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Title: With Manchesters in the East
Author: Hurst, Gerald B. (Gerald Berkeley), Sir, 1877-1957
Language: English
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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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 Published by the University of Manchester at

 LONDON: 39 Paternoster Row
 NEW YORK: 443-449 Fourth Avenue and Thirtieth Street
 CHICAGO: Prairie Avenue and Twenty-fifth Street
 BOMBAY: 8 Hornby Road
 CALCUTTA: 6 Old Court House Street
 MADRAS: 167 Mount Road


_Photo: Warwick Brookes_

_Front Row, left to right_--Rev. E.T. Kerby, Chaplain; Capt. C. Norbury;
Capt. H.G. Davies; Capt. and Adj. P.H. Creagh; Major G.B. Hurst;
Lieut.-Col. H.E. Gresham; Major J.H. Staveacre; Major J. Scott;
Capt. J.N. Brown; Capt. H. Smedley.

_Middle Row, left to right_-- ----; Lieut. F. Hayes; Capt. J.F. Farrow
(R.A.M.C.); Lieut. G. Chadwick; Lieut. W.G. Freemantle;
Lieut. C.H. Williamson; Capt. A.T. Ward Jones; Lieut. W.F. Creery;
Capt. C.E. Higham.

_Back Row, left to right_--Capt. T.W. Savatard; Lieut. B. Norbury;
Capt. D. Nelson; Lieut. D. Norbury; Lieut. E. Townson; Lieut. G.S.
Lockwood; Lieut. J.H. Thorpe; Lieut. G.C. Hans Hamilton; Lieut. H.D.
Thewlis; Lieut. A.H. Tinker.

_Absent_--Capt. R.V. Rylands.]




 London, New York, Bombay, etc.



During the passage of this book through the press, the Author has been
engaged overseas on active service, and has been unable to devote the
necessary attention to the correction of the proofs, etc. Due allowance
must therefore be made for such errors as have crept into the pages.

The Publishers have felt obliged to delete the numbers of the
Territorial Battalions mentioned in the book, a fact which accounts for
occasional vagueness in terminology.



PUBLISHERS' NOTE                                           v


I. EASTWARD HO!                                            1

II. THE SUDAN                                             12

III. GALLIPOLI                                            23

IV. THE AUGUST BATTLES AT CAPE HELLES                     33

V. TRENCH WARFARE ON GALLIPOLI                            45

VI. THE STRAIN                                            56

VII. THE LIMIT                                            65

VIII. LAST WORDS ON GALLIPOLI                             71

IX. REVIVAL IN EGYPT                                      76

X. ON THE SUEZ CANAL                                      82

XI. SINAI                                                 88

XII. THE TERRITORIAL IDEA                                 95

FROM GENERAL WINGATE                                     100

    INDEX                                                103


The Battalion Officers on Mobilization, August
1914                                               _Frontispiece_

                                                     FACING PAGE

Lieut.-Col. H.E. Gresham                                     2

Arrival at Khartum, 2nd October 1914                        10

General Sir F.R. Wingate, G.C.B., K.C., M.G.                14

Map of Gallipoli                                            24

(a) In Khartum Station  }
                        }                                   40
(b) In a Turkish Trench }

C Company, The British Camel Company                        62

Group of Officers, Egypt, 1914                              84

With Manchesters in the East



Our Battalion of the Manchesters was typical of the old Territorial
Force, whose memory has already faded in the glory of the greater Army
created during the War, but whose services in the period between the
retreat from Mons and the coming into action of "Kitchener's Men" claim
national gratitude.

Their earlier history hardly emerges from parochialism. Founded in 1859
and recruited mainly from the southerly suburbs of Manchester, the
Battalion lived through the common vicissitudes of the English Volunteer
unit. It knew the ridicule and disparagement of the hypercritical and
cosmopolitan, the too easy praise of the hurried inspecting general, the
enthusiasm of the camp fire, the chill of the wet afternoon on a wintry
rifle range at Crowden. The South African War gave many a chance of
active service, and infused more serious and systematic training in the
routine of the yearly Whitsuntide camps. At that time everything
depended on the Regular officer who acted as adjutant, and officers and
men owed much to the inspiring energy of Captain (now Colonel) W.P.E.
Newbigging, C.M.G., D.S.O., of the Manchesters, whose adjutancy
(1902-1907) meant a great step in their efficiency. The letter "Q,"
which signifies success in all examinations required by the War Office,
figured in the Army List after most of our officers' names during this
vivid and strenuous phase. For the rest, the pre-War period turned
mainly on the fortnightly camps and occasional Regimental exercises.
Salisbury Plain, the Isle of Man, Aldershot and a few North Country
areas are full of memories of manoeuvre and recreation in a peaceful
age. Regimental exercises filled weekends in Cheshire or the West

Volunteering served many purposes in England. It kept alive in luxurious
times a sense of discipline and a cultivation of endurance. Its
comradeship brought classes together so closely that the easy
relationship between officers and men in the 1st line Territorial unit
of 1914-1915 was the despair of the more crusted Regular martinet. Its
joyous amateurism freed it from every trace of the mental servitude
which is the curse of militarism, and stimulated initiative and
individuality. Long before the War, most Territorials believed in
universal training, not so much on account of the German peril, which to
too many Englishmen seemed a mere delusion, as on account of its
social value. It is pleasant to remember how solidly Lord Roberts
received local Territorial support when he made the most prophetic of
all his speeches in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, on the 22nd October

[Illustration: _Jerome, Southport._

Lieutenant-Colonel H.E. GRESHAM.]

Lord Haldane's conversion of the Volunteers into the Territorial Force
of 1907 meant little change in the internal economy or in the personnel
of this Battalion. Its mounted infantry company, 140 strong, and its
cyclists were lost in the interest of uniformity. Nevertheless, the
change made us better fitted for war by incorporating us in the larger
Divisional organisation essential in European war. Volunteer units
supplied select companies for South Africa in 1899 and 1900. The East
Lancashire Territorial Division was ready to take the field _en bloc_
against the Germans in 1914.

The story to be told in these pages is so largely that of one battalion
that a word can be said of its leaders in August, 1914, without making
any claim to special pre-eminence, for our old and honourable rivalries
with other local battalions faded long ago in mutual confidence.

Lieutenant-Colonel H.E. Gresham, who had commanded since 1912, was an
ideal C.O.--a Territorial of long service and sound judgment, a fine
shot, and in civil life a distinguished engineer. In Major J.H.
Staveacre, the junior Major, we had an incomparable enthusiast, with a
zest for every kind of sport, a happy gift of managing men and an almost
professional aptitude for arms which had been enriched by his
experiences in the Boer War. Captain P.H. Creagh of the Leicestershire
Regiment was a fine adjutant, whose ability and character were to win
him recognition in wider fields. His management of our mobilisation was
beyond praise. The quartermaster, Major James Scott, was an old
Manchester Regiment man, with a record of good work at Ladysmith and
Elandslaagte. Of the company officers and N.C.O.'s, there is no need to
add here to the tribute which will be theirs in any detailed history of
Gallipoli. Nothing was more characteristic than their readiness to
volunteer for foreign service as soon as we mobilised--long before the
immensity of the War was understood, and considerably before the day of
the lurid poster and the recruiting meeting.

The Manchester Territorial Infantry Brigade was embodied on the 4th
August 1914, and on the 20th marched out through Rochdale to a camp on
the Littleborough moors near Hollingworth Lake, where they were asked to
offer themselves for service abroad. Twenty-six officers and 808 men of
our Battalion (roughly, 90 per cent. of our strength) volunteered. A
wise pledge, afterwards unavoidably broken, was given by the authorities
that no man should be transferred from his own unit against his will.

We dropped down the Channel on the evening of the 10th September 1914 in
a convoy of fourteen transports and one ammunition ship, with H.M.S.
_Minerva_ as escort--the first Territorial Division that ever left
England on active service. We sailed in a ship with a few East
Lancashire details and the Headquarters Staff of the Brigade. General
Noel Lee, the Brigadier, was an old Manchester Territorial officer, who
understood the Territorial spirit to a nicety, and his death from wounds
received in the battle of the 4th June 1915 was our irreparable loss.
The Brigade Major was a tower of strength when on Gallipoli.

Of our Battalion, who enjoyed during those shining autumn days their
first vision of Gibraltar "grand and grey," with its covey of German
prizes in harbour, and of the Mediterranean, then free of the submarine,
and who half feared that the War would be over while they were still
buried in the African desert, only a small number survive unscathed.
Many sleep amid the cliffs and nullahs of Gallipoli.

The virtues and capacities of these my comrades will always haunt my
imagination. Their psychology was extraordinarily interesting. They were
unlike the Regulars, who preceded them in the field, and to some extent
unlike the New Army, which gathered in their wake.

They had very little of the professional soldier. Only 45 among them had
ever served in the Regular Army. Their homes and callings and the light
amusements of a great city filled their minds in the same way as the
Regimental tradition and routine filled those of the old British Regular
Army. With a few exceptions, the feeling of duty was a far stronger
motive to their soldiering than any love of adventure. These Manchester
men had little of the Crusader or Elizabethan but his valour. They were,
in fact, almost arrogantly civilian, coming from a country which had
dared ineptly to look down on its defenders. The Northerner is not an
enthusiast by nature. His politics are usually limited to concrete
questions of work and wages, prices and tariffs, and he knows no
history. The Germans in August, 1914, were still "Lancashire's best
customers"--not a warlike race bent on winning world-empire by blood and
iron. The social traditions of the middle-class urban population, from
which the Territorials were drawn, had never fostered the military
spirit, nor the power to recognise and understand that spirit in others.
In such circumstances the sober zeal with which middle-aged sergeants
forsook their families and businesses at the very outset of the War,
without a moment's hesitation, is a signal proof of their character. No
men were ever greater lovers of peace. Some philosophers have seen or
tried to see in the War a judgment on the luxury and frivolity of
pre-War England, on her neglect of defence, and her absorption in
opulence. Were this the case, it would be ironical to reflect how the
North Country homes, first and most cruelly scourged by the War, were
homes to which the so-called "sins of society" were least known and most
repugnant, and where military training had been long pursued in the
teeth of public ridicule and at the sacrifice of leisure. Long
afterwards the father of a very talented private (Arthur Powell), who
was killed in Turkey, wrote of his son: "We never intended him for the
rude alarums of war, but his sense of duty and the horrors of Belgium
fired his imagination, so that with hundreds of thousands of
high-spirited young Englishmen, he placed himself in his country's
service." This cast of thought is uncommon in the ranks of a Regular

Officers and N.C.O.'s were obviously and admittedly amateurs, and never
acquired the distinctive dash of the old Army. Soldiering was not their
profession. Yet Territorials like the Manchesters possessed a range of
talent in many ways beyond the normal standard of the Army. They had the
manual arts and crafts of the industrial North. These volunteers were in
civil life builders and joiners; railwaymen, tramwaymen, engineers;
clerks, shorthand-writers, draughtsmen, warehousemen, packers; carters
and fitters; telephonists, chemists. When half of C Company was suddenly
converted into the British Camel Corps at Khartum it was discovered to
contain the camel-keeper of Bostock's menagerie. We found piano-tuners
for the Sirdar's Palace, gardeners for the Barrack plantations, and in
later days expert mechanics for anti-aircraft gunnery. Skilled clerks
like Sergeants J.C. Jones and Beaumont were marked out by Nature for the
orderly room. Many men well qualified to hold commissions served in the
ranks and died before the nation recognised their quality. Lastly, we
could turn out more barristers than all the other East Lancashire units
put together. It would be hard to imagine better officers than our
three ex-Juniors of the Northern Circuit--N. H.P. Whitley, J.H. Thorpe
and Hans Hamilton.

With the New Army, that was destined to do so much to save the cause of
civilisation, our men had more in common than with the Regulars. In
1914, however, we had inevitably a less thorough training in technique
than that which fell to their lot in the ensuing years. Only a few of
our officers had gone the round of "schools of instruction" and
"courses." We had fewer specialists, and our equipment was probably
inferior. During all our Eastern experiences we used the long rifle
only. It was, however, a real advantage to have had nearly sixty years'
record as a Volunteer unit behind us, with all sorts of Regimental
traditions, which lie at the roots of comradeship and ensure happy
relations between officers and men. Another distinctive virtue of the
Territorial system about Manchester was that all ranks, from
Brigadier-General to private, came from one neighbourhood, and viewed
life from much the same angle. They ran to type, and their interest in
soldiering, obviously spontaneous in the first instance, had been
fostered by common experiences in time of peace.

We saw Malta in the far distance on the evening of the 21st September,
and next day, in mid-afternoon, our convoy unexpectedly met an Indian
Division on its way from Bombay to Marseilles. Their transports, mainly
British Indian liners, passed ours and exchanged escorts with us,
thrilling the least imaginative with pride in the Empire and a sense of
the illimitable issues at stake in Europe. We had left England ringing
with the legendary passage of the Russians from Archangel, the snow
still clinging to their furs, just as the British Army in Spain, in
1812, had been cheered by a similar mirage of Russians streaming to
their aid through Corunna. The first paper that we read on reaching
Egypt announced in giant headlines the arrival of 250,000 no less
shadowy Japanese at Antwerp. But the Indians were real. Their appearance
was a true touch of the World War and they reached the firing line in
Flanders on the 19th October.

We eventually arrived at Alexandria on the 25th September 1914. B
Company, under Captain (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel) J.N. Brown, was
dropped here, half of it under Captain E. Townson going on to Cyprus,
which they garrisoned until the eve of its annexation. Eventually the
whole Company, then under Captain (afterwards Major) D. Nelson, was
reunited to the rest of the Battalion when it left for the Dardanelles.
The remaining part of the Division also disembarked at Alexandria, in
order to relieve the Regular garrisons of Alexandria and Cairo. The
Battalion passed on to Port Said. As we neared the harbour, our men
hailed watchers on the quay for the latest news. Antwerp was then at its
last gasp, and the _Aboukir_, _Hague_ and _Cressy_ had been torpedoed in
the North Sea. The first cry from the ship was "How is City getting
on?" League football was still the first interest of Young England in
the second month of the Great War.

We sailed down the Canal on a scorching Sunday morning to Suez and the
Red Sea. A few Indians guarded its banks. Onward through the misty heat,
under escort of a destroyer, with a wind blowing hot from Arabia, to
Port Sudan, where we put in at 11 A.M. on the 30th September. The
temperature was 105° F. in the shade. Here half of C Company, under
Captain T.W. Savatard (afterwards killed on Gallipoli) were left to
garrison and construct defences for the place. Once a desolate coral
reef, it is now a great harbour with the promise of a greater future.
This first night of Africa we rowed happily across its starlit lagoon in
the full glamour of the East to enjoy British hospitality.

Next morning we started, with Major Boyle of the Egyptian Army Staff as
a "cicerone," on the long railway track from the sea to Atbara and
Khartum, past scattered villages peopled by staring Fuzzy Wuzzies with
erect and luxuriant black hair, and across hot stretches of desert and
rock. At a quarter past eleven on the morning of the 2nd October 1914 we
arrived at Khartum North, where we detrained and were met by the Sirdar,
General Sir Reginald Wingate, then Governor-General of the Sudan, and
his Staff. We marched over the Blue Nile Bridge to the spacious British
barracks, the only spot in the Sudan where the Union Jack flies
unaccompanied by the flag of Egypt, and relieved the Suffolk Regiment.
In the afternoon our band played them out of the cantonment, and we
cheered them on the first stage of their long journey to the
blood-stained battle-fields of Flanders.

[Illustration: ARRIVAL AT KHARTUM, 2nd OCTOBER 1914.]



The tasks allotted to the Battalion between October, 1914, and April,
1915, while garrisoning the Sudan were of great variety. With the
gunners at Khartum Fort, they constituted part of the British force then
in the country, of which Colonel Gresham was commander. The detachment
left at Port Sudan organised its defences, ran an armoured train, and
patrolled the Red Sea in the _Enterprise_. One group, under Captain R.V.
Rylands (afterwards killed on Gallipoli), guarded the railway works at
Atbara. Another under Captain B. Norbury occupied the hill station of
Sinkat. Important censorship work at Wadi Halfa was entrusted to Captain
J.H. Thorpe, and, when he was invalided, to Lieutenant L. Dudley, who
fell later in action on Gallipoli. At Khartum a half company, under
Captain C. Norbury, was on arrival transformed immediately into the
British Camel Corps.

For some little time after our coming the normal social and sporting
life of the small British colony at Khartum was hardly ruffled by the
storm raging in Europe, and we gratefully enjoyed its warm-hearted
hospitality. At the beginning of November war broke out between Great
Britain and Turkey, and the loyalty of the Sudanese was put to the test.
The Germans built upon the probability of a Jihad or Holy War, and never
dreamed that the handful of young Englishmen who administered the
country under the Sirdar's guidance could have won its loyalty against
all comers. When the Sirdar announced in English and Arabic the news of
the Porte's entry into the War one shining Sunday morning in early
November, to a large gathering of Egyptian and Sudanese officers and
dignitaries at the Palace, their zealous unanimity was impressive.
Hundreds of native notables contributed generously to British Red Cross
funds. Sheikhs of the Red Sea Province, who had once been dervish
partisans, showed me with glowing pride when at Port Sudan silver
medallions with King George's likeness, given by him to them on his
visit to Sinkat.

Few pages of history are more wonderful than that which records the
conversion of the chaotic and down-trodden Sudan of 1898 into the
peaceful and prosperous Sudan of to-day. Scepticism as to the uses of
Empire, which too often beset the Manchester man at home before the War,
was dissipated by seeing what Anglo-Egyptian sovereignty and British
character and industry have achieved in a land so long tormented by
slave-traders and despots. The happy black boys of Gordon College go to
school with books under their arms, and play football, coached by Old
Blues and cheered by enthusiastic comrades. On the 30th October (Kurban
Bairam day) the Manchesters saw the Sirdar bestow gaily coloured robes
of honour on deserving chiefs. Everywhere were signs of economic
progress. The cotton-growing plantations on the Gezira Plain, the
ginning factory at Wad Medani, the numerous irrigation and public health
works, the research laboratories of Gordon College, the industries of
Khartum North and of Atbara, all bore the distinctive hall-mark of
British Imperialism.

The magic of the British name in the Sudan seemed to us to rest not only
on the art of government but on the great memories of Gordon and
Kitchener and the abiding influence of General Wingate's personality.
The Gordon statue at Khartum is almost a shrine. The Sudan itself is
Lord Kitchener's monument. During our life there we were daily witnesses
of General Wingate's tact, power and example. In all Mohammedan areas of
the Sudan, Great Britain is wisely defender of the faith, and Islam is
wisely with Britain. On the 19th November we were entertained at the
Egyptian Army Officers' Club on the occasion of the Mohammedan New Year.
On the 27th January 1915 the Prophet's birthday was celebrated with
rapturous pageantry, and the Sirdar and Lady Wingate paid most
impressive visits to the pavilions set up by the principal sheikhs and
notables in front of the mosques at Khartum and Omdurman, while huge
crowds of religious enthusiasts beat tom-toms and sang outside. We saw
the Sirdar reviewing his Egyptian and Sudanese troops at Khartum,
formally inspecting the schools, hospitals, barracks and prisons around
Port Sudan, decorating veterans with medals, and addressing in every
native dialect the political and religious leaders of the people. We
found that no men appreciated the care and skill of the Red Sea Province
hospital more warmly than Arabs from the then Turkish territory of

[Illustration: _Elliot & Fry Ltd._

General Sir F.R. WINGATE, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., K.C.M.G., G.B.E., D.S.O.

Honorary Colonel of the Battalion.]

The whole history of the evolution of the Sudan is epitomised in the
bare, sun-scorched Christian graveyard of Wadi Halfa. The sandy,
high-walled enclosure is the common resting-place of four successive
generations of British Empire builders: first, of soldiers who fell in
the Gordon Relief Expedition; secondly, of men who died while building
the railway which proved the key to Lord Kitchener's success; thirdly,
of soldiers who perished in the war of 1898; lastly, of civil servants
who have died while administering the country since its reconquest.

Staveacre and I touched a much earlier phase of history when we
discovered and bought derelict French helmets and cuirasses of 1798 that
must once have been the booty of some Mameluke. Who would wish for more
romantic trophies?

The Turkish war added gravity to the Battalion's responsibilities in the
Sudan. The idea at the time was to treat it passively, so long as the
Turks did not molest British Moslems on pilgrimage to Mecca. The Arabs
were known to have little sympathy with the Ottoman Turk and his
pretensions to religious authority; so Jiddah was not to be starved by
non-intercourse. The Turks themselves made such a policy impossible by
their raid against the Suez Canal in February, 1915, and the inception
of the Dardanelles Expedition marked the final victory of the school of
thought which put its faith in an Eastern offensive. Some sort of
offensive, whether against Gallipoli or Alexandretta or Haifa, had
become perhaps a moral necessity.

We learnt in the Sudan how Turco-German machinations were necessitating
a more active policy towards the Porte. I acted as prosecutor at the
public trial of a Sudanese by general court martial in the court-house
of Port Sudan in the second week of December, 1914. He had risen from
sergeant's rank in a Sudanese regiment to be Captain of the Egyptian
Coastguard in 1907. Cashiered in 1912, he served Enver Pasha in Tripoli,
became an officer of Abdul Hamid's bodyguard, and afterwards a Major of
the Baghdad Gendarmerie. Long before November, 1914, he had busily
plotted for a rising in Egypt and the diffusion of German propaganda all
over the Sudan. Under Enver Pasha's personal direction he disguised
himself in a pilgrim's robe, styled himself Suleiman Effendi, and
crossed the Red Sea from Jiddah with six pilgrims. One of these was an
Howrowri Arab from Kordofan. The rest were Falatas or Takruri--_i.e._
pilgrims from British West Africa to Mecca--a class whose whole
existence is spent on pilgrimage, brightened by spells of residence and
family life at centres like Omdurman, and this man planned to pass as a
pilgrim among pilgrims. The party was asked by the sheikh of the Takurna
village, near Port Sudan, where they came from. They replied:
"Omdurman." On the 16th November he, in beggar's clothes, sought an
interview with a Bimbashi of the Egyptian Army, at Port Sudan. He told
him and his adjutant that he had come on a secret mission from Enver to
rouse the Sudan against the British and to ascertain native feeling at
Port Sudan, Khartum, Sinja, Wad Medani, Kordofan and El Obeid.

"The Porte," he said, "knows that the English treat you badly and
intends to drive them out of Egypt." The officers whom he tempted were,
however, staunchly loyal. They handed him over to Colonel Wilson,
Governor of the Red Sea Province. His red and blue uniform, sword and
papers were discovered, but he defended himself stoutly against the
charges of spying and war treason, and his interests were carefully
watched by Judge Davidson, who acted as Judge Advocate. One Arabic
letter found among his papers was addressed to the Ministry of War at
Constantinople, and appears to have been a copy of a report sent off by
him just before his arrest. It is worth quoting as a footnote to

   "I arrived at Mecca, where I met the Valy and Commandant, Wahib Bey,
   and gave him my information. He left Mecca for Jiddah at once for
   his usual work, and provided me with a boat and six civilians, who
   accompanied me from Jiddah to Suakin and Port Sudan on a secret
   mission to induce the natives to favour the presence of the Turkish
   government, to rise against the existing European government, and to
   take necessary precautions for upholding the honour of the Turkish
   government without anyone's knowledge.... I hope when I reach
   Khartum, in a secret way to encourage a rising against the British
   troops, if possible. As for my expenses, I took from the Valy
   Commandant sixteen Turkish pounds and three pounds sterling for the
   necessary expenses of the journey by steamer and land. I have every
   wish for the prosperity of the Religion and for the Sultan's victory
   over the unbelievers."

This man in his defence denied that any Sudanese like himself would
dream of plotting against the British, who had purified government,
employed Sudanese in administration, and given their children schools.
He was convicted and sentenced to death, but that penalty was commuted
by the Sirdar, in consideration of a tardy confession.

One of the Falatas turned King's evidence against his other companions
on the charge of war treason. Squatting on the floor of the courthouse,
their rosaries interlaced with their handcuffs, they assumed the air of
innocence, but were convicted and condemned to terms of imprisonment.
Two were called Isa (Jesus) and one was Adam. Arab life has more than a
touch of the Bible.

The whole episode brought into relief the wide ramifications of
Turco-German intrigue.

Another singular case of German subtlety was that of an alleged Swiss
explorer, who arrived on the 10th November at Khartum on his way from
Abyssinia to undergo the Pasteur treatment at Cairo. He claimed to have
had his leg bitten by a dog, and was in hot haste to reach Egypt. He
satisfied our doctors as to the genuineness of his injuries and anxiety,
wept when Captain Morley, most expert of surgeons, told him of the
surrender of Antwerp, and was given help and hospitality. He went
through the Pasteur treatment and disappeared from our ken. A few weeks
later an Italian newspaper applauded the patriotism of a German reserve
officer, whose zeal to serve his country had nerved him to brave the
vigilance of Khartum and the too devoted attentions of the hydrophobia
experts at Cairo.

At a date when all Britons of military age worth their salt were
training for war, the actual work of the Manchesters in the Sudan hardly
calls for description. In the personal supervision of the Sirdar they
enjoyed a special advantage not shared by the Territorial units left in
Egypt. What is of more lasting moment is the share they took in
furthering the cause of peace, order and good government in the Sudan by
their steady conduct and happy relations with the inhabitants. Our
officers interchanged visits with the officers of an Egyptian regiment
quartered at Khartum, enjoying tea, music and speeches. With an Egyptian
regiment at El Obeid we had a pleasant and symbolic exchange of colours.
In the ceremonial occasioned by the Sultan's accession, a guard of
honour under Major J.H. Staveacre represented the British Army in the
Palace garden, and acclaimed: "Ya-aish Hussein Pasha, Sultan Masr" (Long
live Hussein Pasha, Sultan of Egypt). The men were scrupulously careful
of native sensibilities. At Port Sudan, Private J.P. Lyons, our champion
boxer, who was killed on Gallipoli, was publicly thanked by the
Governor, Colonel Wilson, for having saved a black policeman from some
drunken sailors. The Battalion hoped it had really earned the honour
paid it when the Sirdar accepted its honorary colonelcy.

The knowledge gained during the months in the Sudan will be an asset to
such Manchester Territorials as survive, and may even exercise an
influence upon local public opinion. To many, the Sudan seemed entitled
to rank among the best administered countries in the world. Its civil
service governs vast areas and vast numbers practically without military
aid. Its selection from University graduates who best combine brains
with physique is in the spirit of Cecil Rhodes. Government of blacks by
whites is a commonplace; of blacks by blues, a stroke of genius.

Looking back after years of soldiering and disillusion, the first
months of the War no doubt seem brighter than they really were. It is
easy to forget the illnesses that sent the writer as an invalid to Luxor
and Cairo, and finally to England; to ignore the heat and dust and
isolation, the long glare of the African day. We think more readily of
Gordon's rose-tree blooming in the Palace garden; of the long camel
treks across the desert; of the wail of the yellow-ribboned Sudanese
bagpipes; of our visit with Colonel Smyth, V.C., to the stony, sun-baked
battle-field of Omdurman; of the lusty strains of _Tipperary_ in the
cool barrack rooms. It is right that this should be so. The men to whom
these memories would appeal were men who enjoyed life to the full. They
played the first lacrosse ever seen in the Sudan, engaged in keen boxing
competitions, rallied to football on the roughest of barrack squares,
listened cheerfully to weekly concerts and the first of our long series
of history and military lectures. They hunted for curios in the dusty
alleys of Omdurman, enjoyed recreation in the library and billiard-room,
and ran with great spirit the early numbers of the _Manchester Sentry_,
first published of all active service periodicals. To this paper the
Sirdar and Lady Wingate contributed welcome and inspiring letters, and
the Battalion owed its motto: "We never sleep."

In April, 1915, the Battalion left the Sudan for Cairo, where it again
came in contact with the other units of the East Lancashire Territorial
Division, thenceforward called the 42nd Division On the 3rd May it
embarked in company with another battalion of the Manchesters on the
_Ionian_, and at seven in the evening, on the 7th May, it landed at "V"
Beach, Cape Helles.



The 42nd Division was soon in the midst of hard fighting, stormy weather
and much privation. Casualties began early, though the first Battalion
exploit under fire was happily bloodless. On the 9th May, 80 men were
told off to fill water-bottles and carry them under fire over
half-a-mile of broken ground to an Australian unit. They tracked
cleverly across the moor, and were met by an eager Australian with the
question: "Have you brought the water, cobbers?" On the 11th, the
Battalion had a long, weary march to the front line. The trenches were
full of water, and the gullies became almost impassable. On the 28th,
Lockwood, our musketry expert, was severely wounded in the chest.

On the same day Lieutenant-Colonel Gresham was forced by ill-health to
leave us. He was invalided to Malta, and thence to England. A year later
he relinquished his command, without having been able to rejoin. He had
served with the Battalion ever since 1890. He was known to suffer from
chronic illness, but he let nothing interfere with the call of duty, and
his hard work overseas set a fine example to all ranks. It is, indeed,
still, in 1917, difficult to think of the Battalion with any other
Commanding Officer. His departure was widely regretted, and the later
achievements of his men in the War are the best tribute to the many
years of labour he had given to their training and organisation.

His immediate successor in command was Major Staveacre. On the night of
the 28th May the Battalion advanced, and B and D Companies dug
themselves in under a full moon and in the face of the enemy, a platoon
of C Company finishing the work on the following evening. In these
operations fell Captains T.W. Savatard and R.V. Rylands, men of sterling
character and capacity, and Lieut. T.F. Brown, a gallant boy, who, in
the happier days of the threatened war in Ulster, had served in the West
Belfast Loyalist Volunteers.

The advance of the 28th May was preliminary to the historic attack of
the whole allied line from sea to sea, which had been timed for midday
on the 4th June 1915. In this attack the Battalion advanced as the
extreme right unit of our Infantry Brigade. On the left of the
Manchesters was the 29th Division; on our right was the Royal Naval
Division, and on their right were the French.

During the previous night the Turks, writes an eyewitness in the
_Sentry_, gave us "our first taste of bombing. They crawled down a small
gully and threw eight or nine bombs on to our gun emplacement, hurting
no one, but putting the gun out for twenty minutes." Meanwhile they
fired the gorse in front of the 29th Division.

[Illustration: GALLIPOLI.]

At eight in the morning the British guns opened the bombardment. "At
eleven-twenty our whole line from the sea to the Straits got up and
waved their bayonets, pretending the attack was to start." At twelve,
"with wild cheers" the assault was launched. A and C Companies rushed
the first Turkish trench, and captured the surviving occupants, while
along a front that stretched far away to the left, similar success was
won by the whole British line. While A and C Companies consolidated the
trench they had won, B and D Companies passed over it, in order to take
the next Turkish line. Captain (afterwards Major) C.E. Higham, always
resourceful and imperturbable, was shot in the foot while crossing the
trench, but Captain (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel) Fawcus led the
attack a long way forward, and held a dummy trench in the heart of the
Turkish position for many hours.

Subsequently the right flank of the Battalion was not only enfiladed but
exposed to fire from their rear. The officers at this deadly point were
Lieutenants H.D. Thewlis, W.G. Freemantle and F.C. Palmer. Palmer was
badly wounded. Thewlis, a keen subaltern and expert in scientific
agriculture, refused to retire, and was killed. Freemantle was of Quaker
stock and, like Thewlis, a graduate of Manchester University. He was
first shot through the right arm, and then through the left. He insisted
on remaining with his men, though the pain was so intense that he broke
his teeth while clenching them. He was then shot through the body, and

C Company on this right flank was in danger. Lieutenant G.C. Hans
Hamilton, a prince of fighters, had organised a bombing party with
Corporal Cherry, and did great work, but was now severely wounded.
Leonard Dudley, an adventurous soul who had fought under Staveacre with
the Cheshire Yeomanry in South Africa, was killed. Captain Cyril
Norbury, who commanded the Company, had written to Major Staveacre for
information, and he received this answer from Captain Creagh: "Regret to
say Major Staveacre dead; also Thewlis and Freemantle. Do not know
whereabouts of missing platoons. Fear most lost."

Staveacre had been shot through the back while passing ammunition to the
firing line. He said to Regimental Sergeant-Major H.C. Franklin (the
Acting Adjutant of our later days on Gallipoli): "Never mind me. Carry
on, Sergeant-Major," and died at once.

All day long the Turks counter-attacked the Manchesters without success.
Private Richardson won the D.C.M. by bombing feats, but the supply of
bombs ran out early. Their use was in its infancy, and their character
was primitive. C Company, among whom Sergeant M'Hugh, Corporal Basnett
and Private (afterwards Lieutenant) J.W. Sutherland were conspicuous,
was reinforced by some gallant bombers from another battalion of the
Manchesters under Captain James, who was killed after driving the Turks
from a trench, and later by some of the Lancashire Fusiliers. They held
their own, and a last Turkish counter-attack, on the morning of the 5th
June, was scattered by our machine guns and those of the Lancashire
Fusiliers, well handled by Captains Hayes and Bedson.

Fawcus brought back about nine survivors from his advanced position
after great feats of endurance, in which the Manchester units on our
left had fully shared. Lieutenant T.E. Granger, who had been left behind
dangerously wounded, was taken prisoner. Lieutenant Ward was killed.
Lieutenant Bateman was shot through the lungs; Lieutenant G. Norbury on
the scalp.

On the 4th June the Brigadier, General Noel Lee, was mortally wounded,
to the intense and universal sorrow of the whole Division. He died in
Malta. Lieutenant-Colonel Heys, on taking his place, was immediately
killed. The retreat from the more advanced trenches to the original
Turkish firing line, necessitated by enfilade fire and by the absence of
reinforcements, proved far deadlier than the advance. The battle, with
its preliminary operations, cost us some of our bravest sergeant-majors
and sergeants--Cookson, Arnott, Marvin, Mundy, Balfe, Webster. Sergeant
Lindsay lost his leg. Of them and of all the men of the 42nd Division,
who gave their lives in this action, any praise is superfluous.

A broad strip of land gained securely on a wide frontage, an immense
number of Turkish dead and prisoners, and a sense of great personal
ascendancy, were the measure of their success, and General Sir Ian
Hamilton's dispatch truly estimates its quality.

The survivors of the Battalion rested for a few days on Imbros after the
battle, and then returned to the Peninsula under the command of Captain
P.H. Creagh. On the 16th July the command was passed to
Lieutenant-Colonel A. Canning, a veteran of the Egyptian War of 1882,
who had previously commanded the Leinster Regiment at Cork. We could
have had no greater confidence in any possible Commanding Officer, and
while he acted as Brigadier of the Manchester Territorials his influence
was no less inspiring. The record of our later campaign on Gallipoli is
closely associated with his name and work.

All these early scenes of the expedition to the Dardanelles I had
missed. On the 17th March I had been invalided home on the Indian
hospital ship, _Glenart Castle_, Alexandria to Southampton, and the only
public meeting I witnessed during three years of warfare--a recruiting
rally in the Manchester Hippodrome--was a poor outlet for one's
activity. An offer of the command of the new 3rd line reserve unit at
Southport naturally failed to quench my keenness to rejoin the
Battalion, and after vexatious delays I at last sailed from Devonport
for the East, on the _Simla_, on the 13th July 1915.

We reached Alexandria on the 25th, and the crowded harbour of Mudros
early on the 29th. The boat was full of drafts for the 29th
Division--Essex and Hampshire men, Inniskillings, Munsters, Royal and
Lancashire Fusiliers, Worcesters--and rumours of the intended Suvla
expedition were in the air. Our optimism was, however, chastened by the
opinions of one experienced soldier on board, who insisted that we ought
never to have landed at Cape Helles, but on the Gulf of Saros behind the
lines of Bulair, and made straight for Constantinople with a large army,
without trying to force the Dardanelles. He believed that the Germans
would still take Warsaw, and thought Holland's co-operation essential to
any plan of early success. The War was still at a stage when men did not
mind talking about it, and the general assumption was that it could not
last long. One sailor told me a story typical of the German's ignorance
of sportsmanship. A captured naval officer was courteously allowed the
use of the British captain's cabin. A few moments later a crash
announced that he had requited chivalry by breaking everything he could
lay his hands on. Other passengers on the _Simla_ were nursing sisters
in dainty scarlet and grey, naval airmen who disembarked at Valetta, and
the whole staff of an Australian General Hospital bound for
Mudros--expert specialist officers and splendid men, with songs cheery
and robust:

   "When the beer's on the table, we'll be there."

Perhaps my most vivid memories, however, are of the keen young officers
conducting drafts, who were so soon to fall in the great attempt at

The fate of one of these, J.R. Lingard, then in charge of some
Lancashire Fusiliers, was one of the unsolved mysteries of the
Dardanelles campaign. A brave and popular officer, he was severely
wounded on the 21st August. He was carried out of action and placed on a
stretcher for conveyance across Suvla Beach to a hospital ship. At this
point all trace of him disappeared. His fate is unknown.

In the late afternoon of the 30th July 1915 we neared Cape Helles and
heard the thunder of the guns. We landed laboriously about midnight, and
were led by guides to a rendezvous of the 29th Division at a point some
three miles along the coast on the northern side of the Peninsula.
Brilliant moonlight shone upon a sleeping French force close to the
landing-place on "V" Beach. The country looked unspeakably dry and bare.

At six o'clock the following morning we were divided into details for
our various units, and sleepless, unshaven and hungry, I was again
guided to where the 42nd Division had its headquarters--a spot to the
south of the 29th, and, roughly, in the left centre of the short line of
the Allies. The narrowness and shallowness of the area of our occupation
struck all observers at once. The great ridge of Achi Baba, some six
hundred feet above sea-level, barring our advance upon Turkey,
confronted us the very moment that we climbed to the top of the cliffs
that enclosed every landing-place. We were shelled as we struck across
the moorland, and then I found myself once more in East Lancashire.

A long wait at Divisional Headquarters was followed by a delightful
welcome at the Quartermaster's dump of the Battalion, where, in blazing
sunshine, I enjoyed my first food and shave on enemy soil, and abundant
news of the unit. A friendly sergeant then led me up to the fire
trenches some two miles forward, where the Manchesters held both sides
of Krithia nullah, a ravine running up into a sloping heath, where the
Turks had lain dug in for the last two months. Our way, after passing
"Clapham Junction," was fringed with the graves of the fallen. I noticed

It was pleasant to reach the cool burrow, which served as our Battalion
Headquarters. Here I found Colonel Canning, P.H. Creagh and Fawcus
sitting on the yellow, dusty ground beneath a tarpaulin. It was
thrilling once again to walk among our Manchester men, now very thin and
sunburnt, in shirt-sleeves and shorts, making the best of life in narrow
trenches, and watching day after day the serried Turkish lines and
broad, brown mass of Achi Baba. Next day (1st August), in mid-afternoon,
we moved into the most advanced fire trenches, and I became O.C. of our
Battalion's firing line, with a small dug-out of my own in the centre of
our sector. This sector was within forty or fifty yards of the Turkish
position, and in the early morning, as the sun rose over Asia, we heard
the _muezzin_ calling the faithful to prayer. There was a lull at this
time in warfare. Casualties were few, and the periscope disclosed little
beyond the vista (soon too familiar) of arid heath, broken only by
patches of wild thyme, and of the intricate lacework of sandbagged
trenches stretching from the tip of Cape Helles behind us to the top of
Achi Baba. But for the constant booming of the guns and the plague of
flies, these first days on Gallipoli were days of peace and happiness
under a quiet, blue sky. Our men were hopeful, and a stray memorandum of
mine of the 3rd August records that "P.H. Creagh bets Fawcus £1 that the
Turks will be driven out of the Peninsula within a month." Our faith was
great in those days.



In the history of the expedition to the Dardanelles, the August battles
in the area of Cape Helles figure as a pinning or holding attack by the
British Army, designed to occupy the enemy while the Suvla Bay landing
was effected. The line of communications that linked the Achi Baba
position with Maidos and Gallipoli was to be cut by our forces operating
from Suvla and Anzac, and the Narrows were to be opened to our fleet by
the capture of Sari-Bair. The epic of the actual Suvla effort has been
nobly told in both Sir Ian Hamilton's dispatches and Mr Masefield's

The Regimental officer at Cape Helles naturally knew very little of the
strategy underlying these operations, and nothing of events at Suvla or
Anzac, though Suvla was but thirteen miles and Anzac but five from
Fusilier Bluff. His could only be the impressions of an eyewitness in an
orbit limited to his Brigade. During the whole of our Gallipoli
experiences, we were only conscious of Divisional organisation and
personnel through the literature and correspondence of the orderly-room,
or from mere glimpses on the occasion of our rare visits to the base on
Gully Beach. I am glad to have once seen the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Ian
Hamilton. He passed our Headquarters on the Western Mule Sap, walking
briskly towards the trenches. The fine appreciation of the Manchester
Territorial Brigade's work on the 4th June, which he wrote in his
dispatches, made his name a name always to conjure with, but to the man
in the trenches, an Army Commander can at most be but a shining name.
Consequently, the story of the fighting in August, as we saw it, must
needs be silent on all vexed questions of high policy, and also on the
more famous struggle to the north of Achi Baba. Its limitations are true
to life.

On the 5th August we learnt that our Army was to assault the enemy's
position simultaneously with the enterprise at Suvla.

Three points were emphasised in our instructions. First, the frontage
and depth of the sector to be carried by each unit was carefully and
personally explained to us by General the Hon. H.A. Lawrence, who was at
that time our Brigadier. Secondly, we had to tell our men that the
Turkish lines would have been rendered almost untenable before their
advance, in consequence of the heavy bombardment, which was to precede
the attack. Thirdly, we were to emphasise to the men that Turkish morale
was on the wane. Prisoners, whose only words were "English good; Turkey
finish," were, I fancy, responsible for this last venture in optimism.

We had every reason to anticipate that the attempt was to be a thorough
onslaught, not a mere demonstration, and would probably lead to success.
The discovery that the Turks had in reality been massing for an attack
on our lines within a few hours of our own assault was only made

At 2.20 P.M. on the 6th August, the British guns opened on the Turkish
positions in front of the 29th Division, and at 3.50 P.M. we could see
our infantry advance under a hail of musketry and machine-gun fire. Our
guns lengthened range, and we saw shells fired by our warships in the
Gulf of Saros bursting along the crest of Achi Baba. Through the
periscope we watched the tin back-plates, worn by our men for the
enlightenment of artillery observers, twinkling under the dust and
smoke. Some other Manchesters were lending a hand in the battle already,
and were struggling under heavy shrapnel fire to gain a footing in the
trenches immediately to the north of the sector to be assaulted by the
Brigade on the morrow. Then gradually the firing sank. By 4.45 P.M.
there was a distinct lull. One of our Companies (C Company) under
Captain G. Chadwick, was sent as reinforcements. A stream of wounded
(Manchesters, Worcesters, Munsters) began to file past our lines into
the winding nullah. We knew little as to what had happened. The sky
above the shell-riddled ridge of Achi Baba was serene and purple in the
glow of evening, but the fog of war was upon us.

Suddenly, at 6.40 P.M., a message came that two of our Companies were
required at once to help the Worcester Regiment, who had taken part in
the assault about a mile to the north of where we were. A Company
(Captain A.E.F. Fawcus) and D Company (Captain H. Smedley) were ordered
to comply. The men were resting for the work planned for the next day.
They got ready hurriedly, and moved in fast-gathering darkness along a
labyrinth of unfamiliar trenches to a position from which the Worcesters
had advanced in the afternoon.

Our information was most vague. The Worcesters had gone "over the top"
many hours earlier and had disappeared. They were believed to be holding
trenches somewhere beyond, but they were out of touch with our line, and
it was intended to reinforce them. The night was dark, and the direction
to be taken after leaving our trenches could only be roughly indicated.
A Company lined up first, and went over the top like one man. D Company,
which was to move to the right of A, then lined up along the fire step
and followed.

Our men passed into a tornado of fire, and drifted forward on a broken
moor, already littered with dead and wounded. Both Companies eventually
lined up in shallow depressions of ground, but there was no trench to
receive them.

Meanwhile, many of our wounded had straggled back to the trench from
which they started, and numbers of wounded Regulars of the 29th
Division who had lain out for many hours were brought in by our men
during the long night. This was the one bright touch in its story. We
laid down these brave men on the narrow fire-step, and our
stretcher-bearers worked nobly. Several men went out with stretchers
under heavy fire, and fetched in as many survivors as they could find.
One, I remember, was called Corris. At midnight the Colonel and Captain
P.H. Creagh, our Adjutant, left for Headquarters, where the morrow's
plan of operations was being partially recast. The hours passed. At last
two messengers clambered back with reports from Fawcus and Smedley.
Lance-Corporal H.L. MacCartney brought the former's.

The only sensible course was for our parties to come in. I noticed that
MacCartney's hand was broken and bleeding, and suggested to him that
someone else should go back with my message of recall. He insisted on
his ability to go, and with a companion he climbed over the parapet. A
few moments later he was shot through the heart. Smedley's messenger was
Lance-Corporal G.W.F. Franklin, whose services on the field won him a
commission, and who played a splendid part in the subsequent annals of
the Battalion. He was given a like message of recall for Captain
Smedley, and with it he too clambered back over the parapet and passed
out into the night.

At 3.30 A.M. on the 7th August the two Companies toiled homewards,
having lost heavily. Davidson, a plucky Australian officer attached to
us, was among the killed. He had been in charge of a working party which
wandered in the darkness into the Turkish lines, and was there

After a couple of hours' sleep, we rose to take our part in the renewed
offensive. A heavy bombardment was to precede a general advance. As the
front-line trenches lay within a few yards of the Turks, they were now
practically cleared of men in order to avoid casualties from our own
gunfire. The scheme laid down for our Battalion required a north-east
advance by C and B Companies out of the narrow defile known as Krithia
nullah. A gap was therefore made overnight in the barrier that had
hitherto crossed the mouth of the defile and linked our fire trenches
with those neighbouring. A machine gun was placed at the north-west
corner of this gap under cover of the end of our fire trench. On the
south-east side of the gap, a barricade ran up a steep slope to the
trenches of other Manchesters, whose assault was to be simultaneous with
ours. Owing to the clearance of the fire trenches, the assaulting
parties had, unfortunately, to move across the open. The nullah was
twisted and partly covered by curving banks on either flank; so that it
was hoped that our men might nevertheless avoid complete exposure. The
great hope, however, was that the British guns would succeed in wrecking
the redoubt that commanded the outlet of the nullah before the infantry

We waited at the spot where the support line ran down to the nullah and
from which C Company was to emerge, while our artillery thundered
against the enemy's position. Then the hour came, and C Company, under
Chadwick (bravest of the brave), moved in single file into the nullah
and onward towards the gap in the front-line barricade and the Turkish
redoubt beyond.

B Company, under Captain J.R. Creagh, followed in their wake.

At the same time a battalion of the Manchesters, commanded by
Lieut.-Col. Darlington, was launched against the Turkish line on the
left of the redoubt, and another, under Lieut.-Col. Pilkington, against
the line on its right. The redoubt itself was at the apex of a broad
angle of trenches.

It was at once obvious that our guns had been unable to affect the
strength and resisting power of the enemy's front line. Each advancing
wave of the Manchesters was swept away by machine-gun fire. A few of
them gallantly reached the Turkish trenches and fell there. Long
afterwards, during the last flicker of a British offensive in December,
some Lowland Scots soldiers of the 52nd Division found in trenches on
the west of the nullah the bodies of some of the Manchester men, who had
also this day fought a way to their objective and perished.

We saw shrapnel bursting along the nullah, through which C Company was
passing, and progress seemed stopped. I ran along the deserted saps
that connected our support line with the front firing trench, and came
to the gap. Some twenty yards ahead, a group of about thirty men were
lying together in the shallow water-course, mostly dead. Another group
was gathered under cover by the gap. The rest of C and B Companies were
still running up to the gap from the support line through the long grass
of the nullah, and dropping in their tracks under the constant fire of
the redoubt. Chadwick and J.R. Creagh were both in the forefront of the
advance, and Chadwick signalled back its hopelessness. His subaltern,
Bacon, had been the first to pass the gap, and had been killed on
emerging. The whole battle in this sector was really over, and I stopped
the men under cover from moving out into the open. In the late afternoon
the survivors of the little group in front crawled back to safety. The
dead were gathered in by the devoted stretcher-bearers under Sergeant
Mort, during the evening. One party, under Corporal F. White, had alone
penetrated to within a few yards of the redoubt. He held his men
together through the afternoon and brought them in under cover of
darkness, for which the D.C.M. was his reward. Mort had won the D.C.M.
earlier in the campaign.

All through that hot afternoon the wounded Manchesters trailed back to
the busy dressing-stations, pictures of suffering and patience. The
attack still further reduced the numbers of the original Territorial
units, already greatly diminished by casualties.

[Illustration: In Khartum Station.

Col. Gresham. General Wingate.]

[Illustration: In the Turkish trench captured on 4th June.]

We wondered to what extent the effort at Cape Helles had eased the great
task of the armies operating from Anzac and Suvla Bay. The guns used to
boom all day long from the hidden north until the 22nd August, when the
attempt was given up. Several weeks passed before we realised that the
valiant armies there had laboured in vain, and that Sari-Bair had
remained unconquered.

We were far more conscious of the limited results of the battle on the
Cape Helles side of Achi Baba.

To the right of the line attacked by the Manchester Brigade and some 200
yards east of Krithia nullah, the Lancashire Fusiliers succeeded, with
great gallantry, in capturing a small plot known as the Vineyard, which
the Turks in six days' hard fighting were unable to regain.

Regarded purely as a holding attack during the main enterprise from
Suvla, the offensive fully achieved its purpose. It was, however,
difficult to look upon it in this somewhat narrow light from the point
of view of a Regiment which took part in the actual adventure.

Of the many personalities that struck one's imagination during this
August battle, the majority were simply of the rank and file, whose
pluck and unselfishness were incomparable. Of most I have forgotten the
very names. There was a postman from Bradford, who was forty-seven years
old and had thirteen children. I remember his telling me of South
African experiences. He fell. Most of our men were far younger. Many
were mere boys, whose days in the Camel Corps at Khartum had been their
first taste of manhood. Their Company Sergeant-Major, Leigh, was
mortally wounded by shrapnel while running up the nullah.

Of our officers, Captains Smedley and Chadwick survived to be pillars of
strength during the whole campaign. About the time when I finally left
the unit Captain Smedley joined the Egyptian Army as a Bimbashi, and
Chadwick the Royal Flying Corps. Chadwick received a Serbian decoration.

Fawcus, who distinguished himself by his cool leadership on the night of
the 6th August, left the Battalion very soon afterwards to conduct a
newly formed Bombing School on the Peninsula. He was the recipient of
many well-earned honours, and ultimately, as a battalion commander, won
wider fame in another theatre of war.

A number of the men received cards from Divisional Headquarters,
expressing appreciation of their gallantry: Sergeants W. Harrison and
M'Hugh; Corporal (afterwards Company Sergeant-Major) J. Joyce;
Lance-Corporal (afterwards Lieutenant) G.W.F. Franklin; Lance-Corporal
(afterwards Lieutenant) W.T. Thorp; Corporals Hulme and Cherry; Privates
Anderson, Beckett, Bradbury, Fletcher, Hayes, Hamilton, Maher, Murphy
and Walsh. Joyce was afterwards awarded the Russian Order of St George.

On the 15th August 1915 we were relieved by a Lowland Scots Brigade of
the 52nd Division, and moved to what were then called the Scotch
dug-outs, a bivouac about two and a half miles behind the fire trenches
upon the central plateau of the Peninsula. It was hot and dusty, but
five minutes' walk led the weary to the cliff. We used to go down its
steep side on to the coast road, full of soldiers of the Allied Armies,
of carts and mules with long tassel fly protectors, and of Indian or
Zionist muleteers. Across the road a lighter was moored, from which we
bathed happily in a peaceful sea, with the pale blue contours of Imbros
and Samothrace cut clearly against the sky, and our trawlers and
cruisers moving up and down on their ceaseless watch between Cape Helles
and Anzac. Here and here alone was it possible to forget the brown
wilderness above the cliff, and all the toil and bloodshed between
ourselves and the summit of Achi Baba.

Casualties are soon forgotten in war. In the dusty and exposed dug-outs,
which were now our refuge, men revived. After the recent losses, it was
good to see our clever Territorials transforming what looked like dog
biscuits into a palatable porridge, cooking rice and raisins, picking
lice from their grey woollen shirts, reading papers (all very light and
very old), grumbling, but ever cheerful. It was in the Scotch dug-outs
that we heard of the loss of the _Royal Edward_ and of the German entry
into Warsaw; but already mails and food held the first place in our
minds. Man readjusts his sense of proportion as he enters a theatre of

On the 19th August, Colonel Canning became temporary Brigadier. I thus
became Commanding Officer in his absence. The same day we left our
bivouac, and after a long, hot, march, through the dusty gorge called
Gully Ravine, we relieved another unit in the firing line on the
northerly side of that great artery of British life and traffic.



The routine upon which the Battalion entered at this stage remained
almost unchanged until the evacuation. Our Headquarters, where I slept
when in command of the Battalion during Colonel Canning's various short
spells as acting Brigadier, were usually in some heather-covered gorge,
opening upon a deep blue sea. Essex Ravine was a frequent site. The side
of this ravine which faced the north-east protruded beyond the side
sheltered from the Turkish fire, and was thus forbidden ground. All down
the slope were spread the dismembered remains of hundreds of Turks, who
must have been slaughtered in retreat by guns from our warships in the
Ægean Sea. It was impossible to bury them, owing to the enemy's fire.
The other side, where we slept on a rocky ledge high above the sea, was
still a beautiful glen.

An hour before dawn we went round the lines, while the men "stood to."
We returned for a bathe and breakfast in the open, while the destroyers
used to pass to and fro between Cape Helles and the Gulf of Saros, and a
pearly haze brooded over Imbros. Then back to the trenches, which were
always dusty and fly-pestered, to visit men always under fire, but full
of bravery and patience. Diarrhoea and dysentery were already sending
many of them from the Peninsula. The trenches were often noisome. Only
in the evening, with Imbros growing fainter in the fading day and
Samothrace rising huge and cloudy behind, while the red and green lights
of the hospital ships off Helles shone brightly across the water, was
physical vigour possible. When I acted as Second in Command, as was more
usual, my nights were spent in the centre of the firing line, with
excellent telephonists like Hoyle or Clavering close to me, but the
nights were usually quiet, and indeed it was not until the middle of
September that the Turks showed any symptoms of the offensive spirit.
Our casualties were mainly caused by random shots at night, which
chanced to hit our sentries as they peered into the gloom over the

After a fortnight's spell in the trenches, rest bivouacs were welcome as
a change, though the name was a mere mockery. Mining and loading
fatigues were incessant. I admired the humour of a Wigan sergeant, whom
I heard encouraging a gang of perspiring soldiers, while carrying heavy
ammunition boxes up a hill-side one sweltering afternoon, with the
incitement that they must "Remember Belgium."

For a Field Officer one of the most trying experiences of such breaks in
the common routine was the task of presiding over field general
courts-martial. Courts-martial under peace conditions are not without
interest to a lawyer, but these in the field dealt wholly with grave
charges, such as falling asleep while on sentry duty and other offences
almost as dangerous and considerably more heinous morally. It was hard
in many cases to reconcile the exigencies of war with the call of
humanity, and the sense of responsibility was only partially relieved by
the knowledge that a higher authority would give due weight to the
extenuating circumstances that appealed so often to one's compassion.
The introduction of "suspended sentences" by the Army (Suspension of
Sentences) Act 1915, with a view to keep a man's rifle in the firing
line, and to give an offender the chance of retrieving his liberty by
subsequent devotion to duty, was probably the War's best addition to
British Military Law. Nevertheless, the duty of acting as President on
these occasions is found universally distasteful.

There were, however, two great charms in these short intervals in trench
warfare. First, it was delightful to escape to places where you could
move erect and see something besides the brown wilderness of saps and
cuts. A walk to Lancashire Landing along the coast road, between great
rugged cliffs on one side and the rippling sea on the other, took us
past the little colony of the Greek Labour Corps, and past terraces of
new stone huts and sandbag dug-outs, which indicated the presence of
Staff Officers. Looking seaward, we saw the hull of the sunken
_Majestic_, a perpetual sign of the limitations of "sea power." We could
then strike up from the beach and see the A.S.C. stores, admirably
managed by Major (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel) A. England, and pushing
on to the top of the plateau, the whole area of warfare between
Lancashire Landing and Achi Baba was at our feet.

Even more delightful was the long series of entertainments which we
organised in the Battalion, and which eventually drew large numbers from
the rest of the 42nd Division. These entertainments were opened by
lectures on history. Our men became familiar with the history and
conditions of all the belligerent Powers, and were kept well acquainted
with the developments of the actual military situation in Europe. They
enjoyed these lectures. Education has its uses, after all. Then followed
concerts, which were splendidly arranged by Regimental Sergeant-Major M.
Hartnett, a veteran of Ladysmith and East Africa and a pillar of the
Battalion, now, alas, dead, and by Quartermaster-Sergeant Mort, himself
an adept as an entertainer. These "shows" used to start about 6.45 in
the evening, and the vision of our tired boys scattered in the fast
fading twilight on the slope of some narrow ravine beneath the serene,
starry sky of Turkey will be among our most lasting memories of
Gallipoli. The sentimental song was typical of the Territorial's taste.
Even now I can hear the refrain sung by Company Sergeant-Major J.W.

   "My heart's far away with the Colleen I adore;
       Eileen alannah; Angus asthor."

At the finish, before singing the National Anthem and the no less
popular anthem of the Machine Gun Section, our men always sang: _Keep
the Home Fires Burning_. The soldiers could have no better vesper hymn.

On the 8th September 1915 we went into a new sector of trenches on
either side of what was called Border Barricade. The name was, like
Border Ravine, a relic of the Border Regiment, just as Skinner's Lane,
Watling Street, Essex Ravine and Inniskilling Inch recalled the
activities of other units.

I can claim personal responsibility for placing Burlington Street and
Greenheys Lane upon the map of Gallipoli. They are reminders of our
Headquarters in Manchester.

Border Barricade barred a moorland track which led upwards to higher
ground where the Turks were strongly entrenched. Below it were little
graveyards of Turkish and British dead, and below them the moors
contracted into the narrow defile of Gully Ravine. Here on the 15th
September we lost some casualties in a mine explosion, which the Turks
had carefully timed for our evening's "Stand to." Dense columns of smoke
and earth shot up high into the air, and the rapidly increasing darkness
of the evening added greatly to our difficulties. Most gallant work was
done in digging out buried men, a task of great danger, as the front
trench was completely destroyed, and the Turks, whose trenches at this
point were within ten yards of ours, were bombing heavily. Thirteen men
lost their lives through the explosion. For some days afterwards this
spot and an open space behind it were constantly sniped, and, as an
addition to our troubles, one of our own trench mortars, fired by a
neighbouring unit, landed in error in our lines, killing 3 men and
wounding 4, including Captain Smedley. Later the Turks exploded further
mines in the same area when it was occupied by other units.

Our chief losses, however, were through illness. Captain P.H. Creagh,
whose splendid work was rewarded by a D.S.O., left us at the end of
August for good, and joined his own regiment in Mesopotamia. Before the
end of September, Captain C.H. Williamson, the Brigade's excellent
Signalling Officer (afterwards killed in action); Captain A.H. Tinker,
at that time Machine Gun Officer, but afterwards most admirable of
Company Commanders; Captains H.H. Nidd and J.R. Creagh, most careful of
Company Officers; D. Norbury of the Machine Guns; Pain and Pilgrim,
invaluable Somerset officers attached to us, all left the Battalion with
jaundice. Burn and Bryan left it with dysentery; Morten with a poisoned

There was little indeed to cheer the men in the trenches. News
percolated through to us of the failure at Suvla and of the hardships
endured in that enterprise. Mails from home arrived all too slowly and
precariously. Death was always present. We regretted the loss of Captain
H.T. Cawley on the night of the 23rd September. He had given up a soft
billet as A.D.C. to a Major General in order to share the lot of his
old regiment, a battalion of the Manchesters, and was killed in a mine
crater near Border Barricade.

The spell in the trenches admitted of few variations. The journey to
them was always burdensome. It is easy to recall the trek, on the 1st
October 1915, of weary, dust-stained, overloaded men some three miles up
the nullah, inches deep in dirty dust and under a broiling sun, to
occupy narrow fire trenches, unprotected as ever by head cover, and
pestilential with smells and flies. Yet once established in the
trenches, life was tolerable enough. As a Field Officer I was fortunate
to be able to escape at times to enjoy the intense luxury of
sea-bathing. Sometimes the evenings were misty, and the fog-horns of our
destroyers and trawlers carried faintly across the Ægean Sea. More often
the sunsets were gorgeous. The day always seemed long. Firing was
frequent but targets were rare. Some men curled themselves up between
the narrow red walls of the trenches, read, dozed, smoked, talked, one
or two in each traverse observing in turns through the periscope across
the arid belt of No Man's Land, where groups of grey-clad Turks, killed
long ago, still lay bleaching and reeking under the torrid sky. Others
foraged behind for fuel, which could only be found with great
difficulty. A little later dozens of fires would be crackling in the
trenches, with dixies upon them full of stew or tea. Flies hovered in
myriads over jam-pots. The sky was cloudless. Heat brooded over all. No
one ever visited the trench except the Battalion Headquarters Staff and
fatigue parties with water-bottles. Many soldiers stripped to the waist,
and wore simply their sun helmets and shorts. Sickness alone drew men
away. The soil was dark red, caked and crumbling. Here and there the
dead were buried into the parados, with such inscriptions as "Sacred to
the Memory of an Unknown Comrade. _R.I.P._"

The Mule Sap connected the trenches with Headquarters. We gathered
curios, Turkish and German, from among its débris. At Headquarters the
telephone, orderly-room and dressing-station alone denoted the presence
of war. They were fixed in a beautiful ravine, looking upon a smooth
sea, warm in the sunlight, with Imbros ten miles across the water. The
meals were of first importance, but sandbags are uncomfortable seats,
and the heat was trying. Pleasant it was in the cool of the evening to
go to sleep with one's Burberry as a pillow. The stars shone kindly
down, as they had shone long ago upon the heroes of the Iliad on the
Plains of Troy, seven miles away across the Dardanelles, upon the
Crusaders and Byzantines. You were asleep in a moment, and hardly
stirred until 5 A.M., when it was time for "Stand to." Daylight moved
quickly across the desolate waste, and by six o'clock another day of war
and waiting had dawned.

The Territorial's thoughts turn to home far more often than do those of
the Regular, for to him the family has always been more important than
the regiment. H.C. Franklin, who took P.H. Creagh's place as our
Adjutant at the end of August, and was an old Regular soldier of the
Manchester Regiment, often said that the week's mail of a Territorial
battalion is as large as six months' mails for a unit of the old Army.
He told, too, a good story, which shows the perceptiveness of Indians.
He was standing near to some Indian muleteers when the Manchester
Territorial Brigade disembarked on Gallipoli. He heard them say in
Hindustani: "Here is another of the regiments of shopkeepers." One
pointed to Captain P.H. Creagh, our Adjutant and only Regular officer.
He said: "But he is a soldier." Another said of Staveacre: "A fine, big
man, but he also is of the shopkeepers."

The story of trench warfare during these months on Gallipoli is
undramatic. A record of their little episodes is almost trivial. Yet
this want of movement and initiative is true to life, and was the common
lot of the three or four British Divisions then responsible for
operations at Cape Helles. The campaign, in fact, came to a standstill
on the failure of the great offensive in August. The objects of the Army
were simply to hold the ground so hardly won in the first two months of
the expedition, and to contain as large as possible a Turkish force on
Gallipoli for the benefit of our Russian Allies in the Caucasus and
elsewhere. The first of these objects was attained in spite of the
thinness of our line, the universal inferiority of our positions to
those of the enemy, and the gradual improvement of their guns and
aircraft. The Nizam--_i.e._ the Regular first-line Turkish troops--had
been practically destroyed. The remainder lacked the offensive spirit
after their heavy losses in August, and perhaps their hearts were not
sufficiently in the struggle to welcome further sacrifice of life, with
time already running in their favour. We heard of one British officer
who had acted as a hostage during a short armistice at Anzac. The Turks
loaded him with presents of fruit, and, pointing to their dead on the
battle-field, said: "So much for your diplomatists and diplomacy!"

Our second object, also, is believed to have been gained, so far as was
possible, having regard to our inadequate numbers and to the limitations
of our technique of the period. Bombing used at this time to be
practised by small sections in each battalion, who occupied dangerous
salients called "bird-cages" in the fire trenches. Here in our
Battalion, G. Ross-Bain and W.H. Barratt among the officers, S. Clough
and T. Hulme among the N.C.O.'s--all valiant men--won a modest measure
of fame. On one occasion Hulme picked up a live bomb thrown by the enemy
and saved his comrades' lives by throwing it over the parapet with
splendid self-devotion. Our British sappers became more proficient in
mining, special corps being formed from among the Wigan colliers of the
Manchesters and the Lowland Scots. The guns were always active, and
their co-operation with the infantry was perfected. Those who remember
passing by night along the winding length of Inniskilling Inch will
recall the red lamp that marked the artillery forward observation
officer's post at the corner of Burlington Street, and the well-hidden
gun emplacement, where Greenheys Lane ran out of the Mule Sap. The
familiar street signs carried men's minds back to Manchester.



In the second week of October, 1915, the Army at Cape Helles was
reinforced by dismounted Yeomanry from East and West Kent, Surrey and
Sussex, and by some Royal Fusilier Territorial units from Malta, who
were lent to the Royal Naval Division. Many West Kent officers and
N.C.O.'s were for a time attached to the Battalion, and proved admirable
comrades. The 42nd Division received some scanty drafts on the 23rd
October. These came from the 3rd line units at Codford on Salisbury
Plain, and were of excellent quality. Our draft was under Lieutenant
C.S. Wood, a very able signaller.

I noted on the 21st October that of the 300 men of the Battalion then in
the field, nearly 100 were on detached jobs--signallers, machine gunners
and details attached to various headquarters.

The result of the shrinkage in strength was a great strain upon the
survivors. "We never sleep," the Battalion's motto, was adopted
grudgingly as a rule of life. The necessities of the firing line
required vigilance by day and night, and the long frontages allotted to
the various units of the 42nd Division entailed broken nights and
laborious days for all. The men's physique became lowered. Septic sores
were general; bad eyes, not infrequent; jaundice of a type indicating
para-typhoid was common; amoebic dysentery very prevalent. Loss of
health meant loss of vigour. Limited to one bottle of water a day for
all purposes, and perpetually a prey to flies, heat, diarrhoea and
want of rest, the soldier had a trying time. Rations of a type welcome
in a northern climate were unpalatable in Turkey. In July and August we
were liberally supplied with vegetables and raisins, and with
much-prized golden syrup for our porridge; but the latter luxury then
disappeared, while for several months our only vegetables were onions,
which do not appeal to every palate. Jams, even when the pots were
adorned with pictures of one Sir Joseph Paxton, had very diminishing
attractions. The only strawberry jam we ever had on the Peninsula came
to us in tins, from which the labels had been stripped by some kindly
act of Providence. In the expedition's early days our men had been able
to exchange English jams for dainties procurable by the French and
Senegalese, but the monotonous and indefinable "plum and apple" of the
later summer killed the trade and extinguished all foreign admiration of
British jam-making. Only the flies were fascinated.

Our East Lancashire Territorials did all that was possible to relieve
the strain. We had a most able medical officer in Captain J.J. Hummel,
of Glasgow, who had temporarily succeeded Captain J.F. Farrow (our own
veteran M.O.) in July, but indeed all the units were happy in their
doctors, and _emetine_ in dysentery cases was a gift of gold. Nor could
a Brigade have had a more gallant and untiring padre than Captain E.T.
Kerby. He and Captain Farrow both won the Military Cross. Kerby must
have said the burial service over the graves of nearly a thousand
Manchesters on Gallipoli.

The food difficulty we met by encouraging unofficial imports. The
kindness of all at home was beyond praise. Consignments of comforts were
well regulated by Major H.G. Davies, who had charge of the Manchester
depot, but many came direct from innumerable friends and national and
local organisations. One mother of two boys of the Battalion who had
lost their lives wrote to me, while sending parcels for their surviving
comrades: "I dare say that life is dreary for them, poor lads. God in
His mercy has been so very merciful in that my Darlings have been spared
so much. My prayers will follow you throughout, praying for the success
of the whole of Our Battalion, and that you may all be spared to come
safely home to the fond hearts waiting."

England need never despair while she has such mothers.

The great glory of the East Lancashire Division during the long-drawn
days of October and November was, however, the temper of its men. The
spiritual exaltation, that all races feel at the outbreak of war and in
the hour of battle, disappears under the pressure of the daily grind.
Then, in his divine good-nature, the British Tommy comes into his own.
Nothing dims his cheerfulness and humour. A chorus starting with: "We
are the M.G." proclaimed the jollity of our Machine Gun Section and the
ingenuity of Sergeant W. Harrison. A Machine Gun Corps of the larger
type, organised under the energetic command of Captain Hayes, was a
thing of the future. A long list of singers and performers--Hartnett,
Mort, Addison (of ragtime celebrity), Wheelton, Holbrook, Hoyle,
Clavering, Shields--adorned the programmes of our concerts. Other men
like Tabbron and F.E.H. Barratt were notably cheery souls in the lines.
The handful of surviving officers--Higham, Chadwick, Whitley,
Douglas--with a few excellent attached officers--J. Baker and J.W.
Barrett of the Somersets, and F.W. Woodward of the Sherwood
Foresters--were untiring promoters of the men's well-being.

Their wants were so modest. Old magazines and football editions of
Saturday evening papers, published a month or two earlier in England,
sufficed for their literary appetites. Lancashire boys are not brought
up to read; the _Sentry_ writers were exceptional. When I once came upon
a man reading the _Golden Treasury_, in Hardship Avenue, I knew he could
not be a Manchester man. He was not. He came from the Isle of Man, and
had joined our reserves at Southport. I found about half-a-dozen men
who could enjoy _The Times_ broadsheets. I am afraid _John Bull_ was
much more popular.

It was pleasant indeed to stroll along the narrow trenches and see how
staunchly the men forgot their privations. Towards evening little
parties would go, heavy-laden, into long forward saps that the engineers
had thrown forward from Inniskilling Inch, to pass the night in cuttings
called "T-heads," which were ultimately to be connected together and
form a new trench closer to the enemy. They looked out from these lonely
places in the midst of No Man's Land upon scattered heaps of corpses,
and in their front upon the well-built Turkish trenches, substantially
wired in and full of cleverly disguised loopholes. Two sentries were
placed in each "T-head." The man on watch was exposed to oblique fire
from all directions, as both British and Turkish lines curved to right
and left, while the constant sound of Turkish picks at work suggested
the proximity of mines. The sap that ran back to the fire trench was
very narrow, and ended in a low tunnel under our parapet. It was
therefore hard to bring wounded in from the "T-head." I remember one
poor fellow in A Company called Renshaw being badly wounded in the head
one night, and being dragged back through the tunnel with infinite

The Turks were quick to pick up targets. One morning at our bivouac on
Geoghegan's Bluff, we noticed half-a-dozen mules stray from Gully Ravine
to the moor on the summit of its southerly side, perhaps a thousand
yards from the enemy's front line. We saw them shot, one by one, within
a minute. As the Turks enjoyed the possession of higher ground
everywhere from first to last, their power of observation was
necessarily greater than ours, and no corner of Cape Helles was exempt
from shell fire. It pursued us even in our bathing places.

The course of life on Gallipoli was, however, so monotonous that men
became callous to all dangers. They carried on the long day's routine
and the numberless little jobs included in the term "trench duties," as
if nothing else mattered. Such tasks are familiar to-day to so many
millions of Europeans that they need no description. Gas masks,
sprinklers and gongs were ready for use in every trench, but were
happily not needed.

Our men represented every Lancashire type, from the master builder to
the barrister's clerk, from the wheelwright to the calico printer, from
the railway carter to the commercial traveller. You would find together
in one traverse Sergeant J.V.H. Hogan, a well-read ex-Socialist devotee
of Union Chapel debates and old political opponent of my own, and
another sergeant, whose name I cannot now recall, but who had been the
petty officer of a South American liner sunk by the _Karlsruhe_ in the
early days of the War. Then we had famous footballers in Sergeants
Pearson and Bamber. The Territorial origin of the Battalion was, indeed,
a never-failing source of strength. Officers and men came from the same
place, enjoyed the same interests and possessed the same outlook. It
was pleasant to see in the trenches, faces familiar in my own suburb of
Fallowfield, and to chat with hundreds of men whose lives had touched
mine in days of peace.

The worth and capacity of these men were not peculiar to our unit, but
were common to the Manchester Brigade and the whole Division. One
battalion contained expert miners. Another battalion, at this time
commanded by Major (afterwards Lieutenant-Colonel) C.L. Worthington, had
lost enormously in their valiant battles. One of their captains--R.H.
Bedford--helped in our history lectures. Another battalion, under
Lieutenant-Colonel MacCarthy Morrogh, with Major H.C.F. Mandley as
Second in Command and Captain E. Horsfall as Adjutant, were our constant
neighbours and allies. With the Lancashire Fusiliers and East
Lancashires, and with the admirably run A.S.C. and R.A.M.C. we enjoyed a
slighter but no less hearty friendship.

The best relief from the long strain of the trenches was a bathe in the
sea, but any diversion while in rear of the firing line was
exhilarating. We used to gather on the moors that lay between
Geoghegan's Bluff and Bruce's Ravine, Turkish cartridge boxes made by
the Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken at Karlsruhe and labelled with
inscriptions in German and Turkish, innumerable spent Turkish
cartridges, abandoned Mäuser rifles, Turkish bandoliers (stamped with
the English name "Warner's") and all the usual fascinating débris of


On the 19th October I made a special expedition, with Captain C.E.
Higham, to the southern sector of the area, where the French had held
the line ever since their move from Kum Kale to the Peninsula. We walked
to beautiful Morto Bay, with its graceful curve from the headland called
De Tott's Battery. The ruins on this point, carried by the South Wales
Borderers on the 25th April, stood out clear-cut against the bright blue
of the Dardanelles and the fainter grey of the Asiatic coast beyond. We
went on past French and Senegalese dug-outs to Sedd-el-Bahr, a village
and fort wrecked by our naval guns in the first days of the campaign.
The country was open and dotted with the remains of vineyards. North of
Sedd-el-Bahr was the well-tended French graveyard, more prettily kept
than our own cemetery above Lancashire Landing. Here sleep many hundred
soldiers, "morts sur le champs d'honneur," their _képis_ on the crosses,
and their graves adorned by flowers. The Jews and Senegalese had their
own separate plots.

Sedd-el-Bahr appeared to be but a collection of outer walls and broken
pillars, posts and fountains, some of archaic design. On the beach
below, the _River Clyde_ recalled the glory of the landing of the
Dublins, Hampshires and Munsters. We struggled back to our bivouac in
the teeth of a dusty, warm wind, to be inoculated with _emetine_ and to
rest by the white coast road, while we watched our monitors riding
between Cape Helles and Imbros, and landing shells in the Turkish
trenches on the slopes of Achi Baba. On such an occasion Ross Bain would
arrive from marketing among the Greeks on Tenedos with some greatly
valued potatoes, and then all our troubles would be forgotten.

When rain came, the joy of living was hard to attain. During all our
time on Gallipoli I remember but one or two occasions when we were
fortunate enough to secure timber or some corrugated iron to roof our
dug-outs. Normally we had only our mackintosh sheets. Rain turned the
thick dust to a brown morass, and the little mule carts struggling past
the swampy curve of Geoghegan's Bluff could hardly clamber up the Gully
Ravine. It was choked with mud.

Then the sun would come out and the flies returned in their myriads to
plague us. They blackened every jam-pot and clustered thickly round the
mouths and eyes of sleeping soldiers. The trenches became dry and dusty.
Detached legs or feet or arms of the dead would protrude from the
parapet, as the soil around them fell away. Smells became all-pervading.
We would seek refuge in the dug-outs, that looked out upon a crowded
graveyard from the sloping incline by Border Barricade. Then would come
the time for another inoculation with _emetine_, and we would join the
long line of men waiting, stripped to the waist, for Captain Hummel's
needle. We prayed that it might be effective, and that we should be
spared the curse of dysentery and long nights of misery in and about the
fly-infested latrines.



In the balmy days of late October it was still possible to enjoy life on
Gallipoli. The ceaseless vigil of the trenches was cheered by contact
with the bravest men I have known. The dirt and drudgery of rest
bivouacs were assuaged by bathing, and by jolly "missing word
competitions" and "sing-songs," as well as our courses of lectures and
discussions on history, politics, the War, and the England to arise
after the War.

Talk gravitated again and again to the tragedy of the 4th June. I have a
record of one such symposium, that illuminates the infinite variety of
human nature. "Franklin says that he and Staveacre could see in the far
forefront of the battle Sergeant Marvin engage four Turks simultaneously
with his bayonet till shot dead. But X. boggled at going over the
parapet. He was told: 'You are a disgrace to the Manchester Regiment.'
He replied: 'I shall never let that be said of me,' rose to climb over,
and was blown to bits by a shell. Whitley carried a badly wounded man a
long way under fire. Creery did splendidly." It may be added that
Whitley's act was afterwards recognised by an award of the Military
Cross. He became Staff Captain at Ismailia. W.F. Creery joined the
Connaught Rangers and was mentioned in dispatches.

Another hero of the men's reminiscences was Captain A.H. Tinker. One
night during the first month of the campaign a working party had lost
itself on the moor. It was so dark that they ran great risk of straying
into the enemy's lines--a fate that befell a number of our men at this
period in that broken country. In spite of the proximity of the Turks,
Tinker left the trenches and boldly sought the men himself, calling out
loudly for them. They heard him and made their way back.

The days of initiative and enterprise had, however, passed. The wind and
grit gave the strongest of us sore throats and high temperatures, and I
gradually joined the crowded ranks of sick men "on light duty only." At
the beginning of November we moved to the northern extremity of the
Allies' line across the Peninsula, and here I saw the last phase of our
warfare on Gallipoli. Sir Ian Hamilton had gone. All ideas of a renewed
offensive had disappeared. After the 24th October the Turks enjoyed
direct communication with Germany, and at Cape Helles there was no sign
of revived strategy or rejuvenated tactics. Our work was simply to carry
on and hold out. Some of the other Divisions took steps to guard their
men against the menace of a "Crimean winter" by preparing sheltered
quarters. Great flights of geese used to fly in V-shaped formations high
over our heads on their way from Russia to Egypt. They were augurs of
our own eventual migration.

The new position of the Battalion was on Fusilier Bluff, a mile to the
west of the ruins of Krithia. The left ran straight down to the sea,
where monitors used to shell the enemy's positions, while destroyers
watched the flank, and at night played flashlights on the ravine that
divided us from the next bluff, where the Turks were entrenched. This
ground had been won in the brilliant British advance of the 28th June.
The Turkish line was close to ours, and our men were always on the
strain. Incidents were common. On the 2nd November a Turk crawled along
the beach with a white flag, and surrendered. At night the Turks built
up in front of their parapet, and two were shot by Sergeant Stanton. One
of our men was killed and two were wounded. On the 3rd, another man was
killed by a bomb, while the daily drain of sickness went on unabated.
General Elliott, at this period our Brigadier, was an energetic pioneer
of new methods and more vigorous tactics. He had the Mule Saps improved.

Even, however, in the secluded Headquarters at Bruce's Ravine I could
not keep my health, and Hummel's art was unavailing.

The average soldier on Gallipoli broke down after a month or two.
Comparatively few endured more than three months. Of our officers only
Scott (the Quartermaster) and Fawcus were on the Peninsula from start to
finish, though Colonel Canning, Higham and Chadwick had almost as fine
a record. Few of the sick came back to Turkey.

Some, like my first batman Dinsdale, died in hospital at Alexandria or
in Malta. Many went to England and passed into other units. Others
rejoined later in Egypt. Somehow, in peace times we had never imagined
that the Battalion could be so dispersed and broken.

My departure from Gallipoli is perhaps worth a description. Would that
the wounded heroes of the landing could have received a hundredth part
of the same care!

I left Border Ravine at six in the evening of the 5th November 1915,
with a high temperature, and feeling very ill. I walked down to the 1st
Field Ambulance Dressing Station in "Y" Ravine, where Captain
Fitzgerald, R.A.M.C., directed me on to the base of that Ambulance in
Gully Ravine. Here my servant, Hawkins, left me, and two medical
orderlies carried my traps. Alas, I left behind me a much-prized Turkish
copper basin and bayonet, spoils of war, which I never saw again. We
walked two miles along the rough and dusky beach, a full tide washing
over our feet and throwing many dead mules high upon the pebbles. At the
station I got a cup of hot milk, and spent the night on a stretcher.
Next morning my case was diagnosed as one of fever and swollen glands,
by Captain John Morley, R.A.M.C., most brilliant of surgeons, and at ten
o'clock (cherishing a label marked "Base") I was swirled off in a motor
ambulance to No. 17 Stationary Hospital above the beach known as
Lancashire Landing since its glorious capture by the Lancashire
Fusiliers on the 25th April. At 4.15 in the afternoon we motored off
once more and boarded a steam launch, whence we transshipped to an
uncomfortable lighter. At 6.30, in the dark, we were lifted by a crane
into the P. & O. hospital ship _Delta_, where 500 sick and wounded were
being collected. Dinner consisted of bread and milk only for many of us,
but we revelled in the luxury of bed and bath. Next morning I sat on the
sunny side of the deck. The shady side, chilly in the November air,
looked out upon Cape Helles, with Achi Baba rising straight behind it,
and to the left upon the grey succession of landing-places, enshrined in
so many English hearts.

We sailed the next morning, and thus avoided the misery of the great
November blizzard on the Peninsula.

The Division remained on the Peninsula until the 29th December.
Dysentery abated and the flies vanished, but gale and storm carried on
the strain, and frostbite was added to the men's trials. The Turks seem
to have much increased their supply of munitions, and the loss of life
continued day by day. "Asiatic Annie" and other guns across the straits
showed renewed activity. A mine explosion on the 4th December killed one
of our men and injured eight. Two popular privates, Hancock and Lee,
were killed on Christmas Day. One singular innovation was the Turkish
practice of shooting steel-headed darts from their aeroplanes. Their
chance of striking any man was, luckily, very small.

Nothing daunted the spirit of East Lancashire. Our men held concerts to
the very last, and the football eleven survived three rounds of an Army
Corps competition, losing their tie in the fourth round on a field in
which shells burst repeatedly to the discomfort of the players. Captains
J.F. Farrow, F. Hayes and E. Townson returned to strengthen the small
band of officers, while R.J.R. Baker, who had been intercepted on his
way out and sent to Suvla Bay, was released for service with us.



The last I saw of the trenches was the tangled line on Fusilier Bluff.
The last I saw of Gallipoli was the fading contour of its cliffs as we
sailed in the _Delta_ for Mudros and Alexandria. When we touched at
Mudros we heard the first whisper of Lord Kitchener's fateful visit to
the Eastern Mediterranean.

All questions relating to the initiation and conduct of the expedition
are fitly left to the judgment of the Dardanelles Commission. Here have
only been expressed ideas that occurred to a Regimental Officer, whose
range of vision is always restricted, and whose generalisations are
inevitably based on a narrow, personal experience. Yet such ideas may
still have a bearing upon the history of the campaign, as the whole
theatre of operations at Cape Helles was extraordinarily congested. In a
tiny area, barely three miles by four, strategy had no elbow-room when
once the Army was committed to the plan of operations that had been
adopted. The war with the Turks on the Peninsula became purely a war of
tactics. If Inkermann was "the soldier's battle," Gallipoli was the
soldier's campaign.

It is easy to criticise in the light of a later standard. Gallipoli was
invaded early in 1915, not in 1916 or 1917, when the whole technique of
assault had been revolutionised. We landed with the methods practised in
England since the Boer War, methods as out of date in France in 1917 as
Wellington's methods were in 1815. On later knowledge no one can doubt
that a vast concentration of gun power, infinitely equipped and
munitioned, a scientific use of barrage fire, nicely adjusted to the
movements of a great infantry force, itself organised to develop the
fullest use of machine guns, Lewis guns, and grenades, would have broken
the defences of Achi Baba. Our Army knew none of these advantages. The
artillery was inadequate and was inadequately supplied with high
explosives to prepare for an attack in the style afterwards perfected on
the Western Front. It was realised nowhere at this period that the rôle
of infantry in attack is quite secondary to that of the guns. The
bombardment that preceded the infantry assaults at Cape Helles in August
did not last over two hours, and certainly never hit the trenches
actually in front of the Manchester Territorial Brigade. The gunners
could do no more than they did. The resources at their disposal were
quite insufficient to atone for the Army's difficulties in point of
numbers and in point of ground. It would appear as if we enjoyed no real
ascendancy over the enemy either in aircraft or mining. Bombing was most
unfamiliar to us on arrival. It appeals to the English sportsman
greatly and came to be brilliantly practised, but it was rarely a
determining element. The Battalion bombers on Gallipoli were officially
known as Grenadiers. Steel hats were, of course, unknown. They would
have saved many lives. Visual signalling, on which pains had been
lavished during training, proved of little use. The telephone, however,
was a godsend, and in our Battalion was admirably worked by Sergeant

The one handicap that was above all others a constant and pervading
thought in the minds of our men was the shortage in numbers. It was a
common belief that more reinforcements would have carried the great
advances of June and July over every obstacle. Our drafts were always
too small and too few, and the want of men infinitely aggravated the
exhaustion of the survivors. With but a part of its old strength, and
with no supports whatever between itself and the beaches, a battalion
was still expected to hold the same length of line as when it was up to
strength. Some two hundred men, for instance, occupied the long stretch
of trenches from Skinner's Lane corner to the eastern bird-cage and its
numerous forward saps, upon which men had once been employed. The task
involved weeks of scanty and broken sleep, and caused our support and
reserve lines to be utterly untenanted. Fatigue work was necessary the
very hour that a unit had straggled down to a bivouac from the fire
trenches. So precious was man power that the doctors were forced to
keep unfit men at duty until they dropped. It is impossible to imagine
men more worn by sleeplessness and sickness than the jaded Manchester
Territorials at the end of a fortnight in the front line. On a moving
day Gully Ravine was littered with men who had fallen out of the ranks
of a dozen regiments as they trudged, heavily laden, along the winding
and dust-swept track.

Sir Ian Hamilton wrote of our men early in August: "The ---- Manchesters
are a really good Battalion. Indeed, the whole of that Brigade have
proved themselves equal to veteran Regulars. The great misfortune has
been that there are no drafts ready to fill them up quickly. Had they
been at once filled up, as is the case in France, they would be finer
than ever. As it is, I fear lest the remnants may form too narrow a
basis for proper reconstruction when ultimately the drafts do make their

The drafts we received on Gallipoli were the cream of the 2nd and 3rd
reserve lines, which had been organised at home under Colonels Pollitt
and Hawkins. They gave up their ease and often their ranks in order to
serve England better, but their numbers were small. The work of
reconstruction, to which Sir Ian Hamilton looked forward, came
afterwards in Egypt.

Sometimes the infantryman wondered whether, even if the essential
reinforcements arrived, they would ensure victory. On this point it is
difficult to judge. The home Government had committed itself to the
project of an offensive on the Western Front in the autumn of 1915, in
spite of the huge obstacles that confronted the Allies in that theatre
of war. The tactics of the period did not even organise trench raids.

The memory that dominates all recollections of Gallipoli is that of the
grandeur of the British soldier. Though he took no part in the miracle
of the landings, the East Lancashire Territorial proved himself worthy
of comradeship with even "the incomparable 29th Division." He ranked
with the Anzac and the Lowland Scot in the great adventure. The original
1st-line of our Battalion were really destroyed in Turkey with their
comrades of the same Brigade, but their gallantry in the early assaults
and their inflexible fortitude in the trenches--pestered by flies,
enfeebled by dysentery, stinted of water, and worn out by hardships--are
a lasting title to honour.

Their story, as told in the pages of the _Sentry_, was read by General
Wingate a few months later "with mixed feelings of joy and
sorrow--sorrow for the many good friends who have laid down their lives
for their King and Country, and joy that it has fallen to the lot of the
gallant Battalion, of which I have the honour to be Colonel, to have
behaved so gloriously in one of the hardest and most deadly campaigns in
which British troops have ever been engaged."

It is a source of pride to have known and lived with such men.



A large proportion of the sick and wounded invalided from Gallipoli
became familiar with one or other of the Alexandria hospitals. I spent a
week at Victoria College, which had become No. 17 General Hospital, with
Sister Neville, whose devotion to duty the Battalion had learnt when at
Khartum, as Matron. Thence I went to No. 10 Convalescent Hospital at
Ibra-himieh, once the stately house of an interned German called
Lindemann but now converted into a comfortable home under the care of Mr
and Mrs Scott. British leniency still reserved its tempting orangery for
the use of local Huns. It is the English way.

When the evacuation of Gallipoli was contemplated, every hospital was
cleared as far as possible of inmates, and I was one of the many
officers who in early December were turned adrift either to the hotels
of Alexandria or the great waiting camps of Mustapha and Sidi Bish.

The mere narrative of a holiday period at Alexandria has no public
interest. We learnt to know Levantine and Egyptian mentality better than
ever. When at Khartum an Egyptian _dobey_ (washerman) had amused us by
soliciting Regimental custom in preference to his competitors, not on
the ground that he washed clothes better or charged less, but solely, he
said, because the other _dobeys_ were "terribly wicked men." So at
Alexandria, every pedlar was the one honest follower of his craft. Yet
its population is more European than Egyptian. The shops were full of
the picture post cards of Italy and France, and portraits of Venezelos
were to be seen everywhere, adorned with the pale blue and white
national colours of Greece. Probably Mr Lloyd George's fame enjoys even
wider bounds. I have seen his likeness enshrined in wattle huts at
Omdurman and Wadi Halfa.

I touched unfamiliar minor issues of the War on the two occasions when I
sat as a member of the military court, which sits for the purpose of
enforcing proclamations issued by the supreme British military authority
in Egypt, and thus tides over the time that has to pass before the
Capitulations are abolished and a regular system of uniform justice
established. A day thus spent at the Carracol Attarine gives a fine
insight into the blessings of British occupation.

Most of the cases that I heard turned on the adulteration and
falsification of liquors. Egypt has had no licensing laws; and no effort
to apply elementary principles of fair dealing to the drink trade had
apparently been made until initiated under military law for the
protection of the troops. Foreign wine dealers at Alexandria
consequently flooded the market with spurious liquor, concocted from
the weirdest raw materials. The only genuine claim they could set up for
their merchandise was that it was at all events alcoholic. Owing to the
utilisation of refuse beet and potatoes, alcohol is cheap in Egypt. By
blending pure alcohol to the extent of anything up to ninety per cent.
of the whole concoction with any particular paste or colouring matter,
it is open to wine dealers to pass off any liquid as the most popular of
wines or spirits. Case after case came before the court, of beer made of
alcohol and powder; wine of colouring matter, alcohol and paste; brandy
of "essences"; and bitters of "Chinese elixirs." The falsifying
appliances came from Europe, but the bogus labels, which described those
poisons as "specially adapted for invalids and bottled in Glasgow,
Scotland," or even offered 25,000 francs to any who could prove that
so-called Greek "Koniak" was not "the pure juice of the grape," were
amusingly Levantine. British justice is sweeping away these pitfalls for
the soldier and sailor.

Egypt was at this time a centre of Anzac relaxation. To have explored
the tombs of the kings with a New Zealander, paced the roof of the Cairo
Citadel with Australians, and watched the colonial celebrations of
Christmas in the Alexandria streets is a political education. No
Englishman after the War will be ignorant of that golden New World,
where all the labour is well paid, all hours of work are limited, and
all shops close at noon on Saturdays. In any competition for the glory
of being God's own country

   "Australia will be there."

We were, however, at war. As a field officer, I had the duty of
attending the burial of British soldiers in the Christian cemetery at
Alexandria on Christmas Eve, 1915. Since the outbreak of the War the
graveyard had extended from its original site, prettily shaded by
foliage, over an adjacent waste of sand and rubble, where over 2500 of
our men who died of wounds or disease at this base had already at this
date been laid to rest. Here sleep many Manchester Territorials. In the
midst of many graves, identified only by numbers, a black cross recalls
the memory of Mundy, one of our gallant Company Sergeant-Majors.

On the 30th December 1915 I left Alexandria for the Dardanelles on the
_Arcadian_, Sir Ian Hamilton's old ship, once most luxurious of steam
yachts but destined to be torpedoed on the 15th April 1917 in these same
waters. It carried some details for the various Divisions still believed
to be holding Cape Helles. We sailed in long zigzags through a rough sea
to within a few hours' distance from Lemnos. We were then ordered back
by wireless to Alexandria, landing there, much to our chagrin, on the
6th January 1916. Two days later Cape Helles was evacuated. It was never
known whether our departure from Egypt had been a piece of bluff
designed to cloak the impending move from Gallipoli, or a sheer
accident arising from ignorance at Alexandria of the true intentions of
the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force Headquarters.

From the date of the _Arcadian's_ return down to the end of January, the
large waiting drafts at Alexandria remained in tantalising inactivity,
in spite of the passage of the Gallipoli survivors southward through
Alexandria. The East Lancashire details forgathered at Mustapha on the
site of the famous victory of 1801, and near the pretty white obelisk
that commemorates Sir Ralph Abercromby. The time was filled as best
could be by route marches, history lectures and various competitions,
until at last we had orders to rejoin the Division. We moved from Sidi
Gaber station to Cairo, and thence by trams to Mena, where, with "forty
centuries" looking down upon us, we found what was left of the
Manchester Territorial Brigade, then under General Elliott's command.
The Battalion numbered close on 300 men.

Our stay at Mena was short, for infinite labour was now urgently needed
on the Sinai Peninsula. In the early stages of the War, the Suez Canal
had been treated as itself the main obstacle to an attack on Egypt.
Outlying posts like El Arish had been abandoned, and Sinai left almost
bare of defences. This policy accounts for the ease with which the Turks
had actually gained the Canal bank in February, 1915. It was now
recognised that defensive lines should run on the Asiatic side of the
Canal in order to make it impossible for any invader to come within
gunshot of the waterway. Three possible routes were open to the enemy.
The northerly coast road by El Arish and Katia was the best, and enjoyed
a Napoleonic tradition, but naval co-operation made its defence easy. A
central track ran from El Audjo at the end of the main Palestine railway
embankment to Bir Hassana, and might be used against Ismailia. A
southerly approach was possible through Akaba and Nekl, and thence by
the main pilgrims' road, the Darb El Haj, to Suez.

The Division was now to be employed in creating some of the new posts of
defence, by which all such dreams of attack were to be dispelled. The
strategy was passive, but it paved the way for the offensive undertaken
in the ensuing summer.

On the bitterly cold night of the 1st February 1916 we left Mena. Before
noon on the 2nd we reached Shallufa sidings. In the evening we crossed
the Canal, and bivouacked in gathering darkness on a desert site known
later as Shallufa Camp. The days of rest were over.



During February of this year the Battalion was engaged upon an inner
line of works within easy walking distance of the Canal. A semicircular
outpost line, which covered these works and the Brigade camp, was
occupied nightly, but there was no real danger of attack. Beyond the
outpost line a distant screen of posts, whose names recalled Lancashire,
were in course of construction.

Life under such conditions gave no scope for ideas. The men did set
tasks as fatigue work. There was no tactical training. Gangs drew a
chain ferry to and fro across the Canal, while Lieutenant A.N. Kay acted
as wharfmaster. Several days were given to moving camp a few hundred
yards north or south within a small area. Two detached posts were held
at this period. One far out among the rolling sandhills, skilfully laid
out by Captain A.H. Tinker, was known for a week or two as Ardwick, and
then abandoned. Another, very ably commanded by Captain C. Norbury, was
the far more fascinating blockhouse known as Gurkha Post, noted for its
bathing, fishing and agreeable remoteness from staff officers. It was
delightful to ride out from Shallufa camp along a track called "the
pilgrims' way" to so charming a spot for a swim in the Canal and
pleasures impossible on the dust-swept desert. A few hundred yards to
the north, a little white tower called Lonesome Post long flaunted in
red paint the Battalion's name and motto for the edification of passing
liners. What have become of like devices that were once deep cut on the
scarped cliff of Bruce's Ravine on Gallipoli?

One amusing experience of this period was to bathe in the Canal while
the transports were passing with newly trained drafts for Mesopotamia or
India. "Who are you?" was the invariable cry from the banks. Our
war-worn men received usually the answering taunt: "Garrison duty only!
When are you going to do your bit?" To the call: "Who are you?" from a
transport, a witty diver replied: "A submarine."

The whole Canal zone from Port Said to Suez was in reality a hive of
workers. A visit to the School and Headquarters of the Royal Flying
Corps threw a flood of light on that brilliant service. Its observers
commanded every track and camping ground of the Sinai desert.

While the Canal was being girdled by defence works the Manchester
Territorial Brigade was regaining the physical vitality lost in Turkey.
Apart from sandstorms, the climate was good. Sports, football, concerts,
buried-treasure hunts, competitions "for the singing championship of
Asia" and other sounding honours, and much bathing helped us to recover
health and joy. Our numbers remained much below strength. Perhaps 130 of
the original unit remained, with some 250 who had come to Turkey in
drafts. To these hardly 100 were added at this period.

Such officers and men, however, as did reach us from the two reserve
units at home were of the best. They lost temporary rank on re-posting,
and knew that weaker vessels had succeeded to their place on English
camping grounds. Those who came from another battalion had been
specially fortunate in their training, and in having the inspiring
influence in their midst of Captain J.H. Thorpe, but all alike were
keen. Their anxiety to learn was palpable whenever we went the round of
the chilly desert outposts under the starry sky.

Battalion patriotism was kindled anew by the adoption as a flash of the
old Lincoln green fleur-de-lis of the Manchesters, a cap badge worn by
us since 1889, and a relic of the conquest of Guadaloupe by the 63rd
Regiment in 1759. No less inspiring was the revival of the _Sentry_ on
the 1st March 1917. Of its staff of fifteen when published at Khartum,
nine had died on Gallipoli. Their places were filled by new enthusiasts,
and one genuine poet was discovered in T.G. King.

Our one lasting loss while at Shallufa was the departure of nearly all
the time-expired Territorials to England. Those under forty-one years of
age were retaken later by the Government under its new powers of
conscription, but the Battalion saw few of them more. These men--W.
Jones, Mort, Woods, Stanton, Fielding, Lyth, Bracken, Houghton, Dermody,
Parkinson, Barber--were the salt of the Regiment. During the long years
when Territorial service had been irksome and unfashionable, they made
it succeed. With a few old hands like Regimental Quartermaster-Sergeant
Ogden, who elected to remain with the unit, they had borne the burden of
the trenches manfully, and never grumbled as to their status while
commissions were showered on men at home whose claims, compared with
theirs, were modest.

[Illustration: _Back Row_--Lieut. T.F. Brown, Lieut. N.H.P. Whitley,
Lieut. J.H. Thorpe, Lieut. G.S. Lockwood.

_Front Row_--Capt. R.V. Rylands, Capt. H. Smedley.]

On the 24th March 1916 the Brigade left Shallufa, and on the morning of
the 25th marched into Suez New Camp to undergo training. The move was
welcome, as it was imagined to lead to a departure for a more active
theatre of war.

The type of training adopted at Suez derived its inspiration from the
French Army, whose text-books of 1916 taught that close order drill and
punctilious discipline, tempered by games and sports, were ideal means
of reviving the all-important offensive spirit in units.

The four and a half weeks spent by the Battalion at Suez were therefore
crowded with field days and ceremonial drill. On the 21th May there was
a striking review of the whole Division, followed by a march past in
blinding dust. Days of this type, however, even if they mean rising at
four in the morning and include Brigade bathes in the warm, blue Gulf of
Suez, followed by breakfast on a sun-baked shore, are the same all the
world over. They are not worth discussing in writing of the fateful time
which witnessed the great German attack upon Verdun and Fort Douaumont.

At all events, Suez saw the reconstruction of the Manchester Territorial
units completed. The sense of vitality, without which no army can take
the offensive, was fully restored. We had spirited sham fights with
another battalion of the Manchesters for the possession of "Tower 16," a
solitary landmark on the caravan track to Cairo, after the manner of the
pre-War era. The _Sentry_ blossomed as the first English paper of the
country. Two thousand copies used to be sold at Suez alone. Our men
competed for Colonel Canning's football cup and played a great match
with the crew of the _Ben-my-Chree_, the famous seaplane carrier, sunk
by gunfire, alas, some eight months later in Kastelorizo Harbour. The
"Flashes" gave notable concerts.

From the 21st April I again enjoyed the command of the Battalion.
Colonel Canning went on leave to England, and his distinguished services
were recognised soon afterwards by a C.M.G.

Towards the end of May, 1916, the Division was unexpectedly ordered to
move from Suez, and broken up in order to supply battalions for digging
work at various spots on the eastern side of the Canal--mainly on the
then most advanced screen of detached infantry posts--where the existing
defence scheme had not progressed with sufficient speed. A more
combative strategy was obviously contemplated, no doubt provoked by the
recent action at Katia. In the late afternoon of the 25th May the
Battalion started on their march into the Sinai Peninsula. The transport
was left at Suez under Lieutenant M. Norbury and Sergeant A.B. Wells,
and with Captain A.T. Ward Jones as Brigade Transport Officer.

Among the posts thrown out into the Peninsula, none at that time was
more desolate or remote than the sandy ridge called Ashton-in-Sinai,
apparently in honour of Ashton-under-Lyne. It lies many miles to the
east of the Little Bitter Lake. The trek to this spot by way of Kubri
and Shallufa was an ordeal even for our seasoned troops in the blazing
heat of an African summer. At 3 A.M. on the 27th May the Battalion set
out from their chilly bivouac by the Y.M.C.A. hut at Shallufa along a
road made by the Egyptian Labour Corps to a site called Railhead, about
ten miles off, where we rested during the broiling day. At four in the
afternoon we started on the worst lap of the trek, a final two hours'
ascent across the softest and heaviest sand imaginable to the high
rolling dunes of Ashton.



The view at Ashton is superb. Looking back on Africa, we saw on the
horizon the pale contour of the Gebel Ataki beyond the silvery line of
the Bitter Lakes and the Canal. On its Asiatic side, the detached posts
of Oldham, Railhead, and Salford, held by other battalions of the
Manchesters, glittered under a torrid sky amid the great waste of
desert. Facing our front, the wilderness stretched towards Palestine in
endless undulation.

The sultry days spent by the Battalion at Ashton were, however, spoiled
by excessive heat and repeated sandstorms. Double-lined tents were only
supplied after much delay, and promised wooden dining huts only
approached completion by the time we left.

This arid outpost of Empire was linked to civilisation by a camel trail
to Railhead. Its garrison duties were performed by some Essex
Territorials, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Jameson, afterwards killed
before Gaza. Yeomanry passed by frequently, scouting far into the waste.
The Manchesters were occupied exclusively in digging trenches and in
laying entanglements in the deep soft sand, "according to plan" and on
a scale sufficient to daunt any invader who could have surmounted the
huge physical obstacles that already barred all approach to this spot
from the Wadi Muksheib and the East.

The arms of Britain have by now made these particular defences of the
Canal of most trifling importance. Her foot is in Palestine. Work done
at Ashton may well be gradually obliterated. Yet a few words can be said
of the men who lived and laboured here in June, 1916, in a temperature
rising often to 120° F. in the shade and rarely falling under 100° F. at
night. No digging was practicable between 7.30 A.M. and 4.30 P.M. The
men rose before four in the morning for the day's work. Progress was
necessarily slow, partly owing to constant silting, partly to the common
weakness of the authorities for varying the sites and types of the
trenches. Materials were often wanting. Nevertheless the Manchesters won
unqualified praise. Their civil life had fitted many for the task of
reveting trenches with hurdles. The defences of Ashton-in-Sinai were
improved in a few weeks beyond recognition.

One incident that occurred here illustrates amusingly the contrast
between the outlooks of the new soldier and the old. Our Manchester
Territorials were distressed to find that thousands of yards of hurdles
were being lined with the best tent cloth at 1s. 4d. a yard, instead of
with cheap cotton at a quarter the price. I repeated their plaint to a
Regular officer of the old school, expecting sympathetic indignation.
"Magnificent," was his reply. "It shows the world in what spirit England
goes to war."

It was at Ashton that we first heard the news of the Jutland Battle from
Colonel Fremantle, R.A.M.C., who could only give us the version spread
by German wireless. A few days later we learnt of Lord Kitchener's

It is clear that this particular phase of soldiering has in itself no
place in the annals of the Great War. Ashton is already nothing but a
desert site. The tide of victorious warfare has left it high and dry. It
always was high and dry. At probably no other period, however, did the
personality of the Manchester Territorial show to greater advantage, as
the life was one of peculiar privation. Water was carried up daily by
camels from Railhead, but was most scanty, and always warm. The sand was
too soft for any game to be played--too soft even to permit of trotting
horses. The heat was constant and intense. The men were as cheerful and
uncomplaining as ever.

To have developed such a spirit in men entirely civilian in habits and
traditions was the glory of the Territorial system.

All ranks toiled together to make life in this corner of Sinai liveable.
History hardly looks beyond the Army Corps at the smaller unit. Still
less does she concern herself with the humble pawn in some unimportant
corner of the great game. In reality, however, his lot is of moment to
the race. The tone of an army is the tone of its individual men. An
unhappy soldiery cannot win wars. "An army moves on its stomach," said
Napoleon; and the recognition of the soldier's hunger and thirst, his
desire for rest, amusement and sympathy helps, almost as much as skill
and self-confidence help, to make the successful leader of men.

It was, therefore, a soldier's job to keep up the hearts of our colony
at Ashton-in-Sinai. Captain C. Norbury, as acting President of
Regimental Institutes, and Captain H. Smedley, as stage-manager and
singer, worked on the only sound lines.

Journalism, theatrical performances, lecture courses, concerts and
canteen business, as initiated and practised by the officers and men of
the Battalion at Ashton, were true factors towards efficiency and

After three hours' work and their breakfast, the men would gather in our
recreation tent with its flaps rolled up, and listen to a lecture on
some historical or military subject which bore upon the topic of the
hour. They then slept and smoked and played cards or sang through the
long midday heat until the time came again for digging. In the evening,
on a stage cleverly made by Sergeant Taylor, the dramatic company would
act some play that appealed to their emotions, or a concert party would
indulge them with a medley of ragtime and sentimental songs, Addison's
_Stammering Sam_ alternating with Sergeant Shields' _When Irish Eyes
are Smiling_. The taste of Lancashire is catholic.

On Sundays we often merged "Church and Chapel" in a common service.
Davey, the Methodist padre, was an ex-gunner of the Royal Navy and a
great athlete--attributes that enhanced his influence as preacher.
"Crime," however, did not exist at Ashton-in-Sinai. Nor did temptations.
The real danger was mental and physical deterioration under the
depressing influence of the country and the climate, for the intense
heat sapped every man's vitality. We set ourselves to combat these
risks, and to give the men the food and recreation without which
soldiering becomes a burden, and discipline degenerates to servitude.

Towards evening I would ride into the desert and watch from the east our
men labouring on the great sand ridge in a haze of heat. On this side of
Ashton there were no tracks at all. The eye could see nothing but
endless sand hills, broken only by patches of dry scrub and shimmering
yellow under the burning sun. If nature has changed little in the desert
since Israel came out of captivity, it is easy to sympathise with their
regret for the fleshpots of Egypt. So penetrating was the sun that the
colour of the men's khaki breeches faded into purple.

There was, indeed, a certain charm in our remoteness from the outer
world. Camping out in the wilderness had more than a touch of the desert
island of boyish imagination. There was glamour in the extraordinary
simplicity of a life where the higher command was but a distant name,
and where men dressed themselves and spent the long, hot day as they
pleased. The fret and competition of Europe were felt no more. I
remember our arguing about Irish Home Rule one night till the stars
paled in the eastern sky, but the episode was unique. In spite of its
hardships, no manner of life was ever more calculated to banish ancient
feuds, to strip human nature of envy and uncharitableness, or to mould
that most perfect of all democracies--a brotherhood in arms.

On the afternoon of the 22nd June 1916 we left the wilderness under
orders for Kantara. We spent several days near Shallufa sidings, and
then, having obtained leave for England, I left for Suez with W.H.
Barratt and W.T. Thorp, two subalterns who had made their mark while in
the ranks by distinguished service in the field. Early in July we sailed
from Port Tewfik to Marseilles and watched from its deck the distant
camp of the Turkish prisoners from Arabia twinkling in the sunlight
across the most southerly reaches of the Canal.

I need say no word more in praise of the men of our Battalion, whom I
saw for the last time in my eighteen years of service resting in a dusty
gorge near Shallufa. Knit together by common ideals and experiences,
they were, in Nelson's phrase, "a band of brothers."

We crossed France from Marseilles to Boulogne in an atmosphere of war.
We had glimpses of Lyons and Paris, talked with _poilus_ on leave, heard
from a French officer (who professed to know) that the War would be over
in March, 1917, and bought from vivacious street hawkers pretty metal
souvenirs of Verdun. We saw our own wounded coming back in Red Cross
trains from the first days of the great push on the Somme. Then, after
exactly a year's absence, I was once more at home.

Within the ensuing month all but three of the original combatant
officers still on the strength of the Battalion were seconded for
service elsewhere. "The old order changeth, giving place to new." ...

A Regiment in war rises like the phoenix from its own ashes and renews
its immortal youth. The vicissitudes here recorded fill but a few
shining chapters in what will no doubt prove a long history. They by no
means necessarily contain its most distinguished pages. The close of the
second year of the Battalion's active service is, however, a fitting
point to end this volume. It marked the stage at which the distinctively
"1st line" unit, composed of officers and men enlisted and trained
voluntarily in time of peace, had passed into the normal type of British
Battalion of 1916--a unit born of the War, with its personnel mainly
recruited and trained after its outbreak.

It is to the memory of the original volunteers of August, 1914, that
this book is dedicated.



The experiences of a typical unit of the Territorial Force must throw
light on the vexed questions that have gathered round it.

Three criticisms of the Territorial system have been made ever since its
adoption in 1907. First, its establishment of 310,000 men has been
regarded as totally inadequate, and before the War the country even
failed to recruit numbers within sixty thousand of this modest standard.
Secondly, its yearly training, which provided but a fortnight's life in
camp, has been deemed so paltry as to be almost negligible. Thirdly, the
Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 provided a legal loophole by
which the less patriotic could evade service overseas in however great
an emergency. Section 13 specifically lays down that, apart from purely
spontaneous offers by officers or men to serve abroad, "no part of the
Territorial Force shall be carried or ordered to go out of the United

In reality, none of the defects which attracted these criticisms was
inherent in the Territorial idea. They rather belonged to the whole
military policy of the country before the War. Public opinion held that
a European War was practically impossible, and that the British Army
must of necessity be small in numbers and voluntary in character.

On these assumptions the limitations of the Territorial Force were
simply inevitable. Having regard to the prevailing views on national
defence and to the general resistance to Lord Roberts' propaganda, the
Territorial scheme reduced the evils of voluntaryism to the minimum.

The difficulty as to its shortage in men was met as soon as War was
declared. The Territorial Force was, in fact, capable of infinite
expansion, and of being the basis of the entire New Army, had the
Government so willed. Its training, again, was far better than no
training at all. Later events have proved with what speed wholly
untrained British conscripts can be moulded into efficient soldiers, and
that willing men can learn discipline and the use of the rifle within a
very few months. Territorial training sufficed, at any rate, to enable
Territorial units to relieve the Regular Army of all garrison duties
abroad immediately on the outbreak of war, and in many cases themselves
to take the field on active service before Christmas, 1914. Even with
regard to the constitutional obstacle to using the Force overseas, fully
nine-tenths of its men never dreamed of claiming immunity. The small
margin, which were left for employment in home defence, mainly
represented the physically unfit or boys under age.

As events turned out, two unexpected disadvantages of the system were
generally experienced. In times of peace the Territorial Force had been
able to influence public policy through the County Associations and the
House of Commons. After embodiment, the Force itself became necessarily
inarticulate under the conditions that govern all military service. Far
less influential than the Regulars and far less numerous than the New
Army, it went abroad early in the War, and was thus not actively in
touch with Parliament, while the semi-civilian County Associations,
whose personal and local knowledge might have been invaluable, ceased to
have any powers over its organisation, and had no means of safeguarding
its interests on questions of promotion, appointments, commands and pay.

An even more serious flaw arose from the dispersion of the Territorials
all over the world from Gibraltar to Burmah in the first months of the
War. An enormous volume of skilled labour was thereby lost to the
country, and exemption from service, which might well have kept these
men at home in the national interest, fell later to the lot of many
younger and less expert workers in their stead. Moreover, a great number
of men ideally fitted for commissions were killed fighting in the ranks
or were allowed to serve obscurely in remote corners of the globe. Both
among Territorial officers and men, a large proportion were qualified,
by gifts of leadership, technical knowledge or familiarity with foreign
languages, for special employment in Western Europe. There was indeed a
demobilisation in this respect of a considerable proportion of the
country's brain power.

Happily, the East Lancashire Territorials found an outlet for their
qualities on Gallipoli.

Against all the defects that have no doubt affected the application of
the Territorial idea, the historian should set its signal virtues. It is
an asset beyond price in soldiering to have all ranks welded together by
community of feeling and opinion. Joined by ties of neighbourhood,
occupation, sport and common interests, men are particularly apt to
cultivate that intense patriotism of the small unit which is termed
_esprit de corps_. The history of the War--like the history of all past
wars--will illustrate its constant military value. It would be idiotic
to reassert the old fallacy, belied by the experience of centuries, that
one volunteer is worth ten pressed men. Nevertheless the morale of a
unit can only be enriched when it is recruited wholly from willing
applicants familiar with its traditions and with the badges that
symbolise its past, rather than from conscripts drafted from anywhere in
Great Britain by the chance action of a Government department. Indeed
the Territorial idea has counted for much wherever British man power has
been successfully organised during the War.

Those who have believed in the Territorial Force during its struggles
against popular apathy and professional distrust have been justified by
its deeds in the field.

The true greatness, however, of the simple and unambitious Territorial
soldiers, whose life and work are described in these pages, lies more in
their spirit than in any actual achievements. All of them came from the
industrial North, where the business of life is fiercely competitive,
and where each man is wont to seek his own fortune without much outward
consideration for his fellows. Yet in the field it would be impossible
to imagine minds less touched by selfishness or less influenced by any
notion of personal distinction or reward. They did their best for
Britain. Honours are but gifts of the capricious gods.

Thus "to put the cause above renown" is a principle of conduct often
identified with what is called the Public School spirit. Fortunately the
temper which it expresses extends far beyond the governing class in
England, and it animated the typical Territorial of the Great War. Like
all good soldiers, he was far too inarticulate and reserved to think of
putting it into words. His deeds spoke for him. _The Whitewash on the
Wall_ and _Hold your Hand out, Naughty Boy_ are not beautiful songs, but
the lads who have sung them in English lanes and Turkish gullies could
have shown no greater self-devotion had their songs been as solemn as
the Russian National Hymn, or as thrilling as the _Marseillaise_.


_The following is an extract from a letter on the work of the Battalion
sent by General Sir F.R. Wingate, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., D.S.O., High
Commissioner for Egypt, to the General-Officer-in-Chief of the Division,
when the Battalion left the Sudan._

   _10th April 1915._

... during the few months they [the Battalion] have been in the Sudan
they have become thoroughly efficient soldiers in the strictest sense of
the term. Route marches, night operations, field days, hard drilling in
the Barrack square, digging trenches, gun and maxim drill, and last but
not least, constant practice on the ranges in addition to ordinary
garrison duties have transformed them into an alert body of trained
soldiers capable of taking their place anywhere. You can safely rely on
them to do--and do well--whatever duty they may be called upon to
perform against the enemy, and I am confident that they will yield to no
Battalion in the Division in regard either to training or fighting
efficiency. Should, by any chance, the Division be sent to the Near
East, you will find in the Battalion upwards of one hundred men fully
trained in camel riding and camel management, and this knowledge may
prove useful under certain conditions, but of course I have no idea
where the Division is to be sent and whether a knowledge of the numerous
promiscuous duties required by Battalions garrisoning the Sudan will
find an outlet.

A sound system of Interior Economy prevails in the Battalion, and the
good organisation of the Regimental Institutes reflects much credit on
all concerned with their management. During the time the Battalion has
been in my Command the behaviour of all ranks has been exemplary--the
men have made themselves liked by all in Khartum and are very popular
with the natives.

I have the highest opinion of Colonel Gresham--he has an excellent lot
of Officers, and both the Adjutant, Captain Creagh, and the
Quarter-Master, Major Scott, have done particularly well. I am proud to
be Honorary Colonel of such a fine Territorial Battalion.

We all are heartily sorry to bid them good-bye, and we wish them and the
gallant Division which you Command every success and good luck wherever
you may be.

   Yours sincerely,
           (_Signed_) R. WINGATE.


(_Italics signify that the person mentioned has been killed or has died
of wounds_)

_Abercromby, Gen. Sir R._, 80
Addison, J., 59, 91
Anderson, C., 42
_Arnott, M._, 27

_Bacon, A.H._, 40
Baker, J., 59
Baker, R.J.R., 70
_Balfe, W._, 27
Bamber, Sgt., 61
Barber, W., 85
Barratt, F.E.H., 59
Barratt, W.H., 54, 93
Barrett, J.W., 59
Basnett, J., 26
Bateman, M., 27
Beaumont, T., 7
_Beckett, J._, 42
Bedford, R.H., 62
Bedson, Capt., 27
Boyle, Major, 10
Bracken, W., 85
Bradbury, C.S., 42
Brown, J.N., 9
_Brown, T.F._, 24
Bryan, C.J., 50
Burn, F.G., 50

Canning, Lt.-Col. A., 28, 31, 37, 43, 68, 86
_Cawley, H.T._, 50
Chadwick, G., 35, 39, 40, 42, 59, 68
Cherry, W., 26, 42
Clavering, H., 46, 59
Clough, S., 54
_Cookson, C._, 27
Corris, J., 37
Creagh, J.R., 39, 40, 50
Creagh, P.H., 4, 26, 28, 31, 32, 37, 50, 58, 101
Creery, W.F., 65, 66

Darlington, Lt.-Col., 39
Davey, Lt.-Col., 92
Davidson, Judge, 17
Davidson, J., 38
Davies, H.G., 58
Dermody, W., 8
_Dinsdale, T._, 68
Douglas, C.B., 59
_Dudley, C.L._, 12, 26

Elliott, Brig. Gen. W., 67, 80
England, Lt.-Col. A., 48
Enver Pasha, 16

Farrow, J.F., 58, 70
Fawcus, A.E.F., 25, 31, 32, 36, 37, 42, 67
Fielding, W., 85
Fletcher, J., 42
Franklin, G.W.F., 37, 42
Franklin, H.C., 26, 53, 65
_Freemantle, W.G._, 25, 26
Fremantle, Lt.-Col. F.E. 90

George, D. Lloyd, 14
_Gordon, Gen. G.C._, 14
Granger, T.S., 27
Gresham, Lt.-Col. H.E., 3, 12, 23, 101

Haldane, Viscount, 3
Hamilton, A., 42
Hamilton, G. Hans, 8, 26
Hamilton, Gen. Sir Ian, 28, 33, 34, 66, 79
_Hancock, L._, 69
Harrison, W., 42, 59
Hartnett, M., 48, 59
Hawkins, Lt.-Col. H., 74
Hawkins, I., 68
Hayes, F., 27, 59, 70
Hayes, Pte., 42
Heys, Lt.-Col., 27
Higham, C.E., 25, 59, 63, 68
Hogan, J.V.H., 61
Holbrook, J., 59
Horsfall, E., 62
Houghton, Pte., 85
Hoyle, H., 46, 59
Hulme, T., 42, 54
Hummel, J.J., 57, 64, 67

_James, Capt._, 27
Jones, J.C., 7
Jones, W., 85
Joyce, J., 42

Kay, A.N., 82
Kerby, E.T., 58
King, T.G., 84
_Kitchener, Earl_, 14, 71, 90

Lawrence, Maj.-Gen. H.A., 34
_Lee, Brig.-Gen. N._, 5, 27
_Lee, B._, 69
_Leigh, A._, 42
Lindsay, W., 27
Lingard, J.R., 30
Lockwood, G.S., 23
_Lyons, J.P._, 20
Lyth, J., 85

_MacCartney, H.L._, 37
M'Hugh, S., 26, 42
Maher, T., 42
Mandley, H.C.F., 62
_Marvin, W._, 27, 65
Masefield, J., 33
Morley, J., 19, 68
Morrogh, Lt.-Col. M., 62
Mort, W., 40, 48, 59, 85
Morten, J. C, 50
_Mundy, A._, 27, 79
Murphy, Pte., 42

Nelson, D., 9
Neville, Sister M., 76
Newbigging, Col. W.P.E., 2
Nidd, H.H., 50
Norbury, B., 12
Norbury, C., 12, 26, 82, 91
Norbury, D., 50
Norbury, G., 27
Norbury, M., 87

Ogden, T., 85

Pain, R., 50
Palmer, F.C., 25
Parkinson, W., 85
Pearson, Sgt., 61
Pilgrim, H., 50
Pilkington, Lt.-Col. C.R., 39
Pollitt, Col. J.B., 74
_Powell, A._, 6

Renshaw, C., 60
Richardson, Pte., 26
_Roberts, Earl_, 3, 96
Ross Bain, G., 54, 64
_Rylands, R.V._, 12, 24

_Savatard, T.W._, 10, 24
Scott, J., 4, 67, 101
Shields, J., 59, 92
Smedley, H., 36, 37, 42, 50, 91
Smyth, Col., 21
Stanton, J., 67, 85
_Stanton, W._, 73
_Staveacre, J.H._, 3, 14, 20, 24, 26, 31, 50, 65
Sutherland, J.W., 26

Tabbron, W., 59
Taylor, J., 91
_Thewlis, H.D._, 25, 26
Thorp, W.T., 42, 93
Thorpe, J.H., 8, 12, 84
Tinker, A.H., 50, 66, 82
Townson, E., 9, 70

Venezelos, 77

Walsh, Pte., 42
_Ward, Lt._, 27
Ward Jones, A.T., 87
_Webster, Sgt._, 27
Wells, A.B., 87
Wheelton, S., 59
White, F., 40
Whitley, N.H.P., 8, 59, 65
_Williamson, C.H._, 50
Wilson, Col., 17, 20
Wingate, Gen. Sir F.R., 10, 13, 14, 21, 75, 101
Wingate, Lady, 14, 21
Wood, C.S., 56
Wood, J.W., 48, 85
Woodward, F.W., 59
Worthington, Lt.-Col. C.R., 62

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