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Title: With the Zionists in Gallipoli
Author: Patterson, John Henry
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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Internet Archive)



    With the Zionists in Gallipoli

    J. H. PATTERSON

[Illustration]



    WITH THE ZIONISTS IN GALLIPOLI

    LIEUT. COL. J. H. PATTERSON, D.S.O.



[Illustration: THE HOLLOWED HAND GIVES A VERY GOOD IDEA OF THE
APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY]



    WITH THE ZIONISTS IN GALLIPOLI

    BY

    LIEUT. COL. J. H. PATTERSON, D.S.O.

    AUTHOR OF "THE MAN-EATERS OF TSAVO,"
    "IN THE GRIP OF THE NYIKA," ETC.

    ILLUSTRATED

    [Illustration]

    NEW YORK
    GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY



    Copyright, 1916,
    BY GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY

    PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



PREFACE


The narrative of the Zionists in Gallipoli has been written during the
enforced idleness of the past month--a month which has been spent in
endeavouring to recover sufficient health and strength to enable me to
take a further, and, I trust, a more useful, hand in the Great Drama now
approaching its climax.

In the following pages I have "set down nought in malice," neither have
I given a word of praise where praise is not due--and more than due. My
relations with those with whom I came into contact were excellent, and
on the very rare occasions when they were otherwise, it was not due to
any seeking of mine, but, unfortunately, my temperament is not such that
I can suffer fools gladly.

My story is one of actual happenings, told just as I saw them with some
suggestions thrown in, and if from these a hint is taken here and there
by those in the "Seats of the Mighty," then so much the better for our
Cause.

My chief object in writing this book is to interest the Hebrew nation in
the fortunes of the Zionists and show them of what their Russian
brothers are capable, even under the command of an alien in race and
religion. Those who have the patience to follow me through these pages
will, of course, see that I am not by any means an alien in sympathy and
admiration for the people who have given to the world some of its
greatest men, not to mention The Man who has so profoundly changed the
world's outlook.

    LONDON, 1916.



CONTENTS


   CHAPTER                                                       PAGE

         I INTRODUCTION                                            17
        II GENERAL POLICY OF THE DARDANELLES CAMPAIGN              32
       III STRATEGY AND TACTICS OF THE DARDANELLES CAMPAIGN        37
        IV FORMATION OF THE ZION MULE CORPS                        46
         V ARRIVAL AT LEMNOS                                       62
        VI A STRENUOUS NIGHT                                       72
       VII DESCRIPTION OF SOUTHERN GALLIPOLI                       85
      VIII A HOMERIC CONFLICT                                      89
        IX THE ZION MULE CORPS LAND IN GALLIPOLI                  106
         X A NIGHT UP THE GULLY RAVINE                            120
        XI HOW ZION MULES UPSET TURKISH PLANS                     127
       XII LIFE IN OUR NEW CAMP                                   136
      XIII A MAY BATTLE                                           147
       XIV GENERAL D'AMADE AND THE CORPS EXPÉDITIONNAIRE D'ORIENT 154
        XV VARIOUS BOMBARDMENTS                                   159
       XVI THE COMING OF THE GERMAN SUBMARINES                    166
      XVII TRENCH WARFARE IN GALLIPOLI                            170
     XVIII GUNS AND STAFF                                         182
       XIX VISITS TO THE TRENCHES                                 188
        XX FLIES, DUST AND BATTLE                                 195
       XXI WORK OF THE ZION MULE CORPS                            203
      XXII THE AUSTRALIANS AND NEW ZEALANDERS                     210
     XXIII VOYAGE TO EGYPT                                        222
      XXIV RECRUITING IN EGYPT                                    228
       XXV LIFE IN EGYPT                                          234
      XXVI RETURN TO GALLIPOLI                                    244
     XXVII BEELZEBUB                                              252
    XXVIII A FEAT IN GUNNERY                                      259
      XXIX THE FINDING OF THE SHIELD OF DAVID                     269
       XXX BACK TO ENGLAND                                        277
      XXXI THE EVACUATION                                         291
           APPENDIX                                               297



    ILLUSTRATIONS


    THE HOLLOWED HAND GIVES A VERY GOOD IDEA OF
    THE APPEARANCE OF THE COUNTRY              _Frontispiece_
                                                         PAGE
    THE DARDANELLES, SEA OF MARMORA AND BOSPHORUS          17
    BADGE OF THE ZION MULE CORPS (THE SHIELD OF DAVID)    270



WITH THE ZIONISTS IN GALLIPOLI

[Illustration: THE DARDANELLES SEA OF MARMORA AND BOSPHORUS]



WITH THE ZIONISTS IN GALLIPOLI



CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


I propose in the following pages to have something to say on the general
policy of the Gallipoli campaign, and also upon the operations of war in
execution of that policy. Now, in the discussion of these questions, I
shall have some criticisms to make, so it may not be altogether
inappropriate to give the reader some little idea of a few at least of
my qualifications for such a rôle; otherwise he might well be tempted to
say: "A fig for this fellow and his criticisms. What is he but a mere
muleteer?"

Perhaps I may remark, to begin with, that when I took over the command
of the Zion Mule Corps, I knew a great deal about soldiering and the art
of war, but very little about the muleteer or the artful mule. But
that's just "a way we have in the Army!"

From my boyhood I have either been a soldier or taken the keenest
interest in soldiering, not only in England but in all parts of the
world. My military experiences extend through home, India and South
Africa, and have been by no means of a sketchy character. I spent the
best part of three years in South Africa, where I commanded a Yeomanry
regiment, and at times Regular troops of all arms, during the Boer War.

Those were glorious days--days when one could thoroughly enjoy
warfare--a wild gallop over the veldt, a good fight in the open, and the
day won by the best men.

In these days war is robbed of all its glory and romance. It is now but
a dyke-maker's job, and a dirty one at that; but much as the soldier may
dislike this method of warfare, it has come to stay, and we must make
the best of a bad job, adapt ourselves to the new conditions, and by
sticking it out, as we have always done, wear down the foe.

In addition to practical experience of soldiers and soldiering in
England, India, and South Africa, I have watched our troops at work and
play in many out-of-the-way parts of the Empire--the King's African
Rifles in East Africa and Uganda; the Cape Mounted Rifles in South
Africa; the "Waffs" in West Africa; the "Gippies" in Egypt, and the
North-West mounted men of Canada away in the wilds of the Klondyke.

Nor have I confined my attention to the Empire's soldiers only.

In my various visits to America, I looked very keenly into the training
and organisation of the American Army. I was especially fortunate in
being able to do this, as I had the privilege of being Colonel Theodore
Roosevelt's guest at the White House, while he was President, and his
letters of introduction made me a welcome visitor everywhere. I saw
something of the Cavalry and Artillery both East and West. I watched
their Infantry amidst the snows of Alaska. I also noted what excellent
game preservers the Cavalry troopers made in the Yellowstone Park--that
wonderful National Reserve, crammed with nature's wonders and denizens
of the wild, where a half-tamed bear gave me the run of my life!

Whenever I was with American soldiers, their methods were so like our
own that I never could feel I was with strangers.

There is only one fault to find with America's Army, and that is that
there is not enough of it; for its size, I should say that it is one of
the finest in the world. Never have I seen more efficiency anywhere,
more keenness among officers and N. C. O.'s; and certainly never in any
army have I eaten such delicious food as is supplied to the American
private soldier; the soldiers' bread, such as I tasted at Fort Riley,
baked in military ovens, cannot be surpassed at the "Ritz," "Savoy" or
"Plaza."

It is incomprehensible to me why the average American should have such a
strong prejudice against the Army. He seems to imagine that it is some
vague kind of monster which, if he does not do everything in his power
to strangle and chain up, will one day turn and rend him, and take all
his liberties away.

To give some little idea of the feeling of Americans towards soldiers or
soldiering, I will relate a little conversation which I overheard at
Davenport, a town away out in the State of Iowa. I had had a very
strenuous morning in the hot sun, watching the 7th Cavalry at squadron
training and other work, and had got back to the hotel, thoroughly tired
out after my arduous day. In the afternoon I was sitting on the shady
side of the hotel which was on the main street; at a table near me were
seated three Americans whose remarks I could not help overhearing; they
were travellers in various small articles, one of them being a
specialist in neckties; while they were talking two men of the 7th
Cavalry walked past; my friend, the necktie man, looked after them,
shook his head, and in most contemptuous tones said: "I suppose we must
pay the lazy, useless brutes just for the look of the thing." The
speaker was a pasty-faced, greasy, fat hybrid, about twenty-eight years
old. I am afraid he was a type of which there are many in America; their
God is the almighty dollar, an idol the blind worship of which will one
day surely bring its own punishment.

Of course I do not, for a moment, wish it to be thought that people of
this type predominate in America. I am happy to state that among her
citizens I have met some of the most charming, hospitable, intellectual,
unselfish and noble people to be found on the face of the globe.

America holds many interests for me, and I never fail to pay our cousins
a visit when the opportunity occurs. Perhaps the chief of her
attractions, so far as I am concerned, centre in and around the State of
Virginia, that beautiful piece of country where most of the great
battles of the Civil War were fought.

All my life I have made a point of studying military history and the
campaigns of the great Captains of the past. Indeed, I have tramped over
many battlefields in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, not at all with
the idea that the knowledge would ever prove of value from a military
point of view, but solely because I was deeply interested in soldierly
matters.

In Spain and Flanders I have followed the footsteps of both Napoleon and
Wellington.

In Canada I have sailed up the stately St. Lawrence, and with Wolfe in
imagination again stormed the Heights of Abraham. When I stood on those
heights some one hundred and fifty years after the great victory which
added Canada to the Empire, I was able to realise, more fully than I had
ever been able to do from books, the magnitude of the task which General
Wolfe had before him when, on that fateful night of the 13th September,
1759, he led his troops up that precipitous road to victory.

In the United States I have, on horseback and on foot, followed
Stonewall Jackson up and down the Shenandoah Valley, from Harper's Ferry
(over the Potomac) to the Wilderness, where he was seized with such
strange inertia, and on to that fatal Chancellorsville where an unlucky
bullet, fired from his own lines, put an end to his life and all chances
of victory for the South.

When I was at Washington, General Wotherspoon, the Chief of the War
College there, very kindly supplied me with maps and notes which he had
himself made of the battlefield of Gettysburg, and I am convinced that,
if General Longstreet had arrived on the field in time, victory would
have rested with the South; and I am equally convinced that, if
Stonewall Jackson had been alive, Longstreet would have been in his
proper place at the right time.

What a pity we have no Stonewall Jackson with us in these days. How
noble is the epitaph on the monument of this great soldier. I only quote
the words from memory, but they are something like this:

    "When the Almighty in His Omnipotence saw fit to give victory to
    the North over the South, He found that it was first necessary
    to take to Himself Stonewall Jackson."

It was a great pleasure to me to see his wife, Mrs. Stonewall Jackson,
when I was at Washington, but unfortunately I did not have the chance
of speaking to her.

I was delighted to meet Miss Mary Lee several times, the daughter of the
best loved General that ever led an Army--Robert E. Lee, the
Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate Forces. Miss Lee gave me much
pleasure by recounting many anecdotes about her famous father. Among
other interesting reminiscences she told me that when the war broke out
her youngest brother was a mere boy still at school, but the stirring
accounts of the great fights in which his father commanded and his older
brothers took part, so fired his ardour that one day he disappeared from
school, and was not heard of by any of his family for the best part of a
year. During this time he served as a soldier in a battery of Artillery.
One day, while a furious battle was raging and the fortunes of war
swayed first to the South and then to the North, General Lee observed
some of his guns rapidly retiring from a particularly hot position. He
galloped up to them himself and ordered them back into the fight. The
Commander-in-Chief was somewhat surprised when a powder-blackened,
mud-grimed young soldier, in a blood-stained shirt, said to him: "What,
Dad, back into that hell again?"--and back into that hell the General
sternly sent them at a gallop, and by so doing won the day for the
South. Luckily, his boy came out of the battle unscathed and is alive to
this day.

A few years ago I received an invitation from the German General Staff
to visit Berlin. What I saw then, and on subsequent visits, impressed me
very much with the thoroughness of the German nation, not only from a
military, but also from a civil point of view.

A captain on the Staff was detailed to be my "bear-leader," while I was
in Berlin. As we were strolling down Unter den Linden one day,
discussing the youthfulness of senior officers of the British Army, as
compared with those of the German Army, he confided to me that when he
was ordered to conduct an English Colonel, he fully expected to see an
old and grizzled veteran, whereas to his astonishment, he found me
younger than himself, who was only a Captain. I shall never forget how,
when I laughingly told him that I had jumped from Lieutenant to
Lieutenant Colonel in about eight months during the South African War,
he stopped short in the middle of the pavement, saluted me gravely and
said: "You are Napoleon!" Of course, in these days, this meteoric
flight is quite an everyday occurrence in our Army!

Among many other interesting things that the Prussian Captain showed me
was their Hall of Glory, the walls of which are covered with pictures of
famous battles and generals. While we were there I saw little parties of
Prussian recruits being taken from picture to picture, guided by
veterans. With straightened shoulders and glowing eye the old soldiers
kindled the enthusiasm of the coming warriors by recounting to them the
glorious and daring deeds performed by their forefathers on many a
well-fought field.

This, no doubt, is only one of the numerous carefully thought out
schemes of the General Staff to instil into the German nation the spirit
of military pride and glory.

I paid another visit to Germany shortly before the present war broke
out, and, soon after my return, I happened to meet in London the German
Military Attaché, Major Renner, who seemed most anxious to hear from me
what my impressions were. I suppose he wondered if I had seen much of
the vast preparations, which were even then being made, for the great
war into which Germany has plunged the world. Of all my observations
the only things I confided to him (which he noted down as if they were
of great importance!) were that I considered the abominable type used in
German newspapers and books responsible for the be-spectacled German;
that although their railway stations were wonderfully clean, yet they
were without a decent platform, and my insular modesty had been shocked
on many occasions by the amount of German leg I saw when the ladies
clambered into and out of the carriages; and lastly, that I thought the
long and handsome cloak worn by the officers might be greatly improved
by making a slit at the side, so that the hilt of the sword might be
outside, instead of inside the cloak, where not only did it make an
unsightly lump, but was hard to get at in case of urgent need.

A day or two after war was declared, I happened to be dining in London
with Mr. and Mrs. Walrond. Among the other guests was a Staff Officer
from the War Office, Major R., who is now a general. Hearing that I had
been recently in Germany, he asked me what I thought of their chances. I
told him that I felt sure that Germany would have tremendous victories
to begin with, and that I believed her armies would get to the gates of
Paris, but did not think they would capture Paris this time; and that,
although it would take us time, we would beat them eventually, for so
long as we held command of the sea, we were bound to win in the end.

Some of the guests at this dinner party have since complimented me on
the accuracy of the first part of my prophecy, and I feel absolutely
convinced that the remainder of my forecast will, in spite of all
bungling, prove equally true, always provided the Navy is given a free
hand, and allowed to do its work in its own way.

In poor, brave little Belgium also I had every opportunity given to me
by the General Staff to see their Cavalry at work; and while I was in
Brussels, Colonel Fourcault, commanding the 2nd Guides, gave me the
freedom of the barracks, where I could come and go as I liked. I became
very good friends with the officers of the regiment, and we had
discussions about Cavalry, its equipment and fighting value. On being
asked for my opinion on the relative value of the rifle as compared with
the lance and sabre, I unhesitatingly backed the rifle. I saw that the
Belgian Cavalry were armed with a small, toylike carbine and a heavy
sabre, and in the discussions which we had, I told them that in my
humble opinion they would be well advised to scrap both and adopt the
infantry rifle and a lighter thrusting sword--but above all I impressed
upon them to be sure about the rifle, as the occasions for the use of
the _arme blanche_ in future would be rare, with all due deference to
General von Bernhardi.

I was, of course, looked upon as a Cavalry leper for expressing such
heretical opinions in a Cavalry mess, but I had my revenge later on,
when Captain Donnay de Casteau of the 2nd Guides called on me at my club
during his stay in London after poor little Belgium had been crushed. He
came especially to tell me that those who were left of the regiment
often talked of the unorthodox views I had so strongly expressed and he
said: "We all had to agree that every word you told us has proved
absolutely true."

While I was in Belgium I went down to the now famous Mons, and was the
guest of the 7th Chasseurs à Cheval, where I got a thorough insight into
the interior economy of the regiment.

It has always been a profound mystery to me that our Intelligence did
not give Field-Marshal French earlier information while he was at Mons
of the fact that large German forces were marching upon him from the
direction of Tournai. Some strange and fatal inertia must have fallen
both on the French Intelligence and our own, otherwise it would have
been impossible for a large German army to have got into this
threatening position without information having been sent to the
Commander-in-Chief.

When in Spain I was privileged, owing to the courtesy of the Madrid War
Office, to see something of the Spanish Army. I cannot say that I was
deeply impressed; there was too much "_Mañana_" about it, or in other
words, "Wait and see!" From what I observed I was not at all surprised
to find it crumple up before the Americans in Cuba. It would, however,
be a glorious thing to be a colonel in the Spanish Army, as they seemed
to be able to do what was right in their own eyes.

But this was some years ago, and I understand that the Spanish Army, now
that it has got a brand-new General Staff, is to be completely
reorganised and made into a really efficient fighting force.

Of course I have many times seen the French and Italian armies at work
and play--so that altogether my knowledge of soldiers and soldiering is
somewhat catholic, and I may therefore claim to have some little right
to criticise the policy, the strategy, and the tactics of the Gallipoli
campaign.



CHAPTER II

GENERAL POLICY OF THE DARDANELLES CAMPAIGN


Many leaders of thought in England, whose convictions should certainly
carry weight, are of the opinion that the expedition to the Dardanelles
was in itself unsound, and should never have been undertaken. Now the
views of well-known practical common-sense men should not be lightly
thrust aside, but perhaps as one who has travelled and read much, and
knows the East and the questions bound up with it fairly well, I hope I
may not appear too presumptuous if I venture to disagree with those who
condemn the Dardanelles policy.

It must be remembered that although we declared war on Turkey she had
already committed several hostile acts on our Russian ally, and had
flouted us most outrageously by allowing the _Goeben_ and _Breslau_ the
freedom and protection of her waters and the resources of her arsenals.

Of course the escape of these two ships is one of the most extraordinary
bungles of the war, which it is to be hoped will be carefully gone into
at some future time, and the responsible culprit brought to book, for on
his head probably rests the blood of the countless dead in Gallipoli.

I have reason to think that it is more than doubtful whether the
mischievous activity of Enver Pasha and his satellites would have been
sufficient to induce the Turkish nation to commit an act of war against
either ourselves or Russia, but for the presence at the gates of
Constantinople of these powerful German warships.

Our ally having been attacked and we ourselves flouted it became
necessary for us, if we meant to uphold our prestige in the East, to
declare war on Turkey.

A successful war against the Ottoman Empire had immense possibilities in
it; the way to Russia would be opened, guns and munitions would have
streamed in to her through the Bosphorus, while wheat for ourselves and
our allies would have streamed out--but there was a great deal more than
this at stake, as I shall point out.

It was well known to the Foreign Office that unless we showed a strong
hand in the Near East, some of the Balkan States, who were even then
trembling in the balance, would in all probability link their fortunes
with those of the enemy. These wavering States wished to join the
Allies if they saw a reasonable chance of the Allies' success. On the
other hand Austria, backed up by the might of Germany, was at their
gates, and with Belgium as an object lesson they feared for their
country. What therefore could have been more calculated to gain them to
our side than a smashing blow which would crumple up Turkey and give us
direct communication with Russia? Had we succeeded (and we ought to have
succeeded) it is certain that Greece and Rumania would now be fighting
on our side; the astute Ferdinand would have seen on which side his
bread was buttered, and have either kept Bulgaria neutral, or made
common cause with the Allies; and those unfortunate little States,
Serbia and Montenegro, would not have been betrayed and ground to dust.

The fall of Constantinople would once more have been a great
epoch-making event, which would have changed the course of the world's
history, for with its fall our victorious army, hand in hand with
Russia, would have made a triumphant march through the Balkans, where
every State would then have rallied to our side.

This allied flood would number between two and three millions of men,
and with this irresistible force we would have burst upon the plains of
Hungary and on to the heart of the Empire. Such an advance is not new to
history, as the Turks themselves, when in the zenith of their power,
overran Austria-Hungary and were only denied the domination of Europe
under the very walls of Vienna itself, where, as everybody knows, they
were defeated by John Sobiesky. No modern Sobiesky would have been found
strong enough to deprive us of our prey, and with the fall of Vienna
Austria would have been crushed, and the war would soon have come to a
victorious end.

Even if we did not penetrate quite so far, the very fact of such a large
army advancing from the south and east would have drawn an immense
number of the enemy's troops from the Eastern and Western fronts, which
would have given the Russians, the French and ourselves an opportunity
of smashing through on those fronts and between us crushing Germany.

Yes, undoubtedly the fall of Constantinople was of vital importance, and
for once our politicians were right.

In addition to our material gains in Europe, our prestige throughout the
East would have reached a pinnacle such as it has never yet attained,
and there would have been no such nuts for us to crack as the Egyptian,
Persian, or Mesopotamian questions.

Germany would be completely hemmed in and the strangling grip of our
fleet would have been irresistible when this last link with the outer
world had been severed.

Germany's wheat supply from Rumania, copper from Serbia, cottons, fats
and other vital products from Turkey would be cut off, and economic life
in the Central Empires would in a very short time have been made
intolerable.



CHAPTER III

STRATEGY AND TACTICS OF THE DARDANELLES CAMPAIGN


Now, having recognised the tremendous issues which were involved in the
fall of Constantinople, it may be asked did the Government provide a
weapon sufficiently strong to carry out their policy? In my humble
opinion they did,--if only the weapon had been rightly handled.

Of course, whoever is to blame for the Bedlamite policy of the first
disastrous attempts by the Navy alone bears a heavy responsibility.
Beyond knocking the entrance forts to pieces, all that this premature
attack by the Fleet effected was to give the Turks ample warning of our
intentions, of which they took full advantage by making the Gallipoli
Peninsula an almost impregnable fortress and the Dardanelles a network
of mines.

But even this grave initial blunder could have been rectified, if only
sound strategy had been adopted in the combined naval and military
attack on the Dardanelles.

The problem before the strategists was, of course, to get through to
Constantinople with the Fleet, and this could only be done by forcing
the Narrows, a strip of the Dardanelles heavily fortified and only a
mile wide. It was therefore necessary to reduce the forts guarding the
Narrows, and with an army to hold the heights on Gallipoli dominating
the Dardanelles, so as to ensure the safety of the Fleet.

Having command of the seas gave us the choice of launching the attack at
any point we chose on the Turkish coast; therefore the Turks were at the
great disadvantage of having to divide their forces into several parts,
so as to guard such points as they thought might possibly be attacked.

It was known that there was a Turkish army on the Asiatic side, at the
south of Chanak, the principal Fort on the Asiatic shore of the Narrows;
also that the Bulair lines, some forty miles from the extremity of the
Peninsula, were strongly fortified and held; that a strong force was
entrenched on the southern portion of the Peninsula in the neighbourhood
of Cape Helles; and, in addition, that there was yet another Turkish
army holding the heights on the Ægean at, or near, a point now known as
Anzac.

Now, if any one will take the trouble to study the map, which will be
found at the end of this book, he will see that the key to the Narrows
is that portion of the Gallipoli Peninsula which extends across from
Anzac on the Ægean, through the heights of Sari Bair, to the
Dardanelles.

If, therefore, instead of dividing the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
(which unfortunately was the plan adopted) and having it held up or
destroyed in detail, the whole force had been thrown in its entirety at
this point, and a vigorous sledge-hammer blow delivered, I feel
absolutely confident that a crowning victory would have been gained and
the expedition would have been a glorious success.

Of the four Turkish armies the only one that could have opposed a sudden
vigorous thrust at the key position was the one at and near Anzac, and
this force we could have swept aside and crumpled up before any of the
others could possibly have come to its assistance.

That the Expeditionary Force could have been landed here is proved by
the fact that the two Australian and New Zealand Divisions did land
here, and these dauntless men, by themselves, almost succeeded in taking
Sari Bair and getting astride the Peninsula. For eight months they held
their end up, and more than held it up, against overwhelming odds. Had
they been backed up at the time of the first landing on April 25th,
1915, by the "incomparable 29th Division," one of the best the British
Army has ever seen, together with the two French Divisions, with their
hundred celebrated .75 guns, and the Royal Naval Division, no Turkish
troops at that time in the neighbourhood could for a moment have stood
up against them, and with our grip once established on the Peninsula
nothing could have shaken us off--not all the soldiers in the Ottoman
Empire.

Every Turk on the southern portion of Gallipoli must inevitably have
fallen into our hands within a few days, for it was well known that they
were but ill supplied with ammunition and food. There was no chance of
escape for them, for our Fleet commanded all the waters round Gallipoli
up to the very Narrows themselves, and nothing could possibly have
gained the Asiatic shore; while anything attempting to cross at the
Narrows would have been inevitably sunk by the artillery which we would
have mounted on the dominating heights of the Peninsula. No help could
reach them from Constantinople, for the same reason, and it would have
been in vain for them to have endeavoured to break through our lines, as
was proved over and over again in the many determined but futile
assaults they made on us in Gallipoli, when they were invariably hurled
back with enormous losses.

Once astride the Peninsula, where our length of front would be less than
seven miles, with over six men to the yard holding it, nothing could
have shaken off our strangling hold. It would only then have been a
question of directing the fire of the heavy naval guns on the Forts in
the Narrows, which would, of course, be done by direct observation, and
these strongholds would have been pounded to dust by the _Queen
Elizabeth_ and other battleships within a week, thus leaving open the
road to Constantinople. Such might have been the glorious ending of the
Gallipoli campaign if only sound strategical and tactical methods had
been employed.

It is a thousand pities that this plan of operations was not adopted,
for with such proved commanders as General d'Amade, General Birdwood and
General Hunter-Weston--thrusters all--and with such incomparable men,
there would have been no "fatal inertia" to chronicle.

It must be remembered that at the time of this landing on April 25th,
the Turks had had but little time to organise their defences and it
would then have been a much easier task to have seized the heights of
Sari Bair than when the attempt was made with raw troops later on in
August, an attempt which, even with all the drawbacks chronicled against
it, came within an ace of being a success.

Another great advantage was that the weather, when we landed in April,
was much cooler; there was also an ample rainfall, so that there would
have been no difficulty about drinking-water, a lack of which in August
proved fatal to the attempt made in that hot, dry month. We did not, of
course, rely upon a chance rainfall at the time of our landing, for, as
I shall show later on, ample provision had been made for carrying and
supplying water, at all events for the 29th Division.

Unfortunately, such a plan of campaign as I have outlined was not put
into execution. Instead, the force was split up into no less than nine
parts, and practically destroyed in detail, or brought to a standstill
by the Turks.

The Australian and New Zealand Divisions landed at Anzac, the key
position; the 29th Division beat themselves to death attacking six
different and almost impregnable positions on the toe of the Peninsula,
where, I dare to say, not a single man ought ever to have been landed;
in addition to the opposition they met with in Gallipoli they were
subjected to a rain of shells from Asia, not only at the time of landing
but throughout the whole time we wasted in occupying this utterly (from
a military point of view) useless end of the Peninsula.

The Royal Naval Division was sent somewhere in the direction of the
Bulair Lines, where it effected nothing, and the two French Divisions
made an onslaught on the Asiatic coast, which, although well conceived
and most gallantly put into execution, helped the main cause not at all.
Of course, they were invaluable in preventing the Asiatic guns from
firing on the 29th Division at the time of the landing, but then this
Division should of course have been landed at Anzac, where they would
have been out of range of those guns. Whatever Turkish force opposed the
French at Kum Kale could never have got across the Dardanelles in time
to have opposed our landing at or near Anzac.

If it had been thought necessary to make demonstrations on the Asiatic
coast, at the toe of the Peninsula, and at the Bulair Lines, this could
have been done equally well by sending the empty transports to those
places, escorted by a few gunboats, and thus have held the Turks in
position by making a pretence at throwing troops ashore at those points.

Of course, it is easy to be wise after the event, but I never did see,
and never could see, the point of dividing our force and landing on the
southern part of Gallipoli, for, once we had got astride the Peninsula
from Anzac to the Narrows, all the Turks to the south of us must have
fallen into our mouths, like ripe plums.

Napoleon has placed it on record that it is the besetting sin of British
commanders to fritter away their forces by dividing them and so laying
themselves open to be defeated in detail. It would appear that we have
not even yet taken Napoleon's maxim to heart, for if ever there was an
occasion on which it was absolutely vital to keep the whole force intact
for a mighty blow, it was on that fateful Sunday morning, April 25th,
1915, when one concentrated thrust from Anzac to the Narrows would have
undoubtedly placed in our hands the key of the Ottoman Empire.

The Dardanelles campaign will go down to history as the greatest
failure sustained by British arms, and yet no more glorious deeds have
ever been performed by any army in the world.



CHAPTER IV

FORMATION OF THE ZION MULE CORPS


From the days of my youth I have always been a keen student of the
Jewish people, their history, laws and customs. Even as a boy I spent
the greater part of my leisure hours poring over the Bible, especially
that portion of the Old Testament which chronicles battles, murders, and
sudden deaths, little thinking that this Biblical knowledge would ever
be of any practical value in after life.

It was strange, therefore, that I, so imbued with Jewish traditions,
should have been drawn to the land where the Pharaohs had kept the
Children of Israel in bondage for over four hundred years; and it was
still more strange that I should have arrived in Egypt just at the
psychological moment when General Sir John Maxwell, the
Commander-in-Chief, was looking out for a suitable officer to raise and
command a Jewish unit.

Now, such a thing as a Jewish unit had been unknown in the annals of the
world for some two thousand years--since the days of the Maccabees,
those heroic Sons of Israel who fought so valiantly, and for a time so
successfully, to wrest Jerusalem from the grasp of the Roman legions.

It had happened that there had come down to Egypt out of Palestine many
hundreds of people who had fled from thence to escape the wrath of the
Turks. These people were of Russian nationality but of Jewish faith, and
many of them strongly desired to band themselves together into a
fighting host and place their lives at the disposal of England, whom the
Jews have recognised as their friend and protector from time immemorial.
Indeed, by many it is held that the British people are none other than
some of the lost tribes; moreover, we have taken so much of Jewish
national life for our own, mainly owing to our strong Biblical leanings,
that the Jews can never feel while with us that they are among entire
strangers.

Now these people having made known their wishes to the
Commander-in-Chief, he, in a happy moment of inspiration, saw how much
it would benefit England, morally and materially, to have bound up with
our fortunes a Jewish fighting unit.

The next thing to be done was to find a suitable British officer to
command this unique force, and at the time of my arrival in Cairo,
General Maxwell had already applied for "a tactful thruster" to be
chosen from among the officers of the Indian Brigade then doing duty on
the Suez Canal.

My opportune arrival, however, coupled with a strong backing from an old
friend, Major-General Sir Alexander Godley, decided him to offer me the
command.

It certainly was curious that the General's choice should have fallen
upon me, for, of course, he knew nothing of my knowledge of Jewish
history, or of my sympathy for the Jewish race. When, as a boy, I
eagerly devoured the records of the glorious deeds of Jewish military
captains such as Joshua, Joab, Gideon and Judas Maccabæus, I little
dreamt that one day I, myself, would, in a small way, be a captain of a
host of the Children of Israel!

On the 19th March, 1915, I was appointed to my unique command, and on
the same day I left Cairo for Alexandria, where all the refugees from
Palestine were gathered together as the guests of the British
Government.

On my arrival there, I lost no time in getting into touch with the
leading members of the Jewish Community, and I found the Grand Rabbi
(Professor Raphael della Pergola), Mr. Edgard Suares, Mr. Isaac Aghion,
Mr. Piccioto and others, all most sympathetic and eager to assist me in
every possible way. Nor must I forget that an impetus was given to the
recruiting by the receipt of a heartening cablegram from Mr. Israel
Zangwill, whose name is a household word to all Zionists.

On the 23rd March, 1915, the young Jewish volunteers were paraded for
the purpose of being "sworn in" at the refugee camp at Gibbari.

It was a most imposing ceremony; the Grand Rabbi, who officiated, stood
in a commanding position overlooking the long rows of serious and
intelligent-looking lads. He explained to them the meaning of an oath,
and the importance of keeping it, and impressed upon them that the
honour of Israel rested in their hands. He then asked them to repeat
after him, word for word, the oath of military obedience to myself and
such officers as should be appointed over them, and with great
solemnity, and in perfect unison, the men, with uplifted hands, repeated
the formula.

The Grand Rabbi then delivered a stirring address to the new soldiers,
in which he compared them to their forefathers who had been led out of
Egypt by Moses, and at the end he turned to me and presented me to them
as their modern leader.

This memorable and historic scene aroused the greatest enthusiasm among
the throng of Jewish sympathisers who had come to witness this
interesting ceremony.

The sanctioned strength of the Corps in officers and men was roughly
500, with 20 riding horses for officers and the senior non-commissioned
officers, and 750 pack mules for transport work.

To assist me in commanding the Corps, I had five British and eight
Jewish officers.

The Grand Rabbi of Alexandria, a most pious, earnest and learned man,
was appointed our honourary chaplain.

I was extremely fortunate in my British officers, for although they had
never served in the Army, or knew anything about military routine, yet
they were all practical men, and, after all, at least in war-time,
everything depends upon having officers with plenty of common sense.

I had Mr. D. Gye, who was lent to me from the Egyptian Ministry of
Finance; Messrs. Carver and Maclaren, expert bankers and
cotton-brokers; and the two brothers, Messrs. C. and I. Rolo, whose
business house is known not only in Egypt, but also in the greater part
of the world.

I was, indeed, lucky in getting such good men who loyally seconded me in
everything and quickly mastered the details necessary for the running of
the Corps; nor did they spare themselves during those four weeks of
slavery which we together put in while getting the men ready for active
service.

In addition to these British officers, I had, as I have already stated,
eight Jewish officers. One of these, Captain Trumpledor, had already
been a soldier in the Russian Army, had been through the siege of Port
Arthur, where he had lost his left arm, and had been given the Order of
St. George (in gold) by the Czar for his gallantry and zeal during that
celebrated siege.

Among the N. C. O.'s and men I had every conceivable trade and calling;
highly educated men like Mr. Gorodisky, a Professor at the Lycée in
Alexandria, and afterwards promoted to commissioned rank; students of
Law, Medicine, and Divinity; mechanics of all kinds, of whom I found the
tinsmith the most useful. Even a Rabbi was to be found in the ranks,
who was able to administer consolation to the dying and burial rites to
those who were struck down when death came amongst us before the enemy
in Gallipoli. I also discovered among the enlisted soldiers a
fully-qualified medical man, Dr. Levontin, whom I appointed our surgeon
after having obtained permission to form a medical unit.

Through the kindness and practical sympathy of Surgeon-General Ford, the
Director of Medical Services in Egypt, I soon had a hospital in being,
with its tents, beds, orderlies and sanitary section.

Altogether we were a little family unit complete within ourselves.

I divided the Corps, for purposes of interior economy, into four troops,
each with a British and Jewish officer in command; each troop was again
divided into four sections with a sergeant in charge, and each section
was again subdivided into subsections with a corporal in charge; and so
the chain of responsibility went down to the lively mule himself--and,
by the shades of Jehoshaphat, couldn't some of those mules kick!! Sons
of Belial would be a very mild name for them.

One of the first things to be attended to was to find a suitable place
upon which to train the men and mules. I eventually secured an excellent
site at Wardian from Brigadier-General Stanton, then commanding at
Alexandria. Here we pitched our tents and went into camp on April 2nd,
1915.

It was no light task to get uniforms, equipment, arms, ammunition, etc.,
for such a body of men at short notice, but in a very few days I had my
men all under canvas, my horses and hundreds of mules pegged out in
lines, and the men marching up and down, drilling to Hebrew words of
command.

Never since the days of Judas Maccabæus had such sights and sounds been
seen and heard in a military camp; indeed, had that redoubtable General
paid us a surprise visit, he might have imagined himself with his own
legions, because here he would have found a great camp with the tents of
the Children of Israel pitched round about; he would have heard the
Hebrew tongue spoken on all sides, and seen a little host of the Sons of
Judah drilling to the same words of command that he himself used to
those gallant soldiers who so nobly fought against Rome under his
banner; he would even have heard the plaintive soul-stirring music of
the Maccabæan hymn chanted by the men as they marched through the camp.

Although Hebrew was the language generally used, nevertheless I drilled
the men in English also, as it was fitting that they should understand
English words of command.

The men were armed with excellent rifles, bayonets and ammunition, all
captured from the Turks when they made their futile assault on the Suez
Canal.

For our badge we had the "Magin David," an exact reproduction of the
Shield of David, such as he perhaps used when, as the Champion of
Israel, he went out to fight Goliath of Gath.

It may, perhaps, be wondered why we were equipped with rifles, bayonets
and ammunition, but this is one of the unique things about this unique
Corps that, although it was only a Mule Corps, yet it was a fighting
unit, and of this, of course, the men were all very proud.

When we were getting our equipment from Cairo, I left Lieutenant Carver
there to draw it from the Arsenal in the Citadel and bring it to
Alexandria, telling him that above all things he must never lose sight
of the gear, for if he did it would certainly be appropriated by
somebody else.

Among other things, he was drawing pack saddlery for our mules, which I
was anxious to obtain quickly in order to go on with the training of the
men.

Carver saw the pack saddles safely put into the railway wagons at Cairo,
saw the wagons locked, sealed, and consigned to me at Alexandria, but
the moment they arrived at Gibbari a prowling marauder from the Royal
Naval Division, happening to spot the wagons and see what they contained
by the ticket on the outside, induced the "Gippy" station-master to
deliver them to him, and before I even knew that they had arrived at the
station, all my pack saddles were safely on board ship and on their way
to Suez with the Naval Division!

I tracked down the culprit, who not only had to disgorge but, I
understand, to pay for the transit of the saddlery back to Alexandria;
although this may have been a lesson for the buccaneer and might for the
future make him "tread lightly" like Agag, yet it did not compensate me
for the annoying delay caused by this unblushing robbery.

The work of training went on from dawn to dark, as officers and men had
to be taught everything from the ground-floor up. Not a moment could be
wasted. Drilling and parades were the order of the day; horses and mules
had to be exercised, fed and watered three times a day; the men had to
be taught how to saddle and unsaddle them, load and unload packs; they
had also to be instructed in the use of the rifle and bayonet. Camp
kitchens had to be constructed. Horse and mule lines had to be swept and
garnished, tents cleaned out, etc., and a thousand and one things
crammed into the day's work.

Notwithstanding the zeal and energy which we all put forth to get the
Corps ready, yet had it not been for the sympathy of General Maxwell,
and the active help of his Staff Officer, Captain Holdich, I fear it
would have been impossible for us to have made the rapid progress we did
in such a short space of time. I think it must be, in its way, a record
to form, equip and train a unit of this description and have it actually
in the firing line, and doing useful work there, in a little over three
weeks!

It speaks volumes for the keenness of the men, and for the intelligent
way in which they imbibed the knowledge which was crammed into them in
such feverish haste.

After a couple of weeks' training we were specially favoured by a
notification that the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean
Expeditionary Force, General Sir Ian Hamilton, would inspect us. It was
with mixed feelings that I received this order, for, of course, it meant
a special parade, and also that the whole of the routine of drills,
etc., would have to be knocked out for one afternoon, and as every
moment was precious this was no light matter.

The Commander-in-Chief came and made his inspection a few days before he
sailed for Mudros, and was most complimentary on the workmanlike
appearance which the Corps presented.

I was delighted to receive about this time a notification that my Corps
should be held in readiness to embark for the front at an early date.

A few days before we embarked I had the privilege of partaking of the
Feast of the Passover with the Grand Rabbi and his family at Alexandria.
It will readily be understood with what feelings of deep interest I took
part in the various rites. I seemed to be living again in the days of
Moses when, in this very same land and not very far distant, the
Children of Israel sprinkled their doorposts with the blood of the
lamb, and partook of the Feast with their loins girded, their staves in
their hands, on the eve of their departure from the land of bondage. I
had to ask myself if it were all a dream. It seemed so strange that I
should be partaking of the same Feast four thousand years later on the
eve of my departure, with a number of the Children of Israel, to wander
and suffer anew in another wilderness.

Every bit of the ceremony was gone through, the eating of unleavened
bread and bitter herbs, the drinking of wine and vinegar, each
symbolical of the trials to be gone through by the Israelites before
reaching the Promised Land. All had its charm for me, and when my
hostess came round with a towel and ewer and basin, to wash my hands at
certain times during the Feast, it visualised to me as nothing else
could have done those far away days when Pharaoh ruled the land.

The Grand Rabbi had his three handsome boys at his knees, the youngest a
living image of one of Murillo's cherubs. He recounted to them in Hebrew
the story of their forefathers' sojourn in Egypt, and their subsequent
wanderings in the wilderness, as no doubt the same story has been told
by the Fathers of Israel to their children for countless generations.
"And thou shalt show thy son in that day, saying: This is done because
of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth from Egypt."

During our training period in Alexandria, we were the recipients of many
acts of kindness from the community there. The men were given gifts by a
committee of ladies, composed of the Baronne Felix de Menasce, Madame
Rolo, Madame Israel, Mesdames E. and J. Goar, and a host of others.

We had a last big parade, and marched from Wardian Camp for some three
miles through the streets of Alexandria to the Synagogue, to receive the
final blessing of the Grand Rabbi. The spacious Temple, in the street of
the Prophet Daniel, was on this occasion filled to its utmost capacity.
The Grand Rabbi exhorted the men to bear themselves like good soldiers
and in times of difficulty and danger to call upon the Name of the Lord
who would deliver them out of their adversity. His final benediction was
most solemn and impressive, and will never be forgotten by those who
were privileged to be present.

A couple of days later we received orders to embark for Gallipoli with
all possible speed. We therefore strained every nerve to get aboard in
good time and in ship-shape order.

The Corps was divided into two parts, the Headquarters and two troops
going on H. M. Transport _Hymettus_, and two troops on H. M. Transport
_Anglo-Egyptian_.

It was no easy task in so short a time to get men, mules, horses,
forage, equipment, etc., from Wardian Camp to the docks, a distance of
two or three miles, and we worked practically all day and all night
slinging horses and mules on board, tying them up in their stalls, and
storing baggage and equipment, etc., in the holds. Thirty days' forage
for the animals and rations for the men were also put under the hatches.

As one of our duties in Gallipoli would be to supply the troops in the
trenches with water, an Alexandrian firm had been ordered to make some
thousands of kerosene oil tins, the manufacture of which is a local
industry. Wooden frames had also been ordered to fit on to the pack
saddles, so as to enable the mules to carry the tins. Each mule was to
carry four of these full of water, equal to sixteen gallons. The tins
arrived in good time, but the wooden frames were late in delivery, and
held us up over a day and a half beyond our time in Alexandria Docks.

At last, having obtained delivery of the indispensable wooden crates, we
joyfully steamed out of harbour _en route_ for Gallipoli on the 17th
April, 1915.



CHAPTER V

ARRIVAL AT LEMNOS


We were not the only troops on board the _Hymettus_. There were some
gunner officers of siege batteries, and some officers and men of the
Royal Army Medical Corps; a stationary hospital with the necessary staff
of the R. A. M. C. men, as well as some other odds and ends for various
units of the Expeditionary Force already at Lemnos. I happened to be the
Senior Officer on board, so was Officer Commanding the troops during the
voyage.

I would like to mention here that the captain, chief officer, and chief
engineer, of the _Hymettus_ were most helpful in every possible way, and
I am glad to be able to pay this little tribute to them for all their
kindness to us while we were aboard.

One of the most interesting of our fellow voyagers was Captain Edmunds,
R. A. M. C., one of the medical officers in charge of the Australian
Hospital stores. He had been taken prisoner by the Germans while
attending to the wounded during the retreat from Mons, and he told us
many tales of his bad treatment at their hands. He was kept a prisoner
for a considerable time, but finally was released owing to some
interchange of medical officers between England and Germany.

The voyage to Lemnos was quite uneventful. We, fortunately, missed the
Turkish torpedo-boat that tried to sink the _Manitou_, a transport just
ahead of us. This troopship had quite an adventurous time. The
torpedo-boat stopped her and the Turkish commander, with rare humanity,
called out that he would give them ten minutes to save themselves. I am
told that there was a German officer on the bridge who was heard
quarrelling with the Turkish commander for being so lenient.

The _Manitou_ lowered her boats in a very great hurry, and unluckily a
couple of them tilted up, with the result that some fifty or sixty men
were drowned. At the end of the time limit the Turks discharged a
torpedo. Now when this missile is first fired it takes a dive before it
steadies itself on its course, and as the two vessels were close
together, luckily for the _Manitou_, the dive took the torpedo well
under her keel; the same thing happened when the second and third
torpedoes were launched; finally, as the Turk was about to open fire
and sink the troopship with his guns, a British destroyer raced up at
full speed and chased the marauder on to the rocks of a Grecian isle,
where the Turkish vessel became a total wreck.

The training of the Zionists went steadily forward on board ship, for
many of the men were still quite raw--in fact, I recruited several on
the ship a few hours before we sailed. The mules and horses took up a
great deal of time every day, but we never had one sick or sorry; and I
may say here that we never lost one from sickness all the time we were
in Gallipoli, which must, I think, be a record.

On April 20th we arrived at Lemnos and anchored just inside the entrance
of Mudros harbour in a blinding wind and rain storm. It will be
remembered that when the gods quarrelled, Jove hurled Vulcan out of
Olympus on to Lemnos, where he established a forge underground. The
morning following our arrival, one of the transports to windward of us
began to drag her anchor, so our captain weighed immediately, fearing a
collision, and we sailed right through the fleet to the opposite end of
the great land-locked harbour. Never in all my life had I seen such a
mighty armada of battleships, cruisers, destroyers, transports, etc.
The _Queen Elizabeth_ was there, looking for all the world like a
floating fortress. There were some quaint French battleships, while the
Russian cruiser _Askold_ caused universal attention, owing to her five
slim funnels. With the soldier's customary knack of giving appropriate
names, the _Askold_ was known throughout the Fleet as "the packet of
Woodbines." Our Zionists, as we sailed by, astonished her crew by
bandying words with them in Russian.

Our trip up the harbour was not to end without adventure, for, on
turning round to cast anchor, our ship ran aground on a mudbank. Here we
stuck fast and all the King's horses and all the King's men failed to
tug us off again. Time after time naval officers came along with
tug-boats and vessels of various kinds which strained to release us, but
each attempt was a hopeless failure.

On the afternoon of the 23rd, I got somewhat of a shock on being
informed that the Zion Mule Corps was to be divided. The half on the
_Hymettus_ was to go with the 29th Division, and the other half, those
already on board the _Anglo-Egyptian_, were to be sent with the
Australians and New Zealanders. Of course, this arrangement would have
been all right if these three Divisions had been landed at the same
place, but as they were to disembark some dozen miles apart it would be
impossible for me to keep an eye on both halves of the Corps, and I
greatly feared that the half away from my own personal supervision would
not prove a success, for officers, N. C. O.'s and men were entirely new
to soldiering, and it was too much to expect that they could go straight
into the firing line, after only some three weeks' training, and come
through the ordeal triumphantly without an experienced commander.

I, therefore, after many vain endeavours to get away, hailed
a passing launch, which, as a great favour, put me on board
the staff ship, the _Arcadian_, where I had an interview with the Deputy
Quartermaster-General, and begged of him not to divide the Corps, as I
feared that those away from my control would prove but a broken reed. He
told me, however, that it was impossible to alter matters, and that the
Australians and New Zealanders had had practically no transport, except
what my Corps would supply, and that in any case we would not be
separated for more than four days, because if we could not crush the
Turks in that time, between the two forces, we were going to give up
the attempt and return to our ships.

Well, we did not crush the Turks in the four days, and, having failed,
it was not so easy to get away, and the result was that, owing to lack
of experience, and mismanagement in the handling of them, the two troops
with the Australians, after a couple of weeks' service with that force,
were sent back to Alexandria, without any reference to me, and there
disbanded.

As there were no boats available, I had the greatest difficulty in
getting away from the _Arcadian_, and it was only after wasting many
valuable hours and meeting with many rebuffs, that I eventually got a
kind-hearted sailor to give me a lift back to the _Hymettus_. A few
steam launches were badly needed to enable commanding officers to go
aboard the staff ship to discuss with the chiefs of the various
departments such items as can only be settled satisfactorily at a
personal interview.

I must say that I was not at all pleased with our position on the
mudbank, where, in spite of all efforts to move us, we still remained
stuck. In the first place, I feared that we would be unable to get away
with the rest of the transports on the morning of the 25th, the date
fixed for the great attack, and even if by chance another vessel could
be found for us, it would mean transhipping all the men, horses, mules,
baggage, forage and equipment, which would be an immense labour in an
open harbour like Mudros, where it is often blowing half a gale. It is
no wonder that, as each attempt at hauling off the _Hymettus_ failed, I
grew more and more anxious as to our ultimate chance of getting away in
time to see the start of the great fight in Gallipoli.

At last, on the 24th, the naval officers engaged on the work gave up all
further attempts to haul us off, and reported the task as hopeless--at
any rate until everything was removed from the ship. In the course of an
hour I received a signal from the Deputy Quartermaster-General to
tranship all my corps, stores, etc., from the _Hymettus_ to the
_Dundrennon_, a transport lying half a mile or more away. On receipt of
this message I signalled back and asked for tugs and lighters to enable
us to effect the transfer, but, although my signallers endeavoured for
hours to attract the attention of those on the staff ship, I entirely
failed to get any reply. I finally tried to extort a response of some
sort by sending an ire-raising message to the effect that on
investigation, I found that many of the men and mules could not swim!
But my sarcasm was wasted, for the _Arcadian_ remained dumb.

This failure in the signalling arrangements was very marked all through
the two or three days we spent at Lemnos. It was practically impossible
to get any message through, and one felt completely cut off from all
communication with the staff ship. There were no arrangements for
getting about in the harbour. The ship's small boats would have been
swamped in the heavy sea, and it was practically impossible to secure a
launch.

This failure, together with the wretched signalling arrangements, gave
me serious qualms, and I could not help wondering if the muddle ceased
here, or did it extend to other and more grave matters which would
imperil the success of the expedition?

All day long I was anxiously on the look-out for a tug and lighters to
enable me to tranship to the _Dundrennon_, and at last, at about 6 P.M.,
I saw a little trawler, towing a string of half a dozen lighters, making
her way up the harbour towards us. In a few minutes they were alongside
and made fast to the _Hymettus_, but, alas! I soon discovered that,
although the lighters were for us, the tug was about to sail away again.
The only order the commander had received was to bring the lighters
alongside and make them fast to the _Hymettus_, and there his task
ended. This was a blow to me, for I felt that, if the little _Jessie_
went off, I and my Corps would be left high and dry on the Lemnos mud,
while the rest of the Expedition sailed off next morning on the great
adventure! Luckily, the commander of the _Jessie_ was a friend of the
Captain's and came on board for a yarn. After a few moments I followed
him to the Captain's cabin and, on being introduced, found that he was
Mr. A. R. Murley. I soon discovered that he was a most exceptional man
in every way, and a sailor to his finger tips. He had been Chief Officer
on board a large liner, but had resigned his post to volunteer his
services to the Admiralty for the war, and, although the position he now
held as skipper of the _Jessie_ was a very small one compared with his
last charge, yet, as he sportingly said, what did it matter so long as
he was usefully doing his bit?--and I believe he was as proud of the
_Jessie_ as if she had been a liner or a battleship.

I used all my eloquence on Mr. Murley, pointed out what a desperate
position I was in, and said that if he did not come to my aid we would,
indeed, be hopelessly stranded. The Captain of the _Hymettus_, who, by
the way, was naturally very much upset at having struck this uncharted
mudbank, ably seconded my appeal, and although Murley had been working
from dawn and had intended to return to his depot to lay in stores of
coal, water and oil, to enable him to start with the expedition at five
o'clock in the morning, he agreed to work for me throughout the night.



CHAPTER VI

A STRENUOUS NIGHT


Having once obtained Murley's consent I flew off and got officers and
men told off in reliefs, some to work on the loading up of the lighters,
others to go with the mules to the _Dundrennon_ and remain there to ship
and stow away each load as it came over during the night.

There were six lighters, and as soon as three were filled, Murley got
the little _Jessie_ hitched on and towed them off to the _Dundrennon_.
It was a joy to watch the masterly way in which he handled his tug and
manoeuvred the tow of lighters into the exact position where they were
required alongside the _Dundrennon_. Never did I see an error of
judgment made, and everything that Murley had to do went like clockwork.
He had a clear and pleasant word of command, which rang out like a bell,
and although he was "a hustler" his men never resented it; first of all,
because they knew he was top-hole at his job and, secondly, because he
was extraordinarily tactful. Tow after tow went back and forth
throughout the night--three full lighters to the _Dundrennon_ and three
empty ones back to the _Hymettus_--and didn't we just hustle those mules
into the boats, and didn't they kick and bite as they felt the slings go
round them to hoist them aloft! It would have taken us too long had we
only slung one mule at a time, so we hoisted them in couples! The
comical sight the brace of mules presented, as they were whipped off
their legs and swung up into the gloom, can well be imagined. They
kicked and plunged as they were passed over the side and lowered down
into the inky murkiness of the lighters, where they were caught and
secured at much risk by men waiting there for the purpose. Heaven only
knows how they escaped injury, for they had a very rough time of it
before they were comfortably stowed away in their new quarters on the
_Dundrennon_. I was quite prepared to hear of several casualties among
both men and mules, but the mule is a hardy beast, and the Zionist can
stand a lot of knocking about, and we had not a single man or animal
injured.

We were exceptionally fortunate in finding on board the _Dundrennon_
part of an Indian Mule Corps for service with the New Zealanders,
commanded by Captain Alexander, and I cannot be sufficiently grateful to
him for the way in which he set his men to work and helped us to put
away and tie up our equipment and mules.

I cannot say so much for the help given me by the Captain of the
_Dundrennon_, who was rather a rough customer, and curtly informed me
that he had orders to sail at five o'clock A. M. sharp, and that,
whether I was aboard or not, he meant to weigh anchor at that hour.

All night long we worked feverishly, slinging and unslinging with all
possible haste, and while I was using everybody up to breaking point in
my efforts to get through in time, Captain Edmunds, who was in charge of
the medical stores for the Australians and New Zealanders, came up to me
and told me of the hopeless plight in which he was placed. The Director
of Medical Services had ordered him to get himself, his men and his
stores as quickly as possible on board the _Anglo-Egyptian_, but here
again no means were supplied to enable the order to be carried out. "I
can hardly dare appeal to you," he continued, "to get me out of my
difficulties, for I can see that you will hardly get your own lot
transferred before five o'clock." I asked him if it was very necessary
that he should be put aboard, and he told me that, so far as he knew,
his were the only hospital stores available for the Australians and New
Zealanders.

This was a very grave matter, and although I was very loth to give up
all chance of completing the transfer of my own Corps within the time
limit, yet I felt that this was a case which, at all hazards to my own
fortunes, must be seen through, so that our gallant comrades from
Australia and New Zealand might not lack the medical necessities which I
knew would be required the moment they got into action.

I, therefore, turned my men on to loading up the hospital stores, and,
when all was ready, Murley towed us across to the _Anglo-Egyptian_,
where I eventually saw Captain Edmunds, his staff of R. A. M. C. men and
his stores safely on board.

Some months afterwards Gye received a letter from Captain Edmunds,
written from Anzac, in which he stated: "Remember me to Colonel
Patterson and tell him from me that being able to get those stores on to
the _Anglo-Egyptian_ averted what would have been an appalling calamity
from a medical point of view, as I do not know what this place would
have done without my stores the first two days."

So I think that Australia and New Zealand owe me one for the help I gave
them on that strenuous night of April 24th, when I was buried up to the
neck in work of my own. It was a great strain on my feelings of duty to
risk being left stuck on the mud, but I realised at the time that I was
doing not only what was right, but what was essential from a military
point of view; and when I read that letter from Edmunds, I felt very
glad that I had risen to the occasion and had put the needs of the
Australians and New Zealanders before my own.

By the time that the transfer was completed it was 3.30 A. M., and I
then knew that I could not possibly get the remainder of my Zionists,
mules, equipment and stores transferred to the _Dundrennon_ by the time
she was scheduled to sail. I, therefore, went to the Captain and laid my
case before him, pointing out that it was impossible to get everything
transferred in time and asking him would he delay sailing until we were
aboard. I have said that he was rather a rough type of man. Having been
for many years master of a tramp steamer, he had spent his life dealing
with rough men and doing rough work. I have, therefore, no doubt that he
thought he was answering me in quite a civil and polite way when he
told me he would see me damned before he delayed his ship five minutes.

I then asked my good friend the skipper of the _Jessie_ if he would run
me down to the staff ship, as I hoped to be able to get a written order
from somebody there, to the Captain of the _Dundrennon_, cancelling the
sailing at 5 A. M. until such time as I would have my unit complete on
board.

Off we sailed, threading our way in the dark through such of the few
warships and transport vessels as had not yet sailed, and just before
four o'clock I found myself knocking at the cabin door of a Naval
Officer. After rapping for some time, he called out "Come in," but the
door was locked, so he was obliged to get up to let me in, and I am not
surprised that his greeting to me was not exactly one of brotherly love.
When I told him of my position and asked him to give me an order
delaying the departure of the _Dundrennon_, he flatly refused to do it,
and said that the hours of departure of the ships were fixed and that he
was not the man to change the order: I would have to go to the Captain
of H. M. S. _Hussar_, who was the man actually responsible for the
sailings. I pointed out to him that by the time I reached the _Hussar_,
which was still further off, and got at the Captain, and then made my
way back to the _Dundrennon_, it would be long after five o'clock, and
there would be no _Dundrennon_ there, for the ship would have sailed! I
urged that in a special case of this kind I hoped he would over-rule the
Time-table. He was, however, most obdurate, and told me it was useless
for me to argue with him any longer. When I pointed out to him that I
had only received means of transferring my Corps late the previous
evening, and that we had been working all through the night, he snapped
at me and said, "Why do you make such a fuss about having worked all
through the night? That is nothing." I quietly told him that I had once
or twice in my life worked all night without making any fuss about it,
and that I had merely wished to impress upon him that it was not through
any fault or slackness on my part that the transfer could not be
completed in time. He was not mollified, however, and practically
marched me off to the gangway, where he turned about and made for his
cabin. But I was not to be so easily shaken off, so I promptly turned
about also and pursued him. I pointed out to him emphatically that,
unless he gave me this order, on him would rest the entire
responsibility of leaving the 29th Division in the lurch, as I remarked
that my Corps was the only one to take them up food and water, and that
if they died of thirst he would be entirely to blame. "What is the good
of sending off the _Dundrennon_" I asked, "unless she has on board the
Corps upon which so much depends? What will be said hereafter if you let
the 29th Division die of thirst?"

This last appeal moved the naval man's bowels of compassion; so without
more ado he had the office opened up, and wrote out an official order
delaying the sailing of the _Dundrennon_ until 8 o'clock. When I told
him also that the master of the _Dundrennon_ was not very helpful he at
once wrote a curt note to him as follows:

"I hear that you are not aiding Colonel Patterson in his embarkation as
much as you might. You had better do so."

I kept this note for emergency, in case the master of the _Dundrennon_
might prove obstreperous, but I had no occasion to use it.

I was delighted with my success, and so was Murley, who was with me all
the time I was endeavouring to persuade the naval man to order this very
necessary delay. It was of course no light thing to take upon himself
the responsibility of altering the Time-table. I can only say to him
"Well done." We got back to the _Dundrennon_ at a quarter to five and
were greeted by the wrathful skipper, who was up and preparing his ship
for a punctual start. I shouted up to him: "I have an order cancelling
your sailing until eight o'clock. Do you want to see it?" "I do," was
the gruff response. "Pass it up on this rope," throwing a line aboard
the _Jessie_. I stuck the order between the strands of the rope and the
skipper hauled it up, and as he read it he uttered highly flavoured
maledictions on all naval and army men, without showing any undue
partiality for either!

Now I was very glad that things had turned out so happily, but even if I
had not obtained the order for the delay of the _Dundrennon_, I still
had a trump card up my sleeve, which I had only intended to play in the
last resort, namely, to have seized the anchor winch and, at all costs,
have prevented any sailor from approaching it until I gave orders that
they might do so. I had put fifty armed men on board ship, whom I was
prepared to use for this purpose in case of necessity, as I was
determined that I should go to Gallipoli complete, even at the risk of
seizing the ship and being, later on, tried for piracy on the high
seas!

This reminds me of an incident which happened in the South African War
when I had to resort to almost similar methods. I was given orders to
entrain my squadron instantly at Bloemfontein, but instead of being sent
north we were merely shunted into the Station siding, where we had to
remain for the best part of twenty-four hours without any chance of
watering our horses. We started some time in the night, and at daybreak
the train was halted at a siding where there was a stream running close
by. I looked at my horses and found many of them down, owing to fatigue
and want of water, so I ordered the men to unbox them and take them to
water at the stream. When the guard saw this he strongly objected,
saying that the train that was coming down might pass through at any
moment, and that, as soon as it had passed, he would proceed on his way
to Johannesburg, whether the horses were back in the boxes or not. I
said: "Will you?" and he replied: "Yes, I will. I am in charge of this
train and I am going to push on."

I thereupon called up the Sergeant-Major, whispered an order to him, and
in two seconds that guard found himself a prisoner on the platform with
a soldier on each side of him, with orders to hold him fast in case he
made any attempt to get away. The watering was quietly and expeditiously
proceeded with, and meanwhile the down train passed through.

Our engine driver came along the platform to see what was the matter and
I overheard the guard telling him to proceed at once, even if he, the
guard, were left behind. I asked the driver if he meant to carry out the
guard's instructions and he replied: "Yes." I then said:
"Sergeant-Major, two more men! make this driver a prisoner."

When the watering of the horses was over I released my prisoners and
told them they could now go on. The driver refused. I said: "All right,
then. I will drive myself." The look of astonishment that came over the
driver's face when he saw me mount the footplate, confidently put my
hand on the lever and start the train, was something to be remembered.
He immediately caved in, jumped up and resumed his duties, without more
ado. Some time afterwards I heard that the guard made a bitter complaint
of my high-handedness, which eventually came before General Tucker, then
commanding at Bloemfontein, and it was a satisfaction to me to learn
that the General emphasised his approval of what I had done in one of
his choicest expressions.

Even with the extension of the time limit, I felt that it would be a
close thing if we were to get everything on board the _Dundrennon_ by
eight o'clock, so we all worked with feverish energy, and it was only by
a great spurt on the part of the _Jessie_ that we finally got our last
three lighters, loaded to their utmost capacity, made fast to the
_Dundrennon_ just before eight o'clock. I knew that it would still take
a good hour to get everything aboard, so, drawing Murley aside, I
suggested to him that he must be in need of a little refreshment after
his strenuous night, and that if he were to go to the skipper's cabin he
could, I felt sure, count on him to produce a bottle--and I added: "Make
sure that he does not come out until I give you the signal."

Murley laughingly undertook this congenial task, and when, after
everything had been stowed away, I eventually joined them at 9:10 A. M.,
I found the skipper thoroughly enjoying himself and laughing heartily at
one of Murley's impromptu yarns. Bravo, Murley! If I am ever ruler of
the "King's Navee"--and stranger things have happened--you may be sure
that you will be appointed an Admiral of the Fleet!

I don't know how to find you, but if these lines ever come under your
eye, remember that dinner that you are to have with me in London, and it
shall be of the best, Murley, of the very best.

I found, after all, that the old skipper's bark was worse than his bite.
He thawed towards me to such an extent that, when I parted from him at
Gallipoli, he sped me on my way with a present of two precious bottles
of his best whisky!--sign manual of his having taken me to his rugged
but withal kindly old heart.



CHAPTER VII

DESCRIPTION OF SOUTHERN GALLIPOLI


As I shall have to mention several places in Gallipoli, it may be well
before proceeding further to give the reader some idea of the geography
of the place.

Gallipoli is a narrow, hilly peninsula, varying from three to twelve
miles wide, running south-westward into the Ægean Sea, with the
Dardanelles, from one to four miles wide, separating it from the Asiatic
coast throughout its length of some forty miles.

As I am going to speak more particularly of the southern end of the
Peninsula, I will only describe that portion of it, as it was here that
the 29th Division landed, and the Zion Mule Corps worked.

The dominating feature is the hill of Achi Baba, some seven hundred feet
high, which, with its shoulders sloping down on the one side to the
Ægean and on the other to the Dardanelles, shuts out all further view of
the Peninsula to the northward. There are only two villages in this
area, Sedd-el-Bahr at the entrance to the Dardanelles, and Krithia, with
its quaint windmills, to the southwest of Achi Baba, somewhat
picturesquely situated on the slope of a spur, some five miles northwest
of Sedd-el-Bahr--Achi Baba itself being between six and seven miles from
Cape Helles, which is the most southerly point of the Peninsula.

A line through Achi Baba from the Ægean to the Dardanelles would be a
little over five miles, while the width at Helles is only about one and
a half miles.

A fairly good representation of this tract of country will be obtained
by holding the right-hand palm upward and slightly hollowed, the thumb
pressed a little over the forefinger. Imagine the Dardanelles running
along by the little finger up the arm, and the Ægean Sea on the thumb
side. Morto Bay, an inlet of the Dardanelles, would then be at about the
tip of a short little finger; Sedd-el-Bahr Castle at the tip of the
third finger; V Beach between the third finger and the middle finger;
Cape Helles the tip of the middle finger; W Beach between the middle
finger and the forefinger; X Beach at the base of the nail of the
forefinger; Gully Beach between the tip of the thumb and the
forefinger; Gully Ravine running up between the thumb and forefinger
towards Krithia village, which is situated half-way up to the thumb
socket; Y Beach at the first joint of the thumb; and Achi Baba in the
centre of the heel of the hand where it joins the wrist.

Anzac, where the Australians and New Zealanders landed, would be some
distance above the wrist on the thumb side of the forearm; and the
Narrows of the Dardanelles would be on the inner or little finger side
of the forearm opposite Anzac.

Imagine the sea itself lapping the lower part of the hand on a level
with the finger-nails, and then the cliffs will be represented by the
rise from the finger-nails to the balls of the fingers.

The hollowed hand gives a very good idea of the appearance of the
country, which gradually slopes down to a valley represented by the palm
of the hand. The lines on the hand represent the many ravines and
watercourses which intersect the ground.

Practically the whole of this basin drains into Morto Bay or the
Dardanelles, with the exception of Gully Ravine and the ravine running
down to Y Beach, which drain into the Ægean Sea.

A glance at the "handy" sketch will make everything clear, but it does
not pretend to strict accuracy.



CHAPTER VIII

A HOMERIC CONFLICT


Mudros Harbour was deserted as we sailed through it on our way out, for
all the warships and transports had already left. Just beyond the
harbour entrance we passed the _Anglo-Egyptian_, on the decks of which
the other half of the Zionists were crowded. We wondered what had
happened to detain her, for she was lying at anchor; but we saw nothing
amiss, and lusty cheers were given and received as we steamed past.

When we had rounded the land which guards the entrance to the harbour,
the _Dundrennon_ turned her bows northeastward and we steamed off
towards the land of our hopes and fears, through a calm sea, which
sparkled gaily in the sunshine. The soft zephyr which followed us from
the south, changed suddenly and came from the northeast, bringing with
it the sound of battle from afar. The dull boom of the guns could now be
plainly heard and told us that the great adventure had already begun.
How we all wished that the _Dundrennon_ were a greyhound of the seas
and could rush us speedily to the scene of such epoch-making events!
But, alas! she was only a slow old tramp, and going "all out" she could
do no more than twelve knots an hour; and it seemed an eternity before
we actually came close enough to see anything of the great drama which
was being enacted.

As we ploughed along the calm sea, to the slow beat of the engines, each
hour seemed a century, but at last we were able to distinguish the misty
outline of the Asiatic shore and, a little later on, we saw, coming to
meet us like an out-stretched arm and hand, a land fringed and
half-hidden by the fire and smoke which enveloped it as if some great
magician had summoned the powers of darkness to aid in its defence.

Soon battleships, cruisers and destroyers began to outline themselves,
and every few minutes we could see them enveloped in a sheet of flame
and smoke, as they poured their broadsides into the Turkish positions.
The roar of the _Queen Elizabeth's_ heavy guns dwarfed all other sounds,
as this leviathan launched her huge projectiles--surely mightier
thunderbolts than Jove ever hurled--against the foe. Every now and again
one of her shells would strike and burst on the very crest of Achi
Baba, which then, as it belched forth flame, smoke and great chunks of
the hill itself, vividly recalled to my mind Vesuvius in a rage.

The whole scene was a sight for the gods, and those of us mortals who
witnessed it and survived the day have forever stamped on our minds the
most wonderful spectacle that the world has ever seen. Half the nations
of the earth were gathered there in a titanic struggle. England, with
her children from Australia and New Zealand, and fellow subjects from
India; sons of France, with their fellow citizens from Algeria and
Senegal; Russian sailors and Russian soldiers; Turks and Germans--all
fighting within our vision, some in Europe and some in Asia.

Nor did the wonders end here, for, circling the heavens like soaring
eagles, were French and British aeroplanes, while, under the sea, lurked
the deadly submarine.

It was altogether in the fitness of things that this Homeric conflict
should have its setting within sight of the classic Plains of Troy.

Who will be the modern Homer to immortalise the deeds done this
day--deeds beside which those performed by Achilles, Hector and the
other heroes of Greece and Troy pale into utter insignificance?
Certainly a far greater feat of arms was enacted in Gallipoli on this
25th of April, 1915, than was ever performed by those ancient heroes on
the Plains of Ilium, which lay calm, green and smiling just across the
sparkling Hellespont.

Up the Dardanelles, as far as the Narrows, we could see our ships of
war, principally destroyers, blazing away merrily and indiscriminately
at the guns, both on the European and Asiatic shores. The sea was as
calm as a mill-pond round Cape Helles--the most southerly point of the
Peninsula; the only ripple to be seen was that made by the strong
current shot out through the Straits. All round the men-of-war Turkish
shells were dropping, sending up veritable waterspouts as they struck
the sea, for, luckily, very few of them hit the ships. It was altogether
the most imposing and awe-inspiring sight that I have ever seen or am
likely to see again.

We were under orders to disembark, when our turn came, at V Beach, a
little cove to the east of Cape Helles. As we approached near to our
landing-place, we could see through the haze, smoke and dust, the gleam
of bayonets, as men swayed and moved hither and thither in the course
of the fight, while the roar of cannon and the rattle of the
machine-guns and rifles were absolutely deafening. We could well imagine
what a veritable hell our brave fellows who were attacking this
formidable position must be facing, for, in addition to rifle and
machine-gun fire from the surrounding cliffs, they were also at times
under a deadly cannonade from the Turkish batteries established on the
Asiatic shore.

The warships were slowly moving up and down the coast blazing away
fiercely at the Turkish strongholds, battering such of them as were left
into unrecognisable ruins.

We in the transports lay off the shore in four parallel lines, each
successive line going forward methodically and disembarking the units on
board as the ground was made good by the landing parties.

We watched the fight from our position in the line for the whole of that
day, and never was excitement so intense and long-sustained as during
those hours; nor was it lessened when night fell upon us, for the roll
of battle still continued--made all the grander by the vivid flashes
from the guns which, every few moments, shot forth great spurts of
flame, brilliantly illuminating the inky darkness. Sedd-el-Bahr Castle
and the village nestling behind it were fiercely ablaze, and cast a
ruddy glare on the sky.

The next day, from a position much closer inshore, we watched again the
terrible struggle of the landing-parties to obtain a grip on the coast.
We were one and all feverish with anxiety to land and do something--no
matter how little--to help the gallant fellows who were striving so
heroically to drive the Turk from the strong positions which he had
carefully fortified and strengthened in every possible way.

A most bloody battle was taking place, staged in a perfect natural
amphitheatre, but never had Imperial Rome, even in the days of Nero
himself, gazed upon such a corpse-strewn, blood-drenched arena.

This arena was formed partly by the sea, which has here taken a
semicircular bite out of the rocky coast, and partly by a narrow strip
of beach which extended back for about a dozen yards to a low rampart
formed of sand, some three or four feet high, which ran round the bay.
Behind this rampart the ground rose steeply upwards, in tier after tier
of grassy slopes, to a height of about 100 feet, where it was crowned by
some ruined Turkish barracks. On the right, this natural theatre was
flanked by the old castle of Sedd-el-Bahr, whose battlements and towers
were even then crumbling down from the effects of the recent bombardment
by the Fleet. To the left of the arena, high cliffs rose sheer from the
sea, crowned by a modern redoubt. Barbed wire zig-zagged and
criss-crossed through arena and amphitheatre--and such barbed wire! It
was twice as thick, strong and formidable as any I had ever seen.

The cliffs and galleries were trenched and full of riflemen, as were
also the barracks, the ruined fort, and Sedd-el-Behr Castle.
Machine-guns and pom-poms were everywhere, all ready to pour a withering
fire on any one approaching or attempting to land on the beach.

It is small wonder, therefore, that so few escaped from that terrible
arena of death. Indeed, the wonder is that any one survived that awful
ordeal.

The little cove was peaceable enough on the morning of the 25th, when
the Transport _River Clyde_ steamed in. It was part of the scheme to run
her ashore at this beach and, as it was known that the venture would be
a desperate one, what was more fitting than that she should be filled
with Irish soldiers (the Dublins and Munsters)--regiments with great
fighting records? With them was also half a battalion of the Hampshire
Regiment. Special preparations had been made to disembark the troops as
quickly as possible. Great holes had been cut in the iron sides of the
_River Clyde_, and from these gangways made of planking, which were of
course lashed to the ship, sloped down in tiers to the water's edge.
From the ends of these gangways a string of lighters stretched to the
shore to enable the men to rush quickly to land.

In addition to those on the _River Clyde_, three companies of the Dublin
Fusiliers were towed to the beach in open boats and barges by little
steam pinnaces. It had been intended that these should steal in during
the dark hours just before dawn, but, owing to miscalculations of the
speed of the current, or some other cause, the boats did not arrive in
time and only reached the shore at the same moment that Commander Unwin,
R. N., of the _River Clyde_, according to the prearranged plan, coolly
ran his vessel aground. This manoeuvre must have greatly astonished the
Turks, but not a sound or move did they make, and it seemed at first as
if the landing would not be opposed. As soon, however, as the Munsters
began to pour from her sides, a perfect hail of lead opened on the
unfortunate soldiers, who were shot down in scores as they raced down
the gangway. Some who were struck in the leg stumbled and fell into the
water, where, owing to the weight of their packs and ammunition, they
went to the bottom and were drowned. For days afterwards these
unfortunate men could be seen through the clear water, many of them
still grasping their rifles.

The men in the boats suffered equally heavily and had even less chance
of escape. Many were mown down by rifle fire and sometimes a shell cut a
boat in two and the unfortunate soldiers went to the bottom, carried
down by the weight of their equipment.

The sailors who were detailed to assist in the landing performed some
heroic deeds. Theirs was the task of fixing the lighters from the
gangways of the _River Clyde_ to the shore. Even in ordinary times it
would be a very difficult task, owing to the strong current which sweeps
round from the Dardanelles, but to do it practically at the muzzle of
the enemy's rifles demanded men with the hearts of lions. Scores were
shot down as they tugged and hauled to get the lighters into position.
Scores more were ready to jump into their places. More than once the
lighters broke loose and the whole perilous work had to be done over
again, but our gallant seamen never failed. They just "carried on."

Commander (now Captain) Unwin was awarded the Victoria Cross for
fearlessly risking his life on more than one occasion in endeavouring to
keep the lighters in position under the pitiless hail of lead.

Those naval men whose duty it was to bring the Dublins ashore in small
boats were shot down to a man, for there was no escape for them from
that terrible fire. Both boats and crew were destroyed, either on the
beach, or before they reached it.

In spite of the rain of death some of the Dublins and Munsters succeeded
in effecting a landing and making a dash for shelter from the tornado of
fire under the little ridge of sand which, as I have already mentioned,
ran round the beach. Had the Turks taken the precaution of levelling
this bank of sand, not a soul could have lived in that fire-swept zone.
More than half of the landing-party were killed before they could reach
its friendly shelter and many others were left writhing in agony on that
narrow strip of beach. Brigadier-General Napier and his Brigade Major,
Captain Costeker, were killed, as was also Lieut.-Colonel Carrington
Smith, commanding the Hampshires; the Adjutants of the Hampshires and of
the Munsters were wounded and, indeed, the great majority of the senior
officers were either wounded or killed.

Many anxious eyes were peering out over the protected bulwarks of the
_River Clyde_, and among them was Father Finn, the Roman Catholic
Chaplain of the Dublins. The sight of some five hundred of his brave
boys lying dead or dying on that terrible strip of beach was too much
for him, so, heedless of all risk, he plunged down the gangway and made
for the shore. On the way, his wrist was shattered by a bullet, but he
went on, and although lead was spattering all round him like hailstones,
he administered consolation to the wounded and dying, who, alas! were so
thickly strewn around. For a time he seemed to have had some miraculous
form of Divine protection, for he went from one to another through shot
and shell without receiving any further injury. At last a bullet struck
him near the hip, and, on seeing this, some of the Dublins rushed out
from the protection of the sandbank and brought him into its shelter.
When, however, he had somewhat recovered from his wound, nothing would
induce him to remain in safety while his poor boys were being done to
death in the open, so out he crawled again to administer comfort to a
poor fellow who was moaning piteously a little way off; and as he was in
the act of giving consolation to the stricken man, this heroic Chaplain
was struck dead by a merciful bullet.

Father Finn has, so far, been granted no V.C., but if there is such a
thing in heaven, I am sure he is wearing it, and His Holiness Benedict
XV might do worse than canonise this heroic priest, for surely no saint
ever died more nobly: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man
lay down his life for his friends."

The Turkish position was so strong and they were able to pour down such
a concentrated fire from pit, box, dress-circle, and gallery of their
natural theatre, that every man of these gallant Irish regiments who
showed himself in the open was instantly struck down. So hot and
accurate was this close range Turkish fire that the disembarkation from
the _River Clyde_ had to be discontinued.

The little body of men who had escaped death and ensconced themselves
under the sandbank kept up a lively fire on the Turks as long as their
ammunition lasted, but there they had to remain for the best part of
thirty-six hours, more or less at the mercy of the enemy. An attempt to
dislodge them was, however, easily repelled by fire from the warships,
as well as from the machine-guns on the decks of the _River Clyde_.

It was not until after nightfall that the remainder of the Irishmen
could disembark, and then all the units had to be reorganised to enable
them to make an attack on the formidable Turkish trenches on the
following morning.

Practically every officer of the Dublins and Munsters was either killed
or wounded, very few escaped scot free. The Dublins were particularly
unfortunate, for at another landing-place, Camber Beach, close by
Sedd-el-Bahr village, out of 125 men landed, only 25 were left at
midday. Nevertheless, the fragments of the two battalions were pulled
together by Lieut.-Colonel Doughty-Wylie and Lieut.-Colonel Williams,
assisted by Captain Walford, R. A., Brigade Major. It will be readily
understood what an arduous task it was to reorganise men who for over
twenty-four hours had been subjected to the most murderous and incessant
fire that ever troops had had to face; but nothing is impossible when
really determined men make up their minds that it must be done, and
early morning of the 26th April found the Dublins and Munsters and some
of the Hampshires, led by Doughty-Wylie and Walford, dashing at the
Turkish trenches, which they carried at the point of the bayonet. They
rushed position after position, and by noon Sedd-el-Bahr village was in
our hands, and here the gallant Walford was killed. Sedd-el-Bahr Castle
yet remained to be taken, and it was while leading the final attack on
the keep of this stronghold that the heroic Colonel Doughty-Wylie fell,
mortally wounded, at the moment of victory. The posthumous honour of the
Victoria Cross was granted to these two officers to commemorate their
glorious deeds.

At the other landing-places the fighting had also been very fierce. At W
Beach the Lancashire Fusiliers had a terribly difficult task in storming
an almost impregnable position, which had been carefully prepared
beforehand by the Turks. The high ground overlooking the beach had been
strongly fortified with trenches; land mines and sea mines had been
laid; wire entanglements extended round the shore and a barbed network
had also been placed in the shallow water. Like V Beach it was a
veritable death trap, but the brave Lancashires, after suffering
terrible losses, succeeded in making good the landing and drove the
Turks out of their trenches. In commemoration of their gallantry this
Beach was afterwards known as Lancashire Landing.

The 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers under Colonel Casson were able
to land at S Beach, Morto Bay, and seize the high ground near De Tott's
Battery, to which they tenaciously held on until the main body had
driven the Turks back, when they joined hands with the troops from V
Beach and continued the advance.

X Beach was stormed by the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers and part of the
Anson Battalion Royal Naval Division, who drove before them such Turks
as they found on the cliffs. They were reinforced by two more Battalions
of the 87th Brigade, and after some heavy slogging they eventually got
into touch with the Lancashire Fusiliers and Worcesters and so eased the
pressure on V Beach by threatening the Turkish flank.

The landing on Y Beach was effected by the King's Own Scottish Borderers
and the Plymouth Battalion of the Royal Marines. These splendid fellows
forced their way into Krithia village, but want of ammunition and
reinforcements obliged them to fall back to the beach, where they were
almost overwhelmed by the enemy and lost more than half their numbers;
eventually they were compelled to re-embark, but not before they had
done immense damage to the Turks and considerably helped the troops who
were forcing the other landings.

Meanwhile the two Australian-New Zealand Divisions were engaged in the
perilous enterprise of forcing a landing in the face of a large Turkish
force at a place now known as Anzac (this word being formed from the
initial letters of Australian-New Zealand Army Corps). In the dark hour
before the dawn some four thousand of these splendid fighters were towed
in silence towards the shore, and here again it seemed as if they would
meet with no opposition; but not so--the Turk was not to be caught
napping, and, while the boats were still some way from land, thousands
of Turkish soldiers rushed along the strip of beach to intercept the
boats, and the heavy fire which they opened caused very severe
casualties in the ranks; nothing, however, could daunt Colonel Maclagan
and the men of the 3rd Australian Brigade; the moment the boats touched
the shore these dare-devils leaped into the water and with irresistible
fury drove the Turks before them at the point of the bayonet. Nothing
could stand up against their onslaught, and by noon, having been
reinforced, they had "hacked" their way some miles inland, put several
Krupp guns out of action, and if they had been supported by even one
more Division, the road to the Narrows would undoubtedly have been won.
As it was, owing to lack of sufficient men to hold what they had made
good, they were compelled to retire to the ridges overlooking the sea,
and there for eight months they held the Turks at bay and hurled back,
with frightful losses, every assault made on their position. Oh, if only
the 29th Division had also been landed here, what a sweeping victory we
would have won!



CHAPTER IX

THE ZION MULE CORPS LANDS IN GALLIPOLI


The beach, cliffs and Castle were now in our hands, and disembarkation
for the remainder of the army was possible. While the great battle for
the landing was going on, we had been fretting and fuming at being left
so long idle spectators. Thinking that it was high time we should
disembark, and finding that no orders came along for us, I felt that in
order to get a move on I must make a personal effort. I therefore hailed
a trawler which happened to be passing, and got it to take me over to
the _Cornwallis_, on which I knew General Hunter-Weston, the Commander
of the 29th Division, had his temporary headquarters.

The General was glad to see me, and said I had turned up just in the
very nick of time, for my Zion men were urgently required ashore to take
ammunition, food and water to the men in the firing line. He appealed to
Admiral Wemyss, who was close by, to detail trawlers and lighters to get
my Corps ashore as quickly as possible. The Admiral very kindly told
off a naval officer to come with me, and he in his turn found a trawler
and some horse boats which were soon alongside the _Dundrennon_.

From two to six o'clock P. M. we were busily employed loading up and
sending mules and equipment ashore. I noticed that the officer in charge
of our trawler was a bit of a bungler at his job; time after time he
would fail in his judgment; when getting the barges alongside he had
repeatedly to sail round and round the _Dundrennon_ with his tow before
he got near enough for a rope to be cast; he was not a regular naval
man--just a "dug-out." How I longed then for my friend Murley!

I must say here that in my humble opinion the Navy failed us badly in
the matter of tugs, lighters and horse boats; there were not nearly
enough of these, and we could have done with three times the number. My
Corps, which was most urgently wanted by the General, took three days to
disembark, in spite of our most strenuous efforts to get ashore as
quickly as possible. The delay was entirely due to the lack of tugs, for
it was only now and then that a trawler could be spared to haul us
inshore. We were sadly held up and kept waiting for hours after our
boats had been loaded up, ready to be towed ashore.

Who was responsible for this shortage I do not know. It is, of course,
quite possible that the Navy provided all the trawlers requisitioned for
by the Army.

I had taken the precaution while on the ship to fill all my tins with
fresh drinking water, and these had to be unloaded by hand from the
lighters. To do this I arranged my men in a long line, stretching the
whole length of the temporary pier from the lighters to the beach, and
in this manner the cans of water were rapidly passed ashore from hand to
hand.

While we were engaged on this work the guns from Asia were making very
good shooting, shells striking the water within a few yards of us, just
going over our heads, a little to the right or a little to the left, but
always just missing. I watched my men very carefully to see how they
would stand their baptism of fire, and I am happy to be able to say
that, with one solitary exception, all appeared quite unconcerned and
took not the slightest heed of the dangerous position they were in. The
one exception was a youth from the _Yemen_, who trembled and chattered
with nervousness; but when I went up to him, shook him somewhat
ungently, and asked him what was the matter, he bent to his work and the
cans passed merrily along. In fact, everybody there, especially the
naval men who helped us to catch our mules as they jumped from the horse
boats into the sea, treated the cannonade from Asia as a joke, and every
time a shell missed a hearty laugh went up at the bad shooting of the
Turkish gunners. It was only a mere fluke, however, that the shells did
not hit the target aimed at, because, as a matter of fact, the shooting
was particularly good and only missed doing a considerable amount of
damage by a few yards each time. We were exceedingly fortunate in not
losing a single man during the whole period of disembarkation.

Practically the first officer I met as I stepped ashore was Colonel
Moorehouse, whom I had not seen for years, and he was most helpful in
the present emergency. I found that he was in charge of the landing
operations on the beach, and I believe he had given up a Governorship,
or some such billet, in West Africa to do his bit in the Dardanelles.

While we were disembarking, General d'Amade, who was commanding the
French Corps Expéditionnaire, stepped ashore and soon afterwards the
French troops began to pour on to the beach.

During the great battle which took place on the 25th and 26th for the
possession of V Beach, the French battleships and gunboats, together
with the Russian cruiser _Askold_, had been battering down the fortress
of Kum Kale on the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles, some two and a half
miles in a direct line from Sedd-el-Bahr.

In the face of much opposition the French troops forced a landing, and
after some heavy fighting defeated the Turks and captured many hundreds
of prisoners. There is no doubt that this diversion averted much of the
shell fire which would otherwise have been concentrated on those of us
landing at V Beach. Having driven the Turks out and effectively
destroyed Kum Kale, the French troops were re-embarked hurriedly,
brought across the Dardanelles, landed at V Beach in feverish haste, and
flung into the thick of the fight which was still raging just north of
the village of Sedd-el-Bahr.

I watched them disembark, and it was magnificent to see the verve and
dash which the French gunners displayed in getting their beloved .75s
into action.

Our naval men helped to bring the guns ashore, but the moment the
Frenchmen got them there they had them away and in action on the ridge
to the north of the amphitheatre in an incredibly short space of time.

As soon as we had got a couple of hundred mules ashore, I was ordered to
march them off to W Beach, which was on the western side of Cape Helles.
Having had some experience of the ways of soldiers on active service, I
knew that we should have to keep a very sharp eye on our gear as it came
ashore, otherwise it would be appropriated by the first comer. I
therefore left Lieutenant Claude Rolo on the beach to look after the
mules, horses and stores as they were disembarked, and incidentally to
dodge the shells which more than once covered him with sand but did no
further damage. I had left Lieutenant Gye on board the _Dundrennon_ to
see to the work of loading up the barges.

On the way to W Beach we were fired on by Turkish riflemen who had not
as yet been driven very far away from the shore, but fortunately we
sustained no damage.

The Lancashire Fusiliers, as I have already described, had a terribly
difficult task in forcing their way on to W Beach, and the moment I saw
it I could well realise what an arduous undertaking it must have been.
It looked, like V Beach, an impossibility, but the Lancashire lads could
not be denied, and all honour to them for having stormed such a fearsome
stronghold. By the time I got there there was already a huge stock of
ammunition and supplies piled up on the shore, and these we at once
began to load up on the mules to take out to the men in the firing line,
who were constantly driving the Turks before them further and further
from the beach.

I shall never forget my first night in Gallipoli. We loaded up
a couple of hundred mules, each mule carrying about two thousand
cartridges, and with Major O'Hara (now Lieut.-Colonel O'Hara), who
was the D. A. Q. M. G., as guide, we marched off into the darkness
to distribute ammunition along the front.

Major O'Hara came with me, partly because he knew the way, and partly
because he wanted to make sure what were the most urgent needs of the
men in the trenches. We trudged together all through that trying night,
so it is not much to be wondered at that we almost quarrelled once or
twice--but I will say here that of all the men I met in Gallipoli there
was not one who was so capable at his job, or worked so hard to see
that everything for which he was responsible ran smoothly. Oh, if only
our Army could be staffed with O'Haras, what a wonderfully efficient
machine our Army would be!

Soon after we left W Beach in the dark it began to pour, and it poured
and poured solidly for about five hours.

On we squelched through the mud over unknown tracks with the water
streaming down our bodies and running in rivulets out of our boots. As
soon as the rain ceased a biting cold wind set in, which froze us to the
marrow. However, the vigorous walking, helping up a fallen mule,
readjusting the loads, getting out of holes into which we had tumbled,
etc., kept our circulation going, and when we arrived at a place known
as Pink Farm, the furthest point to which we had yet advanced, there was
a sudden alarm that the Turks were approaching. Nobody knew then where
our front line was, or whether it linked up across the Peninsula. There
were many gaps in it through which the Turks, if they had had initiative
enough, might have forced their way and inflicted a considerable amount
of damage upon us before we could have organised adequate resistance.

On the first alarm of the approaching Turks I sent a man out to
reconnoitre, formed my little escort in open order, prone on the grass,
and asked Major Moore, D. S. O. of the General Staff, now
Brigadier-General Moore, to bring some men from the trenches, if he
could find them, as quickly as possible, for I had no desire to lose my
convoy at such an early stage of the proceedings.

Gongs could plainly be heard sounding, apparently close by, as though it
was some prearranged signal of the enemy, but whatever the reason we saw
nothing of the Turks, and no attack was made, so we unloaded our
ammunition and were then sent back for more by Colonel B. to Lancashire
Landing. Now Colonel B. of the Headquarters Staff told me personally on
no account to bring back supplies, but only ammunition, as no supplies
were needed at this place for the present. Unluckily O'Hara was not on
the spot when Colonel B. gave me these explicit and reiterated
instructions, so when we got back to the beach he wished to load up
supplies, but this I refused to do owing to the specific orders I had
received. O'Hara was furious but I was obdurate, so, of course, we
loaded up with ammunition.

Back again we trudged steadily through rain and slush towards the Pink
Farm. When we had got about half-way, we were met by a Staff Officer who
told us,--to O'Hara's great satisfaction,--that it was not ammunition
which was now wanted at the Pink Farm but supplies. I am not at all sure
that I did not overhear O'Hara call me "an obstinate damn fool," but it
is as well to be hard of hearing as it is to possess a blind eye on
occasions.

The upshot was that we had to return to the beach, unload the
ammunition, load up boxes of tinned beef, cheese, biscuits and jam, and
then back again along the "sludgy squdgy" road we trudged once more
towards that never-to-be-forgotten Pink Farm. Again we got about
half-way there, when yet another Staff Officer met us, who told us that
the supplies were not wanted by the brigade holding the line at the Pink
Farm, but by the brigade holding the line on the extreme right, where
they were urgently required, and he ordered us to take them there
without delay. It was now my turn to chuckle, and I observed to O'Hara
that there "really must be a damn fool somewhere about after all."

Without a murmur we turned back once more, for, not knowing the country,
nor where we might bump into the enemy, we could not take a short cut
across, so were forced to return to W Beach. From thence we went along
the track by the Helles cliff which took us to the top of V Beach; our
route then led us through Sedd-el-Bahr village, where we were warned by
a French soldier that we would be sniped by Turks as there were many
still lurking there.

When we got safely clear of this jumpy place, we found ourselves wending
our way through some Turkish cemeteries, the tall, white, thin
headstones, with their carved headlike top knobs, looking exactly like
ghosts in the gloomy light. We passed through cypress groves, along
sandy lanes, and rugged paths, fell into and scrambled out of dug-outs,
ditches and dongas, where mules and loads tumbled about indiscriminately
to the accompaniment of much profanity.

At one spot on this adventurous journey we came upon a Battalion of
Zouaves crouching down for rest and shelter in the lee of a hedge. The
sergeant in charge of my escort took them for Turks, and only that I was
happily on the spot when he made this startling discovery, he would
undoubtedly have opened fire on the Frenchmen. I must say that they
looked exactly like Turks, owing to their semi-barbaric uniform.

When we got the convoy to where we thought the front line ought to be,
we failed to find it, and as we were very hazy as to whether we would
run into our own men or the Turks, we left the convoy under the cover of
some trees, and O'Hara and I went off to reconnoitre. I believe we must
have passed through a gap in our own line. At all events we wandered for
some time, making many pauses to listen for any sound that might guide
us, but the weird thing about it was, that the whole place was now still
as death, though we must have been quite close to both armies. No doubt
they were dead beat after the recent terrific fighting they had come
through.

At last we luckily struck our own men, lining a shallow trench which had
apparently been very hastily thrown up, for it scarcely afforded enough
cover to shelter a decent-sized terrier. The men were so exhausted with
the continued strain and stress of the battle, which had been continuous
since the morning of the 25th, that they slept as if they were dead. The
sentries, of course, were on the alert, looking out grim and watchful at
the Turkish line, which we could just make out in the struggling
moonlight, apparently not more than two hundred yards away.

Telling the sentinel in a low voice, so as not to draw the Turkish fire,
that we had brought up a convoy of supplies, and that we were about to
unload them among some trees a couple of hundred yards further back, we
ordered him to pass this information on to the Brigade Headquarters, so
that arrangements might be made for the distribution of the food before
daybreak.

We then turned back, and taking the mules out of the shelter of the
trees where we had left them, we brought the supplies as close as
possible to the firing line, where we stacked them under cover.

Here again O'Hara's thoroughness and readiness to help in all things
came out, for he was one of the busiest men in the convoy, helping to
unload, putting the boxes in order, and removing our pack-ropes from the
cases, for, of course, these always had to be untied and taken back with
the mules.

We saw some pathetic sights on our way back to W Beach; we were obliged
to stop every now and again so as not to bump into the wounded men who
were being carried down on stretchers to the ships all night long by the
devoted R. A. M. C. orderlies.

When we topped the crest overlooking W Beach, a gleam of light was
coming up out of Asia, telling us of the approach of dawn, and we felt,
as we wearily strode down the slope to the beach, that we had done a
hard and useful night's work.

Now, when I had disembarked from the _Dundrennon_ soon after midday, I
had no idea that I would be hustled off to the trenches at an instant's
notice. I had expected to go back to the ship again for at least one
more load of mules, and I had therefore nothing with me except what I
stood up in--no food or equipment of any kind, and beyond a dry biscuit
and some cheese, I had had nothing to eat since lunch-time, so that it
can be well imagined I was fairly ravenous when I had finished that
night's trek. There was no food to be had just yet, however, and in any
case I had to see to the watering and feeding of my mules, for they,
like myself, had been without food or drink since the previous midday.

This job was finished by about 7 A. M. and soon after that I joined
O'Hara at an excellent breakfast, after which I felt ready for another
strenuous day.



CHAPTER X

A NIGHT UP THE GULLY RAVINE


Feeling greatly refreshed after my breakfast with O'Hara, I went to
select a suitable place for our camp, or rather bivouac, for, of course,
we had no tents. Finding a snug little valley which stood back a couple
of hundred yards from W Beach and which ran up under the protection of a
rise in the ground, which gave us some slight cover from the Turks, I
put all hands on to prepare and level the ground for the horse and mule
lines.

We had been rushed to the trenches in such haste with the ammunition and
supplies that we had been unable to bring any rope with which to tether
the mules, so, seeing some ship's rope lying on the beach, I asked the
naval officer in charge to let me have it for my lines. He not only did
this, but lent me some of his men as well to carry it up to my little
camp, where they helped me to fix it in the ground. I am sorry to say I
forget this officer's name, as he was most helpful to me in many ways,
and I never had to appeal in vain to him, or, as a matter of fact, to
any other naval officer for assistance.

Throughout the day there was more than enough to do. The ground had to
be levelled off, so as to make comfortable the mule and horse lines.
Ropes had to be pegged down and the ends of them buried in the ground,
tied round sacks filled with clay, drains trenched out, and the larger
stones thrown out of the way. Then the mules had to be fed and watered,
and I feared the latter was going to be a difficult and dangerous
business, for the only water discovered so far came under Turkish fire.
Luckily for me, however, one of my men, Schoub, my farrier sergeant,
discovered a deep well carefully hidden at the corner of a demolished
building, standing at the head of the little valley where we were
camped. I feared that it might have been poisoned, so to solve my doubts
I went to the Provost Marshal, and borrowed from him one of the captured
Turkish prisoners. I felt sure that a Turk coming from these parts would
know the natural taste of the water, so I took him with me to the well
and asked him to drink. He was rather loth to do this at first, but at
last, with a little persuasion, he took a sip in his mouth, rolled it
for a moment on his tongue, then, nodding approval, drank freely of the
water. As he survived the ordeal, I thought it was all right to go ahead
with the mules, and later on we used the well ourselves, for it was
excellent water.

All day long parties were coming and going between V and W Beaches;
forage, water tins, supplies, etc.--everything had to be brought to us
on our pack mules, and the day was all too short to do the many things
that landing in a new country in time of warfare makes necessary. Not
much time was wasted over the cooking of food; biscuits, jam, cheese,
tinned beef, required no fires; only a little tea was boiled in our
hastily-made camp kitchens. The only fuel to be had was obtained by
breaking up some of our old packing-cases; the Turks had cleared off
everything--not a man, woman, child or beast was left on the place--but
this did not worry us, as we were always able to rustle for ourselves.

Before dark that night we began to load up another big convoy of
munitions and supplies for the trenches.

This proved to be one of the most weird nights of many that we have
spent tramping up and down the peninsula.

Of course, we had to move off after dark, otherwise the Turks would have
concentrated their artillery on us and we should all have been
destroyed. We went from W to X Beach, along the Ægean shore, falling
into trenches and dug-outs on the way, for the night was very dark,
while every now and again we were caught up in Turkish wire
entanglements. Then from X Beach we slowly pioneered our way through the
trackless scrub and undergrowth until we came to the cliff which
overlooks Gully Beach, at the mouth of a huge ravine which here opened
into the Ægean Sea, some miles northwest of W Beach.

On the way we had to go through some of our own guns, which were in
action on this side of the Peninsula, and I had to request the Battery
Commander to cease fire while we were filing past, as I feared the roar
and flash of the guns might stampede the mules. He let us through in
silence, but we had scarcely got fifty yards from the muzzles when out
belched the guns again, the roar of which at such close range, to my
surprise, did not in the least upset the mules. I shall never forget our
struggling down to the sea from the cliffs above the Gully. Of course
there was no road then and we had to reconnoitre ahead in the dark
every yard of the way. Often I had to turn back and call out to the men
to halt as I found myself dangling on the edge of the cliff, holding on
to the roots of the gorse, which fortunately grew there in profusion.
After many mishaps, mules and supplies falling about among the ravines
which scored the face of the cliff, we eventually reached the beach.

Then began our march up the bed of the ravine, and although the Gully
was very wide and there was ample room to march either to right or left
of the stream, yet we knew nothing of this, for the ground was new to us
and everything was pitch dark, so the only sure way of getting up the
ravine in safety was to walk in the river bed. I led the way, expecting
all the time either to fall into a waterhole or be shot by an ambuscade
of Turks. Cliffs loomed up on either side of us to a height of a hundred
or more feet, and there was nothing to be seen but the faint twinkle of
the stars overhead.

Now and again I called a halt to reconnoitre and listen for any
suspicious movements ahead, as it was a most likely spot in which to be
ambushed by the enemy. So far as I knew the Turks were in possession of
the bank to my left, and all that part of the country right up to
Anzac, where the Australians had landed. For a time everything was quiet
as we splashed our way along, there being a lull just then in the
fighting; all of a sudden it broke out again with feverish intensity.
The Gully Ravine made a turn at one part of its course which took us
right between the line of fire of the two opposing forces. Shells from
our own guns screamed and passed safely over the ravine, but the shells
from the Turkish batteries often burst exactly overhead, scattering
shrapnel all round, at other times plunking into the cliff on our right
and smothering us with clay and gravel. The rattle of musketry was like
the continuous roll of kettledrums, and considering all our
surroundings, and the fierce fight that was going on, it was altogether
a night to be remembered.

At last we reached the troops holding the front line; there were no
supports or reserves, so far as I could see; every man had been put into
the firing line, owing to the terrible losses that had been sustained.

Here in the dark, with shot and shell flying all round, we unpacked our
mules and handed over the ammunition and food to the brigade.

I was right glad to be able to turn back and get my convoy safely away
from the gloomy depths of this uncanny ravine.

We had again to climb the cliffs when we got back to the sea at the
gully-mouth, and at the top again to negotiate our guns, which were
still blazing away for all they were worth. However, by dint of much
shouting when I had crawled close enough to be heard, the gunners ceased
fire just long enough to enable us to slip through.

These two nights are fair examples of the work done in those early days
by the Zion Mule Corps, at that time the only transport corps on the
Peninsula at Helles.



CHAPTER XI

HOW ZION MULES UPSET TURKISH PLANS


It will be remembered that I left Claude Rolo on V Beach to take charge
of our gear as it came off the _Dundrennon_, while Gye was left aboard
that vessel to hurry everything ashore; but it was not until the third
day that we had disembarked all our belongings, the delay being entirely
due to the shortage of steam tugs, on which I have already commented.

During the time that our gear was stacked on V Beach, with, of course, a
guard in charge of it, one of the sentries became the object of
suspicion to the French, who were now in entire control of V Beach.
After a few minutes, finding he could speak no understandable language
(for he only spoke Russian or Hebrew, which, no doubt, sounded Turkish
to the French), and seeing that he was armed with a Turkish rifle and
bayonet and had Turkish cartridges in his belt, he was taken for a
daring Turk who had invaded the beach to spy out the land. Without more
ado, he was tried by drum-head court-martial and condemned to be shot
out of hand. He was actually up against the walls of Sedd-el-Bahr
Castle, and the firing party in position to carry out the execution,
when the Sergeant in charge of the Zionist Guard luckily spied what was
happening, and, as he spoke excellent French, he rapidly explained the
situation. The man was released, but the shock was too much for him, and
when he was unbound he was found to be paralysed, and it was two months
before he was fit for duty again. After this, I allowed none of my men
to leave camp unless they could speak English or were accompanied by
some one who could act as interpreter.

Gye and Rolo worked hard to move the pile of equipment--water tins,
forage, etc., etc., to the little valley where the rest of the Corps
were already snugly encamped, overlooking W Beach. I was extremely glad
to have these two officers with me again, because, during these three
days and nights since the landing, while we were separated, I had had a
very strenuous time.

I remember when Gye saw me for the first time after coming ashore, he
got quite a shock, and I believe he must have imagined that I had been
indulging in some frightful orgy, because he observed that the whites of
my eyes were as red as burning coals; but it was only an orgy of work
and want of sleep.

I may say that when I did sleep I slept very soundly indeed, for a high
explosive shell dropped within seven or eight feet of my head, exploded,
blew a great hole in the ground, yet I never even heard it!

This feat was outdone by a man who, on being roused in the morning,
found himself lame, and then discovered that he had been shot through
the foot some time in the night, while asleep!

The work, owing to Gye and Rolo being with me, was now considerably
lightened, as we each took a convoy out to different parts of the front,
and so got the distribution of supplies through much more quickly. I was
unable at that time to make use of my Jewish officers, with the
exception of Captain Trumpledor, for they were without experience and
could not speak English. Later on they were able to take charge of
convoys and did the work very well.

Gye, Rolo and I made a cheery little party and never found the time hang
heavy on our hands, nor were we ever dull for a moment, even when we
returned from convoy work at two o'clock in the morning. We would then
have dinner together, and Gye was such a wonderful story-teller, and
Claude Rolo was such a good second, and he also possessed such an
infectious laugh, that I have often literally fallen from the box on
which I was sitting, convulsed with merriment. I am sure the men of L
Battery, R. H. A., who were camped close by, must have wondered what all
this unseemly racket was about at such unearthly hours of the morning.

Gye's knowledge of colloquial Arabic was profound. It is related of him
in Egypt that a Cairo street loafer on one occasion maliciously annoyed
him, whereupon Gye turned upon him and let loose such a flood of Arabic
slang, minutely vituperating the fellow himself and his ancestors for
fourteen generations back, that, despairing of ever reaching such
heights of eloquence, the loafer, out of sheer envy, went straight away
and hanged himself!

In this first little bivouac of ours I spread my ground sheet and
blanket in the corner of what had been a house. The guns of the Fleet
had evidently got on to it and now nothing was left standing but some of
the walls, which in places were about three or four feet high.

A day or two after settling in here I happened to jump down from one of
these walls and the ground gave way somewhat under me. We made an
excavation into it and discovered, hidden away in an underground
chamber, an old green silk flag, so ancient that a touch rent it, an
antiquated battle-axe dating, I should say, from the time of the
Crusaders, and also some antique brass candlesticks--a curious and rare
find in such a place.

It must not be supposed that the Turks left us in peace during the day.
They constantly dropped shells into our little valley, tearing holes in
the ground all round us, but by great good fortune while we were in this
place we suffered no casualty of any kind, either man or mule.

On May 1st, after nightfall, I sent Claude Rolo out in the direction of
the Gully Ravine, with ammunition and supplies for one of the Brigades
of the 29th Division. He got to his destination safely, but while he was
unloading the convoy, at about ten o'clock, whether by chance or design
I know not, a tremendous hail of shrapnel was poured upon them from the
Turkish guns a couple of miles away. Some forty of the mules had already
been relieved of their loads and many of these broke away and galloped
off into the darkness.

This turned out to be a providential diversion, for they helped to save
the British Army that night, in much the same way as the cackling geese
once saved Rome, for, all unknown to us, masses of Turks were at that
very moment creeping up in the dark just before the rise of the moon.
They were in three lines, the first line being without ammunition, as it
was their particular business, when they got near enough to our
trenches, to rush them with the bayonet. The Turkish General Staff,
however, had not calculated on Zion mules! The terrified animals, scared
and wounded by the shrapnel, careered over our trenches and clattered
down with clanking chains on the stealthy foe. The Turks undoubtedly
took them for charging cavalry, for they poured a volley into them and
thus gave away their position.

Our men instantly lined the trenches and opened such an intense fire
that the Turks were utterly routed, and those of them that were left
alive fled back to the cover of their own trenches. The battle was taken
up all along the line, and, if volume of musketry counts for anything,
it was the hottest night fight we had during all the time we were on the
Peninsula.

Claude Rolo had a most arduous and perilous time collecting his men and
mules in the midst of all this turmoil, but he eventually got them
together and took them down a side track to the Gully, into which they
all scrambled helter-skelter, for safety.

One of the men, Private Groushkousky, distinguished himself greatly in
this fight, for when the hail of shrapnel descended on the convoy and
stampeded many of the mules, this plucky boy--for he was a mere
youth--although shot through both arms, held on to his plunging animals
and safely delivered his loads of ammunition to the men in the firing
line. I promoted Private Groushkousky to the rank of Corporal, for his
pluck and devotion to duty, and, in addition, recommended him for the
D. C. M., which I am glad to say he obtained.

While Rolo and his men were having such a strenuous time on the left of
the line, I took a convoy to the Brigade holding the centre. At about
two o'clock in the morning, soon after we had returned, we were all
having a much-needed sleep, for we were worn out with constant coming
and going day and night. I was roused from a deep slumber into which I
had fallen by a messenger to say ammunition was urgently required by the
Anson Battalion of the Royal Naval Division and other units on the right
flank of our line. I remember what a difficult task it was to rouse the
men, who lay about on the ground, like rolled-up balls, in front of
their mules. I found a very effective plan was to shout loudly in their
ear: "Turks!" That, coupled with the roar of the guns and the crackling
of the rifles, quickly brought them back to realities, and almost in the
twinkling of an eye the Zion men were loading up cartridges with
feverish speed at the Ordnance Depot, which was situated not many yards
below our lines. I always kept our mules saddled throughout the day and
night, in relays, for I knew that in those strenuous times I would be
likely to get a call at any moment to supply the firing line with
ammunition.

No matter at what hour of the day or night we went to the ammunition
stack, Major Howell Jones, the Chief Ordnance Officer of the 29th
Division, was always on the spot to issue it; and not only was he there,
but if there was any "push" on, he turned to and helped to load up the
mules with his own hands. He was one of the hardest-worked men on the
Peninsula, and I sincerely hope that the 29th Division realises all it
owes to his energy and foresight.

In those early days after the first landing, when we were pressing the
Turks so steadily before us, and we all expected that one final push
would drive them over Achi Baba, the Zionists petitioned General
Hunter-Weston to be permitted to take part in the assault. After some
consideration, the General refused to let us go, saying that we were
performing invaluable services in keeping the men in the trenches
supplied with ammunition and food. Although we were denied officially
the privilege of actually taking part in the attack, yet unofficially
some of the Corps, at least, had the gratification of joining battle
with the Turks.

It must be remembered that our troops had suffered terrible losses in
those early battles, and the Inniskilling Fusiliers had fared no better
than the rest, and they had very few men indeed with which to man their
trenches in the event of an attack. Now it so happened that the Turks
made a determined onslaught upon them on one occasion, when a party of
the Zion Mule Corps was close by, unloading a convoy; and these
Zionists, having the lust of battle strong in them, and seeing how weak
the Inniskillings were, left their mules to take care of themselves and,
under the leadership of Corporal Hildersheim, leaped into the trenches
and materially assisted in repelling the Turks.



CHAPTER XII

LIFE IN OUR NEW CAMP


More and more troops kept on disembarking and within fourteen days we
found ourselves being crowded out of our little valley that ran up from
the sea, and it became a pressing necessity to look out for fresh
quarters further inland. Nor were we sorry to move, for a road had been
made close to our lines, which, owing to the great traffic upon it, was
now several inches deep in fine white dust, which blew over us in
choking clouds.

At this time, the whole of the Peninsula, from Cape Helles to Achi Baba,
was one expanse of green pastures and cultivation, and the country
looked exceedingly pretty. Quantities of beautiful flowers grew
everywhere, so much so that some fields were a regular blaze of colour,
the western slopes of Achi Baba itself being beautified by gorgeous
stretches of blood-red poppies. Groves of trees of various kinds were
dotted about, while the olive and the almond flourished everywhere. Here
and there were to be seen round, masonry-topped wells, just like those
pictured in illustrated Bibles, showing Rebecca drawing water for
Abraham's servant--but, alas, here there was no Rebecca!

Before we left it, this smiling land became the most desolate,
God-forsaken place that it is possible to imagine--nothing but row upon
row of unsightly trenches, and not a single blade of grass anywhere to
meet the eye.

For our new encampment I chose a level green field, some two miles
inland, and into this we moved on May 11th.

A beautiful olive tree grew and threw a grateful shade by the edge of
our encampment, and here, practically under its roots, we excavated a
shallow dug-out and erected over it a shelter of canvas. Gye, Rolo and I
settled ourselves in as comfortably as possible, and although we thought
it merely a temporary halting-place on the way to Constantinople, we
never moved camp again, and, indeed, for over seven months it was our
home.

I had occasion to ride back to W Beach within a couple of hours after
quitting our first encampment, and I heartily congratulated myself that
we had cleared out of it just in the nick of time, for the Turks had
concentrated their guns on the place immediately after we had left. I
counted no less than thirty holes through a piece of canvas that was
stretched over the place where we had slept the night before. Had we
still been there we must all inevitably have been blown to smithereens!

At our new encampment we found, burrowed into the ground about us, the
wagon lines of B, L and Y Batteries, R. H. A., together with the
ammunition column--in fact, our lines joined up with L Battery, which,
it will be remembered, earned such fame, and won so many V.C.'s during
the retreat from Mons. Lieutenant Davidson of this Battery was in charge
of the wagon lines, and, as it was Gallipoli, and he was all alone, the
haughty horse gunner did not disdain to join the lowly Muleteers' Mess!
We were very glad to have him, as he was good, cheery, sensible company,
and he also made a fourth at Bridge, which was our relaxation when
nothing else had to be done. It is odd, when one thinks of it now, that
we were far more interested at times, when the game got exciting, as to
who should make the odd trick than in the Turkish shells, which flew
screaming by a few feet over our heads, especially when one remembers
that the deflection of the guns by a hair's-breadth by those tiresome
fellows who were peppering us from Achi Baba and the plains of Ilium
would have meant that, in our peaceful little dug-out, spades would have
been trumps!

During the course of our stay here we gradually excavated and enlarged
our dwelling and burrowed down into the ground, making a cellar into
which we could retire in case the shelling became too hot, but, as a
matter of fact, though the bombardment at times was hot enough to
satisfy the most desperate fire-eater, we used our bomb proof entirely
as a pantry, for which we found it most useful.

No sooner had we settled down to life in our new bivouac than the Turks
began to annoy us by dropping shells into it and disturbing our peace of
mind and body. On the morning following our arrival, while we were
having breakfast under the spreading branches of our olive tree, a
shrapnel burst, sending its bullets unpleasantly near. I remarked
jocularly to the others that if the next shell came any closer we should
have to move. Scarcely had I spoken when one went bang just over us, and
a bullet whizzed between our heads and smashed through the arm of my
Orderly Room Sergeant, Abulafia, who at that moment was standing by my
side taking some orders. It is a marvel how it missed hitting a member
of our little mess, for we were all sitting very close together round an
upturned box which we were using as a breakfast table.

The same shell wounded two other men, besides killing and wounding half
a dozen mules. We decided that the place was too hot for us, so, after
helping our Medical Officer to dress the wounded, we finished our
breakfast on the other side of a bank which ran along by our olive tree.

I must mention here that Sergeant Abulafia refused to have his wound
dressed until the others who were more seriously injured had first
received attention.

Dr. Levontin was very good in attending to wounded men under fire, and
he gave first aid to these men and many others, often at great personal
risk; but at last the continual battering of high explosive shells so
close to his dug-out was too much for him, and his nerves went, as did
the nerves of many others, and there was nothing for it but to send him
back to Egypt. From the time of his departure our sick and wounded were
ministered to by Captain Blandy, R. A. M. C., who was the medical
officer in charge of the batteries camped round us, and the men, finding
Captain Blandy most sympathetic and painstaking, did not fail to avail
themselves to the full of his able services.

The troublesome Turks did not allow us to keep our animals in the
pleasant field where we had, after much trouble, laid down our ropes and
pegs and made our lines.

From Achi Baba and the slopes above Krithia they could see us perfectly
well, and they rained such a tornado of shells round about us, ploughing
up the ground in all directions, that I ordered a hasty evacuation of
the field and chose another site close by, somewhat better concealed
from view by a plantation of olive trees. It was extremely difficult to
hide from the Turks as Achi Baba dominated the whole Peninsula. Even in
our new position we were not allowed to remain undisturbed, for almost
daily the Turks peppered us with shrapnel and high explosives, both from
Achi Baba and the Asiatic coast.

I set the men to work to dig themselves and the mules well into the
bowels of the earth, and in a very short time they had done this so
effectually that a stranger visiting the place would be astonished if he
were told that some hundreds of men and mules were concealed right under
his very nose.

Soon after we had evacuated the field in which the Turks had shelled us
so vigorously it was taken possession of by the Collingwood Battalion of
the Royal Naval Division. They arrived in the dusk of the evening, and
as they were apparently unaware of their dangerous position, I felt it
to be my duty to go and warn the Commanding Officer, Captain Spearman,
R. N., how exposed the place was, and how they would probably be
plastered by high explosives as soon as the Turks discovered them on the
following morning. Captain Spearman was very glad to be given this
friendly warning and, in consequence, he made his Battalion dig itself
well in, and for several hours into the night I could hear pick and
spade digging and delving. It was well they did so, for on the following
morning a brisk bombardment opened on them, but, thanks to the
precautions which they had taken, they, on that day at all events,
suffered no casualties.

It was very funny to see the men sitting in rows along the banks of
earth thrown up out of their "dug-outs" and watch them dive, like
rabbits into their burrows, at the sound of an approaching shell; then,
after the explosion, every one popped up again to see what damage had
been done.

During the time they were camped there a shell would now and again plump
right into a dug-out and then, of course, the unfortunate occupants
would be blown about in little pieces all over the place. A hand was
once blown down to my horse lines, some hundred and fifty yards away
from where the shell had burst, and shattered a man to atoms.

A German Taube for a time flew over our lines every morning long before
sunrise, of course catching all our airmen napping. These visits were
generally for observation purposes, but sometimes the Taubes would liven
us up by dropping a few bombs. They made several shots at the French
guns, but always missed. I saw a bomb land among a dozen French horses
one day, and all of the unfortunate animals were terribly wounded. I
never saw such shambles, for the horses were in a dug-out close together
for safety. The Zion lines had several close escapes, as did the Royal
Naval Division Hospital which was close to us, and where Staff-Surgeon
Fleming cheerfully and skilfully attended to our sick and wounded at all
times of the day and night.

The Taube is a much more vicious looking machine than ours. It has a
certain air of arrogance about it, entirely lacking in our type of
aeroplane. It is not in the least like a dove, as the German name
signifies, but appears to me very like a hawk, always ready to pounce
on its prey.

Day by day one kept missing friendly faces. I remember such a nice boy,
belonging to one of the Naval Battalions, who used to pass my camp
regularly with his platoon on his way to the beach to bathe. I never
knew the boy's name, but he interested me as he was a bright, cheery,
handsome youngster, who seemed to be on the best of terms with his men.
One day there was a vigorous bombardment of his lines, and when next the
platoon went by the young officer was missing. He had been blown to
pieces by a shell.

The Royal Naval Division were a mixed crowd, and their ways in Gallipoli
were somewhat peculiar. Their habits and customs were decidedly
"herumphroditish." They performed military duties as ordinary Infantry;
then they jumped back and were sailors again. They kept time by the
chiming of ships' bells; when they were wanted out of their dug-outs the
boatswain would pipe "All hands on deck"; when a company was mustered on
parade, the Commander (when the Commodore came along!) reported "All
present on the main deck, sir"--the main deck being along a line of
dug-outs; and if one herumphrodite wished to visit another
herumphrodite in a different Battalion, he had to apply for "shore
leave"!

The Collingwood Battalion met with a very sad end soon after their
arrival in my neighbourhood. They were sent up to take part for the
first time in an attack on the Turkish trenches, and they were placed on
our extreme right, linking up with the French. When the order came to
charge, they went forward most gallantly, capturing, with little loss,
two of the Turkish lines of trenches, Captain Spearman, well to the
fore, leading his men. He got shot in the foot, but, ignoring it, dashed
along, waving his hat in the air as he cheered his men to the assault.
Unfortunately, owing to the conspicuous part he and his officers played
in the attack (and it was necessary that they should do so, owing to the
rawness of the men), he and practically all the other officers of the
battalion were killed. Then some one, possibly a German, for there were
several of them in the Turkish trenches round about, shouted out the
fatal word "Retire." This was carried along the line and the men turned
about and made back, helter-skelter, for their own trenches, but in
trying to gain them they were practically annihilated by machine-gun and
rifle fire. I was particularly sorry for Captain Spearman, who had come
to our dug-out on many occasions, and had drunk an early cup of coffee
with us only a few hours before he was killed.

In this disastrous retreat the Collingwood Battalion was practically
wiped out. The survivors were transferred to another unit of the Royal
Naval Division and the very name of this Battalion went out of
existence.



CHAPTER XIII

A MAY BATTLE


During a big battle which took place early in May, I sent Gye forward
with a large convoy of ammunition, and on riding out later on to see how
things were going I passed over some of the ground occupied by the
French, who were to the right of the British, and extended from thence
across the Peninsula to the Dardanelles. A couple of miles to the rear
of the fighting line extended the batteries of the famous .75s,
cunningly concealed among trees, branches specially planted in the
ground, reeds, etc. I watched the gunners serve their guns, and my
admiration was aroused at witnessing the ease and celerity with which
they were loaded, their mechanical arrangement for setting the fuse,
and, above all, the beautifully smooth recoil of the barrel. This was so
nicely adjusted that I might have placed my finger on the ground behind
the wheel of the gun and have received no damage.

The French Army can give us points on many things, but above all stands
their .75 gun. They are wonderfully accurate, marvellously quick, and
seem able to pour out from their muzzles a continuous stream of
projectiles. The French certainly did not starve their gunners in
ammunition, and only for those .75s our position in Gallipoli would
often have been somewhat precarious.

After I had watched the guns in action for a while I passed on, and
going down the sandy road which led from Sedd-el-Bahr village to Krithia
I came upon the first evidences of the fight that was now raging. A
handsome young French artilleryman lay dead by the side of the road;
some friend had closed his eyes, and he looked as if he merely slept,
but it was the long sleep of death. A little further on lay some
Zouaves, and yet a little further some Senegalese, all lying just as
they fell, with their packs on their backs and their rifles close by,
facing the foe--brave French soldiers all.

Turning a corner I found myself riding into General d'Amade and his
staff, busily directing the battle. Almost at the General's horse's feet
lay a Turk whose face was half blown away. The poor fellow had wrapped
the end of his pugaree round his ghastly wound. Within a yard or two
lay another Turk, his shoulder smashed to pulp by a shell. Both men bore
up with the greatest fortitude and never uttered a groan. A first-aid
dressing station was close by, where scores of wounded, French and
Turks, were being doctored and bandaged. These sights of the uglier and
sadder side of war are not pleasing, and any one who has seen the
horrors of it can never wish to view such scenes again. I would put all
Foreign Ministers, Diplomats and Newspaper Proprietors in the forefront
of every battle for which they were in any way responsible. However,
duty has to be done, even in the midst of horrors, so saluting the
General, I pushed further along to the front, where I could see Gye with
the mules in the distance.

By the time I had cantered up to him all the ammunition had been
unloaded, and at the spot where I halted I found myself looking over a
bank into the midst of a Battalion of cheery little Gurkhas (the 6th)
and almost within handshake of their Commander, Colonel C. Bruce, who
was an old acquaintance of mine. I had no idea he was in Gallipoli, and
it was curious to come upon him, after some years, in the thick of a
battle.

I stayed for a time chatting with him while the bullets and shells
whizzed round--in fact, until an order came for his Battalion to go
forward into the fight.

I myself went and took up a position on a hill close by, where I could
see, as if from the gallery of a theatre, the whole fight staged before
me; where I could note the move of practically every man and gun.

As I looked down from my post of observation, a saucer-like green valley
full of olive trees, vine-yards and young corn spread out before me for
some five miles, right away up to Achi Baba, the dominating hill, some
six hundred or seven hundred feet high. The French, as I have already
said, were away on the right, and I watched their infantry mass in
hollows and ravines, then advance in wavy lines under the pounding
shelter of their guns. The latter were served magnificently, and the
infantry as they advanced found the ground to their immediate front
swept yard by yard by the guns fired by their comrades a couple of miles
to their rear.

It was a stirring sight to watch the officers dash out and give the men
a lead when there was any hesitation or waver of the line. In places I
could see the Turks run like hares, but on the extreme left the French
who were in touch with our right could be seen retiring precipitately
over the hill, badly slated by the Turks.

I was fascinated by the sight and wondered how that broken line could be
again reformed. It was done, however, in the shelter of a bluff, and
once more they charged over the hill and were then lost to my view.

The 29th Division extended from the French left, near the right centre
of the saucer, across to the Ægean Sea. The front was towards Achi Baba,
and our men made headway towards it in the face of fierce opposition.
Our guns were barking away at the Turks in their trenches, and the great
guns of the Fleet were hurling their high explosives, which descended on
the doomed Turks with terrific effect. One could see great spurts of
flame, smoke, earth, timbers, rocks, Turks, in fact, everything in the
neighbourhood, going up as though shot out of the crater of a volcano.

To me it seemed as though nothing could possibly live under such a reign
of death, which continued with ever-increasing intensity for an hour.
Nothing could be seen of Achi Baba, or any other part of the Turkish
position, owing to the smoke and dust which the bombardment had raised,
and unfortunately the wind was blowing towards us, which brought
everything into the eyes of our men as they leaped out of the trenches
to the attack.

The moment the guns ceased one could discern, through the haze, the
gleam of bayonets as the Allies swept forward along the whole front like
a bristling wall of steel, right into the leading Turkish trenches.

Wherever the bombardment had done its work and smashed down the wire
entanglements, our men found it easy to advance. Such Turks as remained
in the trenches were dazed and demoralised by the shell fire, and were
only too willing to surrender. But in some parts, especially on the left
of the line, the guns had failed to cut down the barbed wire, and here
our men were crumpled up by the deadly fire of rifle and machine-gun
which was concentrated on them at this point.

It was a soul-stirring sight to watch, on this great stage, the
alternate advance and retreat of our men, and the scuttle of the Turks
along their communication trenches; the charge of the Zouaves, the
hurried retirement of the Senegalese when they were met with a terrific
fire from the Turks; the reforming of the line behind the friendly
crest; the renewed pounding of the Turkish line by French and British
guns; the charge once more of the Allied infantry into and through the
Turkish curtain of fire until they were swallowed up in the smoke.

The heart palpitated with emotion, and one's imagination was gripped by
the sight of these gallant fellows flinging themselves recklessly at the
Turks.

At length human nature could do no more, and both British and French had
to call a halt.

The result of the battle was that we gained some few hundred yards
practically along the whole front except on the extreme left, but it was
at a considerable cost in killed and wounded.



CHAPTER XIV

GENERAL D'AMADE AND THE CORPS EXPÉDITIONNAIRE D'ORIENT


One end of our camp was in touch with the French lines and, of course, I
saw a great deal of the French soldiers and a little of their gallant
Commander, General d'Amade. I know, therefore, with what feelings of
regret his men heard that he was about to return to France. He had
endeared himself by his unfailing courtesy and goodwill, and had
impressed with his fine, soldierly qualities all those with whom he had
in any way come into contact.

During the tenure of his command, the French troops had, at the point of
the bayonet, wrested seemingly impregnable positions from the brave foe.
Their losses had been cruel, terrible, but their deeds are imperishable.

The military records of France make glorious reading, but even to these
dazzling pages General d'Amade and his gallant troops have added fresh
lustre.

A sad blow had fallen upon the General while he was in Alexandria
reorganising his Corps Expéditionnaire d'Orient, prior to its departure
for Gallipoli. In the midst of his work a telegram was handed to him
announcing that his son had fallen gloriously in France. The General,
having read the heart-breaking message, paused for a moment and then
remarked: "Well, our work for France must go on."

It was my good fortune to see the order of the day of the _Journal
Officiel_ du 11 Février, 1915, which recounted the death and gallant
deeds of General d'Amade's boy. He was only eighteen and had just joined
his regiment, the 131st Infantry, when he went on a perilous night
mission to obtain information which could only be got by creeping up
into the German trenches. With just two men he accomplished this
dangerous duty successfully, but at that very moment he was discovered
and a volley from the enemy laid him low. Although grievously wounded,
his first thought was for France, so, forbidding his comrades to carry
him off, he told them to fly with all speed to the French lines with the
valuable information which he had obtained. Young Gerard d'Amade died
where he had fallen, a noble example of that spirit of self-sacrifice
which characterises all ranks of the French Army.

A framed copy of this order of the day has now a place of honour in the
nursery of a little boy I know of who, every night before he goes to
bed, stands in front of it at the salute and says: "I do this in memory
of a brave French officer who gave his life for his country. May I so
live that, if necessary, I may be ready to die for England as nobly as
Gerard d'Amade died for France."

The British public is little aware of what it owes to General d'Amade.
During the terrible retreat of our Expeditionary Force from Mons, when
we were outnumbered by five to one, and when the Germans were closing
round our small army in overwhelming numbers, General Sir John French
sent out urgent appeals for assistance in this hour of dire peril to the
Generals commanding the French armies on his right and left. For some
reason or other none of these came to his aid, and for a time it looked
as if our gallant little army would be engulfed and annihilated.

Fortunately, there was one French General to whom the appeal was not
made in vain. This was General d'Amade, who, at that time, was guarding
the line in the northwest of France from Dunkerque to Valenciennes. To
hold this very important eighty miles of front all the troops he had
were four divisions of somewhat ill-equipped Territorials, with very few
guns. It must be remembered that the French Territorial is past his
prime and, as a rule, is the father of a family, and considers his
fighting days over.

It can well be imagined, therefore, what an anxious time General d'Amade
had during those fateful days from the 19th to the 28th August, 1914,
when at any moment the German avalanche might burst upon him. On the
24th August his force was strengthened by two Reserve Divisions (the
61st and 62nd), which only arrived in the nick of time, for with these
he was able to do something in answer to General French's despairing
appeal. General d'Amade manoeuvred these two Reserve Divisions into a
position which seriously threatened von Kluck's flank. That "hacking"
General, not knowing the strength of General d'Amade's menacing force,
became anxious for his right flank and communications, so turned aside
from his pursuit of the British and proceeded to crush the French. These
two divisions put up such an heroic fight and offered such a stubborn
resistance to the German horde that it took the pressure off our sorely
stricken men, enabling them to extricate themselves and retire, broken,
exhausted, tired, crushed, it is true, but still to retire to safety,
where they were able to reorganise and take ample vengeance on the
Germans a few days later.

General d'Amade lost practically his entire force, but he had gained
something very precious; he had saved our army from destruction, and
what is more, he had saved the honour of France--nay, even France
itself, for if the French generals had stood idly by and allowed our
Expeditionary Force to be wiped out of existence, I think it is more
than likely that France might have prayed in vain for any further
assistance, in troops at all events, from England.

All honour, therefore, to the General who, without hesitation, with just
two Reserve Divisions, took the shock of the German legions and
sacrificed himself and his troops rather than see the honour of France
go down in the dust. Politicians may recommend the bestowal of honours
and decorations on their favourite Generals, but General d'Amade
deserves more than this, he deserves a tribute from the British people.
He made a magnificent sacrifice in our cause, and if ever in the history
of the world a general deserved a sword of honour from a nation, General
d'Amade deserves one from England.



CHAPTER XV

VARIOUS BOMBARDMENTS


Every morning regularly the Turks commenced shelling us punctually at
eight o'clock, presumably after they had had breakfast, and again at tea
time. They generally continued for a couple of hours, and these hours
were always lively ones for us, and it was a daily occurrence to lose
men, horses and mules.

On the 16th May, eleven Frenchmen, who happened to be close to our
lines, were killed instantly by one shell, on the 17th one of my horses
was wounded, and on the 19th the second was hit in the ribs by shrapnel.

The Turks often switched off from us and bombarded a section of the road
used by wagons, gun-teams and motor cyclists. The latter were, to me,
the chief wonder of Gallipoli. I ride a motor cycle myself, and have had
a few smashes, so can fully realise its dangers.

I was introduced to this convenient form of locomotion by Dr. Rolleston
after a breakdown in health. It is the most wonderful tonic I have yet
come across, because the moment one gets on to the bicycle one's
attention is so centred on keeping it going, picking out the smoothest
bits of road, avoiding collisions, etc., that I veritably believe the
treachery of one's closest friend would, for the moment, at least, fade
from the memory. I am perfectly certain that the Gallipoli motor
cyclists never gave a thought to absent friends; they were much too busy
avoiding pitfalls and shells. They flew over the most uneven ground,
took small trenches as it were in their stride, and were generally the
most dare-devil set of boys I have ever seen. Many a time we stood and
watched through our glasses this dangerous strip of road which the Turks
had got the range of to a yard. As the wagons, gun-teams and cyclists
approached it, they would get up the pace, and fly through it at top
speed. The narrow squeaks that we constantly witnessed on this bit of
road were enough to make one's hair stand on end! Yet I am glad to say I
only once saw a man struck down. It looked so sad--the moment before so
full of the joy of life, and then, just a little, huddled heap, lying
still and quiet on the dusty roadway.

On May 20th, the Turks bombarded us for several hours; five of my men
were wounded, two seriously, one of the poor fellows having his leg
smashed to atoms. The same day I had five mules and one horse killed and
ten mules wounded. The Horse Artillery, camped round about us, also
suffered rather severely, for the Turks every now and again switched
their batteries on to their lines and caused them heavy losses. It was a
busy time for Lieutenant Fisher, the Veterinary Surgeon of the Horse
Batteries, who kindly came to our aid whenever the Zion mules got
"strafed."

When this bombardment broke upon us, everybody made a rush to get his
horse, mule or himself out of danger, and many were the curses heaped on
the Turkish gunners, who were universally consigned to the warmest place
of which we have ever heard. It makes me laugh even now when I think of
a little comedy that took place between Rolo and his groom. The latter,
whose name was Dabani, was a most comical looking little fellow, with
bandy legs, a swarthy face, and little black beard sprouting in patches
here and there. He was an Israelite from Arabia, and although an
excellent fellow in many ways, he was more renowned for his piety than
for his courage. You could always tell the intensity of a bombardment by
the fervour of Dabani's prayers. On this occasion, when the shells
began to burst and spatter the shrapnel all round us, Rolo shouted to
Dabani, whom he saw scuttling off for safety, to come back and look
after his horse. "What, look after your horse now?" cried Dabani. "This
is a time when I must look after myself," and taking not the slightest
notice of Rolo's angry maledictions, he, with rabbit-like agility, dived
for safety into his dug-out!

This bombardment badly shook some of my men, and among them Schoub, my
farrier, who, the moment he felt it safe to emerge from the nethermost
depths of his dug-out, came in a state of abject terror to Gye, begging
piteously to be sent back to the bosom of his family in Alexandria,
because, he remarked, "I am no use here now. The shells have made me
stone deaf. I cannot hear a word." "What," said Gye, in a low voice,
"not a single word?" "Not a single word," replied Schoub!

It was many months before he returned in safety to Alexandria, and by
that time bombardments had become so common that they had ceased to
terrify.

On the 2nd June, I was returning with Claude Rolo from an expedition
which we had made to the Gurkha trenches on the extreme left of the
line. Before we had got very far on our way heavy howitzers began to
bombard the Turks, and as we were just then passing an artillery
observation post, hidden away in a cross trench, we turned aside and
went into it. From here we could see our high explosive shells bursting
with terrific effect on the Turkish trench, which was only about three
hundred yards away. The Artillery Observation Officer telephoned back to
the guns the result of each shot, and under his guidance the shells soon
battered down the earthworks, pulverising everything where they fell.
Soon, however, some sharp-eyed Turkish gunner spotted our observation
post and began to plug at us pretty rapidly. Shells hopped off the
parapet, shrapnel struck the steel shield, fuses and fragments of all
kinds thudded into the bank behind our backs, and we seemed for the
moment to be living in a little tornado of lead and iron. When this had
continued for a few minutes, I remarked to the gunner man: "What on
earth are the Turks trying to hit?" "Hit us, of course," he somewhat
shortly replied.

Now, so long as we remained here in the deep trench we were
comparatively safe, but as I wanted to get back to camp, I thought I
would pull the gunner's leg before leaving him; he had no idea who we
were, for we were in our shirt sleeves as usual, so I pretended to be
thoroughly scared, and said: "Good heavens, this is no place for me!" on
which he smiled the smile of a brave man who feels pity for a poltroon.
There were some twenty yards or so of open ground to be covered the
moment we left the shelter of the observation post, and, of course, this
was a really dangerous strip, because it was exposed to the fire of the
Turks, and had therefore to be covered at top speed. The only way of
accomplishing this in safety was to do it in between the shells, and as
there was only a couple of seconds between each, the plunge out had to
be made the instant one burst, so as to be under cover before the next
arrived. Warning Rolo to follow me after the next explosion, out we
darted. We had almost reached safety when I heard coming after us the
scream of an approaching shell. I shouted out to Rolo, "Jump for your
life!" and at the same time threw myself down, and the last thing I saw,
amid the dust kicked up by the shower of shrapnel bullets, was Rolo
plunging head foremost into a ditch, as if he were taking a dive!

We were neither of us hurt, but a stone thrown up by the shell struck me
on the hand and drew a little blood. We both congratulated ourselves on
our lucky escape and got back to camp with whole skins, none the worse
for our close shave.



CHAPTER XVI

THE COMING OF THE GERMAN SUBMARINES


In our nightly journeys back from the trenches we were always guided
through the darkness to our camp by the brilliant glare of the lights
from the warships, hospital ships and transports, which lay thickly
clustered round Cape Helles. It was a most beautiful sight, like a
veritable floating Venice, but it was not practical and it was not war.
It showed an arrogance and utter contempt of the enemy who was, at that
very moment, stealthily stalking them under the seas with the deadly
submarine.

At all events, the submarines came, with the result that the battleships
_Goliath_ and _Triumph_ were sunk with appalling swiftness and great
loss of life.

Then, and then only, did the Fleet awaken to its danger; the battleships
and cruisers vanished into the unknown, while the transports disappeared
in a night, and we felt, as it were, marooned on this inhospitable
Peninsula, from which the Turks had removed every living thing, save
only a few dogs, which were found to be so dangerous that they had to be
shot at sight.

It was, therefore, with feelings of great pleasure that, as I rode down
to W Beach on the evening of the 26th May, I saw the stately battleship,
the _Majestic_, lying at anchor out in the roadstead, a few cable
lengths from W Beach; and as I looked my heart grew glad within me,
because there lay the ship in the open sea, exposed to any attack, and I
felt that it would be impossible for the ship to lie thus unless the
German submarines which had sunk the other battleships a few days
previously were either disposed of, or else some clever new defence had
been designed which made the _Majestic_ immune from the deadly torpedo.

It was a cheering thought, and it helped to enhance the beauty of the
wondrous panorama which lay spread before my eyes.

Away to my left stood the quaint old ruined walls and towers of
Sedd-el-Bahr, thrown into bold outline against the rippling waters of
the Dardanelles, while further on the eye was caught by the green plains
of Ilium, set in a tangle of hills, on the picturesque Asiatic coast.
Ahead of me, to the south, glittered the soft sea, with Cape Helles
jutting into it, like a rough brown hand thrust into a basin of
shimmering quicksilver. Almost at my feet lay Lancashire Landing, busy
with its hundreds of men and animals going to and fro, while away on my
right sparkled the Ægean, with the Isles of Greece jutting out of it,
like rugged giants rising from their ocean lair. To crown all, the sun
was going down in a perfect blaze of colour, tipping the crests of
Imbros and Samothrace with a glint of gold, as it sank behind them into
the sea. I have seen sunsets in many parts of the world, but never have
I seen anything to equal the glorious lights and shades which at sundown
are painted on the Ægean sky. If I were an artist, my ambition would be
to go in the lovely autumn days on a pilgrimage to these shores and
humbly try to put on my canvas the perfectly gorgeous but harmoniously
blended rose, pink, scarlet, red, yellow, purple, green, amber and
blue--a perfect intoxication of glorious colours which the imagination
would be unequal to, unless they were absolutely thrown on the sky
before one's own eyes. The magnificence of the sunsets seen from
Gallipoli were the sum of what an ordinary mortal could conceive as a
fitting setting for the splendour of God's Throne.

So it is to be hoped that the officers and crew of the _Majestic_, which
was moored so peacefully amid such heavenly surroundings, took a
soul-satisfying view of the glory around them, because, alas, for many
of the poor fellows it was the last sunset that would ever gladden their
eyes, for on the morning of the 27th the ship was marked down by a
German submarine and sent to its doom within four minutes of being
struck.

I was attending to some routine work in my camp when I heard the
terrific explosion and, looking up, saw a volume of smoke ascending to
the heavens from W Beach. I jumped on my horse, which was ready saddled
close by, and galloped over to hear what had happened. When I topped the
rise, all of the _Majestic_ that I could see was a couple of dozen feet
of its copper keel which projected above the water, and which still
remains thus--a mute witness to the fact that "some one had blundered."

Regrettable incidents like these should be unknown in a Navy renowned
for the good practical commonsense and thoroughness of its captains.



CHAPTER XVII

TRENCH WARFARE IN GALLIPOLI


"From all forms of trench warfare, preserve us, O Lord!" should be the
humble prayer of every soldier, for it is about the most unpleasant,
tiresome, humdrum, disagreeable, dangerous, death-without-glory kind of
warfare which the evil genius of man could devise. As, however, it has
come to stay, it may perhaps be of interest to describe what it was like
in Gallipoli.

When, after the first battles, the Turks refused any longer to meet us
in the open, and took to the trenches, which they had, with great
energy, dug right across the Peninsula, it became necessary for us to
adopt the same mole-like tactics, and our advance was brought
practically to a standstill. Instead of going ahead a couple of miles in
a day's fight, it now became a question of taking one trench at a time,
and often we did not gain as much as that, even after the most strenuous
battles.

Long lines of trenches, from three to six or more feet deep, and three
or four feet wide, were dug in zig-zags right across the Peninsula, more
or less parallel to the Turkish lines, and behind these were similar
support and reserve trenches; at the back of these again were second and
third line defence trenches; while still further were the so-called rest
trenches, but in Gallipoli these were just as dangerous as the front
trenches, owing to the confined space in which the army was cooped up,
and also owing to the configuration of the ground, which exposed them to
fire from Achi Baba as well as from the guns in Asia. Some of our
trenches were so deep that hundreds of scaling ladders were always kept
in readiness to enable the men to swarm out quickly when an assault was
to be made. Long lines of communication trenches ran up and down and to
and fro, connecting the various lines of trenches, and many of these
were dug deep enough and wide enough to give ample cover for mules and
horses. Various little back alleys were also dug in different
directions, so that the whole face of the country was transformed into a
veritable rabbit warren. These communication trenches were necessary so
that reliefs, reinforcements, munitions, food and water could be taken
up in safety to the firing line.

Where the ground was very hard and deep trenches could not be dug, the
necessary cover was given by building parapets made of sandbags, little
canvas bags about two feet long and ten inches across, which could
easily be carried by one man when filled with sand or clay. These
sandbags should be of different colours, because otherwise when one is
taken out to make a loophole the blank space is seen at once and the
enemy's fire is concentrated on it. In Gallipoli our sandbags were all
of the same colour--drab-coloured canvas.

When an attack was made and an enemy's trench was captured, thousands of
these sandbags were carried forward, and by piling them up a new
protective trench was rapidly constructed, for, of course, the original
Turkish trench was always battered to pieces (or should have been) by
high explosive shells before the attack was launched.

Another great use of the sandbag was to erect a barrier across an enemy
communication trench, otherwise, of course, he could pour his troops
down the communication alley and perhaps effect a surprise. It was
exceedingly odd to see our sentry on one side of such a barrier and the
Turkish sentry on the other side, apparently quite friendly in the
intervals of bombing each other!

One day a man of the Inniskilling Fusiliers played a trick on the
Turkish sentry. Finding life rather monotonous, and being somewhat fed
up with bully beef, he bored a hole in his tin, stuck a cartridge into
it, and hurled the novel projectile over the sandbag barrier among the
Turks, who could be heard flying for their lives away from it along the
trench, evidently thinking it was some new form of diabolical bomb we
had invented. Then one man, a little bolder than the rest, could be
heard cautiously stalking it; he even threw stones at it, and when these
failed to cause an explosion, he plucked up enough courage to hook it
towards him with his fixed bayonet. It was apparently sent off for
investigation to some German professor in the rear, for some few hours
later the Turkish sentry shouted out loudly over the parapet: "Bully
beef, bully beef; throw us more," and this little incident led to many
friendly exchanges of bully or cigarettes.

Life in the trenches when no "strafe" was on was very monotonous--dull,
weary watching and waiting, with dust blowing into one's eyes and mouth
and nose all the time, and flies everywhere. While in the trenches food
had to be snatched when it was possible to get it. It was cooked some
considerable distance to the rear and was then carried up to the
trenches in great pots and there distributed, and in Gallipoli, of
course, that meant dividing it between men and flies--the latter getting
the lion's share during the months of June, July and August.

Of course, work was always going on. The trenches had to be carefully
drained and sloped so as to allow the rainfall to flow off. If this were
not properly done they would inevitably be flooded out in the rains, and
life in them would be impossible. Even when every care was taken they
sometimes became raging torrents. Much ground was made good by digging
out from the trenches towards the Turkish lines and forming a fresh line
of trenches closer to the enemy and in a better position.

Every yard in front of the trenches was guarded by barbed wire,
sometimes left unrolled on the ground, where it naturally goes into
coils and traps for the unwary, and sometimes interlaced on stakes, like
a regular wire fencing, doubled many times. It was very dangerous work
putting up this form of defence, and it was generally done at night, but
even then the enemy could see our men by the light of the brilliant
flares which were constantly sent up, for these remained in the air for
several seconds, making everything as bright as day. The only chance of
escape then was to lie flat down and remain perfectly still until the
flare went out.

Then there was the constant arduous and dangerous labour of sapping, _i.
e._, tunnelling underground from our trenches underneath the Turkish
trenches, making a huge cavity there, filling it with explosives and
blowing the trench and such Turks as were in it sky high. This was
generally done when an attack was made, so as to throw the enemy into
greater confusion.

At night it was usual to man the front trenches fairly strongly,
one-third of the force always being awake and on the look-out for the
enemy.

Of course, it was almost certain death for a man to stand up and show
his head and shoulders above the parapet line, so the watch on the enemy
was kept by men with periscopes, who could see every move in perfect
safety. Even the periscopes were often shattered to pieces by the
bullets of the Turks, which shows that some of them were good marksmen.

Telephone wires were laid everywhere in the trenches, and telephone
operators and observing officers were scattered up and down the line.
On the first sign of an enemy attack these officers communicated with
their Batteries in the rear, and within two seconds a curtain of fire
was rained on the advancing foe, which, in most cases, he found it quite
impossible to get through. If he ever succeeded, however, the Infantry
were by this time lining the parapets, ready to mow down the enemy with
rifle and machine-gun fire, so the only marvel is that any of the
assaulting force ever got through. A very rare occurrence--and those
that did pierce the line never again got back to their own trenches.

One day I went up to visit Lieutenant Davidson, who was Forward
Observing Officer, and he, having occasion to fire a gun, telephoned to
the Battery; it was a distinctly weird feeling to hear the scream of the
shell from the guns two miles back flying close over our heads into the
Turkish trenches in front of us, almost before Davidson had ceased
speaking! At that same observation post, on a previous day, another R.
H. A. officer, Lieutenant Perceval, who also was a member of our little
mess, had a very narrow escape. A Turkish shell came through, slightly
bruised his shoulder, and killed his Bombardier, who was, at the moment,
holding the telephone.

In the side of the trench next the enemy little niches were excavated
where men could lie and sit fairly well sheltered from wind and rain.
These recesses were often used by the Turks as burial places for their
dead. I remember on one occasion I was walking along a piece of the line
which we had just taken from the Turks when a shell exploded close to
the trench. The concussion shook away some loose earth and out from the
side of the trench popped a dead hand and arm!--just as if a policeman
had put out his hand to stop the traffic. The dead Turk seemed to try,
even in death, to bar the way to an enemy's approach.

A very disagreeable feature of trench life is the unpleasant odour of
the dead, which penetrates everywhere, for, of course, when an attack is
made by one side or the other hundreds may be killed close to the
trenches, and as a rule it is impossible either to rescue the wounded or
to bury the dead, because the enemy would inevitably shoot down any one
attempting such a task.

One of the very worst trials of trench warfare is to see the dead body
of a comrade lying out in the open, gradually fading away before one's
eyes, a mummied hand still clutching the rifle, the helmet a little way
off, looking ever so weird in its gruesome surroundings.

While in the trenches one is, of course, subject at all times to shells,
rifle fire, mine explosions, poison gas, bombs, liquid fire, and other
diabolical inventions. The Turks, however, did not use either poison gas
or liquid fire, and, of course, neither did the British.

Worst trial of all is the trench mortar! This venomous weapon sends a
bomb weighing a hundred pounds or more of the most deadly high explosive
plumb into the midst of a trench with marvellous accuracy at any range
up to four hundred yards. The vicious thing can be seen soaring high up
into the air, until it reaches a point directly overhead, then it hovers
for a moment, like a hawk over its prey, and finally swoops down,
pulverising everybody and everything near which it explodes.

From my own observation of trench warfare I would say unhesitatingly
that no assault should be launched against the enemy until his trenches
had been thoroughly pounded to pieces by high explosive, his men
demoralised by a constant stream of shells, and all wire entanglements
or other barriers swept out of the way of the advance. Then, and then
only, should the infantry attack be launched, but before doing so the
supports and reserves should be brought up as close as possible to the
firing line, because, in these days especially, the speed with which an
assault can be reinforced makes all the difference between victory and
defeat.

During the assault the guns should be constantly playing on the reserve
trenches of the enemy, the counter batteries (_i. e._, those batteries
told off to dominate enemy batteries) firing as fast as they possibly
can to keep down enemy shrapnel fire and generally supporting the attack
in every possible way. Special groups should always be told off (not
single individuals) with orders to signal back to the batteries the
position which the front line has reached in the assault, otherwise--and
I have seen it happen more than once--our own guns will be found playing
on our own men.

It is unwise to trust to telephone wires for passing signals back to the
batteries, for they are often cut by shells or broken by passing troops.
Aeroplanes fitted with wireless are most useful. Another good plan is to
fasten some very conspicuous object, such as a large tin disc, to the
backs of the men, so that the gunners would always be able to tell at
whom they were firing. The disc should be tied so that the men could
switch it round to the front if they were forced to retire. This plan
was adopted in Gallipoli towards the end of July with excellent results,
for our men could always be made out by the flashing of the tin, which,
of course, the enemy could not see.

Bombs should always be carried with the assaulting columns, and the bomb
throwers should not be hampered by a rifle, but should only be armed
with revolver and bayonet, for when their stock of bombs is expended
there are always plenty of rifles lying around belonging to the dead and
badly wounded.

When all these arrangements have been completed, and a combined attack
is made with shells, machine-guns, rifle fire, trench mortars, poison
gas, liquid fire, etc., the attack is almost certain to succeed at some
point or other, and once the defender's line is broken his whole line is
threatened, and if the reserves are brought up and poured quickly enough
into the breach, so as to get a wedge in between the enemy's forces, his
army can then be smashed up in detail and a great victory won.

Cavalry can then burst through and once more come into their own by
playing havoc with the enemy's line of communication. Of course, in
Gallipoli we had no Cavalry; at least, such mounted men as we had came
as Infantry without horses! and I must say that they fought well, those
yeomen from Bucks and Kent--the only pity is that we did not have more
of them. When we did make a breach in the enemy's line, we never had
enough troops to push through and so ensure a crushing victory.



CHAPTER XVIII

GUNS AND STAFF


The losses which we suffered in every attack on the Turkish trenches
were very severe, and it was painful to see our men frittered away time
after time in these hopeless assaults on what had now become an
impregnable position--impregnable at all events to such forces as we
could launch to the attack. Our casualties at the original landing had
reduced the 29th Division to a mere skeleton. Many of the Battalions
were not a company strong and had scarcely any officers left, and it was
found necessary to join the remnants of two or three together to make
one rather weak Battalion. The Dublins and Munsters were thus linked up
together and were officially known as the "Dubsters."

Reinforcements only came in by driblets, and as they came they were
eaten up in futile attacks on the strong trenches which the Turks had
meanwhile, with great energy, dug right across the Peninsula.

We were never really strong enough to undertake a serious offensive, and
our guns never had ammunition enough to prepare the way properly by a
devastating bombardment. Half an hour or an hour was usually about all
we were able to do in the way of knocking the Turkish trenches about
with high explosive, whereas these same trenches needed a steady rain of
shells for several days to crumple them up and destroy the scores of
machine-guns which bristled everywhere. Trench warfare seemed to have
taken us completely by surprise; we were without trench mortars, but
luckily were able to borrow some from the French; neither had we any
bombs or hand grenades, except such as we could manufacture locally out
of jam tins!

No battery commander was allowed to fire a single round unless he had
first obtained permission from his Brigadier, and even when a couple of
battalions of Turkish troops well within range could be observed
marching in column, the Brigadier was compelled to limit the battery to
two rounds only, for to such dire straits were we reduced owing to lack
of ammunition!

Even with the slight support given by the guns I have seen our gallant
fellows time after time leap out of their trenches and, in an
irresistible onslaught with the bayonet, sweep over trench upon trench
full of Turkish soldiers. Nowhere could the enemy stand up to our men
in the open, as was proved over and over again in the early days of the
fight before they took to trench warfare. If only we had had enough
ammunition and one more Division, equal to the 29th, we would have
retrieved the initial mistake of landing at Helles, and have swept the
Turks over Achi Baba from their positions round the Narrows, and
Constantinople itself would have been in our grip within a month.

But, alas! we hadn't the ammunition and we hadn't the men; and when the
Turks took to mole tactics, and protected their front with those two
inventions of the Evil One--barbed wire and machine-guns--our case,
considering the means at our disposal, was a hopeless one.

During a fierce battle which took place in June, I was standing close to
one of our batteries in position, just south of the Pink Farm, and what
a contrast it was to see these guns in action after having repeatedly
watched the French .75s! Here was no smooth barrel-recoil, but a clumsy
spade stuck in the ground to prevent the piece from kicking. Whenever
the gun was fired it jumped back like a bucking bronco, necessitating
the relaying of the gun after each shot.

We have better guns than that now, of course, but with all our
mechanical superiority and mechanical resources we should years ago have
had a gun equal, or superior, to the French .75. Of course there is no
use in having a quick-firing gun if you cannot have mountains of
ammunition alongside of it, and this point should never be lost sight of
by the Staff, whose duty it is to look after such matters.

As we were very short of high explosive shells the battery was not doing
a great deal of firing, and in the lull a Staff Officer rode up and told
the Battery Commander to lay his guns on to some Turks whom he pointed
out, saying they were threatening our line.

Now I had been watching this part of the battlefield most carefully
through my glasses, and I had seen our own men advance and go into the
position which the Staff Officer said was held by the Turks. I overheard
his instructions to the gunner officer, so I called out: "Those are our
men, not Turks!" However, in spite of my warning, a couple of rounds
were loosed off, and they were only too well placed, for they exploded
among our unfortunate troops, doing, no doubt, a considerable amount of
damage, because, in a moment, a wrathful telephone message came to the
Battery Commander telling him to cease fire instantly, on which the
discreet Staff Officer made a hurried departure.

While we had some excellent Staff Officers, there were others not
exactly noted for their brilliancy, and no doubt the Turks saw that some
of our "regrettable incidents" were due to bad Staff work, and the
following story was vouched for by the Peninsula wag.

It had been noted with some surprise that, though the Turkish sniper
exacted his toll from all other ranks, the Staff appeared to be immune.
At last the mystery was solved when one of these sharpshooters was
captured, for on being asked how it was that the Staff always escaped,
he replied: "Oh, well, you see, I get five shillings for every private I
shoot, ten shillings for every sergeant, a pound for every officer, but
if I were to shoot a Staff Officer I would be shot myself!"

I need hardly say that these merry quips made at the expense of the
Staff by our frolicsome wits should be taken with a grain of salt. So
far as my own experience goes, the Staff Officers of the 29th Division,
and, later, of the 8th Army Corps, were all that could be desired, and
at them no such gibe could be levelled. All those with whom I came in
contact were very much all there at their respective jobs.

There is no doubt, however, that there is some reason for the general
lack of confidence in the Staff. Responsible positions are unfortunately
too often given to most unsuitable men, with regrettable results.

Glaring instances of jobbery and favouritism are so universally known
that it is unnecessary to quote examples. Puck must be having the time
of his life. If only our responsible administrators would for the future
abjure nepotism (vain wish!) and give proved talent a chance, we should,
I am convinced, have something better to show than "strategic retreats"
and "brilliant evacuations."

I am reminded of an incident that occurred when I was staying with
Colonel Roosevelt during the time he was President of the United States.
An influential and well-known Senator came into the room while I was
there, and urged on the President the claims of a _protégé_ of his to a
post as Mining Inspector. President Roosevelt's reply impressed me very
much: "Well, Senator, if your man is the best Mining Engineer that can
be found in the United States he shall get the job, but not otherwise;
he will have the lives of men in his hands."

Mark this, ye jobbites of England!



CHAPTER XIX

VISITS TO THE TRENCHES


During one of the hot June days Gye and I paid a visit to Colonel Bruce
and his Gurkhas, who were holding the left of the line down by the Ægean
Sea.

The Gurkhas have done some splendid work in the Peninsula. They are in
their element when out at night doing reconnoitring work. Bruce told me
of the valuable report brought in by one of his N. C. O.'s, on the
strength of which he took his men up the side of a cliff and was able to
surprise and drive the Turks out of a very strong position which it was
of prime importance we should hold. Other troops had several times
attempted this feat, but failed because they attacked in the open, while
the Gurkhas succeeded owing to good reconnoitring work.

The night previous to our visit the Turks had made a most determined
attack on the Gurkhas, and the Gurkhas asked for no better sport.
Flares, shot up by our officers, showed the Turks advancing in regular
parade formation in line of columns. As soon as the Turks saw that they
had been observed, they charged, yelling their war cry: "Allah, Allah!"
The Gurkhas waited patiently, lining the trenches as thickly as they
could stand. They allowed the Turks to approach within about fifty yards
of them and then opened such a hurricane of rifle and machine-gun fire
that the Turks were absolutely crumpled up in ranks as they stood. The
fury of the Gurkhas was now thoroughly aroused and, the reserves having
been brought up, the whole brigade made such an onslaught that
practically not a single Turk out of that huge attacking force ever got
back to his own trench.

When Rolo and I viewed the battlefield within a few hours of the fight,
there were still some wounded to be seen in the intervening ground
between the two forces, while in regular battle array lay line upon line
of Turkish dead, silent witnesses to the terribly accurate fire poured
into them by the Gurkhas. They are brave fellows, those Turks, and it
was a sad sight to see so many gallant men laid low.

No doubt in revenge for the defeat they had suffered the previous night,
the Turks were bombarding the Gurkha lines vigorously, and while I was
there they landed a big "Black Maria" shell underneath a little fellow
who was squatting on his heels outside his dug-out. It was an
extraordinary sight to see him shoot down the hill in this position and
land some forty feet away in a clump of bushes, from which he emerged
not much the worse for his involuntary flight.

The Gurkhas, in one of their previous attacks on the heights occupied by
the Turks, were held up by some barbed wire and had to retire. A private
soldier, however, chose to remain behind, ensconced under the scanty
protection of a couple of knapsacks, which he pulled together from those
strewn round, thinking that he could hold his own until another assault
was delivered by his comrades, when he would join them. No comrades
came, however, so he found himself unable to move without being
observed. He therefore pretended to be dead and lay absolutely still for
hours, not even daring to move his head, except when his neck got very
stiff, and then only by pushing his hat up a fraction of an inch, so
that he might slowly twist his head inside it without showing any
movement. At last he could stand the strain no longer, so he leaped up,
raced in a zig-zag to his own trenches amid a hail of bullets, and,
carefully avoiding a low spot where the Turks had concentrated their
fire, expecting him to go in that way, he leaped over the highest part
of the parapet and escaped scot-free.

I saw this little fellow a few hours after his exploit and he looked as
though he had thoroughly enjoyed the adventure.

A few days after the big Turkish assault I was again on my way to this
part of the line, when I happened to meet General de Lisle, and, on
mentioning that I was going to see Colonel Bruce, he told me I would not
find him, for he had been wounded on the previous night by a bomb, while
gallantly leading his men.

I had several friends in the Inniskilling Fusiliers and frequently I
came across them in my journeys to and from the Gurkha lines. As a rule,
they held the trenches to the right of the little brown men from Nepaul.

I always made a point, when I was anywhere near, of looking up Captain
Gordon Tillie. He was now practically the only officer left of the
Inniskillings who had taken part in the original landing and had, so
far, escaped scot-free. I was hopeful that his luck would see him
through, because he had only been married a few days before he left
England for the front, and I knew his wife very well, and had promised
her to look him up whenever I had an opportunity.

Just before the 29th Division went to Suvla, Gye and I paid him a visit,
while he was holding the front trenches, and, sad to say, this was the
last occasion on which I ever saw Gordon Tillie. He took us along that
portion of the trench for which his company was responsible, and showed
us the various points of interest in the Turkish line, which, at this
particular place, was sometimes parallel, and sometimes almost at right
angles to our trenches, and in places only a dozen yards distant. When I
was leaving him he cautioned me to be careful of a certain part of the
trench we should have to pass through, as he said it was exposed to the
Turkish guns and they often gave it a "strafing." My parting remark to
him was: "Take care they don't 'strafe' you."

Of course, shells were dropping here and there all the time from the
Turkish guns, and they were paying some attention to the piece of
dangerous trench which Gye and I were bound to go through, so, saying to
him: "Let's make a bolt for it," we started off at our best pace, but
before we got through we had to lie down in the bottom of the trench to
escape a couple of shells which burst all round us and knocked to pieces
the sandbag parapet protecting our heads.

Gordon Tillie's friendly warning may have saved our lives, and it is a
nice thought, for, soon afterwards, the 29th Division were sent to
Suvla, and there Captain Tillie was killed while gallantly leading his
company up the slopes of Sari Bair--a brave soldier, as Sir Ian Hamilton
testifies in his Suvla Bay Despatch.

I often made an expedition to visit a friend, only to find, when I got
there, that he had perhaps been killed the day before, or else had been
sent off to hospital badly wounded, and it was sad to see how one's
friends gradually got thinned off. Many of them lay buried all round.
One would suddenly be startled by coming across a freshly-dug grave in
some sheltered little nook by the wayside and learn for the first time,
from the rude cross erected over it, that one's friend lay there. But
war is war, and as a shell or bullet may come at any moment and bring
sudden death with it to one's self, one gets used to the idea, and
somehow it does not seem so dreadful. Many of us often escaped by the
merest chance. In my own case the turning aside to pluck a flower, or
straying a little from the path to get a better view of a sunset, was
the chance that prevented Death from finding me, because more than once
I have seen a shell explode and excavate a huge hole on the exact spot
where, had I not turned aside, I would undoubtedly have been standing.
Yes, indeed, in those days, one often heard, sounding softly in one's
ears, the faint rustle of the wings of the Angel of Death.

I do not know whether the Turks had any particular spite against my
Zionists, but they certainly gave us more than our fair share of shells.
One afternoon they began a bombardment and plumped a shell into a bank
on which sat a Zion man, Private Scorobogaty. The explosion sent him
some feet into the air, but, beyond the bruise and shock, he suffered no
damage. The next shell dropped plump in the middle of our little supply
of stores, within six feet of the door of our dug-out, and sent
everything flying through space. A third shot plunged into the roots of
a tree which stood close to our lines, by which the trumpeter of L
Battery, R. H. A., was standing. He heard the shell coming, and, without
any particular reason, but luckily for him, he made a dive to the right
instead of to the left, and so escaped for the moment. Next afternoon at
tea-time another shell came, cut the same tree clean in two, wounding
the trumpeter and two other men of L Battery, who were having their tea
in its shade.



CHAPTER XX

FLIES, DUST AND BATTLE


July was a scorching month, and to add to the discomfort of heat there
was a plague of flies; flies, flies, flies everywhere, and I have no
doubt that they were responsible for the serious epidemics which broke
out among the troops. Doubtless it was the self-same pestilence which
Homer tells us attacked the Grecian Army camped round Troy, and which
they attributed to the anger of Apollo, though none of our mules
suffered as did those of the Greeks.

These flies were disgusting, horrible pests, for they would come
straight from the rotting corpses of the Turks, which lay in unburied
hundreds in front of our trenches, and blacken every scrap of food on
which they could obtain a foot-hold. The only way to get a clean bite
into one's mouth, without taking the flies with it, was to blow
vigorously all the time until the lips had actually closed on the
morsel, and even then these pests would hover round, waiting for a
chance opening to dart in and chase it down.

The dust, too, in these days was very trying, for the whole peninsula
was now one vast dust heap, which the slightest wind would swirl about
in blinding, choking clouds. I noticed that on several occasions our men
had to do battle with this dust storm blowing directly in their eyes, so
that it was impossible to see anything in front of them, while the
Turks, with their backs to it, could see our men coming along plainly
enough and could slate them at their leisure. I always found, as was to
be expected, that when we foolishly attacked on such days as these we
effected nothing beyond getting ourselves killed. The Turks must have
marvelled at our blind folly.

I well remember that one of our most successful battles was fought on a
day when the wind carried the dust into the faces of the Turks; towards
the close of this fight I saw a couple of battalions go right through
and over all the Turkish trenches within sight, and then get engulfed in
a great ravine on the very slope of Achi Baba itself, where they were
hidden from view, and then I saw thousands of Turks stream down through
communication trenches on each side of our men, filling the trenches in
their rear, as could be plainly seen by the bristling bayonets which
showed above the parapets.

I felt that these two battalions were lost, as indeed they were for two
or three days, but somehow or other, after some extraordinary
hide-and-seek experiences among the Turkish trenches, they fought their
way back again, clearing the Turks out of their path, in hand-to-hand
fighting, as they hacked their way back to our own lines.

A friend of mine, Captain Braham of the 6th Manchesters, had a narrow
escape on one occasion when he made an attempt to lead his men in an
assault. Being short of ammunition for the guns, the Turkish trenches
had not been properly bombarded; Turkish machine-guns and riflemen were
still in position, ready to mow our men down the moment they leaped from
their trenches. This was the fate which overtook the 6th Manchesters;
they were practically cut to pieces before they had advanced more than a
dozen yards from their lines, and the few survivors thought it wiser to
get back to cover as quickly as possible. Captain Braham, however, tried
to rally them out of the trench again, and at that moment, while
standing on the parapet, a bullet struck his knapsack, cut through the
buckle, a box of chocolate and a tin-opener. The tin-opener diverted the
bullet out through the bottom of the haversack by his heels, but the
impact of it was so great that it knocked him off the parapet into the
trench, as if he had been struck with a sledge hammer. He told me
afterwards that he did not know at the time what had knocked him over,
and it was not until he had removed his haversack that the mystery was
explained.

During one of these dog days Rolo and I went as far forward as it was
possible to go, so that we might get a close view of a battle which was
to begin at 11 A. M. on the 12th of July.

Punctually to the minute our guns crashed out along the line and pounded
away steadily for an hour. Then we watched the attack, and what
impressed me in this battle, as it did also in others, was the
inadequate force with which we attempted to take the offensive. A line
of our men would dash forward, take two or three Turkish trenches,
losing perhaps half its effective strength in so doing, and then find
itself too weak to do more than hold on, and very often they could not
even do that. There seemed to be no regular system of sending line after
line at intervals into the fight. I know that this was arranged for in
orders, but it did not always come off, and the men who had, with such
gallantry and at such a cost, taken the trenches, would be forced out
of them in a counter-attack by overwhelming numbers of Turks, and, in
getting back to their own lines, would again lose heavily.

To obtain a view of the battlefield from a different point we made our
way along a communication trench, and here our interest in the fight in
the front was abruptly switched off and centred on ourselves, for the
Turks had spotted a Battalion of Lancashire Fusiliers coming along to
reinforce the firing line, and they turned a most deadly and accurate
fire upon us from the Turkish guns. Shells hopped from the parapets or
broke them in all round us, crashed over our heads, and even plumped
right into the trench itself, sending men flying in all directions.

The Lancashire Fusiliers had, therefore, to halt and take cover under
the lee of the parapet, and during this time one of the men asked Claude
Rolo what his job was in these parts, for, being in our shirt-sleeves,
and pretty grimy with dust and with climbing about the trenches, he
could not make out who or what we were.

When Rolo replied: "Oh, I've only come to see the show," "Oh, Hell,"
said the Lancashire man, "you must be mad to come to a show like this on
your own."

I felt very sorry for the poor lads when they finally marched off. The
day was hot enough to make one feel that the only way to keep cool was
to sit in one's bones under the shade of a tree, and yet here were these
Lancashire men loaded down with the whole weight of their packs--food,
ammunition, blanket, belts, bayonet and rifle--marching on through this
infernal heat to a bloody combat, where they would have to put forth all
their efforts in getting rapidly across the fire-swept ground, plunge
into and out of deep trenches, and, in addition, grapple hand to hand
with no mean foe.

Some things are more than human nature can stand. You cannot overload
the soldier, and then expect him to pull his full weight in battle with
the broiling sun burning out his throat.

The Lancashire lads were soon in the thick of the fight, and a great
many never again needed the shelter of a friendly trench.

We lost a few prisoners to the Turks in this battle owing to exhaustion,
and it is a comfort to know that our gallant enemies treat such men of
ours as fall into their hands with kindness. I never heard anything but
praise for the Turk and the way he played the game. I only knew of one
case of a prisoner being mutilated, and this may have been the work of a
German, for the victim was a Sikh, and died before any evidence could
be taken. The Turk is a clean fighter, and more than once they have
pointed out to us that they would be glad if we would move a hospital
ship a little further from the transports, for they feared that in
firing at the latter they might hit the hospital, and, so far as the
records go, this is more than would have been done by the Germans.

Among the prisoners taken in one of these battles were some German
sailors from the _Goeben_, who had been working the machine-guns. When
taken they had no more ammunition left, their officer and many others
had been killed, and their position was quite hopeless, so they gladly
surrendered. They looked crestfallen and sullen when I saw them as
prisoners on their way to the beach.

During these hot July days the Turkish shells would often set fire to
the dried-up gorse and bracken near our lines, and, as the wind usually
came from the north, I have seen a raging line of fire, hundreds of
yards long, with flames forty feet high, roaring and crackling down to
our trenches.

Our men, however, had taken the precaution of cutting gorse down in
front, so that the fire never actually overwhelmed our lines.

The Turks did not lack initiative; their snipers gave us a considerable
amount of trouble all the time we were on the Peninsula. Two of these
men obtained some celebrity by their daring and originality. They
actually concealed themselves between some of our guns, and before they
were hunted down and shot they had killed and wounded several of our
officers and men. They were painted green all over, face, hands,
clothes, and even their rifles, while little green bushes, similar to
the gorse around, were tied to their heads.

Their sense of humour showed itself in some rather quaint ways. Once,
when a bomb was thrown over a barricade by a French soldier, hitting a
Turk on the head without exploding, the latter shouted back "Assassin,
Assassin!" On another occasion, on the completion of one of the heaviest
bombardments to which we had subjected their trenches--a perfect storm
of shells from field guns, siege guns, howitzers and battleships--as
soon as the firing ceased and the dust cleared away, a huge placard was
slowly raised from the front trench, on which was printed in large
letters "No Casualties."



CHAPTER XXI

WORK OF THE ZION MULE CORPS


During all these battles in May, June and July, the Zion men and mules
were kept steadily at work, and wherever they went it was gratifying to
know that they performed their duties satisfactorily. Sometimes little
parties of them would be attached to different battalions, and when
their tour of a week or ten days' duty was over they would invariably
bring back a letter from the Transport Officer to say how well the men
had worked, and how well they had behaved when under fire. I have dozens
of such letters, which testify to their good work and how well they got
on with their British comrades, with whom they were great favourites;
the party commanded by Corporal Nehemiah Yahuda was always in great
request, as this bright, cheery young N. C. O. had a happy knack of
inspiring his men with his own zeal for work and devotion to duty,
regardless of all danger.

Sometimes while away from Headquarters on these detached duties a man
would get killed. His comrades always brought the body back to camp, and
then the whole Corps attended the funeral, which was a very solemn
ceremony. Over the grave of each hero whom we buried in Gallipoli was
erected a little memorial, the Shield of David, with his name and the
date of his death engraved underneath. Nothing brought the old days of
the Bible back more vividly to my mind than to see, when one of my Zion
men was wounded, how his friends would literally fall on his neck, weep,
and embrace him most tenderly. The outward expression of such emotion as
I have witnessed is of course impossible for us Westerners, but I doubt
if our feelings are not harrowed all the more by the rigid restraint
which we perforce place on them.

The gallant Captain Trumpledor differed from his compatriots in this
respect, and I never once saw him give way to any of these emotions. On
the contrary, he would remark to me over the body of a badly wounded
Zionist: "Ken, ken! (Hebrew for "Yes, yes!") _A la guerre comme à la
guerre!_" And I must say that he himself bore a bullet wound through his
shoulder with the greatest fortitude, carrying out his duties as if
nothing had happened and absolutely refusing to go into hospital. I am
glad to say he made a speedy and good recovery.

A couple of my Zionists were not quite so brave as the Captain, for I
observed them one day, when we were being somewhat heavily shelled,
making tracks for the beach for all they were worth.

Their flight reminded me of a story which I had heard, of an Irish
soldier at the Battle of the Boyne, who, relating to a friend how his
Captain, before leading them to the charge, said: "Now, boys, strike for
your King, your country, and your home." "Some of the fools," said the
Irishman, "struck for their King and country, but I struck for home!"

I am glad to say that the valour shown by some of my men made up for the
lack of it shown by others. No one could be a braver or a better soldier
than Nissel Rosenberg, who, through shot and shell, led his mules with
their loads of ammunition right into the firing line, when all others,
both Jewish and British--for both were there--made a strategic and
hurried movement to the rear. I was watching this myself, and, as I
considered it very plucky of him to go forward with his much-needed
loads of ammunition, while men were being killed all round him, I
recommended him for the D. C. M., a distinction he well deserves. He
escaped all wounds that day, but a fortnight later, when again on his
way to the trenches, he was severely wounded by a piece of shell; I am
glad to say he made a good recovery and is still going strong. In
appreciation of his gallant services, I promoted him to the rank of
sergeant.

It must not be supposed that we only came under fire on specific
occasions. It broke upon us at all times, night and day, without
warning. In these "strafes," as we used to call them, many men and mules
were killed and wounded.

During one such "strafe," I can even now see Gye and myself running
across a couple of hundred yards of fire-swept ground to the rescue of
two stricken men, and I should not like to say the number of times we
both had to throw ourselves down and grovel on the ground, while shells
plunged round us, making holes big enough for our graves and covering us
with dirt and gravel. We luckily got through without a scratch and
helped to get the wounded men removed, as fast as ever we could, out of
danger.

Both were very badly injured, and I never expected to see either of them
alive again; one, indeed, Corporal Frank Abraham, died soon after we
got him to the hospital; the other, who seemed even more severely
wounded, with two bullets through his back, and his thigh smashed to
pulp, I was surprised to find in a fair way to recovery, when I visited
my sick and wounded men in hospital during a recruiting trip to
Alexandria. The poor fellow, when he saw me, seized my hand and
embarrassed me by covering it with kisses, saying that but for my
lifting him out of that dangerous fire-zone he would certainly have been
killed. I was surprised to see that the man remembered that I had been
there to help him, as he was in such agony at the time that I did not
think he would have remembered or known what was going on around him. I
reminded him that he owed quite as much gratitude to Lieutenant Gye as
to me, for we had both helped to get him away.

I must mention here, however, that, as a rule, Gye would take on much
greater risks to rescue a mule than a man, for which on one occasion he
was highly commended by General Hunter-Weston.

Many of the Zionists whom I had thought somewhat lacking in courage
showed themselves fearless to a degree when under heavy fire, while
Captain Trumpledor actually revelled in it, and the hotter it became the
more he liked it, and would remark: "Ah, it is now _plus gai_!"

It must not be supposed that all the Zionists were saints, or that I did
not have my times of trouble and difficulty with them, because some
would occasionally murmur and hanker after the "flesh-pots of Egypt."
They were, indeed, true descendants of those forefathers of theirs who
wandered in the wilderness, and whom Moses had so often to chide
severely for their stiff-neckedness. Now Moses, in his dealings with his
troublesome children, had a tremendous pull over me, because, when my
men grumbled about lack of water, I could strike no rock and make it
gush forth for them, neither when the meat and food were scarce could I
call down manna or quails from Heaven, nor was there any black cloud to
interpose and hide us from the devastating fire of our enemy. Although
Moses had these Divine aids, yet his task in shepherding over half a
million of people through a barren wilderness was truly gigantic and
could only be compared to mine as the ocean to a bucket of water; with
that great example before me I felt it was up to me not to fail in
shepherding through our trials the little host confided to my charge,
so, like Father O'Flynn with his flock, I kept my children in order by:

    "Checkin' the crazy ones,
    Coaxin' unaisy ones,
    Liftin' the lazy ones on with the stick."

I found that the racial characteristic of the Israelite made it
necessary to hold him in with a thread light as silk and yet strong as a
steel cable, and it required a tremendous amount of tact and personal
influence to weather the various little storms which sometimes
threatened to wreck our family life.

There was great excitement amongst the Zionists when I told them that
the much coveted reward for bravery, the Distinguished Conduct Medal,
had arrived from England for Corporal Groushkousky, and had been
forwarded to me by the Commander-in-Chief. The Corps was paraded in the
afternoon and marched to the Headquarters Camp, where General Stopford,
the General Officer in Temporary Command of the 8th Army Corps,
inspected the men, shook hands with all the officers and finally had
Corporal Groushkousky out to the front, and, after congratulating him
warmly on his gallant action, pinned the medal on his breast.



CHAPTER XXII

THE AUSTRALIANS AND NEW ZEALANDERS


Towards the end of July, owing to the numbers killed, wounded and in
hospital, the Corps was reduced to less than half its strength, and as,
at that time, we had no depot in Egypt to send us recruits, it was
obvious that, in the course of another couple of months, this
interesting and useful unit would cease to exist, if the present rate of
casualties continued. The reduced strength of the Corps having come to
the knowledge of Sir Ian Hamilton, I was ordered to proceed to Imbros
and report to General Headquarters there. I had an interview with the
Commander-in-Chief, and the result was that I was commissioned to go to
Alexandria, and, if possible, recruit two fresh troops of Israelites in
Egypt, and there establish a recruiting and base depot for the Corps.

A considerable stir had been created throughout the Jewish world when it
became known that there was, for the first time in British history, a
Jewish unit fighting side by side with British soldiers; and there is no
doubt that the sympathy of Jews for the Allies was considerably
fostered by the presence of this unit fighting in their ranks.

In proof of this I received letters from Jews, and, indeed, from
Gentiles, too, from all parts of the world, letters which showed a deep
interest in, and sympathy for, this Jewish fighting unit.

Perhaps the most prominent Gentile from whom I heard was Colonel
Roosevelt. I only wish I could publish his heartening letter, but at
least I may mention that he was anxious to know if my men made good
soldiers, because a relative of his was in command of a battery of
artillery in one of the Southern States, and he had reported to the
ex-President that, curiously enough, part of it was entirely composed of
Jews, who were among the most efficient soldiers in the whole battery.

During my interview with Sir Ian Hamilton, I brought these facts to his
knowledge, but I found that he was already well informed of the interest
and sympathy which the Zion Mule Corps had aroused among the neutral
Jews of the world, as he himself had received letters from prominent
Israelites in America, and, among others, one from the editor of the New
York Jewish newspaper, _The Day_, asking if such a unit really existed.

Sir Ian Hamilton's reply, which appeared in _The Day_, is as follows:

     General Headquarters,
     Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.

     It may interest you to know that I have here, fighting under my
     orders, a purely Jewish unit. As far as I know, this is the
     first time in the Christian era that such a thing has happened.

     The men who compose it were cruelly driven out of Jerusalem by
     the Turks, and arrived in Egypt, with their families,
     absolutely destitute and starving.

     A complete transport Corps was there raised from them, for
     voluntary service with me against the Turks, whom they
     naturally detest.

     These troops were officially described as the "Zion Mule
     Corps," and the officers and rank and file have shown great
     courage in taking water, supplies and ammunition up to the
     fighting line under heavy fire. One of the private soldiers has
     been specially recommended by me for gallantry and has duly
     received from the King the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

It will therefore be seen that, in my endeavours to keep the Corps
alive, I had a powerful ally in Sir Ian Hamilton.

I was the guest of the Headquarters Staff in Imbros for a few days, so
that I had an opportunity of studying its ways at close quarters. There
was certainly no slacking here. Work seemed to go on day and night, and
the food and drink were almost spartan in their simplicity, practically
nothing but the rations which were served out to the troops, officers
and men alike.

I have heard some criticism levelled at the General for being camped
away from the Army, on a secluded island, but, in my humble opinion, it
was by far the best position for the Headquarters Staff and the
Commander-in-Chief, because, owing to the unfortunate division of the
Mediterranean Expeditionary Force into two parts, he was more in touch,
from Imbros, with Anzac and Helles than he could have been in any other
place.

Of course, had the Army been all together, I think to be with it would
be the right place for the Commander-in-Chief. It may suit the
temperament of the Japanese soldier to have his chief hidden miles away
from the battlefield, but I do not think that this plan fits in with the
temperament of the British soldier. He likes to see his General, and he
likes to know that his General sees him, and realises from personal
contact the nature of the task he is asking his men to perform.

While I was at Imbros, I made an expedition across the island over hill
and dale to the opposite shore, and it was curious to see the old-world
way in which the Greeks, who inhabit the island, live in these modern,
hustling days. There I saw two women grinding at the mill, and the oxen
treading out the corn, just as they did thousands of years ago
throughout all the lands of the East. I found the people hospitable and
kindly, ready to offer the stranger a cool draught of water from a
gushing spring (and this was really delicious after Gallipoli), or a
platter of luscious mulberries, which were then in season.

But what, perhaps, interested me beyond all else was the view which, on
my return journey, I obtained from the summit of a hill, of the position
of the Turkish guns at the back of Achi Baba. With my glasses I could
see them perfectly plainly, and could actually make out the gunners as
they served the guns. With a powerful telescope this would have made a
most excellent observation station, as all the Turkish movements at the
back of Achi Baba could be plainly seen from this Imbros hill.

When I left Headquarters at Imbros I took passage on a trawler which
called in at Anzac, where the Australian-New Zealand Army Corps were dug
into the ridges.

I had, of course, a good view of the position they held on the
precipitous cliffs and hills which rose in successive sierra-like
ridges from the very seashore, and I could then adequately realise the
tremendous feat they had performed in gaining a footing on these heights
against such a brave and well-armed foe as the Turks.

I had met the Australians before in March, when I had paid them a visit
in their romantic camping-ground under the shadow of the Pyramids, and
it was in the same month that I met, on the verandah of Shepheard's
Hotel, in Cairo, the chief medical officer to the Australian Army,
Surgeon-General Williams, whom I had met in South Africa and London some
fifteen years previously.

Thinking that he would remember me, I sat down beside him and opened the
conversation by saying: "Any chance of a billet with you, General?"

He looked rather blankly at me and said: "Not a ghost of a chance unless
you are an Australian. Who are you anyhow?"

I then told him who I was, upon which his face lit up with welcome, but
he would not believe that I could be the same man, and asked me to
remove my headgear so that he might have a good look at me, as he said I
had grown ten years younger.

"How do you manage to keep your youth?" he demanded.

"Oh," I replied, "it is easily done. An uneventful life and no worries,"
at which the General, knowing something of my travels and adventures,
winked, ordered a couple of whiskies and sodas, and over these we had a
long talk about things past, present and to come.

General Williams took me round the hospitals and kitchens out at Mena
Camp, where we inspected the ambulances and other things under his
charge, and I was much impressed with the completeness with which
Australia had equipped the magnificent fighting force which she had sent
to the aid of England.

It was a great pleasure to meet Colonel Ryan, a senior member of the
Australian Medical Staff, who had served with the Turks as a surgeon in
their last war against Russia and was with them all through the siege of
Plevna. I had read his most interesting book describing his experiences
in that war, and altogether I was delighted to have had the pleasure of
meeting this most genial Irish Australian.

Camp life at Mena, for the thirty odd thousand men in training there,
was very dull indeed. There was not much to relieve the monotony once
the Pyramids had been climbed and the Australian colours had been
planted on the summits, save an extra dose of sandstorm. It was no
wonder, therefore, that every now and again the troops would invade
Cairo in force and paint the city red; in fact, one night they painted
it very red indeed, when they held a corroboree round the blazing ruins
of a Cairene Courtesan's Temple, which they had given to the flames,
because the Priestess had, in some way or other, maladministered the
rites!

The Staff of the Australian and New Zealand Expeditionary Force,
commanded by General Birdwood, had their Headquarters at Shepheard's,
and there I met again young Onslow, of the Indian Cavalry, the General's
A. D. C., and one of the nicest and handsomest boys that ever buckled on
a sabre. He was not only beloved of men, but the gods loved him, too,
and it was a black day for me when I heard he was killed at Anzac.

I thought of all these things as I approached the little landing-stage
on the Anzac shore, where, as we dropped anchor close to the beach, we
got vigorously shelled by the Turks, whose guns, most artfully
concealed, dominated the landing.

In the course of the eight months' sojourn there, these guns were
responsible for the deaths of hundreds of the Australians and New
Zealanders, who were killed while they worked at loading and unloading
the stores and ammunition, which were constantly poured into Anzac. In
spite of this shell-fire, all through the hot weather scores of men
might be seen swimming about and thoroughly enjoying themselves in the
water. A look-out man was kept and when he reported a shell coming all
dived until the explosion was over.

There are many good stories told of the Australians and their want of
reverence for the Staff and their love for the General.

On one occasion, while a dignified and very portly British Staff
Officer, who had been having a swim, was drying himself, an Australian
came by, and, giving him a hearty smack, said: "Hallo, old sport, you
look about ready for the knife. Have you been getting into the
biscuit-tin?"

Whatever the Australians may have lacked in what soldiers know as
discipline and etiquette they more than made up for by their
fearlessness and utter contempt of death in the fight. The very fact
that they had gained a footing on these precipitous crags in the face of
a desperate resistance showed that they were a race of supermen.

In vain did the Turks, time after time, hurl themselves at them in an
attempt to drive them into the sea. The Turks would charge, crying:
"Allah! Allah!" The Australians would respond by leaping on the parapets
of their trenches, shouting: "Come on, you blighters, and bring him with
you." They fear nothing--God, Man, Death, or Devil!

When we eventually plant our flag triumphantly on Gallipoli, the flag of
Australia and New Zealand must float in the place of honour upon the
Anzac peaks, for here, in their shadows, at peace forever, lie thousands
of their bravest sons.

After a few hours my trawler weighed anchor and we steamed south for
Helles, which we reached in a couple of hours.

The skipper was a north of Ireland man, and he told me much about the
arduous life which the men in the trawlers and mine-sweepers led. During
the first attack upon the Dardanelles some of these went through a
perfect hell of shell-fire, in fact, right through the Narrows. For
eight months, scores of them were constantly on the perilous work of
mine-sweeping round Helles and the islands, or carrying troops to and
fro; and all this time they were daily under fire, or, during the night,
with all lights out, risking themselves and their vessels. More than one
sweeper, with all its crew and living freight, came to a sad and sudden
end through collision in the dark.

As we neared the landing-stage I spied a new kind of warship for the
first time, and as we passed close to her I saw her elevate the muzzles
of the two great guns with which she was armed and let fly a brace of
shells at the enemy's batteries on Asia. This was the coming of the
unsinkable Monitor, armed with her terrible fourteen-inch guns. I don't
know how accurate her shots were, but the Turkish gunner who replied was
a marvel, for, with his third shot, I saw him strike the deck of the
Monitor plump amidships. I heard afterwards that this shell went through
all the decks and stuck in the keel plate. By a great piece of good luck
no damage was done, as it did not explode.

When I reached the camp of my Zion men I held a parade and told them how
interested Sir Ian Hamilton was in the Corps, and how he wished it to be
kept up, and with that view had ordered me to proceed to Alexandria to
recruit two new troops of their co-religionists. I asked them all to be
good boys while I was away, and to work as well for Lieutenant Gye, who
would command them in my absence, as they had always worked for me, and
in this way keep up the reputation of the Zion Corps.



CHAPTER XXIII

VOYAGE TO EGYPT


To assist me in recruiting, I decided to take with me Claude Rolo,
Captain Trumpledor, and Corporal Groushkousky, D. C. M. At 2 P. M. on
the 25th July we steamed away from Cape Helles in a little trawler and
without adventure arrived at Lemnos at about 7 P. M. We immediately went
on board the Staff Ship the _Aragon_ in order to get a warrant for our
passages to Alexandria.

I must say that I was astonished to find such a splendid Royal Mail Line
Steamer as the _Aragon_ anchored idly in Mudros harbour, merely to
provide quarters for the Lines of Communication Staff. She must have
been costing thousands of pounds per week and might have been doing much
more useful work on the high seas, where there was a shortage of ships
of all kinds.

I have no doubt there were many good men aboard who would prefer to have
roughed it on the island in tents, as did the members of Sir Ian
Hamilton's Headquarters Staff at Imbros, and there was no reason, so far
as I know, why they should not have camped on Lemnos.

It was twenty-four hours before we could take ship for Alexandria, so,
during the interval, I went to call on a naval officer who held an
important Staff appointment, and who happened to be at the moment in
Mudros harbour.

I found the same old difficulty of getting about in the harbour from one
ship to another, and it was only due to the courtesy of the Captain
commanding the _Aragon_, who kindly placed his boat, cox, and crew at my
disposal, that I was enabled to visit my friend. It was a lovely
moonlight night as we skimmed across the shimmering water and it was not
long until I found myself on the quarter deck of the "----."

My naval friend had just finished dinner when I got aboard, and was most
sympathetic and helpful when I told him some of the things which were
troubling my mind, and which I had specially come to lay before him. I
was anxious to get him to use his influence to send more lighters and
more tugs to assist in the disembarkation of stores at Helles. The
landing officer there, just before my departure, had begged of me to do
what I could in this respect with somebody in authority, as he said he
had made repeated requisitions for more tugs and lighters, but all in
vain. I was anxious, too, because the pier which had been built by the
sappers was of a very flimsy nature, and I knew that the first storm
that arose would wash the whole thing away, and then, unless there was a
good store of provisions, ammunition, forage, etc., on shore, it would
be a very bad look-out for those of us on the Peninsula. As a matter of
fact the pier was washed away later on, and for some time the horses and
mules were on half rations, and we ourselves were threatened with a
shortage of food, but, mainly owing to the excellent arrangements made
by Brigadier-General Coe, the head of the Supply and Transport
Department, Colonel Striedinger, and other members of his efficient
Staff, no breakdown ever occurred.

My naval friend was not over pleased when I told him about this shortage
of boats and tugs, and led me to understand that the Navy had supplied
everything which the Army had demanded.

It is of vital importance, when our Army and Navy work together, as so
often happens, that the Staffs of both should pull together. I think
this could be ensured if a capable naval officer, having the entire
confidence of the Admiral on the spot, were attached to the General's
Headquarters, and a capable military officer, in whom the General placed
implicit reliance, were put on the Admiral's Staff; these two officers
working together for the common good would obviate all friction. Of
course, I am aware that naval and military officers are interchanged on
the Staff, but juniors are not good enough for this; they should be
senior men who could speak with authority, and whose opinions would
carry weight.

The position of the island of Lemnos, some forty miles southwest of the
Dardanelles, makes it an important strategic point, more especially as
it possesses a magnificent harbour which, with very little trouble and
expense, could be made practically impregnable. I sincerely hope that we
will retain possession of this island for, with it as a naval base, the
Dardanelles can be bottled up at any moment, and the whole of the
adjacent seas dominated.

Turkey at present still claims the island. It should therefore be
annexed by us as some small compensation for the Gallipoli failure.

On the following day at 7 P. M. we got on board a transport bound for
Australia, via Port Said. I found myself the Senior Officer on board,
and therefore had to take command of the troops, and among my other
charges were some fifty nursing sisters, who had been brought to Lemnos
direct from England, and were now being transferred for duty to the
military hospitals in Egypt.

Soon after I got aboard we weighed anchor, and I then put the ship's
adjutant to the task of detailing to their boats every individual on the
ship for whom I was responsible, as I knew there were hostile submarines
six or seven hours out from Lemnos, and I wished to be as ready as
possible in case of an attack.

At nine o'clock I got the Captain to sound the alarm, when everybody
rushed and stood by their own particular boat; I then made a minute
inspection, looked over the list of names boat by boat, and by ten
o'clock all knew their proper places.

The night was hot, so laying a blanket on the deck, I slept on it there.
I was awakened out of a deep sleep by a loud explosion. I leaped up
instantly, not yet quite wide awake, saying to myself, what a funny time
for an aeroplane to drop a bomb. The next instant I realised that I was
at sea, and it flashed through my mind that we had been torpedoed. As I
looked over the side, I saw a shell explode a mile or so away, over and
beyond a submarine which, in the bright moonshine, could just be made
out. The report which had roused me was a shot which had been fired from
our own 4.7-inch gun fixed on the stern of the ship. The vessel was
instantly swung round so as to present as small a surface as possible to
the submarine, and we made off as fast as the ship could steam. A
British war-vessel of some kind came up in a few minutes, and we saw and
heard nothing more of the submarine, but during the few minutes while
the alarm lasted, things were pretty lively on board our transport, and
many of the nurses rushed to the side to see what had happened, but
there was no sign of alarm or panic among them; they took it all as a
matter of course, and seemed quite disappointed when we reached Port
Said without further adventure.



CHAPTER XXIV

RECRUITING IN EGYPT


We were detained one night in Port Said, and the following morning made
our way by rail to Alexandria. It was an interesting journey because it
took us along the Suez Canal as far as Ismalia, where we saw all the
defences and the troops guarding it, and also the precautions taken by
the householders along the bank, who had turned their homes into little
sand-bagged forts. It was on this journey that I saw, for the first
time, the celebrated battlefield of Tel-el-Kebir where General Wolseley
crushed Arabi Pasha and his army, and there the graves of British and
Egyptian soldiers who fell in the battle may be seen from the railway
carriages. This journey to Alexandria is rather a roundabout one, for it
is necessary to go almost to Cairo before reaching the Cairo to
Alexandria line. However, we eventually reached Alexandria in the
afternoon, and Claude Rolo took me to the house of his mother, Mrs. J.
Rolo, one of the kindest and best ladies it has ever been my good
fortune to meet. Here, in this most comfortable and luxurious house, I
was made to feel thoroughly at home. While there, I, unfortunately, had
a rather severe attack of fever, but thanks to Mrs. Rolo and her nieces,
especially "the angel Gabrielle," I was soon restored to health.

My first duty was to see General Sir John Maxwell at Cairo and get his
consent and help in raising new recruits for the Zion Mule Corps.

When I arrived in Cairo, however, in the afternoon, I found that I could
not see the General until the next morning, so I determined to go and
see a friend in hospital, but in which hospital? That was my difficulty.

As I was standing in the verandah of Shepheard's Hotel, wondering to
whom I could apply for information, up the steps from the street tripped
a charming young lady in nurse's costume. "The very thing for me," I
said to myself, and without more ado I walked up to her and explained my
difficulty and asked her if she could help. She was kindness itself, and
took a great deal of trouble to put me in touch with my friend, and
through taking her advice I succeeded in my quest.

I saw Miss ---- again on several occasions in the hotel, but not being
of a forward nature, I kept out of her way. General Williams told me
that she was an Australian lady devoting herself to nursing the sick and
wounded. I have heard since that she has added beauty to the British
Peerage.

While I was in Cairo, I visited the Turkish wounded in the Red Crescent
Hospital there, where they were well looked after and seemed most
comfortable. I met a very interesting young Turkish officer, the son of
Djemel Pasha, with whom I had a long conversation. He had been captured
by the Indian Lancers when he was reconnoitring for the attack on the
Suez Canal. He told me that he was the only survivor of a party of
twelve, and that he himself had received fourteen lance wounds. He was
an extremely good type of Turkish officer, and during the short time we
were together we became great friends, and on leaving him he took my
hand in both his and shook it warmly, saying he hoped we would always be
good friends no matter what the politicians might do for our respective
countries.

When I saw General Maxwell he did everything necessary to ensure my
success in this new endeavour to raise recruits; he summoned the
leading Israelitish notables of Cairo to meet me in his office, where he
put my needs before them, and requested them to do what was possible in
the way of getting suitable men from their community. Two members of
this committee took an interest in raising recruits for the corps, Moise
Cattaui Pasha and Mr. Jack Mosseri, the latter a well-known Zionist and
a great Hebrew scholar, thoroughly imbued with all the best ideals of
the Hebrew race. He was a tower of strength to me, and organised
meetings in various synagogues throughout Cairo. One such meeting which
took place in the beautiful temple in the Mousky I shall never forget.
We walked through this celebrated and picturesque part of Cairo to the
meeting--and what a walk! the colours, the lights, the sights, and the
sounds, were all redolent of the very heart of the East; even Rahab
might be seen there looking out of a window; but of all the charms of
the Mousky, and it has many, commend me to its smells! There you will
find the full fragrance of the East in all its pristine power and glory!
Threading our way carefully through the narrow alley-ways, dexterously
avoiding babies, donkeys, mules and camels, we at last reached the
Temple. We found it packed with people, and on the platform stood the
Grand Rabbi of Cairo, a most imposing and eastern-looking personage, and
other notables of the city.

Cattaui Pasha and others, whom Mr. Mosseri had interested in the
movement, made stirring addresses to the Jewish youths among the
congregation. The result of Mr. Mosseri's efforts was that, in the
course of a few weeks, some one hundred and fifty Jewish recruits had
been obtained from Cairo alone, and these I designated the "Cairo Troop"
of the Zion Mule Corps.

I am sure that Mr. Jack Mosseri will be glad to know that the great
majority of these men whom he took so much trouble to imbue with the old
Hebrew fighting spirit of the heroes of the past, proved courageous and
useful soldiers, when, after a brief training, they found themselves
before the enemy in Gallipoli.

While I was at Alexandria I was unlucky enough to get my hand crushed
under a motor, and as it required a great deal of attention, I used to
go to the Greek Hospital every day because it was close to the office
where I worked. This hospital was full of our sick and wounded, where
they were carefully attended and nursed by an efficient staff of Greek
doctors and Greek nurses. I used to go round the wards talking to the
men, and they were all perfectly happy and contented, expressing
gratitude for the care lavished on them by the Greek ladies of
Alexandria. Dr. Petredes attended to my wounded hand, and nobody could
have been more kind. One of the Greek sisters told me rather a pathetic
story about an Australian. He was a young fellow badly wounded in the
leg; the wound got worse and worse, and it was seen that he must die. He
was told by the clergyman who came to visit him that his case was
hopeless, but he was not in the least bit upset about himself, he only
grieved at the sorrow it would give his mother. Knowing that a
photograph would be a comfort to her, he asked if a photographer could
be brought. When the latter had arrived, the brave lad insisted on being
propped up in bed, and then requested the photographer not to snap him
until he could get a nice smile on his face, "For," he said, "I would
like my mother to know that I am dying quite happy." In a few hours the
boy had passed away, but there remained a photograph with a bright,
cheery smile as some small consolation for the bereaved mother.



CHAPTER XXV

LIFE IN EGYPT


While I was in Egypt a few things struck me with particular force: one
was the inefficiency of the Police of Alexandria; another the appalling
callousness of the average Egyptian in his treatment of animals.

It was an amusing sight in Alexandria to watch the police trying to
regulate the traffic. The drivers would take absolutely no notice of the
policeman's raised hand, and would dash recklessly over the crossing,
quite regardless of what might be coming down the cross street. After
being flouted in this way, the policeman would leave his beat, run after
the driver and, on catching him up, engage in a wordy warfare for five
minutes. The same performance would be repeated over and over again as
each successive Jehu came furiously along at his best pace.

I also had some experience of the lax methods prevailing in the Passport
Department--a most important office in war-time, especially in a
country like Egypt, which was simply teeming with spies.

A couple of my men who had been sent from Gallipoli to the Base Hospital
at Alexandria, owing to wounds or illness, wished to resign from the
Corps and go to America, as they had no desire to return to the
Dardanelles. I, of course, could not grant their request, so by some
means or other (bribery, no doubt) they obtained a false passport, got
on board ship and gave instructions to some friends of theirs to inform
me, three days after they had left, that they were on their way to
America and hoped I did not mind! To make sure that these rascals were
not merely hiding in Alexandria, I carefully investigated the matter and
found that one, at all events, had really sailed.

I have referred to the cruelty which the average Egyptian shows in his
treatment of animals. To give one glaring example: there is a steep
incline over the railway bridge near Gibbari, a suburb of Alexandria.
Over this bridge, the slopes of which are paved with smooth stones,
rolls a great part of the immense traffic which goes to and from the
docks. Almost at any hour of the day one may see half-a-dozen wretched
horses hauling overladen carts up this slippery slope, being
unmercifully beaten by their drivers, and falling sometimes two or
three times before they reach the summit. I say, without hesitation,
that such a scandal is a blot on Alexandria, a blot on the police
officials, who wink at it, and a blot on the British rulers in Egypt who
tolerate such a state of affairs. A couple of thousand pounds should be
set aside at once to remedy the grievous sufferings which are daily and
hourly inflicted there on our unfortunate dumb friends.

I was told that a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
flourishes in the country. If a member of it ever goes up and down the
Gibbari Bridge, he must surely turn a blind eye on the cruel sights
which are to be seen there almost at any time, otherwise he must be
shamed forever. This recalls to my mind a story which Gye once told me
about a leading light of this Society who was on a visit to Egypt. He
made a tour of the Provinces, and at each place he visited he was
delighted to find that the officials were most zealous supporters of the
Society. As a proof of their keenness for the League, they would conduct
him to the public pound and show him numbers of maimed camels, horses
and donkeys which they assured him was the day's catch. Of course it was
all eyewash, as the wily officials had got news of the coming of the
great one, and told the police to lock up the wretched animals for just
as long as he was in the place and no longer.

While the Arabs show appalling callousness to the sufferings of animals,
they often exhibit intense kindness and affection for each other; more
especially does the Arab mother show great love for her child. A pretty
story has come down to us illustrating this maternal solicitude. An Arab
youth married a maiden whom he came to love passionately, but he had
great love for his mother too, and of this the wife was intensely
jealous, so much so, that she told him one day that she could never love
him fully while his mother lived, and that the only way for him to
secure her affections was to kill his mother and bring her heart as a
peace-offering. The wretched youth, blinded by passion, committed this
terrible crime, and, concealing his mother's heart within his gown, he
ran swiftly to present it to his wife. On the way he tripped and fell
heavily, and, in doing so, the heart fell to the ground. On picking it
up to replace it, the heart said to him, "My poor boy, I hope you did
not hurt yourself when you fell."

I related this story to a friend in London, and he said: "Now I will
tell you a story of filial piety on the part of an English boy. He
possessed a dog of which he was passionately fond, named Paddy. One day
a cart ran over Paddy in the street, and he was picked up dead. The
boy's mother broke the dreadful news to her little son while he was
having dinner, saying how sorry she was to have to tell him that poor
Paddy was killed. The boy was not very much concerned, and went on
eating his pudding. Later on, however, in the nursery his Nana condoled
with him on the loss of his pet, whereupon he raised a tremendous
outcry, sobbing and weeping bitterly. His mother rushed up to see what
was the matter, and on finding he was weeping for the dog, said, 'But,
darling, I told you at dinner-time that Paddy was killed, and you didn't
seem to mind much.'

"'Oh, mammy,' he sobbed, 'I thought you said Daddy--not Paddy.'"

Thinking this would be a good story to tell a little boy that I know
very well, I related it to him, but as he took it very gravely, I asked
him whether he saw the joke, and he said, "No." Now he possessed a black
kitten, named "Mike," for which he had a great affection, so I thought I
could illustrate my story by saying: "Well, now tell me which would you
rather see run over and killed--Mike or Daddy?"

Having given long and serious consideration to this problem, and with a
troubled look on his little face, he, after a great inward struggle, at
last said: "I _think_ Mike."

During the time I was in Alexandria an attempt was made there on the
life of the Sultan of Egypt, not the first attempt, by any means. Now
the Sultan is a kindly, good-natured ruler, having the welfare of Egypt
and the Egyptians thoroughly at heart; there is nothing whatever of the
tyrant about him, and therefore there is no excuse for attempting his
life. I happen to know that the Sultan was not at all anxious to accept
the dignity which was thrust upon him, but since he has fallen in with
the policy of England, it is the duty of England to protect him and
uphold him by every means in her power. Let it be known that in case of
any further attempt stern measures will be taken, not only on the
perpetrator of the crime, or the attempted crime, but on the family and
relatives of the criminal, and also on the leading members of any
political society to which he belonged--because, of course, they are all
in league with each other and know perfectly well what is going on--and
if they knew that they would be punished as well as the criminal they
would take good care either to dissuade him from the crime or give
timely warning to the authorities. If they fail to do this, their
property should be confiscated to the State, and if the crime were
perpetrated from a hired house, then the owner of the house, who had let
it, should be severely punished, because in Egypt the only policy that
is understood by the criminal agitator is two eyes for one eye, and a
whole row of teeth for one tooth; and the sooner our pusillanimous
politicians realise this the better it will be for Egypt, the Egyptians,
and the continuance of our rule there. As ex-President Roosevelt said in
his vigorous and memorable speech at the Guildhall, we should either
"govern Egypt or get out." It is impossible to govern such a country on
the milk-and-water policy so loved by invertebrate politicians.

I was privileged, while at Alexandria, to meet on many occasions Prince
Fuad, the brother of the Sultan, and it was at one of his many
interesting and hospitable receptions, for which he is famous, that I
had the opportunity of being presented to His Highness the Sultan. When,
however, I looked through the windows of the room where the Sultan was
receiving, I saw that he did not appear to be very well (it was soon
after the attempt had been made on his life), and there was such a
throng waiting to be presented that I determined that I, at least, would
save him the fatigue of a handshake. There were compensations for my
solicitude for the Sultan, because at that very moment I was talking to
a most charming and interesting lady, whose people had hailed from the
famous city of the Caliphs, Baghdad, and although her ancestors came
from that dusky neighbourhood, she herself was fair as a lily, had
gloriously red hair, and was withal as entertaining as Scheherazade. At
this same entertainment I saw standing before my eyes and talking to the
Sultan a lady whom I took to be Cleopatra herself returned to life. I
was amazed to see some one really alive so like the picture of the
famous Queen of Egypt, and yet there she was within a few feet of me,
carrying on an animated conversation with the Sultan. I came to know
"Cleopatra" and her husband very well indeed during my stay in Egypt,
and I spent many an enjoyable evening under their hospitable roof. And
what a delightful couple they were! I shall never forget a little
impromptu concert which took place one night as we sat out under the
rustling palms in the soft moonlight. Cleopatra's husband melted all
our hearts by singing, in his low, sweet voice, "Un peu d'amour." It
prompted me to make the ungallant remark to Cleopatra that I really did
not know which of them I liked the better, and ever afterwards she
whimsically pretended to be hurt at the lack of discernment which I had
shown.

Now, Cleopatra, before I bid you good-bye, I will only say that I am
glad you did not live in the days of the Pharaohs, because if you had, I
am sure you would have been given to the crocodiles, for you must know
that once a year, in those barbarous, far-off times, there was chosen
for that sacrifice the most lovely and the most perfect maiden in all
Egypt.

It was at some reception or other in Egypt that I met, about this time,
an officer who had been on the Staff of the 29th Division in Gallipoli.
Riding about the Peninsula as we both did, we met practically every day
during two or three months, and although we rode together and were quite
good friends, I never knew what his name was, and I never tried to find
out, as I am not of an inquisitive nature. However, one day he
disappeared and his place in Gallipoli knew him no more. I thought it
was very likely he had been killed, because his duties often took him
into perilous places--indeed, any and every place in Gallipoli was
perilous in those days. At all events, here I met him safe and sound, on
which I heartily congratulated him. A little later he asked to be
introduced to a friend of mine who was also at the reception, so I was
compelled to confess that I had not the foggiest notion as to his name.
"My name is B----," he replied; and on asking him if he was any relation
of ----, mentioning a well-known public man in England, with whom a few
days before I left home I had been walking up and down Rotten Row, "Oh,
yes," said he; "that's my father!"

My Gallipoli friend was, unfortunately, on the Persia when she was sunk
without warning in the Mediterranean, and went down with the ship; but
his time was not yet, for he luckily came up again, and was numbered
with the saved, for which Allah be praised.

I hope the reader will not run away with the idea that I spent my time
in Egypt in a round of festivities and riotous living. It was, as a
matter of fact, very much the reverse, because even when I went to these
receptions I combined business with pleasure by getting the people I met
there to help me to get recruits and to interest themselves in the Zion
Mule Corps.



CHAPTER XXVI

RETURN TO GALLIPOLI


I was very impatient to get back to Gallipoli and made several
applications to the Staff both by letter and by telegram to do so, but
it takes a long time for the machine to move! At last I received the
anxiously looked for orders for myself and my new men to embark.

I had a little trouble with a member of the Staff before I left, and, as
it illustrates the pettiness of some men even when great events are at
stake, I think it is worth recounting. I had sent him my embarkation
return, showing the number of officers and other ranks bound for the
Dardanelles. In the meantime a telegram arrived from Gallipoli asking
for two of my officers to be sent there immediately. I had them on board
and on their way to the front within four hours of the time I read the
message. Two days afterwards when I came to embark, I had with me my men
and one other officer, but the red-tape, red-tabbed acting Staff man
objected to this officer going, as he said my original application was
for three officers only, and of these, he said, "Two have already gone;
you make the third, therefore the other officer cannot go; he must be
left behind to look after the men at Wardian Camp." It was in vain that
I pointed out to him that this officer would be of little use at
Wardian, but that he was invaluable to me, as he knew the various
languages of the men, which I did not, and that I could not very well
get on without him. He was obdurate, so I said that, as I must have the
officer with me, I would, if necessary, go and see the General and get
his sanction. On hearing this threat he took counsel with another
red-tab man, whose official designation entitled him to write half the
letters of the alphabet after his name, and who, from the little I saw
of him, was, I consider, fully entitled to three or four more! These two
tin gods, having privily consulted together, issued a _ukase_ to the
effect that it would be impossible to allow the officer to accompany me
to Gallipoli. "All right, then," I said; "there is nothing for it but to
see the General, as I must have this officer." This meant that I had to
motor some three miles and lose a lot of precious time in order to
outwit these ruddy obstructionists, a thing I was determined to do at
all costs. When I got to the General's office, I first interviewed his
Staff Officer, Major Ainsworth, one of the most sensible and helpful
staff officers it has been my luck to come across during the whole
campaign. On my proceeding to tell him what I wanted, he said: "Oh, I
know all about it. Major ---- has already telephoned to me that you were
on the way, and has said that, in his opinion, you should not be allowed
to embark your extra officer." I remarked to Major Ainsworth that it
appeared to me that some of the Staff were only there to obstruct, and I
repeated that this man was necessary to me for the efficiency of my
Corps, and that it was much more to the point to have efficient officers
in Gallipoli, rather than to leave them behind kicking their heels in
idleness in Alexandria. This had the desired effect on a sensible man
like Major Ainsworth, who tactfully told Major ---- that I must have the
officer with me that I wanted; and so the incident was closed.

On embarking for Gallipoli for the second time I found that I had 1,100
men on board, made up of 102 different units, many of them without
officers, and as I was again the senior on board, I had to take command
of the whole, and jolly glad was I to know that I would only be
responsible for such a heterogeneous collection for two or three days.
The first thing that I discovered on going aboard was that for the 1,100
men we had only boat accommodation for 700 in the event of the ship
being sunk. I asked the skipper if he usually put to sea in war-time,
when submarines were about, with an inadequate supply of boats, and I
refused to sign the clearing papers to say that I was satisfied with all
the arrangements on board ship. The captain fully agreed with me; he
anchored the vessel in the outer harbour, and we went back together next
morning and interviewed the naval authorities, who were furious at the
delay in sailing and at my demand for more boats, but at the same time
promised to send them out to us in the course of an hour or two, and as
soon as they arrived and were stowed away on the deck, we sailed for
Lemnos.

I am very thankful that we dodged the submarines on the way, because
with such an overcrowded vessel, with so many different units, most of
them without officers, and hardly standing room for everybody, and with
very inadequate means of getting boats out, I fear that there would not
have been many survivors had the vessel been sunk. I issued orders to
all on board never to part with their life belts, as they would have to
depend on them principally, and not on the boats, for their lives. We
were lucky to escape, for just about this time the transport _Ramadan_
was sunk with heavy loss of life. It passes my comprehension that
ship-owners should be allowed to continue the antiquated methods of boat
lowering which are still in existence. How many hundreds of lives have
been lost owing to the stupid method in use! Ropes, blocks and tackle
are fixed to the bow and stern of each boat, and to ensure that it
should reach the sea on an even keel the men using both sets of tackle
must lower away at exactly the same rate. What actually happens in any
time of excitement is that one rope is lowered much more quickly than
the other, with the result that the unfortunate occupants are tilted
into the sea and drowned. It would be a simple matter to lower boats by
means of one rope only, and this method should be made compulsory on all
ship-owners.

Captain Williams of the Munsters was my ship's adjutant. I believe he
was the only surviving officer who had landed from the _River Clyde_ on
that memorable morning of the 25th of April; he had gone through that
desperate fight, and had been engaged in every battle on the Peninsula
since that date, and yet had come through it all unscathed. He must have
borne a charmed life, and I sincerely hope his luck will stick to him
to the end. He practically did all the work of the ship for me, and I
never had a more efficient adjutant.

We reached Lemnos in safety, and got into the harbour at dusk, just
before the entrance was blocked up, because, of course, the harbour
mouth was sealed every night from dark to dawn, owing to the fear of
submarines. We lay at anchor all night and most part of the next day,
and, as nobody seemed to take the slightest notice of our arrival, the
captain and I sailed across the harbour in a tiny boat, although the sea
was far from calm, and, on reaching the _Aragon_, I reported myself to a
gentleman in an eye-glass, whom I had never seen before and never want
to see again. He was very "haw haw," and said that I had no business to
leave my ship until the military landing officer had been aboard. I
remarked that we had been waiting in the harbour so long that I thought
perhaps the military landing officer was dead, and so I had come myself
to report our arrival. With that I left him and returned to the ship,
and soon afterwards we were boarded by the landing officers, and the
1,100 men were drafted off to their different units, I going with mine
on a trawler to Cape Helles. We arrived at Lancashire Landing on a
beautiful calm moonlight night, and were received with joyous shouts of
"Shalom" (the Hebrew form of salutation) from the veterans of the Corps.

I missed the face of Lieutenant Gorodisky from among those who greeted
me, for, alas, he had died during my absence from an illness contracted
owing to the hardships of the campaign. By his death the Corps suffered
a severe loss. He had resigned from an important and lucrative post in
Alexandria and enlisted as a private soldier in the Zion Mule Corps. His
ability and soldierly qualities soon raised him to officer's rank, and
he was one of the best and most useful in the Corps. Like all Israelites
he was passionately fond of music, and it was he who wrote out for me
the Hatikvoh, the music of which has been arranged for me by Miss Eva
Lonsdale and will be found in the Appendix. He told me once that, though
the Germans claimed that they were the most musical nation in the world,
yet all their best musicians were either Jews or had Jewish blood in
them. His death was a sad blow to his widowed mother, as he was her only
child. Madame Gorodisky may, however, be proud to have been the mother
of such a noble character, and it will, I trust, be some consolation to
her to know that he was held in the highest esteem by every officer and
man, not only in the Zion Mule Corps but also by those who knew him in
the French and British regiments among whom we were camped.



CHAPTER XXVII

BEELZEBUB


I found, on my return in September, that life on the Peninsula was much
less strenuous than when I had left for Egypt at the end of July. The
Turks must have been very short of ammunition, for few shells were fired
for the first five or six weeks after our arrival. I was able to have
drills and parades in the open, exposed to the full view of Achi Baba
and Krithia--a thing which would have been out of the question in the
early days. It was quite a pleasure to be able to ride about all over
the Peninsula even to within a few hundred yards of the Turkish trenches
without being shelled. Of course, in the days when the Turks had plenty
of ammunition, they thought nothing of wasting half a dozen rounds on a
solitary horseman, and many a time have I had to gallop at breakneck
speed to avoid the shrapnel which they peppered me with on many
occasions. I was very glad indeed that shells were rather scarce, as it
gave my recruits time to get into shape and get used to the conditions
of warfare.

The new Cairo men took to the life very kindly, and soon burrowed
themselves well into the ground and adapted themselves to cave dwelling
as to the manner born.

In the evenings, when our day's toil was ended, we had concerts round
our camp fires and enjoyed ourselves as much as it was possible to do
under the circumstances; in fact, at times we used to forget that we
were at war.

The camp-fire sing-songs were rather weird affairs--songs in English
(Tipperary, for choice), French, Russian, Hebrew and Arabic--the two
latter made rather melancholy by the plaintive wail of the East. Some of
the men were first-rate Russian dancers and expert wrestlers, so we had
many excellent little side-shows.

The concerts were always ended by singing "God Save the King," the
Marseillaise (for many French soldiers would be present), the Russian
Anthem, and last of all the Maccabæan March.

We had many visitors to our quaint polyglot lines; a strenuous
lieutenant all the way from Canada often called on us, and I was
indebted to him for an invitation to come and try my hand at
tent-pegging on a beautiful tan track which he had made and at which
various officers used to meet to run a course.

Now I used to be rather good at the game, and I think I rather surprised
my Canadian friend, Maurice, when, in answer to his bantering challenge:
"Now, Colonel, show us how it's done!" I took every peg for which I
tried. It was good to find that one could still ride straight and depend
on eye, hand and arm, and that the spear-point could be made to strike
the peg as squarely and as surely as of old.

There was not a great deal of work to be done in these days, as there
was now any amount of other Transport which took much of the weight off
our shoulders.

The lack of steady hard work made the mules very frisky, and some of
them were regular demons. We had one which was rightly named Beelzebub,
for he was indeed a prince of devils, and I veritably believe he made
all the other mules laugh when he kicked one or other of the N. C. O.'s
or men. He had an extraordinary cat-like faculty of being able to plant
fore and hind feet into one's ribs practically simultaneously, while at
the same moment he would make a grab at one's head, emitting all the
while strange noises and terrifying squeals! He pinned me in a corner
one day, apparently to the delight of the other mules, and I was glad to
get out of it alive! In order to make him pay a little more respect to
his commanding officer for the future, I ordered him to be tied up to a
tree and kept for a day without food or water. This, however, did not
fall in with Beelzebub's theory of things, so he gnawed through the rope
in the night and then made for the forage stack, where, to make up for
lost time, he ate about six mule rations!--at which the other mules did
not laugh!

No one was over-particular about Beelzebub's safety, as he was not what
might be called popular, so instead of being put down with the others in
a dug-out, where indeed he would have kicked them to bits, he was
generally left by himself in about the most exposed position that could
be found for him in the camp, and I am quite certain that both Jewish
and Gentile prayers went up for his speedy annihilation by a Turkish
shell; but Beelzebub bore a charmed life. Shells hopped all round him,
cut in two great trees which sheltered him, excavated enormous caverns
at his very heels, but the only effect they had on Beelzebub was to
rouse his ire and start him off on a fresh kicking bout. At last a chunk
of shell hit the ground close to him, bounced up and "ricked" off his
ribs, making a wound, not very serious, it is true, but still not
exactly calculated to improve his diabolical temper.

I sent him off to the sick lines to have his wound dressed. Now I never
could find out what he actually did to the veterinary surgeon who tried
to doctor him there, but this officer wrote a polite little note
requesting me to be so very kind as to remember in future that his
hospital was for sick mules--not for Man-Eaters!

I have already mentioned that on the night of my return to Gallipoli
from Egypt a brilliant moon was shining, and by the light of it I saw
great mounds of earthworks thrown up just to one side of our lines. On
looking closer, I found that these were the emplacements for four heavy
French guns of 9.6-inch calibre.

I cannot say that I was over-pleased at the sight, because I knew that
the moment they opened fire their position would be seen from Achi Baba,
and the shells which the Turks would be bound to hurl at them would be
more than likely to miss the battery and hit my men and my mules.

Two French officers were in charge of the siege pieces, Captain Cujol
and Lieutenant La Rivière, both exceedingly nice men with whom we made
great friends. The gallant captain was a great horseman, and I often
delighted him (for he had no horse with him) by mounting him on one of
mine, and together riding over the Peninsula. Lieutenant La Rivière, who
was a much-travelled man, often entertained us with stories of his
wanderings and adventures in Arabia, Abyssinia and the Soudan in the
long evenings after we had all dined together in our cosy little
dug-out.

While I was away recruiting in Egypt the glamour of the Horse Artillery
had fallen upon Gye, and, furthermore, Davidson and other officers of L
Battery had beguiled him, so that soon after my return he asked me if I
would let him go to the Gunners. I was glad to recommend him for the
transfer, for I felt that with his sound common sense and good
horsemastership he would be of more use to the general cause as a gunner
than as a muleteer.

I had two British officers still left with me, and here, too, was a case
of good material being wasted on work which could have been equally well
done by less brainy men.

Claude Rolo was an eminent civil engineer, and had constructed some of
the most important public buildings in Egypt, and, of course, his
proper place would have been with the Sappers. His brother, I. Rolo,
with his vast business experience in Egypt, should have been employed as
purchasing agent for the Army, where his knowledge of local affairs
would undoubtedly have saved us tens of thousands of pounds. His talents
were wasted merely keeping the records of the Zion Mule Corps Depot at
Alexandria. I recommended both for transfer, but I fear their services
are still being wasted.

I wonder when we will wake up to the fact that we have plenty of talent
if only those in authority would avail themselves of it and use it in
the right way.



CHAPTER XXVIII

A FEAT IN GUNNERY


By this time, after many weeks and months of delving, the efforts of our
Engineers and other troops to alter the geographical features of the
Peninsula began to have effect. Long lines of communication trenches
were dug to and fro everywhere. Indeed, the amount of earthwork that was
excavated in digging trenches and dug-outs, both at Helles and Anzac,
was simply "colossal." If the same amount of digging, trenching and
dug-outing had been concentrated into one effort, it would have been
possible to make a canal across the narrowest part of the Peninsula,
wide enough and deep enough for the _Queen Elizabeth_ and the rest of
the British Fleet to sail through, without let or hindrance, to
Constantinople!

One good thing the diggers did was to make the communication trenches
wide and deep enough to give ample cover to horses and mules. In
consequence of this, it was now possible to take ammunition and supplies
to the front during daylight, and so most of our night work ceased.
Small detachments of men and mules were attached to various battalions
for transport work, and all over the Peninsula Zion men could be met
cantering along on their mules--for they were good horsemen--and they
invariably rode when they had a chance. They looked very comical as they
galloped along, uttering exulting yells, their faces grimy, caps crammed
home on the back of their heads, jacketless and with torn shirts,
perched up on the pack saddles, the chains of which clattered loudly at
each stride of the mule. Our soldiers, with their usual happy knack for
nicknames, christened them the "Allies Cavalry," while a brilliant wit
went even one better and dubbed them "Ally Sloper's Cavalry!"

While the men were out on these detached posts, I, of course, visited
them at regular intervals to see that they were keeping up the
reputation of the Corps and also to hear any reports or complaints they
might have to make. It was rarely that a day went by without something
odd or amusing, or both, happening at one or other of these detached
posts. For example: I had some men stationed up the Gully Ravine, and
just before I visited them the Turks had given them a vigorous
bombardment which had set fire to the forage which was stored close by
the mules. The last of it was being burned up just as I arrived on the
scene and, as my men were still lying low in their dug-out, I shouted
for the corporal and angrily demanded why they had not saved the forage.
He replied: "Turk he fire shells, plenty shells, hot, hot--too bloody
hot," which showed that their sojourn with the British Army, if it was
doing nothing else, was at least improving their knowledge of classical
English!

Although Gye had by this time joined L Battery for duty, he still lived
with me in our little dug-out under the great olive tree, which, by the
way, now supplied us with excellent olives. Being with the gunners, he
would occasionally get early news of an artillery "strafe," which, as a
rule, we went together to watch from some commanding position.

I was not surprised, therefore, when one afternoon he came in from the
battery and told me there was to be a most interesting "shoot" on in the
afternoon, nothing less than the "strafing" of a troublesome Turkish
redoubt by the huge guns of one of the Monitors. As this promised to be
a rare good show, we sallied forth on our horses, taking the road by X
Beach and the Gully Ravine. On reaching our observation post and seeing
no sign of a Monitor in the vicinity, I remarked to Gye: "It certainly
is a very fine afternoon for a ride, but I don't see much appearance of
that 'strafe' you promised to show me."

"I think it will be all right," replied Gye, "there is the Monitor away
out at sea," pointing to a speck close over to the Imbros shore, some
seven or eight miles away--a mere cockleshell in the distance.

On looking from the speck to the redoubt I said: "It is not a 'strafe'
you have brought me out to see but a miracle," because it looked to me
that it would be little short of a miracle to hit that small redoubt
which, of course, could only be faintly seen from the tops of the
Monitor by telescope.

However, I hadn't to wait long for the wonderful sight. Punctually to
the moment when it was expected, we saw the Monitor enveloped in great
billows of waving clouds of flame and smoke--one of her great 14-inch
guns had been fired. Anxiously we watched the redoubt and, incredible as
it may seem, the shell only failed to strike it by thirty yards, for at
that distance from it a great upheaval of earth could be seen. Again we
watched, the Monitor. "Pouf!" went her second gun, this time sending the
shell plump into the redoubt. The result was extraordinary. Up went
Turks, rocks, timbers, guns, all mixed up in a cloud of smoke, flame and
earth--a marvellous shot! Three more followed in quick succession, each
one plumping right into the redoubt, pulverising it absolutely out of
existence. It was as if a steam-roller had gone over the earthworks. A
few more shells were dropped into the fort, just to make sure, and one
of these, having struck some hard substance, "ricked" across the
Peninsula, over the Dardanelles, and exploded in Asia!

I took off my hat to the man behind the gun on that Monitor. If he is a
type of all other gunners in the British Navy, the Germans may as well
scrap their fleet without further ado.

After watching this wonderful feat of gunnery, we were riding back
towards camp, when we saw running towards us an old soldier of a
Scottish regiment in a state of great excitement, apparently having
something of importance to impart. I pulled up my horse and asked him
what was the matter. He told me in the broadest Scotch that there was a
German spy a little further down among the gorse taking notes and
sketching the position of a heavy battery which was in position close by
the sea. I asked the Scotty how he knew the man was a spy, and he said:
"He's goin' on verra suspeecious."

I got him to point out the exact position of the supposed spy and then I
arranged with Gye that I would go up and open conversation casually with
him, and that if I made a certain signal, he was to gallop off for an
escort. I found the "spy" dressed in khaki in the uniform of a Scottish
regiment. I opened the conversation by asking if he had seen the
magnificent shooting of the Monitor, and carried it on until I found out
who he was and from whence he had come. I knew that his regiment was
forward in the trenches, so I asked him why he was not at the front, and
he told me that he was going through a course at the bombing school and
so, for the moment, was away from his battalion. He seemed all right,
but to make sure I sent Gye over to see the Instructor at the bombing
school, which was close by, to find out if such an officer was really
there taking a course.

While Gye was away I strolled to the edge of the cliff with the supposed
spy who, I was now pretty sure, was what he represented himself to be--a
British officer. Down below us on the shore was the body of a dead
horse, half in and half out of the sea, and tearing at it was a
good-sized shark which we could see very plainly, for the water was
beautifully clear. My spy got very keen on seeing this and, borrowing a
rifle from a soldier standing near, he made such good shooting at the
shark that it speedily gave up its horse-feast and plunged off to the
depths in terrified haste. In the midst of the fusillade, Gye came back
to say all was well, so bidding my "spy" good-afternoon, we rode off to
our camp.

There is no doubt, however, that the Peninsula was alive with spies, and
at night, on returning from the trenches, when all the camps would be in
slumber, I have repeatedly seen flashes sent up from the British lines
towards Krithia, where they would be answered, but although I tried on
several occasions to locate the signaller, I never succeeded in doing
so. Of course I reported the matter to Headquarters, but whether they
were more successful than myself I never learned.

On one occasion, a night or two before we made a big attack, I
distinctly saw signals flashed from the neighbourhood of the cliffs by
the Gully Ravine, where there was the Headquarters of a Division, to the
lines of the Royal Naval Division, from which a signaller answered
back; both then signalled to somebody on the hill where the Headquarters
Staff of our Army Corps were established, and this signaller in his turn
flashed messages up to Krithia, where there was a steady red light shown
for a considerable time while the signalling was in progress. I tried to
locate the signaller on the Headquarters hill, but failed. I then
reported the matter to the Chief Signalling Officer, who told me that
whatever lights I had seen were not made by our people, as none of the
signallers were out on duty that night. Gye and I found the spot from
which the daring spy on the Headquarters hill had been signalling. It
was most craftily selected, as it was completely sheltered for
three-quarters of the way round, and his light could only be seen from
the direction of Krithia; I had not been able to observe it until I came
into a direct line between Krithia and the hill.

The tricks and daring of the spy are wonderful! It was common gossip in
the Peninsula that a Greek contractor who was allowed to sell some
tinned foods, etc., to the soldiers, had in some of the larger tins, not
eatables, but carrier pigeons, which he would send off to the Turks on
suitable occasions, but whether this is true or not I cannot say for
certain. It was rumoured that he was found out and shot.

Some of our fellows used to do the most extraordinary things. A
sergeant, thoroughly bored with life in the trenches, thought he would
like to break the monotony by having a look at the Turks, so,
shouldering his rifle, he sauntered over to the enemy trenches and
looked in, and there saw five Turks, three sitting together smoking and
two others lying down having a rest. He shot all five and then doubled
back to his own trench, escaping in some marvellous way the hail of
bullets that came after him.

Then there was Lieutenant O'Hara of the Dublins, who was always doing
some daring feat and showing his contempt of death and the Turks on
every conceivable occasion. He won the D. S. O. before going to Suvla,
where, alas! his luck deserted him, and he was mortally wounded. O'Hara
firmly believed that no Turk could ever kill him, for he thought nothing
of sitting up on the parapet coolly smoking a cigarette, while bullets
rained all round him. When he had finished his survey of the Turkish
line he would get down, but not before.

Another brave man of the Dublins was Sergeant Cooke. If ever there was a
dangerous job he always volunteered for it, and was constantly out
reconnoitring the enemy's position and bringing in useful information to
his officers. He, too, was very lucky for a long time; he was one of the
few who escaped all hurt in the original landing, but at Suvla, Sergeant
Cooke, while doing a brave deed, was mortally wounded, and, although he
must have been in great agony for a couple of hours before he died, he
never uttered a groan. Just before the last, he said: "Am I dying like a
British soldier?" No soldier ever died more gamely.



CHAPTER XXIX

THE FINDING OF THE SHIELD OF DAVID


Soon after the Bulgarians had thrown in their lot against us, the Turks,
who up to this time had been husbanding their ammunition, felt, I
presume, that there was now no need to be so sparing in their use of
shells, and they therefore took on a much more aggressive attitude.

Turkish bombardments and trench "strafes" once more became the order of
the day. Not to let the enemy have everything his own way, we ourselves
arranged, late in October, to make a tremendous onslaught on the Turks.
One of their trenches, known as H. 12, occupied a somewhat commanding
position and had been giving us a lot of trouble. It was decided,
therefore, to batter it out of existence.

Sharp to time, at three o'clock on a very "nippy" afternoon, a most
terrific cannonade was opened on the doomed trench. Naval guns, French
guns, British howitzers and field-pieces rained a devastating fire of
high explosives and, as if this were not enough, three huge volcanoes
spurted out at three points of the trench, denoting that some great
mines had been exploded. While the fire lasted, it was terrific, and the
dust and smoke speedily hid all the Turkish trenches, as well as Krithia
and Achi Baba, from our view. The infantry were then launched and the
trench captured with very little loss.

Trench warfare, dull as it is, for those who prefer a fight in the open,
with a good horse under them, is yet not without its moments of
fascination, and I often found myself in the thick of a trench "strafe"
when I really had no business whatever to be in the neighbourhood.

Gye, Rolo and I were returning from one of these trench fights in
mid-October, when we ourselves nearly got "strafed" at Clapham Junction,
a well-known spot behind the firing line on our right centre. Our
mortars, borrowed from the French, had thoroughly annoyed the Turks and
they retaliated by bombarding our trenches with shell-fire. We were
pretty safe so long as we remained under cover, but on the way back to
camp we caught it rather badly and only saved ourselves by our speedy
flight over an exposed piece of ground which we had to cross, where the
shells were falling pretty thickly.

[Illustration: BADGE OF THE ZION MULE CORPS (The Shield of David)]

One of the most annoying things the Turks did was to mount a big naval
gun "somewhere in Asia" not far from Troy--as distances go in Asia. This
fiendish weapon had such a high velocity that the shell arrived on us
before the report of the gun was heard. The sensation of hearing the
shell screaming a few feet over one's head was most unpleasant, and we
all looked for the moment that the big French guns in our lines would
begin to shoot, as things were very disagreeable for us while "Helen"
was in action. This gun was altogether so troublesome that we had
christened it "Helen of Troy."

Fortunately, only about one in four of its shells burst, otherwise we
should have suffered very heavily, because many of them fell in and
around our lines. My men would calmly pick up these unexploded shells
and struggle off with them on their shoulders to adorn the entrance of
their dug-outs! This used to horrify the French gunners, who were close
by and knew the danger of touching such dangerous toys. I am afraid my
Zionists thought me somewhat of a tyrant for abolishing these æsthetic
aids to the beautification of their subterranean homes!

Now and again, just as a reminder of the rigours to come, we were
deluged by a downpour of rain, and then life in the trenches was almost
unbearable, for, owing to the subsoil being clay, all the water ran on
the surface and speedily filled up every trench, dug-out and hollow; and
this discomfort, coupled with mud, filth, too little food and sleep, and
too much shells and bombs, made life in Gallipoli more fit for a dog
than a man.

As the cold weather was coming on, I determined to build a good stone
house for my men, where there would always be a big fire going to keep
them warm and to dry their clothes when they came back wet from the
trenches. As it was not in our zone, I had to get the permission of the
Chief Engineer of the French Army to take some stones from Sedd-el-Bahr
village, because it was only there that building material could be
obtained. While we were pulling down a house and excavating the
foundation, we dug up a slab of marble with a beautiful filigree design
carved round the outer edge of it, and in the centre, strange to say,
was the Shield of David! The stone must have been very, very old, and
how it got there is a mystery. Perhaps it may have been taken from
Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem.

My Zion men were delighted at the find and brought the stone in triumph
to our camp, and it was kept in the new house as a talisman to ward off
the shells. Strange to say, although they fell all round, the building
was never touched nor was any one injured in its vicinity.

Our own dug-out was also greatly improved when the weather became
bitterly cold. We made the fireplace and chimney-stack out of old
kerosene tins, which made a kind of brasier on which we burned charcoal
obtained from the refuse heap at the Field Bakery. Altogether, our
dug-out was considered to be the cosiest one in the whole Peninsula, as
indeed it had every right to be, for was not Claude Rolo, who was our
architect and engineer, one of the cleverest civil engineers that ever
passed through the Polytechnic in Paris?

Our charcoal fire was very useful in many ways; it made very good toast,
for the bread, which up to now had been excellent, began to be sodden
owing to the bakery being in the open and, of course, getting the full
benefit of all the rain that often came down in torrents; and in
addition to the rain the unfortunate bakers were at all times under
shell-fire. Although the bread was not up to the usual standard after
the rains set in, yet in the whole history of war I do not believe that
men and animals have ever been better fed than were the troops, horses
and mules during the whole time we were on the Peninsula. The variety of
food might perhaps have been bettered, but the quality and quantity on
the whole were excellent and reflected the greatest credit on the
organisation of the Army Service Corps; in fact, it was the only
department where one could say all the time--it had done well. The
Ordnance failed at times--failed lamentably in the supply of high
explosives for the guns, but this was through no fault of the ordnance
officer on the spot, who, I know, took every precaution to ask for every
conceivable article months before it was required. Of course, he did
sometimes get the needed articles, and sometimes, when it was on its
way, submarines would sink the ship, or the ordnance people said the
ship was sunk, which amounted to the same thing and covered a multitude
of sins. Those submarines saved many reputations! All the sapper
supplies, however, might just as well have been sunk, as it was
impossible to get the smallest scrap of material, no matter how urgently
required, without the most minute details as to what it was for and all
about it. There was any amount of stuff one wanted in the Field Park,
but when application was made for it the invariable reply was, "It is
earmarked for other purposes."

This policy is all very well in normal times, but does not do for war.
Some men cannot shake off the petty trammels by which they are fettered
in times of peace.

I have no doubt the Turks much enjoyed the use of a considerable amount
of this "earmarked" material, which, if it had been issued to us, would
have greatly enhanced the comfort of man and beast.

I remember on one occasion being in want of a gallon of tar. Now there
was any amount of it in the stores, in fact, one could see it oozing out
of the barrels in all directions. I wanted this tar to put on some ropes
and sacks filled with sand which I was burying in the ground to make my
horse lines and to waterproof some canvas; so I sent a man to the R. E.
Park, with a requisition, hoping to get it back in the course of half an
hour or so; but no: all he brought back was a letter to say: "Please
explain for what purpose you require this gallon of tar." I was so
annoyed that I replied: "To make a bonfire when you get the order of the
boot." But I have some doubt as to whether this message ever reached
its destination, as I had a very diplomatic adjutant.

The officers and men of the corps of Royal Engineers who wore no
red-tabs were simply splendid, and it was with admiration that I often
watched them at all hours of the day and night, digging trenches, making
saps, or putting up barbed wire, right in the very teeth of the
enemy--"Second to None."

It is sometimes of vital importance in war to do the exact contrary to
all peace tradition; but men get into a groove, get narrow, and often
fail to rise to the occasion. I have a good instance of this in mind. A
certain officer refused to issue sandbags from his store when they were
urgently needed. (This did not happen at Helles.) "They cost sixpence
each," he remarked, "and I have got to be careful of them,"--a wise
precaution in peace-time, but utterly unsound in war, because a few
sandbags at sixpence each might save the lives of several soldiers worth
hundreds of pounds, putting it on merely a cash basis.



CHAPTER XXX

BACK TO ENGLAND


Shortly before I left Gallipoli our Staff arranged what the American
soldier would call a great "stunt." Materials for a huge bonfire were
secretly collected and placed in a commanding position after dark on the
heights near the Ægean coast; near to it a mine was laid. At about ten
o'clock at night this was purposely exploded, making a terrific report;
next moment, according to prearranged plan, the bonfire, which had been
liberally saturated with oil and tar, burst into a great sheet of flame
which lit up half our end of the Peninsula. Our Staff fully expected
that the explosion followed by the great fire would bring every Turk out
of the depths of his trench to the parapet in order to see what had
happened; so at this moment every gun on the Peninsula, which of course
had the range of these Turkish trenches to a yard, loosed off a mighty
salvo. Next morning at daylight the Staff eagerly scanned the enemy's
parapets, expecting to see them littered with dead--but instead they
were somewhat chagrined to observe our old friend the Turkish wag slowly
raise a great placard announcing: "No Casualties!"

The Turks were now much more lively in their cannonading, and began once
more their hateful tactics of loosing off shells at mounted men.

About a fortnight before I left the Peninsula, I was riding up from
Gully Ravine, and, having got to the top of what is called Artillery
Road, I met a gun team, and one of the drivers told me to be careful
going along the next couple of hundred yards, as the Turks were shelling
the short strip of road just ahead. I was walking my horse at the time,
and continued to do so, as I felt I was just as safe walking as
galloping. In a few moments I heard the report of a gun from behind
Krithia, then I heard the scream of a shell coming nearer and nearer,
and as I bent my head down to the horse's mane I said to myself: "This
is going to be a near thing." The shell whizzed close above my head and
exploded a yard or two beyond me, plastering some twenty or thirty yards
of ground with shrapnel. My horse took no notice of the explosion, and
continued walking on as if nothing had happened. Although I was
anxiously on the look-out for another salute from the enemy, I thought,
if I just walked on, I would bluff the Turkish observing officer into
thinking that, as I took the matter so unconcernedly, he must have the
wrong range and it would be useless to go on shooting. It was either
that or else he was a sportsman and thought that, as I had taken my
escape so calmly, he would not shoot again, for at any rate not another
round was fired.

Although I did not know it at the time, Gye had been watching the whole
of this episode from a little distance. He had seen the gun team being
shelled as it galloped for shelter down to the Gully, and when he saw me
emerge he felt pretty sure that I would be fired on as soon as I was
spotted by the Turkish gunners. He told me it was most exciting to watch
me as I came to the dangerous bit of road, hear the report of the
Turkish gun, hear the shriek of the shell as it came along, and then see
it go bang, apparently on my head!

As was to be expected, where cannonading and battles were the order of
the day, there was little to be seen on the Peninsula in the way of
animal or bird life. The cranes which Homer sings of somewhere or other,
flew in great flocks down to Egypt, flying almost in the arrow formation
of geese when in flight, but with the arrow not quite so regular. I
have put up some partridges out of the gorse, between the Gully Ravine
and the Ægean, within a hundred yards of where the guns were blazing
away for all they were worth. There were a few other small birds about,
but very few, if any, warblers. I came across one dead hare, shot by a
stray bullet, and I had a glimpse of one live one as it scuttled away in
the gorse. The only other four-footed wild thing that I saw in the
Peninsula was what appeared to be a cross between the merecat and the
mongoose, but slightly larger than the mongoose. It was of a dark
reddish-brown colour, thickly dotted over with grey spots. I saw one or
two small snakes, but whether they were venomous or not I cannot say,
for they glided off into their holes before I could secure a specimen.

A night or two before I left Gallipoli we had a sudden downpour of rain
which made the trenches raging torrents, and turned the dug-outs into
diving baths; but still our men remained cheery throughout it all;
nothing can depress them. The men of L Battery, R. H. A., like all
others, were flooded out in the twinkling of an eye, and I watched them,
standing in their shirts on the edge of their dug-outs, endeavoring
with a hooked stick to fish up their equipment and the remainder of
their attire from a murky flood of water four feet deep--all the time
singing gaily: "It's a long way to Tipperary."

My escape on Artillery Road was the last serious little bit of adventure
I had on the Peninsula, for towards the end of November I got ill, and
Captain Blandy, R. A. M. C., packed me off to hospital. My faithful
orderly, Corporal Yorish, came with me to the hospital and saw that I
was comfortably fixed up for the night. I cannot speak too highly of
this man's behaviour during the whole time he was with me in Egypt and
Gallipoli. In Palestine he was a dental student, but he could turn his
hand to anything, and was never happy unless he was at work.

I spent that night in the clearing station close to Lancashire Landing,
on a bed having a big side tilt, with a dozen other officers all round,
some sick, some wounded. We had a dim light from a hurricane lamp
suspended to a rope, which was tied to the tent poles, and we got a
little warmth and a lot of smell from an oil stove, for the weather was
now very cold.

At about 4 A. M. I dozed off, and the next thing I remember was a Turk
leaning over me, trying, as I thought, to prod me in the face with a
bayonet. I made a vicious kick at him which woke me up, and then I
discovered that my Turk was no Turk at all but merely the hospital
orderly, who was attempting to jab a thermometer into my mouth in an
effort to take my temperature. It was 5 A. M. and the hospital machine
had begun to work, and whether you are well, or whether you are ill, or
whether you are asleep, or whether you are awake, temperatures and
medicines must be taken according to rule and regulation.

This same clearing station had seen some very lively times, because it
is close to the ordnance stores, and in a line from Asia to W Beach, so
that shells used to fall into it both from Achi Baba and from across the
Dardanelles. Orderlies and patients had been killed there, and many
others had had marvellous escapes. Scores and scores of times have I
witnessed the departure of the sick and wounded, which generally took
place in the evening, and the clock-like precision with which everything
worked reflected the greatest credit on Colonel Humphreys, R. A. M. C.,
who was in charge of it from the beginning to the end, and on the
members of the R. A. M. C. Corps who assisted him. From what I saw of
the R. A. M. C. men in Gallipoli, this Corps has every reason to be
proud of itself. Of course, at the first landing there was a lamentable
medical break-down, and there is no doubt that hundreds of lives were
lost because there were not enough doctors, attendants, and stores to go
round. Hundreds and hundreds of badly wounded men had to be stuffed
anywhere on board transports and sent down to the hospitals at
Alexandria with practically no one to look after them, excepting their
lesser wounded comrades; but this was an administrative blunder, which
does not reflect on the pluck, energy and skill shown by all those R. A.
M. C. officers and men with whom I came in contact in Gallipoli.

Colonel Humphreys saw me off on the morning of the 29th of November, and
I went down in an ambulance full of officers and soldiers to the French
pier at V Beach, the same at which I had landed in April, because our
own pier at W Beach had been washed away and could not be used. While we
were getting on board the trawler which was to take us to the hospital
ship, the Turks put a few shells close round us in their efforts to
damage the French works on V Beach. This was their last salute so far as
I was concerned, for I never heard another shot fired. They were very
good about our hospital ships, and never attempted to do any shooting
which would endanger them in any way.

As we rounded the stern of the hospital ship in order to get to the
lee-side, as the weather was a bit boisterous, I was interested to see
that the ship was called the _Assaye_.

Now during the South African War, I had gone out in this same ship in
command of about twelve hundred troops, and it was somewhat odd that I
should now see her as a hospital ship and be going aboard her as a
patient. I found things very comfortable on board, and certainly it was
an immense change to us to find ourselves once more between sheets on a
spring bed swung on pivots, so that the patients should not feel the
motion of the ship. We were very democratic in the hospital, as
generals, colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants and senior N. C. O.'s,
some thirty or forty of us in all, were jumbled up together in the ward.

There was only one nursing sister for our ward, an Australian lady,
Sister Dixon, who certainly worked like a slave from somewhere about
seven in the morning until ten at night. Her task was too severe, and
enough to break down any ordinary mortal. She was assisted in the ward
duties by Corporal O'Brien, who did what he could to make us
comfortable. The night orderly was a big kindly Scotch Highlander, named
Mackinnon, almost as tender and sympathetic as a woman, who apologised
profusely when he had to wake us every morning at 8 A. M. to take our
temperatures and count the beats of our pulse.

The _Assaye_ lay off Cape Helles in a blinding blizzard of hail and
snow, during which many of the poor fellows in the trenches were, I am
told, frozen to death, or, as a lesser evil, got their feet frozen
during that very cold spell.

On the 27th we set sail for Mudros, which we reached in about four
hours, where we lay at anchor for a day, and there was much speculation
as to whether we would be transhipped, or go ashore and be put in
hospital on this island, each and all wondering what was going to
happen. One or two light cases were put ashore, and then the ship
weighed anchor bound for Alexandria, which we reached without adventure
on the 1st of December. All of us who were unable to walk were carried
ashore by some stalwart Australians, and then we were sandwiched into a
motor ambulance, still remaining on our stretchers, and driven off to
Ras-el-Tin Hospital, which occupied an excellent position by the edge
of the sea. Here I spent fifteen days getting every care and attention
from Miss Bond (the matron), and nursing sisters Blythe and Jordon, who
looked after the patients in my ward. Ras-el-Tin Hospital is used for
officers only, but I noticed that some of the medical officers were
somewhat young and inexperienced. This I consider wrong, because in
these days the lives of officers are of great importance, and only the
best and most experienced medical officers should be employed to look
after them, and get them fit for their duties as soon as possible.

My own little experience in this respect may not be out of place here as
an apt illustration of what I have just written.

The senior medical officer in charge, a very young temporary captain,
without coming to see me, decreed that I was fit and well enough to
leave the hospital for a convalescent home. Now, I was just about able
to crawl and no more, and the matron and sister who knew the state I was
in, told him that I was utterly unfit to leave the hospital. However,
without coming to see me, he still remained obstinate, and ordered my
kit away, but meanwhile, Colonel Beach, the A. D. M. S. Alexandria,
having come to see me, his experienced eye showed him that it would be
some months before I should be fit for military duty again, and he told
me I should have to go before a medical board, who would dispose of my
case. The following day the medical board decided to send me to England,
and I was put on board the hospital ship _Gurkha_, which I found very
comfortable, with excellent food and a most excellent medical staff, a
colonel, three majors, and a captain, all of the Indian Medical Service;
and I thought what a pity it was that some of these able and experienced
officers could not be utilised to take charge of such hospitals as
Ras-el-Tin, where they could guide the junior staff into the way they
should go. It is just another example of not utilising in the right way
the wealth of talent which we possess in skilled and able men. I do not
for a moment mean to suggest that the talents of these Indian Medical
Service officers were wasted on the _Gurkha_. What I do mean is that one
or two of the senior men, would have been ample on the ship, with a
couple of younger men as assistants, and the other senior men could then
have been released for similar work among some of the ill-staffed
hospitals in Egypt or Mesopotamia.

Colonel Haig, I. M. S., the senior medical officer on board, was
untiring in his care of the sick and wounded, and if a testimonial of
his zeal were wanted, it could be found in the difference in the
appearance which his three hundred patients presented from the day when
they came on board the Gurkha at Alexandria to the day when they left
his hands at Southampton. I, who saw it, can only say it was simply
marvellous.

After eleven days' treatment in the capable hands of Major Houston, I.
M. S., I found myself a different man when I walked off the ship at
Southampton, where we arrived on Boxing Day, 1915, and reached London on
a hospital train the same evening. At Waterloo we were met by a medical
officer, who scattered us throughout the hospitals in London. I was
fortunate in being sent to that organised by Lady Violet Brassey at 40,
Upper Grosvenor Street, where I was never so comfortable, or so well
cared for in the whole course of my life, and for which I tender her my
very sincere thanks; and I would also like to thank Doctor A. B. Howitt,
Miss Spencer (the matron), and the sisters and nurses for the care and
kindness which they showed me during the three weeks I was in their
charge.

It was delightful to have old friends crowding in with gifts of flowers,
and fruit, and books, and all the latest London papers and gossip. Lady
Violet arranged some delightful concerts for us at which such public
favourites as Madame Bertha Moore, Miss Evie Greene and others charmed
us with song, story, and recitation. Among the "others" was Miss
Marjorie Moore, whose song, "Just a Little Bit of Heaven," reached all
the Irish hearts there.

Harry Irving, too, came to see me one day, and presented me with a box
for the Savoy, where half a dozen of us thoroughly enjoyed _The Case of
Lady Camber_.

Discussing the play at dinner in the hospital afterwards, I remarked how
well Holman Clarke had acted in the Sherry scene, when the V. A. D.
nurse who was at that moment handing me some soup remarked: "I am glad
you liked him, because he is my brother."

How wonderfully well the women of the Empire have shown up during the
war! They have come forward in their thousands, not only for V. A. D.
work, where their help is invaluable, but also for munition work and
work of every kind, which up to the outbreak of war it was thought could
only be done by men.

Yes, the women have certainly come into their own, and I for one am very
glad of it, and proud too of the fact that they have responded so nobly
to the call.



CHAPTER XXXI

THE EVACUATION


When I learned in August of the Great Failure at Suvla, and heard with
astonishment and no little anger that no further troops were to be sent
to Gallipoli, I knew then that the only thing to do was to get out as
quickly as possible before the Turks could get a fresh stock of
munitions and reinforcements from Germany and Bulgaria.

It must not be imagined that I was anxious that we should leave
Gallipoli after all our great sacrifices there, but since the Government
had decided once more to fritter away our chances by diverting troops to
Salonika, when it was already too late to accomplish any useful purpose
there, I knew that our position on the Peninsula was hopeless.

Bad weather was coming on and it would have been absolutely impossible
to live in the trenches and dug-outs. Even with the little amount of
rain that I had experienced, the communication and other trenches were
at times waist deep in raging torrents, carrying down empty cases, dead
Turks and other débris.

Had troops been left in Gallipoli for the winter, the losses from
sickness and exposure alone would have been enormous; in fact, the Army
would have needed renewing every month.

It must be remembered that the conditions of life in Gallipoli were
entirely different to those prevailing in France. There were no such
things as dry sleeping places, dry clothes, or housing of any kind, and
one was just as likely to be killed in the so-called rest trenches as in
those on the front line.

One of the saddest things I know of was the death of the Colonel
commanding the King's Own Scottish Borderers. He had escaped everything
right through the campaign, but in the end met his death in one of the
rest trenches about the middle of November, by a shell fired from "Helen
of Troy" on the Asiatic coast.

When once it was definitely decided to send no further reinforcements to
Gallipoli, of course the only thing left to do was to get out, and to
get out as speedily as possible.

But even after the obvious had become inevitable, we still went on
gaily, spending enormous sums of money, laying down miles of tramways,
making roads, bridges, erecting camp hospitals, and doing a thousand
other things--all very expensive work.

When I saw this going on I began to think that perhaps, after all, the
Government were really going to do the right thing, which would have
been to throw an overwhelming force of Anglo-French troops on the Turks,
catching them, as they then were, with but little ammunition, crumpling
them up and thus accomplishing our main object in the Near East. This
would, undoubtedly, have been the right line of policy to have taken,
and would have helped Serbia much more than anything else, but some
fatal demon seems to dog the footsteps of our politico-strategists.

When our Foreign Minister declared that we were going to uphold Serbia
with all our might he must have known that he was mouthing mere empty
phrases, but the unfortunate Serbians put their trust in the pledged
word of a British Minister, with the result that thousands upon
thousands of them have been cruelly done to death.

The more honest and more noble plan would have been to have admitted
that, at the moment, we could do nothing for Serbia or the Serbians, and
to have advised them to make what terms they could with their powerful
neighbour, assuring them that, at the right time, when we were ready, we
would, without fail, not only deliver them from the hands of their
enemies, but amply compensate them for the trials they would, for a
space, have to endure.

It is said that the gods strike with blindness those whom they are about
to destroy and it certainly looks as if the gods had held the searing
iron rather close to our eyes; but, notwithstanding all the mistakes and
in spite of our politicians and our blundering strategists, and in spite
of our neglect of science and scientists, I have still absolute
confidence, owing to what I have seen of the splendid pluck and
endurance of our men, both in the Fleet and in the Army, that we will
come out of this great World War triumphant.

Let it not be supposed that our terrible losses and disastrous failure
in the Dardanelles have been altogether fruitless. By our presence
there, we held up and almost destroyed a magnificent Turkish Army and by
doing this we gave invaluable aid to our Russian ally.

Had it been possible for the Turkish Army, which we held fast in
Gallipoli, to have taken part in Enver Pasha's great push in the
Caucasus, there is no doubt that the Turks would have crushed the
Russians in those regions and have made things look very black indeed
for our ally. As it is, I consider it is greatly due to the Gallipoli
campaign that Russia, during her time of stress and shortage of
munitions, was able to hold her own in the Caucasus and, when she was
ready, assume the offensive, resulting in her recent brilliant capture
of that great Turkish stronghold in Asia Minor, Erzeroum.

The knowledge that this effort of ours has, after all, borne some fruit
tends to assuage our grief for the loss of those dear friends and good
comrades who now lie buried by those purple Ægean shores.

We can well imagine that the spirits of those heroes of France and
Britain and Greater Britain who have fallen in the fight are eagerly
watching and waiting for the hour of our victory; and when our Fleet
sails triumphantly through the Dardanelles, as it surely must, and
thunders forth a salute over the mortal remains of our mighty dead,
their shades will be at peace, for they will then know that, after all,
they have not died in vain.



APPENDIX


I had no idea when I was taken to hospital that I should not see my Zion
men again. I thought I should be fit for duty in the course of a few
days, so I never even said good-bye to them before I left. However, I am
in touch with them still through the post, and I am glad to say that
there were no deaths after I left and all got safely back to Egypt when
that brilliant piece of work--the evacuation of Gallipoli--took place. I
promised to recommend those who did well to the Russian Authorities, and
I was glad to forward the following letter and list of names to the
Imperial Russian Consul at Alexandria, for transmission to the proper
quarter:

    Headquarters, Zion Mule Corps,
    14 Rue Sesostris, Alexandria,
    December 14th, 1915.

    From the Officer Commanding Zion Mule Corps.

    To The Imperial Russian Consul,
    Alexandria.

    SIR,

    I have the honour to state that with the approval of your
    Government a number of Jewish refugees from Palestine, Russian
    subjects, were formed into a corps for service with the British
    Army. I have already furnished you with a nominal roll of all
    officers and men of Russian nationality in the Corps. I now
    wish to bring to your notice, for the favourable consideration
    of your Government, the names of those soldiers who did
    especially well while serving under my command in Gallipoli,
    and I sincerely trust that you may find it possible to have
    their names brought before the Imperial Russian Minister for
    War for favourable consideration.

    The following have distinguished themselves before the enemy:

    OFFICERS:

    1. Captain J. Trumpledor has proved himself a most gallant
    soldier and has been already decorated by H. I. M. the Tsar for
    gallantry at Port Arthur.

    2. Second Lieutenant Alexander Gorodisky. This was one of my
    best officers and he was a very brave soldier. I was much
    grieved when he died as the result of the hardships of the
    campaign. He leaves a widowed mother who was dependent on him
    for her maintenance.

    3. Second Lieutenant Zolman Zlotnic, a useful officer and a
    gallant man.

    NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS:

    1. Sergeant-Major Joseph Yassinsky.

    2. Sergeant Nissel Rosenberg.

    3. Corporal M. Groushkousky. This Corporal has been awarded the
    Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in the field.

    4. Corporal Nehmia Yehoudis.

    5. Corporal Isaac Yorish.

    6. Corporal Frank Abram (killed in action, leaving a widow and
    five little children).

    I have only mentioned those who have specially distinguished
    themselves, many others did very good service also, and I am
    glad to be able to attach a copy of an official letter,
    enclosed herewith, testifying to the good work done by these
    Russian subjects while serving under me in the British Army.

    Trusting for the favour of your transmitting these names to the
    proper quarter.

    I remain,
    Sir,
    Your most obedient servant,
    (Signed) J. H. PATTERSON.
    Lieutenant-Colonel Commanding Zion Mule Corps.


    [COPY.]

    8th Army Corps, H. Q. D. Adjt.-General, G. H. Q.
    No. 274/12.                  No. B. 3322,
    October 2nd, 1915.           5/10/15.
    M. E. F.
    The A. Q. M. G. 8th Army Corps.

    I have had a petition from forty-five N. C. O.'s and men of
    this corps for permission to go to Alexandria for a couple of
    weeks on leave. I would very strongly recommend that this leave
    may be granted, as these N. C. O.'s and men have been here (and
    have worked well) ever since the original landing in April.

    I consider that the men really need this change and as their
    families are in Alexandria, I hope they will be sent there in
    accordance with their request.

    If, as I hope, my men are given leave to proceed to Alexandria,
    I propose to give one half leave as soon as granted, and the
    other half on the return of the first party.

    As these men have done particularly well, I trust that their
    good service will be recognised.

    J. H. PATTERSON,
    Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.
    2/10/15.
    (Zion Mule Corps)


    2. Adjutant-General, G. H. Q. 8th Corps, H. Q.
    No. B. 332. No. A. 274/12.
    5/10/15                         4/10/15
                                    M. E. F.
    _G. H. Q._

    I recommend this application. As the G. O. C.-in-C. is aware
    _this Corps has done excellent work_.

    (Signed) FRANCIS DAVIES,
    Lieutenant General,
    4/10/15. Commanding 8th Corps.


    3. _G. O. C. 8th Corps._

    This leave is approved, the delay is greatly regretted, but has
    been unavoidable. The C.-in-C. has approved of a grant of one
    pound to each of these forty-five men _in consideration of the
    good work of the Corps_, and the Field Cashier is authorised to
    issue the cash.

    (Signed) A. CAVENDISH,
    Colonel,
    5/11/15. A. A. G., G. H. Q.


    4. _Field Cashier._

    Please note, and pass to O. C. Zion Mule Corps, who should
    return this memo to Corps Headquarters.

    (Signed)  C. D. HAMILTON MOORE,
    Lieutenant-Colonel for B. G., D. A.
    and Q. M. G. 8th Army Corps.
    7/10/15.


THE END



HATIKVOH
(Song of Hope)



HATIKVOH


    Kol owd Hallivor peneemoh
    Nafesch Yehoodée howmeeoh
    Uléfahahsi Mizroch kohdeemoh
    Aynec Tzeeown tsowfeeoh.

    Owd lou ovdoh Sikvohsinu
    Hatikvoh hahnowshohno.
    Loshur léaretz ahvousinu
    Léear bow Dovid chonoh.

    Kol owd démohows--Mieyeninu
    Yizzlu kéghashem nédovous
    Urvovous mibni Amminu
    Owd howlcheem al kivri ovous.

    Owd lou ovdoh Sikvohsinu
    Hatikvoh hahnowshohno.
    Loshur léaretz ahvousinu
    Léear bow Dovid chonoh.



HATIKVOH
(THE SONG OF HOPE)


Arranged by Eva Lonsdale.

By kind permission of Messrs. R. Mazin & Co., London.

    1. O, Zi - on, our fair dwell-ing, home of peace and rest,
    Far from thee we mourn our lib - er - ty, Tho'
    sadden'd be our hearts, our souls with grief oppress'd,
    Still our hope, our hope is in thee.

    2. Tho' dark and drear, the hours pass slow, and fraught with pain,
    Still we trust, Thoul't cher - ish us once more For
    soon the dawn must break o'er thy green hills a-gain,
    Bring-ing joy to thy fair shore.

    REFRAIN.

    Oh, Lord our God, guard and set us free--
    Grant to Zi-on joy and lib-er-ty,
    Night and day we pray to be Once
    more, dear land, re - stor - ed to thee.



Transcriber's Notes

Obvious errors of punctuation and diacritics repaired.

The following words appear both with and without hyphens and have not
been changed: "break-down", "common-sense".

Hyphen added: "dug-out" (p. 194).

Hyphen removed: "fore-finger" (p. 86).

P. 111: "Lancashire Fusilers" changed to "Lancashire Fusiliers".

P. 217: "corraboree" changed to "corroboree" (they held a corroboree).

P. 240: "led" changed to "let" (who had let it).

P. 284: duplicate "to" deleted (an immense change to us).

P. 298: "Groushkovsky" changed to "Groushkousky".





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