the bombardment was to begin, took the first beam of the
searchlight as a hint to clear out. But the night before, a crowd of
eager Australians had crept softly along in the shadow made doubly
dark by the glare of the searchlight, the noise of their advance
covered by the sound of the bombardment. As soon as the bombardment
ceased and the searchlight's beam was succeeded by darkness, they
poured into the Turkish position. They had taken the astonished Turks
completely by surprise.

"We didn't expect to make the attack for another week," said the
Australian; "but as soon as our boys heard that we were winning in
France, they thought they'd better start something. There hasn't been
any excitement over our way now for a long time," he said. "I'm about
fed up on this waiting around the trenches." He fingered one of the
little cricket-ball bombs caressingly. "Think of it," he said; "all
you do is press that little spring, and three seconds after you're a
casualty."

"Pressing that little spring," said I, "is my idea of nothing to do,
unless you're a particularly fast sprinter."

"By the Lord Harry, Newfoundland," said the Australian, with a
peculiar, excited glint in his eye, "that's an inspiration."

"What's an inspiration?" I asked, in bewilderment.

The Australian stretched himself on the ground beside me, resting his
chin in his cupped hands. "When I was in Sydney," he said slowly and
thoughtfully, "I did a hundred yards in ten seconds easily. Now if I
can get in a traverse that's only eight or nine yards long, and press
the spring of one of those little cricket balls, I ought to be able to
get out on the other side of the traverse before it explodes."

Art and Lew O'Dea passed along just then and I jumped up to go with
them. "Don't forget to look for me if you're over around the Fifteenth
Australians," said the Australian. "Ask for White George."

"I won't forget," I said, as I hurried away to join the others.

We were about half way to our dugouts when we passed a string of our
men carrying about twenty mail bags. It was the second instalment of a
lot of mail that had been landed the day before. We followed the
sweating carriers up the road to the quarter-master sergeant's
dugout, and waited around humbly while that autocrat leisurely sorted
out the mail, making remarks about each letter and waiting after each
remark for the applause he felt it deserved. With maddening
deliberation he scanned each address. "Corporal W.P. Costello." "He's
at the base," some one answered. Corporal Costello's letter was put
aside. "Private George Butler." Private Butler, on the edge of the
crowd, pushed and elbowed his way toward the quarter-master sergeant.
"Here you are; letter for Butler." The august Q.M.S. placed the letter
beside his elbow. "Wait till the lot's sorted, and you'll get them all
together." Private Butler, with ill-restrained impatience, resumed his
place on the outside. After the letters, the parcels had to be sorted.
Some enterprising person at the base had opened a lot of them. One
fellow received a large box of cigarettes that he would have enjoyed
smoking if the man at the base had not seen them first. Art Pratt drew
a lot of mail, including a parcel, intact except for the contents. A
diligent search in a box a foot square failed to locate anything more
than a pair of socks, which Art presented to me with his compliments.
Some papers, two months old, with some casualty lists of the First
Newfoundland Regiment, had no address; the wrapper had gone before,
somewhere between Newfoundland and the Dardanelles. Everybody claimed
the papers. Various proofs were offered to show the ownership. One
fellow knew by the way they were rolled up that they were from his
family. Another, more original than the rest, was certain they were
his, because he had written for papers of those dates, in order to see
the announcement of the casualty of a friend. It was pointed out
derisively that a letter written after that casualty had occurred
would only then have reached Newfoundland; and to get a lot of papers
in reply would be a physical impossibility. The claimant, in no wise
abashed, suggested that lots be drawn. This was pooh-poohed. At last,
to avoid discussion, the quarter-master sergeant took the papers
himself, and put them in his greatcoat. "I'll distribute them after
I've read them," he announced, and pulled the rubber sheet across the
top of his dugout, as a delicate hint that the interview was finished.
The crowd slowly melted away. I received one letter, and was sitting
on the edge of my dugout reading it when one of our men passing
along, yelled to me. "Hey," he said, "you come from the United States,
don't you?"

"Yes," I said; "what do you want to know that for?"

"I've got something here," he said, stopping, "that comes from there
too." He dived into his pocket, and produced a medley of articles.
From these he selected a small paper-wrapped parcel.

"What's that?" I said.

"It's chewing gum," he answered; "real American chewing gum like the
girls chew in the subway in New York." He unwrapped it, selected a
piece, placed it in his mouth, and began chewing it with elaborated
enjoyment. After a few minutes, he came nearer. "By golly," he said,
with an exaggerated nasal drawl, "it's good gum, I'll soon begin to
feel like a blooming Yank. I'm talking like a Yank already. Don't you
wish you had some of this?"

"I'll make you a sporting offer," I answered. "I'll fight you for the
rest of what you've got."

"No, you won't," he answered nasally; "it's made me feel exactly like
a Yank; I'm too proud to fight."



CHAPTER V

WAITING FOR THE WAR TO CEASE


We were still in dugouts when Art Pratt woke me one morning with a
vicious kick, to show me my boots lying outside of the dugout, filled
with rain water. All the night before it had poured steadily, but now
it was clearing nicely. The Island of Imbros, fifteen miles away, that
seemed to draw a great deal nearer before every rainstorm, had
retreated to its normal position. The sky was still gray, but it was
the leaden gray of a Turkish autumn day. From Suvla Bay the wind blew
keen and piercing. I salved the boots from the rain puddle, emptied
them, dried them out as best I could with my puttees, and put them on.
Art, in his own inimitable way, said unprintable things about a rifle
that had been left outside, and that now necessitated laborious
cleaning, in time for rifle inspection. All through breakfast, Lew
O'Dea elaborated on the much-quoted remarks of the Governor of North
Carolina to the Governor of South Carolina. Rum had not been issued as
per schedule the evening before. Art began a maliciously fabricated
story of a conversation he had heard in which a senior officer had
stated that now that the cold weather had come, there would be no more
rum. Just then, some one shouted, to "Look up in the sky." From the
direction of the trenches a dark cloud was coming rapidly toward us.
(A few nights before, while we were in trenches, we had been ordered
to put on our gas masks; for, a little to the right of us, the Turks
had turned the poison gas on the Gurkhas.) At first, the dark mass in
the sky appeared to some to be poison gas. They immediately dived for
their gas masks. As it came nearer, however, we were able to
distinguish that it was not a cloud, but a huge flock of wild geese,
beginning their southern migration. O'Dea selected a rifle from his
collection, loaded it, and waited till the geese were almost directly
overhead; then, amid derisive cheering, he fired ten rounds at them.
They were much too high in air for a successful shot, even if he had
used gunshot; but even after they were almost over Imbros Island, Lew
continued firing. When an officer arrived, demanding sarcastically if
Lew O'Dea wouldn't sooner send some written invitations to the Turks
to shell us, he subsided, and began cleaning his artillery. Until
then, we had been wearing thin khaki duck uniforms with short pants
that made us look like boy scouts. We had found these rather cool at
night; but in the hot days we preferred them to the heavy khaki drill
uniforms that were kept in kit bags at the beach. I had landed without
a kit bag, and the change of uniform I kept in the pack I carried on
my back. A little while before, I had put on the heavy uniform and
thrown away the light weight one. On the Peninsula, when you have to
walk with all your possessions on your back, each additional ounce
counts for much. As soon as we found that it was impossible to get
water to wash or shave in, we threw away our towels and soap. A few
kept their razors. The only thing I hung on to was my tooth brush--not
for its legitimate purpose, but to clean the sand and grit out of my
rifle.

"Go over and ask Mr. Nunns," said Art to me, while we were cleaning
our rifles, "if he'll give us a pass to go down to the beach to find
my kit bag. I'll finish cleaning your rifle while you go over." I
handed the rifle to Art, and went over to look for Mr. Nunns. When I
found him he was censoring some letters.

"You'd better wait till this afternoon, before going," he said. "I
want you to take twenty men and carry up ten boxes of ammunition to
the firing line, where A Company are. They're coming out to-morrow
night and we're to relieve them." He gave me a pass, and I took it
over to Art.

"You can go down this morning if you like," I said, "or you can wait
till I get back from this ammunition detail."

"If you're not later than two o'clock," said Art, "I'll wait for you."

I found the detail of twenty men for ammunition-carrying waiting for
me near the field kitchen. We crawled cautiously along some open
ground, past the quarter-master's dugout and the dugouts that were
dignified by the name of orderly room, where the colonel and adjutant
conducted the clerical business of the battalion, issued daily orders,
and sentenced defaulters. "Napoleon knew what was what," said the man
near me, as he wriggled along, "when he said that an army fights on
its stomach. I've been on my stomach half the time since I've been in
Gallipoli." We straightened up when we came to the communication
trench that gave us cover from snipers. Ordinarily we walked upright
when we were behind the lines, but for a few days past enemy snipers
had been extraordinarily active. The Turkish snipers were the most
effective part of their organization. Each sniper was armed with a
rifle with telescopic sights. With a rifle so equipped, a good shot
can hit a man at seven hundred yards, just as easily as the ordinary
soldier can shoot at one hundred.

The ten boxes of ammunition were very heavy, and the heat of the day
necessitated a great many rests, before we reached the part of the
line held by A Company. A Company had been losing heavily for a day or
two because of snipers. A couple of the men were talking about it when
I came along.

"I don't see," one of them was saying, "how they can get us at night."

"It's this way," explained the other. "The cigarette makers send their
snipers out sometime at night. Instead of going back that night they
stay out for a week, or longer. All the ration Johnny Turk needs is a
swallow of water, some onions, or olives, and a biscuit or two."

"How is it," I asked, "we don't see them in the daytime?"

"It's this way," said the A Company man. "He paints himself, his
rifle, and his clothes green. Then he twists some twigs and branches
around him and kids you he's a tree."

"The way they do in this part of the trench," said another man who had
been listening to the conversation, "is to work in pairs. They get a
dugout somewhere where they can get a pretty good view of our
trenches. They see where we move about most, and aim their machine gun
at the top of the parapet. Then they clamp it down. At night when the
sentries are posted, they simply press the trigger, and there are some
more casualties."

"You've got to hand it to Johnny Turk, just the same," said the first
man. "One of them will stand up in his dugout in broad daylight,
exposed from his waist up, and give you a chance to pot him, so that
his mate can get you. We used to lose men that way first. As soon as
we aimed, the second sniper turned his machine gun on us and got our
man. Now we've found a better way. We stick a helmet up on top of a
rifle just above the parapet, and fire from another part of the
trench."

"We've been having trouble with them down in dugouts," I said. "Some
of the fellows say it's stray bullets, but it seems to me that they're
going too fast to be spent. You can tell a bullet that's spent by the
sound."

One of the A Company sergeants who had been listening to the
discussion joined in. "It's snipers all right," he said. "It's easy
enough for a German officer to get into our trenches. Men are coming
in all the time from working parties, and night patrols, and the
engineers go back and forth every hour or so fixing up the barb wire.
Only a little while ago they found one fellow. He had stripped a
uniform from one of our dead, dressed himself in it, and walked up to
our parapet one night. The sentry didn't know the difference, because
the other fellow spoke good English, so he let him pass. All they have
to do is say 'What ho,' or, 'Where's the Dublin's section of trench?'
They can get by all right."

The officer to whom I had delivered the ammunition sent word that it
had been checked and that we could return to our company. We were
only a short distance down the communication trench when a party of
officers came along. We drew a little to one side, and stopped to let
them pass. Not one of them was under the rank of lieutenant-colonel,
and one of them was a general. He was a rather tall, spare man, with a
drooping brown mustache. He was most unlike the usual type of gruff,
surly general officers in charge. His eyes had a kindly,
friend-of-the-family sort of twinkle. His type was more like a
superintendent of construction, or a kindly old family physician.
"Look at the ribbons on the old boy's chest," said the man near me.
"He's got enough medals to make a keel for a battleship." In the
British army, those who have seen previous service wear on the breast
of their tunics the ribbons for each campaign. The general halted his
red-tabbed staff where we stood.

"Are you Newfoundlanders, Corporal?" he said to me.

"Yes, sir," I answered.

"They've made it pretty warm for you since you've been here," he
added, with a smile. "Your men are most efficient trench diggers. If I
had an army like them, we'd dig our way to Constantinople." With that
he passed on with a smile. A pompous-looking sergeant brought up
the rear of the general's escort.

   [Illustration: Landing British troops from the transports at the
   Dardanelles under the protection of the battleships]

"Who was that, that just spoke to us, Sergeant?" I asked.

The sergeant surveyed me contemptuously. "Is it possible that you don't
know 'im. 'E's General Sir Ian Hamilton, General Commander-in-Chief of
the Mediterranean Force, 'e is."

General Sir Ian Hamilton has won the unquestioned devotion of the
First Newfoundland Regiment. Many times after that, he visited the
front line trenches and stopped to exchange a few words with men here
and there. It is a curious thing that while the young subaltern
lieutenants held themselves very much aloof, the senior officers
chatted amiably with our men. The Newfoundlanders, democratic to the
core, hated anything that in the least savored of "side," and they
admired the courage of a general officer who took his chances in the
firing line.

Art was waiting for me when I reached the dugout after my ammunition
fatigue. I accompanied him down the mule path that led along the edge
of the Salt Lake to West Beach, where we had made our landing the
first night. The place looked very different now. Under the shelter
of the beetling cliffs, the engineers had constructed dugouts of all
sorts. The beach was piled high with boxes of beef, biscuits, jam,
lime juice, and rum. At the top of the hill, a temporary dressing
station for the wounded had been built; and nearer the beach was a
clearing station, from which the wounded were taken by motor ambulance
to the hospital ship. At different points along the beach, piers had
been built for the landing of supplies and troops, and for the loading
of wounded into lighters to be taken to the hospital ships waiting out
in deeper water. The Australians had put up a wire fence around a part
of beach and used it for a graveyard. We found the man in charge of
the kit bags of the Newfoundlanders, and after much search located
Art's bag, and took out the stuff we wanted. On the way back, in a
little ravine just on the edge of the Salt Lake, we came upon two
horsemen. They were General Hamilton and his aide. The general
returned our salute smilingly.

"Who is it?" said Art.

"It's Sir Ian Hamilton," I said. "Doesn't he look like the sort of
man it would be wise to confide in?"

"Yes, he does," said Art. "Evidently he has confidence in our troops'
ability to hold their own," added Art. "The Turks have four lines of
trenches to fall back on; we have only one firing line."

There was the same group around the field kitchen when we arrived back
at our lines. They were swapping yarns and telling stories with a
lurid intermixture of profanity and a liberal sprinkling of trench
slang. To me, one of the most interesting side lights of the war is
the slang that forms a great part of the vocabulary of the trenches.
Early morning tea, when we got it, was "gun-fire." A Turk was never a
Turk. He was a Turkey, Abdul Pasha, or a cigarette maker. A regiment
is a "mob." A psychologist would have been interested to see that
nobody ever spoke of a comrade as having died or been killed, but had
"gone west." All the time I was at the front, I never heard one of our
men say that another had been killed. A man who was killed in our
regiment had "lost his can," although this referred most particularly
to men shot through the head. Ordinarily a dead man was called a
"washout"; or it was said that he had "copped it." The caution to keep
your head down always came, "Keep your napper down low." To get
wounded with one of our own bullets was to get a "dose of
three-o-three." The bullet has a diameter of three-hundred-and-three
thousandths of an inch.

Mr. Nunns came toward the group, looking for Stenlake. It was Sunday
afternoon, and he thought it would be well to have a service. Stenlake
was found, and a crowd trailed after him to an empty dugout, where he
gathered them about him and began. It was a simple, sincere service.
Out there in that barren country, it seemed a strange thing to see
those rough men gathered about Stenlake while he read a passage or led
a hymn. But it was most impressive. The service was almost over, and
Stenlake was offering a final prayer, when the Turkish batteries
opened fire. Ordinarily at the first sound of a shell, men dived for
shelter; but gathered around that dugout, where a single shell could
have wrought awful havoc, not a man stirred. They stayed motionless,
heads bowed reverently, until Stenlake had finished. Then quietly
they dispersed. As a lesson in faith it was most illuminating.

It was strange to see week by week the psychological change that had
come over the men. Most of all I noticed it in the songs they sang. At
first the songs had been of a boisterous character, that foretold
direful things that would happen to the Kaiser and his family "As we
go marching through Germany." These had all given place to songs that
voiced to some extent the longing for home that possessed these
voluntary exiles. "I want to go back to Michigan" was a favorite.
Perhaps even more so was "The little gray home in the West."
"Tipperary" was still in demand, not because of the lilt of a march
that it held, but for the pathetic little touch of "my heart's right
there," and perhaps for the reference to "the sweetest girl I know."

Perhaps it may have been the effect of Stenlake's service, or it may
have been the news that we were to go into the firing line the next
day, that made the men seek their dugouts early that Sunday evening.
But there was something heavy in the air that night. For almost a week
we had been comparatively safe in dugouts. Tomorrow we were again to
go into the firing line and wait impotently while our number was
reduced gradually but pitilessly. The hopelessness of the thing seemed
clearer that evening than any other time we had been there. Simpson,
"the Man with the Donkeys," had been killed that day. After a whole
summer in which he seemed to be impervious to bullets, a stray bullet
had caught him in the heart on his way down Shrapnel Valley with a
consignment of wounded. Simpson had been so much a part of the
Peninsular life that it was hard to realize that he had gone to swell
the list of heroes that Australia has so much cause to be proud of. A
Company had suffered heavily in the front line trenches that day. A
number of stretchers had passed down the road that ran in front of our
dugouts, with A Company men for the dressing station on the beach.
Snipers had been busy. From the A Company stretcher-bearers came news
that others had been killed. One piece of news filtered slowly down to
us that evening, that had an unaccountably strange effect on the men
of B Company. Sam Lodge had been killed. Sam Lodge was perhaps the
most widely known man in the whole regiment. There were very few
Newfoundlanders who did not think kindly of the big, quiet, reliable
looking college man. He had enlisted at the very first call for
volunteers. Other men had been killed that day; and since the regiment
had been at Gallipoli, men had stood by while their dugout mates were
torn by shrapnel or sank down moaning, with a sniper's bullet in the
brain; but nothing had ever had the same effect, at any rate on the
men of our company, as the news that Sam Lodge had been killed that
day. Perhaps it was that everybody knew him. Other nights men had
crowded around the fire, telling stories, exchanging gossip, or
singing. To-night all was quiet; there was not even the sound of men
creeping about from dugout to dugout, visiting chums. Suddenly, from
away up on the extreme right end of the line of dugouts, came the
sound of a clear tenor voice, singing, "Tenting To-night on the Old
Camp Ground." Never have I heard anything so mournful. It is
impossible to describe the penetrating pathos of the old Civil War
song. Slowly the singer continued, amidst a profound hush. His voice
sank, until one could scarcely catch the words when he sang, "Waiting
for the war to cease." At last he finished. There was scarcely a
stir, as the men dropped off to sleep.

It was a quiet, sober lot of men who filed into a shady, tree-dotted
ravine the next day behind the stretcher that bore the remains of
Private Sam Lodge. Stenlake read the burial service. Everybody who
could turned out to pay their last respects to the best liked man in
the regiment. After the brief service, Colonel Burton, the commanding
officer, Captain Carty, Lodge's company commander, a group of senior
and junior officers, and a number of profoundly affected soldiers
gathered about the grave while the body was lowered into it. In the
shade of a spreading tree, within sound of the mournful wash of the
tide in Suvla Bay, lies poor Sam Lodge, a good, cheerful soldier,
uncomplaining always, a man whose last thought was for others. "Don't
bother to lift me down off the parapet, boys," he had said when he was
hit; "I'm finished."



CHAPTER VI

NO MAN'S LAND


Our dugouts were located about a quarter of a mile inland from the
edge of the Salt Lake. Somewhere at the other side of the Salt Lake
was the cleverly concealed landing place of the aëroplane service.
Commander Sampson, who had been in action since the beginning of the
war, was in charge of the aëroplane squadron. One day, by clever
manoeuvering he forced one of the enemy planes, a Taube, away from its
own lines and back over the Salt Lake. Here after a spectacular fight
in mid air, Sampson forced the other to surrender and captured his
machine. The Taube he thereafter used for daily reconnaissance. Every
afternoon we watched him hover over the Turkish lines, circle clear of
their bursting shrapnel, poising long enough to complete his
observations, then return to the Salt Lake with his report for our
artillery and the navy. The day after Sam Lodge's burial, we watched
two hostile 'planes chase Sampson back right to our trenches. When
they came near enough, our men opened rapid fire that forced them to
turn; but before Sampson reached his landing place at Salt Lake, we
could see that he was in trouble. One of the wings of his machine was
drooping badly. From the other side of the Salt Lake, a motor
ambulance was tearing along towards the place where he was expected to
land. The Taube sank gradually to the ground, the ambulance drew up to
within about thirty feet of it, and turned about, waiting. We saw
Sampson jump out of his seat, almost before the machine touched the
ground, and walk to the waiting ambulance. The ambulance had just
started, when a shell from a Turkish gun hit the prostrate aëroplane
and tore a large hole in it. With marvelous precision, the Turkish
battery pumped three or four shells almost on top of the first. In a
few minutes, all that was left of the Taube was a twisted mass of
frame work; of the wings, not a fragment remained.

But although Sampson had lost his 'plane, he had completed his
mission. About half an hour later, the navy in the bay began a
bombardment. We could see the men-o'-war lined up, pouring broadsides
over our heads into the Turkish trenches. First, we saw the gray ships
calmly riding the waves; then, from their sides came puffs of whitish
gray smoke, and the flash of the discharge, followed by the jarring
report of the explosion. Around the bend of Anafarta Bay, we saw
creeping in a strange, low-lying, awkward-looking craft that reminded
one of the barges one sees used for dredging harbors. It was one of
the new monitors, the most efficiently destructive vessel in the navy.
Soon the artillery on the land joined in. About four o'clock the
bombardment had started; and all that afternoon the terrific din kept
up. When we went into the firing line that evening at dark, the
bombardment was still going on. About nine o'clock it stopped; but at
three the next morning, it was resumed with even greater force. The
part of the line we were holding was in a valley; to the right and
left of us, the trenches ran up hill. From our position in the middle,
we had a splendid view of the other parts of the line. All that
morning the bombardment kept up. Our gunners were concentrating on the
trenches well up the hill on the left. First we watched our shells
demolish the enemy's front line trench. Immense shells shrieked
through the air above our heads and landed in the Turks' firing line.
Gradually but surely the huge projectiles battered down the enemy
defenses. The Turks stuck to their ground manfully, but at last they
had to give up. Through field glasses we could see the communication
trenches choked with fleeing Turks. Some of our artillery, to prevent
their escape, concentrated on the support trenches. This manoeuver
served a double purpose: besides preventing the escape of those
retreating from the battered front line trench, it stopped
reinforcements from coming up. Still farther back, a mule train
bringing up supplies, was caught in open ground in the curtain of
fire. The Turks, caught between two fires, could not escape. In a
short time all that was left of the scientifically constructed
intrenchments was a conglomerate heap of sand bags, equipments, and
machine guns; and on top of it all lay the mangled bodies of men and
mules.

All through the bombardment, we had hoped for the order to go over the
parapet. When we had been rushed to the firing line the night before,
we thought it was to take part in the attack. Instead of this, we
were held in the firing line. For the Worcesters on our left was
reserved the distinction of making the charge. High explosives cleared
the way for their advance, and cheering and yelling they went over
parapet. The Turks in the front line trenches, completely demoralized,
fled to the rear. A few, too weak or too sorely wounded to run,
surrendered. While the bombardment was going on, our men stood in
their trenches, craning their necks over the parapet. All through the
afternoon, the excitement was intense. Men jumped up and down, running
wildly from one point in the trench to another to get a better view.
Some fired their rifles in the general direction of the enemy; "just a
few joy guns," they said. Everybody was laughing and shouting
delightedly. Down in the bay, the gray ships looked almost as small as
launches in the mist formed by the smoke of the guns. The
Newfoundlanders might have been a crowd rooting at a baseball game.
Every few minutes, when the smoke in the bay cleared sufficiently to
reveal to us a glimpse of the ships, the trenches resounded to the
shouts of, "Come on, the navy," and "Good old Britain." And when the
great masses of iron hurtled through the air and tore up sections of
the enemy's parapet, we shouted delightedly, "Iron rations for Johnny
Turk!"

Prisoners taken in this engagement told us that the Turkish rank and
file heartily hated their German officers. From the first, they had
not taken kindly to underground warfare. The Turks were accustomed to
guerrilla fighting, and had to be driven into the trenches by the
German officers at the point of their revolvers. One prisoner said
that he had been an officer; but since the beginning of the campaign,
he had been replaced by a German. At that time, he told us, the Turks
were officered entirely by Germans. For two or three days after that,
at short intervals, one or two at a time, Turks dribbled in to
surrender. They were tired of fighting, they said, and were almost
starved to death. Many more would surrender, they told us, but they
were kept back by fear of being shot by their German officers.

With the monotony varied occasionally by some local engagement like
this, we dragged through the hot, fly-pestered days, and cold, drafty,
vermin-infested nights of September and early October. By the middle
of October, disease and scarcity of water had depleted our ranks
alarmingly. Instead of having four days on the firing line and eight
days' rest, we were holding the firing line eight days and resting
only four. In my platoon, of the six noncommissioned officers who had
started with us, only two corporals were left, one other and I. For a
week after the doctor had ordered him to leave the Peninsula, the
other corporal hung on, pluckily determined not to leave me alone. All
this time, the work of the platoon was divided between us; he stayed
up half the night, and I the other half. At last, he had to be
personally conducted to the clearing station.

Just about the middle of October comes a Mohammedan feast that lasts
for three or four days. During the days of the feast, while our
battalion was in the firing line, some prisoners who surrendered told
us that the Turks were suffering severely from lack of food and warm
clothing. All sorts of rumors ran through the trench. One was that
some one had reliable information that the supreme commander of the
Turkish forces had sent to Berlin for men to reinforce his army. If
the reinforcements did not come in four days, he would surrender his
entire command. Men ordered off the Peninsula by the medical officer,
instead of proceeding to the clearing station, sneaked back to their
positions in the trench, waiting to see the surrender. But the
surrender never came. Things went on in the same old dreary,
changeless round. More than sickness, or bullets, the sordid monotony
had begun to tell on the men. Every day, officers were besieged with
requests for permission to go out between the lines to locate snipers.
When men were wanted for night patrol, for covering parties, or for
listening post details, every one volunteered. Ration parties to the
beach, which had formerly been a dread, were now an eagerly sought
variation, although it was a certainty that from every such party we
should lose ten per cent. of the personnel. Any change, of any sort,
was welcome. The thought of being killed had lost its fear. Daily
intercourse with death had robbed it of its horror. Here was one case
where familiarity had bred contempt. Most of the men had sunk into
apathy, simply waiting for the day their turn was to come, wondering
how soon would come the bullet that had on it their "name and number."
Most of the men in talking to each other, especially to their sick
comrades, spoke hopefully of the outcome; but those I talked with
alone all had the same thought: only by a miracle could they escape
alive; that miracle was a "cushy one."

One wave of hope swept over the Peninsula in that dreary time. The
brigade bulletin board contained the news that it was expected that in
a day or two at the most Bulgaria would come into the war on the side
of the Allies. To us this was of tremendous importance. With a
frontier bordering on Turkey, Bulgaria might turn the scale in our
favor. Life became again full of possibilities and interest. Our
interpreters printed up an elaborate menu in Turkish that recited the
various good things that might be found in our trenches by Turks who
would surrender. At the foot of the menus was a little note suggesting
that now was the ideal time to come in, and that the ideal way to
celebrate the feast was to become our guests. These menus we attached
to little stakes and just in front of the Turkish barbed wire we stuck
them in the ground. Several Turks came in within the next few days,
but whether as a result of this or not, it was impossible to say. The
feeling of renewed hope and buoyancy caused by the news of the
imminence of Bulgaria's alliance with us was of short duration. A day
or so afterwards came the alarming news that the Allied ministers had
left Bulgaria; and the following day came word that Bulgaria had
joined in the war, not with us, but with the Central Powers. Again
apathy settled on the men. Now, too, the rainy season had set in in
earnest. Torrents of rain poured down daily on the trenches, choking
the drains, and filling the passageway with thick gray mud in which
one slipped and floundered helplessly, and which coated uniforms and
equipments like cement. One relief it did bring with it. Men who had
not had a bath, or a shave in months, were able to collect in their
rubber sheets enough rain water to wash and shave with. But the
drinking water was still scarce. On other parts of the Peninsula there
was plenty of it; but we had so few men available for duty that we
could scarcely spare enough men to go for it. Also, there was the
difficulty in securing proper receptacles for its conveyance. Most of
the men were very much exhausted, and the trip of four or five miles
for water would have been too much for them. Even when we did get
water, it had to be boiled to kill the germs of disease, and to
prevent men from being poisoned. The boiled water was flat and
tasteless; and to counteract this, we were given a spoonful of lime
juice about once a week. This we put in our water bottles. About every
third day we were issued some rum. Twice a week, an officer appeared
in the trench carrying a large stone jar bearing the magic letters in
black paint, P.D.R., Pure Demerara Rum. This he doled out as if every
drop had cost a million dollars. Each man received just enough to
cover the bottom of his canteen, not more than an eighth of a tumbler.
Just before going out on any sort of night fatigue on the wet ground,
it was particularly grateful. We had long ago given up reckoning time
by the calendar, and days either were or were not "Rum days." Men who
were wounded on these days bequeathed their share to their particular
pals or to their dugout mates. Some of the men were total abstainers
with the courage of their convictions; they steadfastly refused to
touch it. The other men canvassed these on rum days for their share of
the fiery liquid, and in exchange did the temperance men's share of
fatigue duty. During this time, there was very little fighting. Both
sides were intrenched and prepared to stay there for the winter. In
the particular section of trench we held, we knew that any attempt at
an advance would be hopeless and suicidal. The ground in front was too
well commanded by enemy machine guns. Still, we thought that some
other parts of the line might advance and turn one of the flanks of
the enemy. Nothing was impossible to the Dublins or the Munsters; and
there was always faith in the invincible Australasians. We could not
forget the way the Australasians a short time before had celebrated
the news of the British advance at Loos.

Just after the Turkish feast, we went into dugouts again for a few
days, and back once more to the firing line. This time, we were up in
the farm house district near Chocolate Hill. It was a place
particularly exposed to shell fire; for the old skeletons of farm
houses made good targets for the enemy's guns. Every afternoon, the
Turks sent over about a dozen or so shells, just to show us that they
knew we were there. After Bulgaria came in against us, it seemed to us
that the Turks grew much more prodigal of their shells than formerly.
Where before they sent over ten, they now fired twenty. It was rather
grimly ironic to find, on examination of some of the shell casings,
that they were shells made by Great Britain and supplied to the Turks
in the Balkan War. There was a certain amount of sardonic satisfaction
in knowing that the fortifications on Achi Baba were placed there by
British engineers when we looked on the Turks as friends. No. 8
platoon was intrenched just in front of a field in which grew a number
of apple trees. In the daytime we could not get to these, but at night
some of the more venturesome spirits crawled out and returned with
their haversacks full. A little further along was what had once been a
garden. Even now there were still growing some tomatoes and some
watermelons. The rest of it was a mass of battered stones that had
once been fences. Here it was that the old gray bearded farmers who
had been peacefully working in their fields had hung up their scythes
and taken down from their hook on the wall old rusty muskets and
fought in their dooryards to defend their homes. The oncoming troops
had swept past them, but at a tremendous cost. For a whole day the
battle had swayed back and forth. Where formerly had bloomed a
luxuriant garden or orchard, was now a plowed field,--plowed not with
farm implements but with shrapnel and high explosive shells. Dotting
it here and there, were the little rough wooden crosses that gave the
simple details of a man's regimental name, number, and date of death.
Not a few of them were in memory of "Unknown Comrades." And once in a
while one saw a cross that marked the resting place of the foe.
Feeling toward the enemy differed with individuals; but we were all
agreed that Johnny Turk was a good, clean, sporty fighter, who
generally gave as good as we could send. Therefore, whenever we could
we gave him decent burial, we stuck a cross up over him, although he
did not believe in what it symbolized, and we took off his
identification disk and personal papers. These we handed to our
interpreters, who sent them to the neutral consuls at Constantinople;
and they communicated through the proper channels with the deceased's
various widows.

After a week or so in this district, we moved back again to our old
quarters at Anafarta village. Here we took over a block house occupied
by the Essex. The Dublins and the Munsters were on our right. The
block house was an advanced post that we held in the morning and
during the night. Every afternoon we left it for a few hours while the
enemy wasted shells on it. A couple of Irish snipers were with us. The
first day they were there, our Lieutenant, Mr. Nunns, spent the day
with them; that day, he accounted for four Turks. This was the closest
we had yet been to them. I stood up beside an Irish sniper and looked
through a pair of field glasses to where he pointed out some snipers'
dugouts. They were the same dugouts that Cooke, the Irish V.C. man,
had shown me. While I was watching, I saw an old Turk sneaking out
between his trench and one of the dugouts. He looked old and stooped
and had a long whisker that reached almost to his waist and appeared
to have difficulty in getting along. All about him were little canvas
pockets that contained bombs and about his neck was a long string of
small bombs. "Begob," said one of the Dublins, beside me, "'t is the
daddy of them all. Get him, my son." I grasped my gun excitedly and
aimed; but before I had taken the pressure of the trigger, I heard
from a little distance to the right the staccato of a machine gun.
The result was astonishing. One second, I was looking through my
sights at the Turk; the next, he had disappeared, and in his place was
the most marvelous combination of all colors of flames I have ever
seen. Literally Johnny Turk had gone up in smoke. The Irishman beside
me was standing open mouthed.

"Glory be to God," he said, "what does that make you think of?"

"It reminds me," I said, "of a Fourth of July celebration in the
States; and I wish," I added heartily, "I was there now."

"It makes me think, my son," said the Irishman, "of the way ould Cooke
killed a lot of the sausage-makers over on the other side. He threw a
bomb in among tin of 'em and then fired his rifle at it and exploded
it. Killed every damn one of 'em, he did. 'T was the same time he got
the V.C."

"I suppose," I said, "Cooke's in London now getting his medal from the
King. He's through with this Peninsula."

"Thrue for you, my son," said the Irishman, "he's through with this
Peninsula, but he's not in London. 'T was just three nights ago that I
went out yonder, and tin yards in front of that dugout I found ould
Cooke's body. The Turrk got him right through the cap badge and blew
the top clean off his head. 'T is just luck. Some has it one way, and
some has it another; but whichever way you have it, it don't do you no
good to worry over it."

   [Illustration: Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
   Australians in the trenches consider clothes a superfluity]

Having delivered himself of this satisfying philosophy, he resumed his
survey of the ground in front.

About ten yards outside the block house we were holding, the Turks
had, under cover of darkness, almost completed a sap, with the object
of surrounding the block house. A detachment of the Dublins with three
or four bomb throwers sapped out to the left of the sap the enemy was
digging, after a short but exciting engagement, bombed them out of it,
and took the sap at the point of the bayonet. They found it occupied
by only two Turks, who surrendered. The rest were able to get back to
their own trench. We cut the corner off this sap, rounded it off to
surround our block house, and occupied it. It brought us to within
fifty yards of the enemy firing line. We could hear them talking at
night; and in the daytime we could see them walking about their
trenches. At this point, they had in their lines a number of animals,
chiefly dogs. In addition, they had a brass band that played tuneless,
wailing music nearly every night, to the accompaniment of the howling
and barking of dogs. Some of the men claimed that the dogs were
trained animals who carried food to snipers and who were taught to
find the Turkish wounded. This may have been true; but I have always
believed that their chief use was to cover the noise of secret
operations. This seems likely, for they were able to get their sap
almost finished without our hearing them.

The block house we held stood just in the center of the line that the
Fifth Norfolks had charged into early in August, and from which not
one man had emerged. The second or third day we occupied it, a
detachment of engineers was sent in to make loopholes and prepare it
for a stubborn defense. In the wall on the left they made a large
loophole. The sentry posted there the first morning saw about twenty
feet away the body of a British soldier, partly buried. Two volunteers
to bury the body were asked for. Half a dozen offered, although it was
broad daylight and the place the body lay in offered no protection.

Before any one could be selected, Art Pratt and young Hayes made the
decision by jumping up, taking their picks and shovels, and vaulting
over the wall of the block house. They walked out to where the body
lay. It had been torn in pieces by a shell the previous afternoon. At
first a few bullets tore up little spurts of ground near the two men,
but as soon as they reached the body, this stopped. The Turks never
fired on burial parties; and men on the Peninsula, wounded by snipers,
tell strange stories of dark-skinned visitors who crept up to them
after dark, bound up their wounds, gave them water, and helped them to
within shouting distance of their own lines, where at daylight the
next morning their comrades found them. Once one of our batteries was
very near a dressing station when a stray shell, fired at the battery,
hit the dressing station. The Turkish observer heliographed over and
apologized. That is why we respected the Turk. When we tried to shoot
him, he chuckled to himself and sniped us from trees and dugouts; and
when we reviled him and threw tins of apricot jam at him, he gave
thanks to Allah, and ate the jam. The empty tins he filled with powder
and returned to us in the shape of bombs. Only once did he really
lose his temper. That was when under his very eyes we deliberately
undressed on his beach and disported ourselves in the Ægean Sea. Then
he sent over shells that shrieked at us to get out of his ocean. But
in his angriest moments he respected the Red Cross and never ill
treated our wounded. One chap, an Englishman, was wounded in the head
just as he reached the Turkish trench during a charge. The bullet went
in the side of his head, ruining both his eyes. He was captured as he
toppled over into the trench, was taken to Constantinople, well
treated in hospital there, and returned in the first batch of
exchanged prisoners. When I met him in Egypt, he had nothing but kind
words for the Turks. When the enemy saw the object of the little
expedition, they allowed Art and Hayes to proceed unmolested. We
watched them dig a grave beside the corpse; and when they had
finished, with a shovel they turned the body into it. Before doing it,
they searched the man for personal papers and took off his
identification disk. These bore the name, "Sergeant Golder, Fifth
Norfolk Regiment." That was in the last part of October; and since
August 10th not a word had been heard of the missing Norfolk
regiment. To this day, the whole affair remains a mystery. The
regiment disappeared as if the ground had swallowed them up. On the
King's Sandringham estate, families are still hoping against hope that
there may sometime come word that the men are prisoners in Turkey.
Neutral consuls in Constantinople have been appealed to, and have
taken the matter up with the Turkish Government. The most searching
inquiries have elicited nothing new. The answer has always been the
same. The Turkish authorities know no more about it than the English.
Two hundred and fifty men were given the order to charge into a wood.
The only sign that they ever did so, is the little wooden cross that
reads

                         IN MEMORY OF
                      SERGEANT J. GOLDER
                    FIFTH NORFOLK REGIMENT
                       KILLED IN ACTION



CHAPTER VII

WOUNDED


The gorgeous tropical sunset had given place to the inky darkness of a
Turkish night, when we moved into trenches well up on the side of a
hill that overlooked Anafarta Plain. Here an advance had been
unsuccessful, and the Turks had counter attacked. Half way, the
British had dug in hastily, in hard limestone that resisted the pick.
No. 8 platoon held six traverses. Four of these were exposed to
enfilade fire. About two hundred yards away, at an angle on the left
front, a number of snipers had built some dugouts on Caribou Ridge.
These they manned with machine guns. From this elevation, they could
pour their fire into our trenches. Several attempts had been made to
dislodge them; but their machine guns commanded the intervening ground
and made an advance impossible. Their first line trench was about two
hundred yards in front of us. Thirty or forty yards nearer us they
were building a sap that ran parallel with their lines for about five
hundred yards. At that point it took a sharp V turn inward toward us.
The proximity of the enemy, and the contour of the ground so favorable
to them, made it necessary to take extra precautions, especially at
night. Each night, at the point where the enemy sap turned toward us,
we sent out a listening patrol of two men and a corporal. The fourth
night, my turn came. That day it had rained without cessation; and in
the early part of the evening I had tried to sleep, but my wet clothes
and the pouring rain had made it impossible. I felt rather glad when I
was told that at one-thirty I was to go out for two hours on listening
patrol. That night we had been issued some rum, and I had been
fortunate enough to get a good portion. I decided to reserve it until
I went out. About ten o'clock I gave up attempting to sleep, and
walked down the trench a little way to where a collection of trees and
brush had been laid across the top. Some one, with memories of
London's well-known meeting place, had christened it the Marble Arch.
I stood under this arch, where the rain did not penetrate, and talked
with the corporal of an English regiment who were holding the line on
the other side of the Marble Arch. A Sergeant Manson, who had been
loaned to us from another platoon, came along and we talked for a
while. He had received some chocolate that evening, and the next
morning he was going to distribute it among the men. It was in a
haversack under his head, he said, and he was going to sleep on it to
prevent it from being stolen. About eleven he returned to his place on
the firing platform and went to sleep. I was ravenously hungry, and
had nothing to eat. I could not find even a biscuit. I did find some
bully beef, and ate some of it, washing it down with a swallow of the
precious rum from my water bottle. Then I remembered the chocolate
under Sergeant Manson's head, and went over to where he was lying. He
was breathing heavily in the deep sleep of exhaustion. Quietly I
slipped my hand into the haversack, and took out four or five little
cubes of chocolate about an inch long. Manson stirred sleepily and
murmured, "What do you want?" then turned over and again began
breathing regularly. It was now almost time to start for the listening
post. So I went along the trench to where I knew young Hayes was
sleeping. He had volunteered as one of the men to accompany me, and
from D Company I got the second man. My platoon by this time had been
reduced to eighteen men, and I was the only non-com. We had to get men
from D Company to take turns on the parapet at night, although they
were supposed to be resting at the time. Between us and the Turkish
sap a small rise covered with short evergreen bushes prevented us from
seeing them. To get to this we had to cross about fifty yards of
ground with fairly good cover, and another fifty yards of bare ground.
Where the bare ground began, a ditch filled with dank, wet grass
served as our listening post. A large tree with spreading boughs gave
us some shelter. From behind this we could watch the rising ground in
front. Any of the enemy attempting an advance had to appear over this
rise. Our instructions were to watch this, and report any movement of
the enemy, but not to fire. I left young Hayes about half way between
this tree and the trench, and the other man and I spread a rubber
sheet under the tree and made ourselves as comfortable as possible.
The rain was still coming down with a steadiness that promised little
hope of stopping. After a little while I became numbed, and decided
to move about a little. When I came on the Peninsula, I had no
overcoat, but a little time before had secured a very fine gray woolen
great-coat from a Turk. It had been at one time the property of a
German officer, and was very warm and comfortable, with a large collar
and deep thick cuffs. I had worn it about the trench and it had been
the subject of much comment. That night I wore it, and over it a
raincoat. So that my movements might be less constricted, I took off
the raincoat, and left it with the D Company man, who stayed under the
tree. It was pitch dark, and I got across the open space to the
evergreen-covered rise without being seen. Here I dropped on my
stomach and wriggled between wet bushes that pricked my face, up to
the top.

It was only about thirty feet, but it took me almost an hour to get up
there. By the time I had reached the top it had stopped raining and
stars had come out. I crawled laboriously a short distance down the
other side of the little hill; I parted the bushes slowly and was
preparing to draw myself a little further when I saw something that
nearly turned me sick with horror. Almost under my face were the
bodies of two men, one a Turk, the other an Englishman. They were
both on their sides, and each of them were transfixed with the bayonet
of the other. I don't know how long I stayed there. It seemed ages. At
last I gathered myself together, and withdrew cautiously, a little to
the right. My nerves were so shaken by what I had just seen that I
decided to return at once to the man under the tree. When I had gone
back about ten feet I was seized with an overwhelming desire to go
back and find out to what regiment the dead Englishman belonged. At
the moment I turned, my attention was distracted by the noise of men
walking not very far to the front. I crawled along cautiously and
peered over the top of the rise where I could see the enemy sap. The
noise was made by a digging party who were just filing into the sap.
For almost an hour I lay there watching them. It gave me a certain
satisfaction to aim my rifle at each one in turn and think of the
effect of a mere pressure of the trigger. But my orders were not to
fire. I was on listening patrol, and we had men out on different
working parties, who might be hit in the resulting return fire. At
intervals I could hear behind me the report of a rifle, and wondered
what fool was shooting from our lines. When I thought it was time to
go back I crawled down the hill, and found to my consternation that
the moon was full, and the space between the foot of the little rise
and the tree was stark white in the moonlight. I had just decided to
make a sharp dash across when the firing that I had heard before
recommenced. Instead of being from our lines it came from a tree a
short distance to the left, at the end of the open space. It was
Johnny Turk, cozily ensconced in a tree that overlooked our trench.
Whenever he saw a movement he fired. He used some sort of smokeless
powder that gave no flash, and it was most fortunate for me that I
happened to be at the only angle that he could be seen from. I resumed
my wriggling along the edge of the open space to where it ended in
thick grass. Through this I crawled until I had come almost to the
edge of the ditch in which I had left the other man. But to reach it I
had to cross about ten feet of perfectly bare ground that gave no
protection. Had the Turk seen me he could have hit me easily. I
decided to crawl across slowly, making no noise. I put my head out of
the thick grass and with one knee and both hands on the ground poised
as a runner does at the start of a race. Against the clear white
ground I must have loomed large, for almost at once a bullet whizzed
through the top of the little brown woolen cap I was wearing. Just
then the D Company man caught sight of me, and raised his gun. "Who
goes there?" he shouted. I did some remarkably quick thinking then. I
knew that the bullet through my cap had not come from the sniper, and
that some one of our men had seen my overcoat and mistaken me for a
Turk. I knew the sniper was in the tree, and the D Company's man's
challenge would draw his attention to me; also I knew that the
Newfoundlander might shoot first and establish my identity afterwards.
He was wrong in challenging me, as his instructions were to make no
noise. But that was a question that I had to postpone settling. I
decided to take a chance on the man in the listening post. I shouted,
just loud enough for him to hear me, "Newfoundland, you damn fool,
Newfoundland," then tore across the little open space and dived head
first into the dank grass beside him. When I had recovered my breath,
with a vocabulary inspired by the occasion, I told him, clearly and
concisely, what I thought of him. While it may not have been
complimentary it was beyond question candid. When I had finished, I
sent him back to relieve young Hayes with instructions to send Hayes
out to me. In a few minutes Hayes came.

"Do you know, Corporal," he said as he came up beside me, "I almost
shot you a few minutes ago. I should have when the other fellow
challenged you if you hadn't said 'Newfoundland.' I fired at you once.
I saw you go out one way, and when you came back I could just see your
Turkish overcoat. 'Here,' says I to myself, 'is Abdul Pasha trying to
get the Corporal, and I'll get him.' Instead of that I almost got
you."

Whether or not the noise I made caused the sniper to become more
cautious I don't know, but I heard no further shots from him from then
until the time I was relieved.

The arrival of a relief patrol prevented my replying to young Hayes. I
went back to my place in the trench, but try as I might I could not
sleep; I twisted from side to side, took off my equipment and
cartridge pouches, adjusted blankets and rubber sheet, tried another
place on the firing platform; I threw myself down flat in the bottom
of the trench. Still I could not get asleep. At last I abandoned the
attempt, took from my haversack a few cigarettes, lit one, and on a
piece of coarse paper began making a little diagram of the ground I
had covered that night, and of the position of the sniper I had been
watching. By the time I had completed it daylight had come, and with
it the familiar "Stand to." After "Stand to," I crawled under a rubber
sheet and snatched a few hours' sleep before breakfast. Just after
breakfast, a man from A Company came through the trench, munching some
fancy biscuits and carrying in his hand a can of sardines. The German
Kaiser could not have created a greater impression. "Where had he got
them, and how?" He explained that a canteen had been opened at the
beach. Here you could get everything that a real grocery store boasts,
and could have it charged on your pay-book. "A Company men," he said,
"had all given orders through their quarter-master sergeant, and had
received them that morning." Then followed a list of mouth-watering
delicacies, the very names of which we had almost forgotten. A
deputation instantly waited on Mr. Nunns. He knew nothing of the
thing, and was incensed that his men had not been allowed to
participate in the good things. He deputed me to go down and make
inquiries at A Company's lines. I did so, and found that the first man
had been perfectly correct. A Company was reveling in sardines, white
bread, real butter, dripping from roast beef, and tins of salmon and
lobster. If we gave an order that day, I was told, we should get it
filled the next. Elated, I returned to B Company's lines with the
news. The dove returning to the ark with the olive branch could not
have been more welcome. Mr. Nunns fairly beamed satisfaction. A few of
the more pessimistic reflected aloud that they might get killed before
the things arrived.

Just before nine o'clock I went down to see the cooks about dinner for
my section. On my way back I passed a man going down the trench on a
stretcher. One of the stretcher bearers told me that he had been hit
in the head while picking up rubbish on top of the parapet. He hoped
to get him to the dressing station alive. As I came into our own lines
another stretcher passed me. The man on this one was sitting up,
grinning.

"Hello, Gal," he yelled. "I've stopped a cushy one."

I laughed. "How did it happen?" I asked.

   [Illustration: Some of the barbed wire entanglements near Seddel
   Bahr are still in position]

"Picking up rubbish on top of the parapet."

He disappeared around the curve of the trench, delightedly spreading
the news that he had stopped a cushy one in the leg. I kept on back to
my own traverse, and showed the diagram I had made the night before to
Art Pratt. Mr. Nunns had granted us leave to go out that day to try to
get the sniper in the tree. Art was delighted at the chance of some
variety. While Art and I were making out a list of things we wanted at
the canteen, a man in my section came down the trench.

"Corporal Gallishaw," he said, "the Brigade Major passed through the
lines a few minutes ago, and he's raising hell at the state of the
lines; you've got to go out with five men, picking up rubbish on top
of the parapet."

Instantly there came before my eyes the vision of the strangely limp
form I had met only a few minutes before that had been hit in the head
"picking up rubbish on top of the parapet." But in the army one cannot
stop to think of such things long; orders have to be obeyed. Since
coming into the trench we had constructed a dump, but the former
occupants of the trench had thrown their refuse on top of the
parapet. My job with the five men was to collect this rubbish and put
it in our dump. At nine o'clock in the morning we mounted the parapet
and began digging. There was no cover for men standing; the low bushes
hid men sitting or lying. Every few minutes I gave the men a rest,
making them sit in the shelter of the underbrush. The sun was shining
brightly; and after the wet spell we had just passed through, the
warmth was peculiarly grateful. The news that the canteen had been
opened on the beach made most of the men optimistic. With good things
to eat in sight life immediately became more bearable. Never since the
first day they landed had the men seemed so cheerful. Up there where
we were the sun was very welcome, and we took our time over the job.
One chap had that morning been given fourteen days' field punishment,
because he had left his post for a few seconds the night before. He
wanted to get a pipe from his coat pocket, and did not think it worth
while to ask any one to relieve him. It was just those few seconds
that one of the brigade officers selected to visit our trench. When he
saw the post vacant, he waited until the man returned, asked his name,
then reported him. Field punishment meant that in addition to his
regular duties the man would have to work in every digging party or
fatigue detail. I asked him why he had not sent for me, and he told me
that it had happened while I was out in the listening patrol. He was
not worrying about the punishment, but feared that his parents might
hear of it through some one writing home. But after a little while
even he caught the spirit of cheerfulness that had spread amongst us
at the news of the new canteen. To the average person meals are like
the small white spaces in a book that divide the paragraphs; to us
they had assumed the proportions of the paragraph themselves. The man
who had just got field punishment told me the things he had ordered at
the canteen, and we compared notes and made suggestions. The
ubiquitous Hayes, working like a beaver with his entrenching tool,
threw remarks over his shoulder anent the man who had delayed the
information that the canteen had been established, and offered some
original and unique suggestions for that individual's punishment. When
we had the rubbish all scraped up in a pile, we took it on shovels to
the dump we had dug. To do this we had to walk upright. We had almost
finished when the snipers on Caribou Ridge began to bang at us. I
jumped to a small depression, and yelled to the men to take cover.
They were ahead of me, taking the last shovelful of rubbish to the
trench. At the warning to take cover, they separated and dived for the
bushes on either side. That is, they all did except Hayes, who either
did not hear me or did not know just where to go. I stepped up out of
the depression and pointed with outstretched arm to a cluster of
underbrush. "Get in there, Hayes!" I yelled. Just then I felt a dull
thud in my left shoulder blade, and a sharp pain in the region of my
heart. At first I thought that in running for cover one of the men had
thrown a pick-ax that hit me. Until I felt the blood trickling down my
back like warm water, it did not occur to me that I had been hit. Then
came a drowsy, languid sensation, the most enjoyable and pleasant I
have ever experienced. It seemed to me that my backbone became like
pulp, and I closed up like a concertina. Gradually I felt my knees
giving way under me, then my head dropped over on my chest, and down I
went. In Egypt I had seen Mohammedans praying with their faces toward
Mecca, and as I collapsed I thought that I must look exactly as they
did when they bent over and touched their heads to the ground,
worshiping the Prophet. Connecting the pain in my chest with the blow
in my back, I decided that the bullet had gone in my shoulder, through
my left lung, and out through my heart, and I concluded I was done
for. I can distinctly remember thinking of myself as some one else. I
recollect saying, half regretfully, "Poor old Gal is out of luck this
morning," then adding philosophically, "Well, he had a good time while
he was alive, anyway." By now things had grown very dim, and I felt
everything slipping away from me. I was myself again, but I said to
that other self who was lying there, as I thought, dying, "Buck up,
old Gal, and die like a sport." Just then I tried to say, "I'm hit."
It sounded as if somewhere miles away a faint echo mocked me. I must
have succeeded in making myself heard, because immediately I could
hear Hayes yell with a frenzied oath, "The Corporal's struck. Can't
you see the Corporal's struck?" and heard him curse the Turk who had
fired the shot. Almost instantly Hayes was kneeling beside me, trying
to find the wound. He was much more excited over it than I.

"Don't you try to bandage it here," I said; "yell for stretcher
bearers."

Hayes jumped up, shouting lustily, "Stretcher bearers at the double,
stretcher bearers at the double!" then added as an after-thought,
"Tell Art Pratt the Corporal's struck."

I was now quite clear headed again and told Hayes to shout for "B
Company stretcher bearers." On the Peninsula messages were sent along
the trench from man to man. Sometimes when a traverse separated two
men, the one receiving the message did not bother to step around, but
just shouted the message over. Often it was not heard, and the message
stopped right there. One message there was though, that never
miscarried, the one that came most frequently, "Stretcher bearers at
the double." Unless the bearers from some particular company were
specified, all who received the message responded. It was to avoid
this that I told Hayes to yell for B Company stretcher bearers.
Apparently some one had heard Hayes yell, "Tell Art Pratt the
Corporal's struck," because in a few minutes Art was bending over me,
talking to me gently. Three other men whom I could not see had come
with him; they had risked their lives to come for me under fire. "We
must get him out of this," I heard Art say. In that moment of danger
his thought was not for himself, but for me. I was able to tell them
how to lift me. No women could have been more gentle or tender than
those men, in carrying me back to the trench. Although bullets were
pattering around, they walked at a snail's pace lest the least hurried
movement might jar me and add to my pain. The stretcher bearers had
arrived by the time we reached the trench, and were unrolling bandages
and getting iodine ready. At first there was some difficulty in
getting at the wound. It had bled so freely that the entire back of my
coat was a mass of blood. The men who had carried me looked as if they
had been wounded, so covered with blood were they. The stretcher
bearer's scissors would not work, and Art angrily demanded a sharp
knife, which some one produced. The stretcher bearer ripped up my
clothing, exposing my shoulder, then began patching up my _right_
shoulder. I cursed him in fraternal trench fashion and told him he was
working on the wrong shoulder; I knew I had been hit in the _left_
shoulder and tried to explain that I had been turned over since I was
hit. The stretcher bearer thought I was delirious and continued
working away. I thought he was crazy, and told him so. At last Art
interrupted to say, "Just look at the other shoulder to satisfy him."
They looked, and, as I knew they would, found the hole the bullet had
entered. To get at it they turned me over, and I saw that a crowd had
gathered around to watch the dressing and make remarks about the
amount of blood. I became quite angry at this, and I asked them if
they thought it was a nickel show. This caused them all to laugh so
heartily that even I joined in. This was when I felt almost certain
that I was dying. I can't remember even feeling relieved when they
told me that the bullet had not gone through my heart. The pain I felt
there when I was first hit was caused by the tearing of the nerves
which centered in my heart when the bullet tore across my back from
shoulder to shoulder. Never as long as I live shall I forget the
solicitude of my comrades that morning. The stretcher bearers found
that the roughly constructed trench was too narrow to allow the
stretcher to turn, so they put me in a blanket and started away.
Meanwhile the word had run along the trench that "Gal had copped it."
I did not know until that morning that I had so many friends. A
little way down the trench I met Sergeant Manson. He was carrying some
sticks of chocolate for distribution among the men. I asked him for a
piece. To do so on the Peninsula was like asking for gold, but he put
it in my mouth with a smile. Hoddinott and Pike, the stretcher
bearers, stopped just where the communication trench began. The doctor
had come up. He asked me where I was hit, and I told him. He examined
the bandages, and told the stretcher bearers to take me along to the
dressing station. Captain Alexander, my company commander, came along,
smiled at me, and wished me good-by. Hoddinott asked me if I wanted a
cigarette, and when I said, "Yes," placed one in my month and lit it
for me. I had never realized until then just how difficult it is to
smoke a cigarette without removing it from your mouth. Poor Stenlake,
who by this time was worn to a shadow, was in the support trench,
waiting with some other sick men, to go to hospital. He came along and
said good-by. A Red Cross man gave me a postcard to be sent to some
organization that would supply me with comforts while I was in
hospital. "You'll eat your Christmas dinner in London, old chap," he
said.

   [Illustration: A British battery at work on the Peninsula]

We had to go two miles before the stretcher bearers could exchange the
blanket for the regular stretcher. The trenches were narrow, and on
one side a little ditch had been dug to drain them. The recent wet
weather had made the bottom of the trench very slippery, and every few
minutes one of the bearers would slide sideways and bring up in the
ditch. When he did the blanket swayed with him, and my shoulders
struck against the jagged limestone on the sides. To avoid this as
much as possible the bearers had to proceed very slowly. Those two
miles to me seemed endless. I had now become completely paralyzed, all
control of my muscles was gone, and I slipped about in the blanket.
Every few yards I would ask Hoddinott, "Is it very much farther?" and
every time he would turn around and grin cheerfully, and answer, as
one would answer a little child, "Not very much farther now, Gal."

At last we emerged into a large wide communication trench, with the
landmarks of which I was familiar. I was suffering severely now, and
was beginning to worry over trifles. Suddenly it came to me that I
was still a couple of miles from the dressing station, and when we
came out of the communication trench on to open ground that had been
torn up by shrapnel, I was consumed with fear that at any moment I
might be hit by another shell, and might not get aboard the hospital
after all, for by this time my mind had centered on getting into a
clean bed. A dozen different thoughts chased through my mind. I was
grieved to think that in order to get at the wound it had been
necessary to cut the fine great-coat that I had so much wanted to take
home as a souvenir. I asked Hoddinott what they had done with it, and
he told me that part of it was under my head as a pillow, but that it
was so besmeared with blood that it would be thrown away as soon as I
arrived at the dressing station. From thinking of the great-coat, I
remembered that before I went out with the digging party I had taken
off my raincoat and left it near my haversack in the trench, and in
the pocket of it was the little diagram I had drawn of the position of
the sniper I had seen the night before. Again I called for Hoddinott,
and again he came, and answered me patiently and gently. "Yes, he
would tell Art about the little diagram." Where a fringe of low
bushes bordered the pathway at the end of the open space, Hoddinott
and Pike turned. For the distance of about a city block they carried
the stretcher along a road cut through thick jungle. At the end of it
stood a little post from which drooped a white flag with a red cross.
It was the end of the first stage for the stretcher bearers. A great
wave of loneliness swept over me when I realized that I was to see the
last of the men with whom I had gone through so much. I was almost
crying at the thought of leaving them there. Somehow or other it did
not seem right for me to go. I felt that in some way I was taking an
unfair advantage of them. Hoddinott and Pike slipped the straps from
their shoulders and lowered the stretcher gently. Under the blanket
Hoddinott sought my hand. "Good-by, Gal," he said. "Is there any
message I can take back to Art?"

"Yes," I said, "tell him to keep my raincoat."

Since the moment I had been hit, I had been afraid of one thing--that
I should break down, and not take my punishment like a man. I was
tensely determined that no matter how much I suffered I would not
whine or cry. In our regiment it had become a tradition that a man
must smile when he was wounded. One thing more than anything else
kept me firm in my determination. Art Pratt had walked just behind the
blanket until we came to the communication trench. Even then he was
loath to leave me. He could not trust himself to speak when I said,
"Good-by, Art, old pal." He grasped my hand, and holding it walked
along a few feet. Then he dropped my hand gently. There are some
things in life that stand out ineffably sweet and satisfying. For me
such a one was that last moment of farewell to Art. I had always
considered him the most fearless man in a regiment whose name was a
byword for reckless courage. Of all men on the Peninsula I valued his
opinion most. No recommendation for promotion, no award for valor, not
even the coveted V.C., could have been half so sweet as the few words
I heard Art say. With eyes shining, he turned to the man beside him
and said, almost savagely, "By God, he's a brick."



CHAPTER VIII

HOMEWARD BOUND


As soon as Hoddinott and Pike had left me, two other stretcher bearers
carried me about two hundred yards farther to a rough shelter made of
poles laid across supports composed of sandbags. This was the dressing
station. On top of the poles, sandbags made it impervious to overhead
shelling. On three sides it was closed in, but the side nearest the
beach was open. From where my stretcher was placed I could just catch
a glimpse of the Ægean Sea and of the ships. Men on stretchers were
lined up in rows on the ground. Here and there a man groaned, but most
of the men were gazing at the roof, with set faces. Some who were only
slightly wounded were sitting up on stretchers while Red Cross men
bandaged up their legs or feet. A doctor was working away methodically
and rapidly. A little to the right another shelter housed the men who
were being sent to hospital with dysentery, enteric, or typhoid. As
soon as I was brought in, the doctor came to me. "I'll do this one
right away," he said to one of his assistants. The assistant stripped
the blanket from me and cut off the portions of the blood-stained
shirt still remaining. As he did so, something dropped on the ground.
The Red Cross man picked it up.

"Here's the bullet that hit you," he said, putting it beside me on the
stretcher. "It dropped out of your shirt. It just got through you and
stuck in your shirtsleeve."

"You'd better get him a little bag to keep his things in," said the
doctor.

The Red Cross man produced a bag, took my pay book, and everything he
found in my pocket, and put them in it, then tied them to the
stretcher. By this time I was ready for the doctor to begin work. That
doctor knew his business. In a very few minutes he had probed and cut
and cleaned the wound, and adjusted a new bandage. The bleeding had
stopped by this time. He asked me the circumstances of being hit. He
told me to grip his hand and squeeze. I tried it with my right hand
but could do nothing; then I tried the left hand and succeeded a
little better. The doctor looked grave when I failed to grip with my
right hand, but brightened a little when I gripped with my left. All
the time he talked to me genially. That did me nearly as much good as
the surgical attention he gave me. He was a Canadian, he told me. At
the outbreak of the war he had been taking post-graduate courses at
Cambridge University in England. The University sent several hospital
units to the front, and he had come with this one. He knew Canada and
the States pretty thoroughly.

"Where do you come from?" he asked me.

"Newfoundland," I told him. "But I live in the United States."

"What part?" he asked.

"Cambridge, Massachusetts," I told him.

"Oh," he said, "that's where Harvard University is."

"Yes," I said, "I was a student there when I enlisted."

The doctor called to a couple of the Red Cross men. "Here's a chap
from Harvard University in Cambridge, over in the United States." The
two Red Cross men came and told me they were students at Cambridge.
They talked to me for quite a little while. Before they left me to
attend to some more wounded, they made me promise to ask to be sent to
Cambridge, England, to hospital. The University had established a very
large and thoroughly equipped hospital there. All I had to do, they
said, was tell the people that I had been a student at the other
Cambridge, and I should be an honored guest. They persisted in calling
Harvard, Cambridge, and when they went away said that they were
overjoyed to have seen a man from the sister university.

The doctor came back in a few minutes.

"How are you feeling now?" he said.

"I feel pretty well now," I answered, "but it's very close in here
with all these wounded men, and the place smells of chloroform. Can't
I be moved outside?"

"I'll move you outside if you say so," said the doctor, "but you're
taking a chance. Occasionally a stray shell comes over this way. The
Turks are trying to locate a battery close to this place. Sometimes a
shell bursts prematurely, and drops around here."

On the Peninsula, officers who gave men leave to go on dangerous
missions salved their consciences by first warning the men that in
doing it "they were taking a chance." The caution had come to mean
nothing.

"All right, doctor," I said. "I'll take a chance."

Two stretcher bearers came, and lifted me outside the shelter, where
the wind blew, fresh and invigorating. Just as they turned, I heard
the old familiar shriek that signaled the coming of a shell. It burst
almost overhead. Most of the missiles it contained dropped on the
other side of the shelter, but a few tiny pieces flew in my direction.
Three of them hit me in the right arm, a fourth landed in my leg.

"Is anybody hit?" yelled a Red Cross man, whose accent proclaimed him
as an inhabitant of the country north of the Clyde.

"I've got a couple of splinters," I said.

I was lifted inside quickly. The Scotchman who put on some bandages on
the little cuts looked at me accusingly.

"Ye were warned, before ye went," he said. "Ye desairved it. But
then," he added, "ye might hae got it worse. Ye're lucky ye did not
get it in the guts."

After a little while my arms and back began to ache violently. Two
Red Cross men came along and moved me to another shelter similar to
the first. This was the clearing station. From here motor ambulances
carried the wounded to the shore. I knew from the burring speech of
the big sergeant in charge that he hailed from Scotland. I asked him
where he came from, and he told me that he came from Inverness.

"Our regiment trained near there for a while," I said. "They
garrisoned Fort George."

"Ye'll no' be meanin' the Seaforth Highlanders, laddie," said he.

"No," I said, "we're Newfoundlanders, the First Newfoundland
Regiment."

"Oh, I ken ye well, noo," he said, gloomily. "Ye're a bad lot; it took
six policemen to arrest one o' your mob. On the Peninsula they call ye
the Never Failing Little Darlings." After that he thawed quite a
little. "I'll look at your wound noo, laddie," he said, after a few
minutes. "Ye're awfu' light, laddie," he said as he raised me. "Puir
laddie," he added, pityingly. "Puir laddie. Ye're stairved. I'll get
ye Queen Mary's ration."

"What's Queen Mary's ration?" I asked.

"'T's Queen Mary's gift to the wounded. I'll get it for ye right
away." He went outside the clearing station and returned in a few
minutes with a cup of warm malted milk. "'T will help ye some till ye
get aboard the hospital ship. Here's the ambulance noo."

A fleet of motor ambulances swayed over the uneven ground and rolled
up close to the clearing station. The drivers and helpers began
loading the stretchers aboard and one by one started away. Before I
was put into one, the big Scotchman took a large syringe and injected
a strong dose of morphia into my chest.

"Ye'll find it hard," he said, "bumping over the hill, but ye'll soon
be all right and comfortable."

"Tell me," I said, "shall I get into a real bed on the ship?"

He laughed. "Sure ye will, laddie. The best bed ye've had since ye've
been in the airmy. Good luck to ye, laddie."

Each of the motor ambulances carried four men, two above and two
below. I was put on top, and the door flap pulled over. We jolted and
pitched and swayed. Once we turned short and skidded at a curve. I
knew just the very place, although it was dark in the ambulance. I
had gone over the road often with ration parties. Fortunately the
morphia was beginning to take effect, and dulled the pain to some
extent. At last the ambulance stopped, somebody pulled the curtain
back, and we were lifted out. We were on West Beach. A pier ran out
into the sea. A man-o'-war launch towing a string of boats glided in
near enough to let her first boat come close to the pier. The breeze
was quite fresh, and made me shiver. The stretchers were laid across
the boats, close to each other. Soon all the boats were filled. I
could see the man on the stretcher to the right of me, but the one on
the other side I could not see. I tried to turn my head but could not.
The eyes of the man next me were large with pain. I smiled at him, but
instead of smiling back at me, his lip curled resentfully, and he
turned over on his side so that he could face away from me. As he did,
the blanket slipped from his shoulder, and I saw on his shoulder strap
the star of a second lieutenant. I had committed the unpardonable sin.
I had smiled at an officer as if I had been an equal, forgetting that
he was not made of common clay. Once after that, when he turned his
head, his eyes met mine disdainfully. That time I did not smile. I
have often laughed at the incident since, but there on that boat I was
boiling with rage. Not a word had passed between us, but his
expression in turning away had been eloquent. I cursed him and the
system that produced him, and swore that never again would I put on a
uniform. Gradually I calmed down; the morphia had got in its work. In
a little while I had sunk into a comatose condition. I remember, in a
hazy sort of way, being taken aboard a large lighter. There were tiers
of stretchers on both sides. This time I was in the lower tier, and
was wondering how soon the man above me would fall on me. At last I
went to sleep. When I awoke, I was alone and in mid-air. All about me
was black. By that time I was completely paralyzed from the waist up.
I could see only directly above my head. It was night, and the sky was
dotted with twinkling stars. I could feel no movement, but the stars
came slowly nearer and nearer. "What was I doing here in mid-air?"
Subconsciously I thought of the body of Mohammed, suspended between
earth and heaven. Now I felt I had hit on the answer. I was going to
heaven, and the thought was very comforting. Suddenly the stars
stopped, and after a pause began receding. A face appeared above me,
then the head and shoulders of a man dressed in the uniform of a naval
officer. This suggested something else to me. The officers of the
Flying Corps wear naval uniforms. I decided that while I was asleep I
had been transferred to the Flying Corps.

"Hello, old chap," said the naval officer. "Do you know where you
are?"

"No," I said. "Am I going to heaven, or have I joined the Flying
Corps?"

"No," said the officer. "You're on the stretcher being hoisted aboard
the hospital ship."

Two big, strapping, bronzed sailors approached and lifted the
stretcher on to an elevator; they stepped on and the elevator
descended. We stopped at the end of a short white-walled passageway,
lighted by electricity. The sailors grasped the stretcher as lightly
as if it had been empty, walked along to the end of the passageway
into a ward. It had formerly been a dining saloon. Large square
windows looked out upon the sea, everything was white and clean and
orderly. After the dirt and filth of the Peninsula it was like a
beautiful dream. The sailors lifted me gently into a bed and stood
there waiting for orders from the nurse. As I looked at them I thought
of our boys standing in the trenches during a bombardment and yelling,
"Come on, the navy," and I murmured, "Come on, the navy;" and then
when I looked at the calm, self-possessed, capable-looking nursing
sister, moving about amongst the wounded, I said, and never had it
meant so much to me, "Good old Britain."

The string of boats in which I had come was the batch that filled the
quota of the patients of the hospital ship. In about half an hour she
began to move. An orderly came around with meals. The doctor came in
after a little while and began examining the patients. From some part
of the ship not far from where I was came the sound of voices singing
hymns. It was the last touch needed to emphasize the difference
between the hospital ship and the Peninsula. Sunday evening on the
Peninsula had meant no more than any other. The ship moved along so
quietly that she seemed scarcely to stir. The doctor and the nurse
worked noiselessly; over everything hung the spirit of Sabbath calm.
Gallipoli might have been as far away as Mars.

   [Illustration: With the French at Seddel Bahr]

It must have been about nine o'clock when an orderly came around
and turned out all the lights except a reading lamp over the desk
where the night sister sat. All that night I could not sleep. About
midnight the night sister gave me a sleeping draught, but it did no
good. I was suffering the most intense pain, but I was so glad to be
away from the dirt of the trenches that I felt nothing else counted.
The next day I was a great deal weaker, and could scarcely talk. When
the doctor came around to dress my wounds, I could only smile at him.
All that day the sister came to my bed at frequent intervals. I was
too weak then to eat. Two or three times she gave me some sort of
broth through a little feeding bowl. In the evening I had sunk into
apathy. The sister sent for the doctor. He came, felt my pulse, took
my temperature, then turned and whispered to the sister. She called an
orderly, and I heard her say, "Bring the screens for this man." The
orderly went away and in a few minutes returned with two screens large
enough to entirely conceal my bed. When the screens had been put in
position, the sister came in, wiped my mouth and forehead, and went
away. On the other side of the screen I heard her speaking softly to
the doctor. The whole thing seemed to me something entirely apart
from me. I felt that I was watching a scene in a play, and that I
found it of little interest. After about an hour the doctor and the
sister came in again.

"Feeling all right, old man?" said the doctor.

"Yes," I said. "Fine."

"Sister," said the doctor, "give this man anything he wants."

The sister bent over me. She was a woman between thirty and
thirty-five, of the type that inspires confidence; every word and
movement reflected poise, and there was a calmness and serenity about
her that you knew she could have acquired only as a result of having
seen and eased much human suffering.

"If there is anything you would care to have, please ask for it, and
if it is at all possible we will get it for you," she said, in a
softly modulated voice, with the slightest suspicion of a drawl; it
was the voice of a cultivated English-woman; after the Peninsula, a
woman's voice was like a tonic.

"Yes," I said, "I want chicken and wine."

I had not the slightest desire for chicken and wine just then, but I
felt that I had to ask for something, and the best I could think of
was chicken and wine. She smiled at me, went away, and in about
fifteen minutes she returned with a little tray. She had brought the
chicken and wine. She had minced up the chicken, and she fed me little
pieces of it with a spoon. In a little cup with a spout she had the
wine. When I had eaten a little of the chicken, she put the spout
between my lips; I had expected some port wine, but when I tasted, it
was champagne. I drank it to the very last drop.

"How do you feel now?" said the sister.

"Never felt better," I answered.

"That's very nice," she said. "I hope you'll get to sleep soon."

Then she went away, and in a few minutes the night sister came on. She
peeped in at me, smiled, and went away. All that night I looked up at
a tiny spot on the ceiling. In the board directly above my eyes, there
was a curious knot. A little flaw ran across the center of it. It
reminded me of a postman carrying his bag of letters. It seemed to me
that night that I could stand the pain no longer. My back seemed to be
tearing apart, as if a man was pulling on each shoulder, trying to
separate them from the spine. I tried to jump up from the bed but
could not move a muscle. I felt that it would be better to tear my
back apart myself at once and have it over, but when I tried to move
my arms I found them useless. It must have been well into the morning
when the night sister came around again. The doctor was with her. He
had a large syringe in his hand. He said nothing. Neither did I. I
closed my eyes. I wanted to be alone. I felt him open my shirt at the
neck and rub some liquid on my chest. I opened my eyes. He was putting
the needle of the long-syringe into my chest where he had rubbed it
with iodine. The skin was leathery and at first the needle would not
penetrate. At last it went in with a rush. It seemed at least a foot
long. He rubbed another spot, and plunged the needle in a second time.
"We've got to get him asleep," he said to the night sister. "If he's
not asleep in an hour, call me again." Very soon a drowsiness crept
over me. Nothing seemed to matter. I wanted to rest. In a short time I
was asleep. When I woke, it was broad daylight. The day sister was
standing by my bed, smiling. She turned around and beckoned to some
one. The doctor came close to the bed, felt my pulse, took my
temperature again, and smiled. "Quite all right, sister," he said.

An orderly came in, lifted me up in bed, washed my face and hands, and
brought in a tray with chicken. There was the same little feeding cup.
This time it had port wine in it. The orderly propped me up in bed,
putting cushions carefully behind my back and shoulders. The sister
and the doctor superintended while he was doing it. Lifting a wounded
man is a science. An unskilful person, no matter how well intentioned,
may sometimes do incalculable damage. Putting a strain on the wrong
muscle may undo the work of the doctor. I could see out one of the
large windows now, and I noticed that we were passing a good many
ships, mostly vessels of war. They seemed to increase in number every
few minutes; and by the time I had finished breakfast, we were in the
midst of a forest of funnels and rigging. Soon the engines stopped.
When the doctor came around to dress my back, I asked him where we
were.

"We're in Alexandria, now," he said. "In an hour's time we'll have
unloaded. You're the last patient to be dressed. We're doing you last
so that you won't have so long to wait before the bandages are
changed."

"Doctor," I asked, "how long will it be before this wound gets
better?"

"I don't know," he said. "It's impossible to tell until you've been
X-rayed. Last night we were certain you were dying, but this morning
you are perfectly normal."

In a short time the ward filled with men from the shore, landing
officers, orderlies with messages, sergeants in charge of ambulance
corps, and an army of stretcher bearers. The orderlies of the hospital
ship began putting out the kits of the wounded at the foot of their
beds. The disembarkation began as soon as the doctor had completed his
dressing. I was propped up in bed, and could see a long line of motor
ambulances on the pier. The less seriously wounded cases were taken
off first. The sister told me that these were going by train to Cairo.
Those who could not stand the train journey were going to different
hospitals in Alexandria. I was to go to Alexandria, she said. A
middle-aged man passed us on a stretcher. He was hit in the leg, and
sat on the stretcher, smiling contentedly, and looking about him
interestedly. When he saw the sister, his eyes lighted up.

"Good-by, sister," he shouted. "I'll see you again, the next time I'm
wounded."

The sister returned his good-by. Then she turned to me, and said:
"That man was on the hospital train that left Antwerp the day the
Germans shelled it in 1914. When he came in the other night I didn't
recognize him, but he remembered me."

While I waited for my turn the sister told me that she had been in the
first batch of nurses to cross the Channel at the beginning of the
war. She had been in the hospitals in Belgium that were shelled by the
Germans. At eight o'clock in the morning she had left Antwerp on the
last hospital train, and at nine o'clock the Germans occupied the
town. She had been on different hospital ships and trains ever since.
Once only had she had a rest. That was some time in the summer of
1915. She expected a week off in London at Christmas, when the ship
she was now attached to laid up for repairs. The boat I was on, she
said, carried ordinarily seven hundred and fifty wounded. At present
she carried nine hundred. They generally arrived in Suvla Bay in the
morning, and left that night, filled with wounded. At the time of the
first landing at Anzac an hour after the assault began they left with
twelve hundred wounded Australians. The sisters were sent out from a
central depot in England, and went to the various fronts. When the
stretcher bearers came to take me away, the sister gathered up my
belongings in a little bag, tied it to the stretcher, put a pillow
under my head, and nodded a bright good-by.

   [Illustration: Underwood & Underwood, N.Y.
   Where troops landed in Dardanelles showing Fort Sed-ne-behi
   battered to pieces by Allied Fleet]

The stretcher bearers, two stalwart Australians, took me to the
elevator, across the deck, and out onto the pier. It was now getting
toward evening. A lady stopped the stretcher between the pier and the
ambulance, and handed one of the bearers a little white packet
containing a towel, soap, tooth-brush and tooth-powder. Without
waiting to be thanked she went on to intercept another stretcher. The
stretcher bearer put the package under my pillow. "Ready, Bill," said
one of the bearers with the nasal twang of the Bushman. "Lift away,"
said Bill, and they lifted the stretcher up on the top tier of the
ambulance wagon, without stepping up from the ground. They did it with
the same motion as when two men swing a bag of grain. But it was
not in the least uncomfortable for me. These Australian stretcher
bearers who meet the incoming hospital ships are amazingly strong.
There is an easy gracefulness in the way they swing along with a
stretcher that makes you trust them. I was the last man to go in that
ambulance wagon, and in a few minutes we were whirling smoothly along
good roads amid the familiar smells of Egyptian bazaars. This
ambulance drive was a good deal different from the one on the
Peninsula just after I had been wounded. After about half an hour the
ambulance swerved off the smooth asphalt road onto a gravel road,
slowed down, and ran into a yard. The Australians reappeared, opened
the flaps, and began unloading. We were in the square of a large
hospital. All around us were buildings. A fine-looking, bronzed man,
with the uniform of a colonel, was directing some Sikhs who were
carrying the stretchers from the ambulances into the different
buildings. All the stretchers were lying on the ground in a long row.
As soon as each one was inspected by the colonel, he told the
stretcher bearers where to take it. When he came to mine, he said,
"Dangerously wounded, Ward three." Then, to the stretcher bearers,
"Careful, very careful."

Ward three was a long ward with stone floor and plaster walls; it
contained about fifty beds. More than half of the beds had little
"cradles" at the foot; when I came to know hospitals, I learned that
these were to prevent the bedclothes from irritating wounded legs. In
a few minutes a doctor came around, gave orders, and the night sister
began bandaging up the wounds of the men who had come in. The sister
who arranged my bandages was Scotch, and the burr of her speech was
pleasant in my ears. She came back about ten o'clock and gave me a
sleeping potion. The change from the hospital ship must have been too
much excitement for me, because I could not get asleep that night. But
I did not feel as I had felt on the hospital ship. I have very seldom
experienced such joy as I did that night when I found that I could
move my head. I did it very slowly, and with great pain, and rested a
long time before I tried to turn it back again. The door was right
opposite my bed. I could see the sand shining white in the moonlight
in the square, and right ahead of me a large marquee where, I found
out later, some of the convalescent men slept. A man about four beds
away from mine was dying. When I had first come in he had been
groaning at intervals, but now he was silent. About one or two o'clock
an orderly came running softly in rubber-soled shoes to tell the
sister that the man had died. Half an hour later two men with a
particularly long stretcher, appeared in the ward. They stepped
quietly, trying not to disturb the sleepers. I saw them walk along to
the bed of the dead man, and go in behind the screen. After a little
while the ward orderly moved the screens back, and the stretcher
bearers reappeared. Over the burden on the stretcher was draped a
Union Jack. Often after that while I was in Ward three I saw the same
soft-stepping men come in at night and depart silently with the
flag-draped stretcher. Many of the wounded left the ward in that way,
but their places were soon filled by incoming wounded.

The first morning I was in Ward three the doctor ordered me to be
X-rayed. The X-ray apparatus was in another building. To get to it I
had to pass through the square. The sun was too hot in the morning for
us to cross the square. We therefore skirted it under the shade of
the long portico that runs along the outside of nearly all buildings
in Egypt. In beds outside the building were men with dysentery. At the
corner of the square a plank gangway led to the quarters of the
enteric patients. Just before I reached the X-ray room, a man hailed
me from one of the beds. It was Tom Smythe, a boy I had known since I
was able to walk. All the time I had been on the Peninsula I had not
seen him, nor had I heard any news of him. On the way back from the
X-ray room, the stretcher bearers stopped near his bed while I talked
with him. He had been in the hospital about two weeks, he said, and
hoped to get to England on the next boat. He promised to come to see
me in my ward as soon as he was allowed up. The next day he came,
although he was not supposed to be up, and brought with him a chap
named Varney. Varney had been in the section next mine at Stob's Camp
in Scotland, he told me. Smythe and Varney vied with each other after
that in trying to make me comfortable. To me that has always been the
most remarkable thing about our regiment: their loyalty to a comrade
in trouble. I have known Newfoundlanders to fight with each other,
using every weapon from profanity to tent mallets while in camp; on
the Peninsula I have seen these same men carrying each other's packs,
digging dugouts, and taking the other man's fatigue work. Varney was
very much distressed to see the condition I was in. He knew I was fond
of reading, and searched all over the place for books and magazines.
Once he brought me three American magazines, one _Saturday Evening
Post_ and two _Munsey's_. They were nearly two years old, but I read
them as eagerly as if they had just been published.

During the six weeks I was in hospital in Alexandria, I improved
wonderfully. The doctor in charge of the ward took a special interest
in my progress, and seemed to pride himself on having handled the case
successfully. Every day or so he brought in a doctor from some other
ward to show him my wounds and the X-ray plates. He was very careful
and tried in dressing to cause me as little pain as possible. "Poor
old chap," he would say, when he saw me wince, "poor old chap." I
think there was a great deal of psychology in my getting well. In this
Twenty-first General Hospital nothing was omitted that could make one
comfortable. Every morning an orderly washed me. The orderlies were
all very considerate, except one. He did not last very long in our
ward. He began washing the patients at four o'clock in the morning. He
always made me think of a hostler washing a carriage. When he had
washed my arms he always let them drop in a way that reminded me of
the shafts of a wagon. He was soon replaced by a chap who did not
begin his work until seven. At eight we had breakfast: fruit, cereal,
and eggs. At eleven we had soda water and crackers or sweet biscuits.
At one came dinner: soup, chicken, and vegetables, half a chicken to
each man, with a dessert of pudding or custard. At four we had tea,
with fish, and at eight came supper: cocoa and bread and butter, with
jelly. In the morning visitors came in and brought us the daily
papers. Sisters of the V.A.D.--Voluntary Aid Detachment--came in each
afternoon to relieve the regular nursing sisters. They were mostly
Englishwomen resident in Egypt. Most of their men folks were at one of
the fronts. They read to the men who could not hold books in their
hands, talked to us cheerfully, and wrote letters for us. Some of them
brought us little delicacies: grapes and chocolate. Men in hospital
have no money. Any money they have is taken away when they arrive and
refunded when they leave. Like most of the rules in the army to-day,
this was made for the old regulars. When the regulars felt they needed
a rest they went into hospital; the only way they could be stopped was
to keep all their money away from them. To-day two million men suffer
as a result. Ever since the day I left the Peninsula I had wanted
chocolate. But I had no money, and for a long time I had to go without
it. At last young Varney got me some. He had gone errands for a
wounded Australian, who had been given some money from outside, and
the Australian had given him some; he could hardly wait to get to me
with it.

As soon as a man was sufficiently recovered to travel, he was sent to
England. New men were always coming in to take the places of the old.
A lot of them were Australians. I kept asking them all as they came in
if they could tell me anything of my friend White George. Of course a
nickname is very little to go on. A man who was White George in one
part of the trench might be Queensland Harry in another. All I knew
about him was that he was in the Fifteenth Battalion, and that he had
a beard. At last a chap did come in one evening from the Fifteenth
Battalion. I was in bed at the time, and could not get a chance to ask
him about White George. The next day the poor chap was writhing and
screaming in the terrible spasms of tetanus, and for two days the
screens were around his bed. On the third day he was better. As soon
as Varney came in, he wheeled me up to the Australian's bed. I asked
him what was the matter with him, and he told me that he had a flesh
wound in the head that didn't bother him, but that his left leg was
off at the knee.

"Are you from the Fifteenth Battalion?" I asked.

"Yes," he said.

"Do you know a chap in that battalion," I said, "that they call White
George?"

The wounded Australian looked at me in a quizzical way. Then he
drawled slowly, "Well, I think I do. Why, damn it, man, I'm White
George."

Then he recognized me. "Why, it's the Newfoundland Corporal. Hello,
Corporal. You're just the man I wanted to see," he said. "I stood on
that bomb all right, and got away with it--once. When I tried it a
second time, I put the bomb on the firing platform, and when I
stepped on it, my head was over the parapet; Johnny Turk got me in the
head, and the bomb did the rest."

"Don't you wish now you hadn't tried the experiment?" I said.

"No," said White George, "I feel perfectly satisfied."

"By the way," I said, as I was leaving him, "why do they call you
White George? Your hair is dark."

"My real name," he said, "is George White, but on the regimental roll
it reads 'White, George.'"



CHAPTER IX

"FEENISH"


It must have been about the sixth week that I was in Egypt that one of
the Australians came over to my bed and told me that my name was on
the list of men to go to England by the next boat. I was allowed up
for two hours in the afternoon; and when I got up I looked at the
list, and found my name there. An orderly from the stores came in and
asked me for a list of clothing I needed. He came back in about an
hour with a complete uniform and kit. The sister told me that I was to
go to England the next morning. At ten o'clock the next day I was
taken out to the little clearing station in the square, and put in
with a lot of other men on stretchers. An officer came around and
inspected our kits. A little later a sergeant from the pay office gave
each man an advance of twelve shillings. After that the loading began.
A line of about twenty ambulances filed out of the yard and through
the malodorous byways of Alexandria to the waterfront. Here we were
put aboard the hospital ship _Rewa_, an old rocky tub that had been an
Indian troopship before the war. I learned this from an old English
regular in the stretcher next me. He had seen her often before, and
had made a trip from England to India in her once. The _Rewa_ was so
full of men that the latest arrivals had to go on deck in hammocks.
The thought of a trip across the Bay of Biscay as deck passenger on
the _Rewa_ was not very attractive, but our fears on this point were
soon allayed by one of the ship's officers. We were not going to
England on the _Rewa_, he said. We were going to Lemnos Island, and in
Mudros Bay we should transship into the _Aquitania_. When we had
cleared Alexandria Harbor, the wind had freshened considerably. All
that night and the next day we pitched and rolled heavily. The second
night, when we had expected to reach Mudros Bay, we were still
twenty-four hours away from it. Canvas sheets had to be rigged above
the bulwarks to prevent the spray from drenching the men in the
stretchers on deck. The next day a good many men were sea sick, and it
was not till the next evening that the storm abated. Even then it was
too rough to get close to the big ship. We did try to get near her
once, and succeeded in getting one hawser fast, but the wind and tide
drove us so hard against her, that the captain of the _Aquitania_
would take no more risks and ordered us off. We had to lay to all that
evening, and the next morning. At noon the wind died down enough to
begin the transshipment from the smaller ships. We waited while seven
other hospital ships transferred their human freight, and then moved
up near enough to put gangways between the two boats. The change was
effected very expeditiously. We were soon transferred, and settled in
our new quarters. I was in a ward with some Australian troops on the
top deck. Board petitions had been run up from it to the promenade
deck, making a long bright, well ventilated corridor. There was only
one drawback on the _Aquitania_. The sister in charge of our ward did
not like Colonials, and made it pretty plain. She was rather a
superior person who did not like to dress wounds. We were to make two
stops before we arrived in England, I was told; one at Salonica to
take on some sick, the other at Naples for coal. The Salonica stop
took place at night. We did not go into the harbor; probably it was
not deep enough for the _Aquitania_. The sick were taken aboard
outside. We came to Naples early one fine Sunday morning. As we went
into the harbor, I could see through the window Mt. Vesuvius, smoking
steadily. We were in Naples at the same time as the big _Olympic_, and
the _Mauretania_, the sister ship of the _Lusitania_. It was the time
that the Germans had protested that the British hospital ships carried
troops to the Dardanelles on the return trip. The neutral consuls in
Naples went aboard the _Olympic_ and _Mauretania_ that Sunday and
investigated. The charge, of course, was unfounded. An Italian general
and his staff came aboard our ship and were shown around the wards. He
was a dapper little man, who gesticulated vehemently and bowed to all
the sisters. The sister who did not like Colonials was speaking to him
when he came through our ward. She was trying to impress him with the
excellent treatment our wounded received. She pointed out each man to
him, in the same way a keeper does at the zoological gardens.

"They get this every evening," she said, indicating the supper we were
eating. "And what is this?" she said, looking at some apricot jam on
a saucer on my bed.

"Apricot jam, sister," I said, then added sweetly, in my best society
fashion, "We get it every evening." I might have told her that I had
had it not only every evening, but every noon and morning while I was
on the Peninsula.

"And what is this?" she said, pointing to the cup in my hand. "Is it
tea or cocoa?"

"It's tea," I said. "We get it every evening,--just as if we were
human beings, and not Colonials." After that I think she liked
Colonials even less.

The Bay of Biscay was just a little rough when we went through it, but
it did not affect the _Aquitania_ very much.

When the word went around on the day that land had been sighted, every
man that could hobble went on deck to get a first glimpse of England.
We could not see very far because of the thick mist of an English
December. About ten o'clock we were at the entrance to Southampton,
but the tide was out, or the chief engineer was out, so we could not
go up until that evening. That last day was a tedious one. Every one
was eager to get ashore. To most of the men, England was home; and
after the trenches and the hospitals, home meant much.

As soon as we landed, a train took us to a place near London. It was
twenty-five miles from the hospital that was our destination. Here we
were met by automobiles that took us to the hospital for
Newfoundlanders at Wandsworth Common, London. There were only half a
dozen of us from Newfoundland. At first the doctor on the _Aquitania_
persisted in calling us Canadians, and wanted to send us to
Walton-on-Thames. It took us two hours to convince him that
Newfoundland had no connection with Canada. Two automobiles were
enough for our little party. The man who drove me in told me that he
had come a hundred miles to do it. All the automobiles that met the
hospital trains were loaned by people who wanted to do whatever they
could to help the cause. He was a dairy farmer, he said, and gave me
uninteresting statistical information about cows and the amount of
milk he sold in London each day. But apart from that, I enjoyed the
smooth drive over the faultless roads.

The Third London hospital at Wandsworth Common is a military hospital;
and although the discipline is strict, everything possible is done
for the comfort of the patients. Concerts are given every few
evenings; almost every afternoon people send around automobiles to
take the wounded men for a drive. Twice a week visitors come in for
three hours in the afternoon. At Wandsworth I stayed only a very few
days. Two days before Christmas I was sent to Esher to the
convalescent home run by the V.A.D. Sisters. Nobody at this hospital
received any remuneration. Esher is in Surrey, not many miles from
London. Even in the winter the weather was pleasant. Here we had a
great deal of liberty, being allowed out all day until six at night.
Only thirty men were in Esher at one time. The hospital contained a
piano, victrola, pool table, and materials for playing all sorts of
games. At Esher one felt like an individual, and not like a cog in a
machine. Paddy Walsh, the corporal, who had hesitated so long about
leaving me on the Peninsula, was at Esher when I arrived. He was
almost well now, he told me, and was looking forward to a furlough.
After his furlough he was going back, he said, in the first draft. "No
forming fours for me, around Scotland," said Walsh, "drilling a bunch
of rookies. I want to get back with the boys."

After two weeks, Esher closed for repairs. We all went back to the
hospital at Wandsworth. News had just come of the evacuation of the
Peninsula. In the ward I was sent to were half a dozen of our boys. I
asked them what was the trouble, and they told me frozen feet. "Frozen
feet," I said, "in Gallipoli? You're joking." They assured me that
they were not and referred me to their case sheets that hung beside
the beds. Shortly before the evacuation a storm had swept over the
Peninsula. First it had rained for two days, the third day it snowed,
and the next it froze. A torrent of water had poured down the mountain
side, flooding the trenches, and carrying with it blankets,
equipments, rifles, portions of the parapet, and the dead bodies of
men who had been drowned while they were sleeping. The men who were
left had to forsake their trenches and go above ground. Turks and
British alike suffered. The last day of the storm, while some of our
men were waiting on the beach to be taken to the hospital ship, they
told me they saw the bodies of at least two thousand men, frozen to
death. Our regiment stood it perhaps better than any of the others. It
was the sort of climate they were accustomed to. The Australasians
suffered tremendously. I met one man who had been on the Peninsula
during the evacuation. They had got away with the loss of two men
killed and one wounded for the entire British force. The papers that
day said that the Turks claimed to have driven the entire British army
into the sea, and to have gained an immense amount of booty. The booty
gained, our men said, was bully beef and biscuits. Far from being
driven into the sea, the British got off in two hours without the
Turks suspecting at all; and it was not till the second day after that
the Turks really found out. It had taken a great deal of ingenuity to
devise a scheme that would let the evacuation take place secretly. The
distance from the shore was about four miles. As soon as the troops
knew they were to leave, they ripped up the sand bags on the parapets,
and broke the glass in the periscopes, so they would be useless to the
enemy. Then they attached the broken periscopes to the parapets, so
that the Turks looking over would see the periscopes above the trench,
just as they would any ordinary day at the front. Only one problem
remained unsolved. As soon as the Turks heard the firing cease
entirely, they would think something was not as it should be. If they
began to investigate before the troops got away, it might mean
annihilation. At first it was planned to leave a small party scattered
through the trenches, but this meant that they would have to be
sacrificed in order to allow their comrades to escape. An Australian
devised a scheme. He took a number of rifles, placed them at different
points along the parapets, and lashed them to it. In each one he put a
cartridge. From the trigger he suspended a bully beef tin, weighted
with sand. This was not quite heavy enough to pull the trigger. On top
of the rifle he placed another tin, filled with water, and pierced a
small hole in the bottom of it. After a while the water, dripping
slowly from the top tin, made the lower one heavy enough to pull the
trigger. Some of the tins were heavier than the others, and the rifles
did not all go off at once. As soon as things were ready, the troops
moved off silently, "Just as if they were going into dugouts," Art
Pratt wrote me. They got aboard the warships waiting for them in the
bay, and went to Mudros and Imbros. The evacuation was facilitated by
the fact that the Salt Lake that had been dried up when I was there
was swollen high by the rain of the previous weeks. All that night the
firing continued at intervals, and kept up all through the next day.
The Turks, taking the usual cautious survey of the enemy trenches,
saw, as they did every other day, periscopes sticking up over the
parapets and heard the ordinary reports of rifle fire; to them it
looked like what the official reports call a "quiet day on the Eastern
front."

One other item of news I received that pleased me very greatly. Art
Pratt had taken my place as corporal of the section, and had sent me
word that he had got the sniper who shot me.

After I had been back in the Wandsworth Common hospital a few days, I
was "boarded." That is, I was sent up to be examined by a board of
doctors. They found me "unfit for further service," and I was sent to
my depot in Scotland for disposal. The next day I was given all my
back pay and took the train for Ayr, Scotland. There I was given my
discharge "in consequence of wounds received in action in Gallipoli."
Major Whitaker, the officer in charge, paused and looked at me, while
he was signing the discharge paper.

"I imagine," he said, "you feel rather sorry that you caught that
train, Corporal."

"What train is that, sir?" I said.

"The one at Aldershot," he answered, as he completed his signature. I
smiled noncommittally, but did not answer him.

Looking back now it seems to me that catching that train is one thing
I have never regretted. I was convinced of it that day in Ayr. For a
few weeks past convalescents of the First Battalion had been dribbling
into Ayr. You could tell them by their wan, fever-wasted faces, and by
the little ribbons of claret and white that they wore on the sleeves
of their coats, the claret and white that marked them as the "service
battalion." And there was in their faces, too, the calm, confident
look of men who had hobnobbed with death, and had come away unafraid.
Every one of them had the same tale. "We're tired of the depot
already. They're a new bunch here, and we want to get back with the
crowd we know." There was no talk of patriotism, or duty; all this had
given place to the pride of local achievement. To those men, my little
claret and white ribbon was all the introduction I needed. I was a
member of the First Battalion. As I hobbled along the main street of
Ayr, a crowd of them bore down on me. A heterogeneous bunch they were,
bored to death with the quietness of the Scottish town, shouting
boisterous greetings long before they reached me. The lot of us took
dinner together and afterwards went in a body to the theater. The
theater proprietor refused unconditionally to take any money from us.
We were "returned wounded," and the best seats in the house were ours.
Four or five of our party had just returned from Edinburgh, where they
had spent their furloughs. They had been received royally. The civic
authorities had made arrangements with the owners of the Royal Hotel
in Edinburgh to put the Newfoundlanders up free of cost during their
stay. The First Battalion had spent their money freely while they were
garrisoning Edinburgh Castle, and the authorities had not forgotten
it.

I hated to leave those men of the First Battalion, who welcomed me so
heartily. I was glad at the thought of getting back to the States
again; but it was strange to think that I was no longer a soldier,
that my days of fighting were over. An inexpressible sadness came over
me as I bade good-by to them. Some of their names I do not know, but
they were all my friends. There are others like them in various
hospitals in England and Egypt; and also in a shady, tree-dotted
ravine on the Peninsula of Gallipoli there is a row of graves, where
also are my friends of the First Newfoundland Regiment.

The men our regiment lost, although they gladly fought a hopeless
fight, have not died in vain. Constantinople has not been taken, and
the Gallipoli campaign is fast becoming a memory, but things our men
did there will not soon be forgotten. The foremost advance on the
Suvla Bay front is Donnelly's Post on Caribou Ridge, made by the
Newfoundlanders. It is called Donnelly's Post because it is here that
Lieutenant Donnelly won his Military Cross. The hitherto unknown ridge
from which the Turkish machine guns poured their concentrated death
into our trenches stands as a monument to the initiative of the
Newfoundlanders. It is now Caribou Ridge as a recognition of the men
who wear the deer's head badge. From Caribou Ridge the Turks could
enfilade parts of our firing line. For weeks they had continued to
pick off our men one by one. You could almost tell when your turn was
coming. I know, because from Caribou Ridge came the bullet that sent
me off the Peninsula. The machine guns on Caribou Ridge not only swept
part of our trench, but commanded all of the intervening ground. This
ground was almost absolutely devoid of cover. Several attempts had
been made to rush those guns. All these attacks had failed, held up by
the murderous machine-gun fire. Whole companies had essayed the task,
but all had been repulsed, and almost annihilated. It remained for
Lieutenant Donnelly to essay the impossible. Under cover of darkness,
Lieutenant Donnelly, with only eight men, surprised the Turks in the
post that now bears his name. The captured machine gun he turned on
the Turks to repulse constantly launched bomb and rifle attacks. Just
at dusk one evening Donnelly stole out to Caribou Ridge and took the
Turks by storm. They had been accustomed before that to see large
bodies of men swarm over the parapet in broad daylight, and had been
able to wipe them out with machine-gun fire. All that night the Turks
strove to recover their lost ground. The darkness that confused the
enemy was the Newfoundlanders' ally. One of Donnelly's men, Jack
Hynes, crawled away from his companions to a point about two hundred
yards to the left. All through the night he poured a rapid stream of
fire into the flank of the enemy's attacking party. So steadily did he
keep it up that the Turks were deluded into thinking we had men there
in force. When reinforcements arrived, Donnelly's eight men were
reduced to two. Dawn showed the havoc wrought by the gallant little
group. The ground in front of the post was a shambles of piled up
Turkish corpses. But daylight showed something more to the credit of
the Newfoundlanders than the mere taking of the ridge. It showed Jack
Hynes purposely falling back over exposed ground to draw the enemy's
attention from Sergeant Greene, who was coolly making trip after trip
between the ridge and our lines, carrying a wounded man in his arms
every time until all our wounded were in safety. Hynes and Greene were
each given a Distinguished Conduct Medal. None was ever more nobly
earned.

The night the First Newfoundland Regiment landed in Suvla Bay there
were about eleven hundred of us. In December when the British forces
evacuated Gallipoli, to our regiment fell the honor of being nominated
to fight the rearguard action. This is the highest recognition a
regiment can receive; for the duty of a rear guard in a retreat is to
keep the enemy from reaching the main body of troops, even if this
means annihilation for itself. At Lemnos Island the next day when the
roll was called, of the eleven hundred men who landed when I did, only
one hundred and seventy-one answered "Here."

After the First Newfoundland Regiment left the Peninsula, they went to
Egypt to guard the Suez Canal from the long-expected attack of the
Turks. After they had been rested a little while, they were recruited
up to full fighting strength, again, and were sent to France. In the
recent drive of the Allies against the German positions on the Somme,
the regiment has won for itself fresh laurels. The "Times"
correspondent at British headquarters in France sent the following on
July 13th:

"The Newfoundlanders were the only overseas troops engaged in these
operations. The story of their heroic part cannot yet be told in full,
but when it is it will make Newfoundland very proud. The battalion was
pushed up as what may be called the third wave in the attack on
probably the most formidable section of the whole German front through
an almost overwhelming artillery fire and a cross-ground swept by an
enfilading machine-gun fire from hidden positions. The men behaved
with completely noble steadiness and courage."

THE END


       *       *       *       *       *

   +-----------------------------------------------------------------+
   | Typographical errors corrected in text:                         |
   |                                                                 |
   | List of Illustrations: Suddul Bahr replaced with Seddel Bahr    |
   | Page   3: unneccessary replaced with unnecessary                |
   | Page 115: nothng replaced with nothing                          |
   | Page 129: "who had been listening to discussion joined in."     |
   |           replaced with                                         |
   |           "who had been listening to the discussion joined in." |
   | Page 136: three-o three replaced with three-o-three             |
   | Page 146: guerilla replaced with guerrilla                      |
   | Page 171: "some one one" replaced with "some one"               |
   | Page 208: penerate replaced with penetrate                      |
   | Page 217: litle replaced with little                            |
   | Page 233: parapest replaced with parapets                       |
   |                                                                 |
   | Note that the word 'Turrk' as seen in Irish dialog has been     |
   | retained as dialect.                                            |
   |                                                                 |
   +-----------------------------------------------------------------+





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