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Title: The Dardanelles - Colour Sketches From Gallipoli
Author: Wilkinson, Norman
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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 _With Thirty Full-Page Plates in Colour, reproduced from Water-Colour
 Drawings made on the spot, and a number of
 Black-and-White Illustrations_




CHAP.                                                               PAGE

I   FIRST IMPRESSIONS                                                  1

II  THE LANDING AT SUVLA BAY, AUGUST 6-7                               9

III OFF THE LEFT FLANK AT HELLES                                      23

IV  TRAWLERS IN THE DARDANELLES                                       34

V   BEACH-PARTIES                                                     42

VI  SUBMARINES                                                        50

VII WOUNDED                                                           56





 *1. H.M.S. _THESEUS_                                     _Frontispiece_

 This cruiser, 25 years old, which has now special arrangements for
 withstanding submarine attacks, is supporting the Army off the left
 flank. She is firing at Turkish gun emplacements, an aeroplane being
 used to spot the fall of shot.

 *2. SHELLS FALLING ON THE BASE CAMP AT HELLES                        62

 *3. OFF THE LEFT FLANK AT HELLES                    }

 BATTERIES                                           }


 WESTERN SLOPES OF ACHI BABA                                          68

 OFF THE LEFT FLANK                                                   70


 *8. LANDING AT "A" BEACH, AUGUST 7, 5.30 A.M.                        72

 *9. TROOPS LANDING AT "C" BEACH, AUGUST 7                            74

 *10. "C" BEACH, AUGUST 8                                             76

 *11. DRESSING STATION—"A" BEACH                     }

 WOUNDED                                             }

 AT DUSK                                                              80

 *14. SALT LAKE AND CHOCOLATE HILL                                    82

 *15. LALLA BABA                               }                      84


 *17. H.M.S. _SARNIA_ LANDING TROOPS IN SUVLA BAY                     86

 *18. SALT LAKE FROM CHOCOLATE HILL                                   88

 *19. TRANSPORTS UNDER SHELL-FIRE—SUVLA BAY                           90

 *20. DRESSING STATION—"A" BEACH                                      92

 *21. SUPPORTING SHIPS AT THE SUVLA LANDING  }                        94

 *22. ANZAC                                  }

 *23. ANZAC                                                           96

 *24. MOTOR LIGHTERS                          }                       98


 26. SEAPLANE BASE                                                   100

 27. SEAPLANES AT KEPHALO                                            102

 28. H.M.S. _EXMOUTH_ IN KEPHALO HARBOUR                             104

 29. SUBMARINE E11 AT KEPHALO                                        106

 30. H.M.S. _BEN-MY-CHREE_ AT KEPHALO                                108

 31. HOSPITAL SHIPS AT KEPHALO                                       110

 32. FRENCH FLAGSHIP _SUFFREN_                                       112

 33. HOSPITAL SHIP _AQUITANIA_                                       114


 35. MUDROS HARBOUR                                  }

 36. HOSPITAL SHIP _AQUITANIA_ AT MUDROS                             118




Before entering upon the subject of this chapter I cannot help a
passing allusion to the lack of pictorial records of this war—records
made by artists of experience, who actually witness the scenes they

Our descendants will surely regret the omission when they try to gather
an impression of the greatest war in history from the inadequate
material obtainable.

I do not lose sight of the fact that many professional artists are
fighting with our army in France and elsewhere. But life in the
trenches is so arduous that it is doubtful if many records will come to
us from this source.

The start of my journey was not at all what I had intended. I had
imagined myself busily sketching our departure and attempting to get
some of the delightful colour and abundant movement of the lower Thames.

In actual fact, I spent most of this time lying on a settee, trying to
overcome the effects of inoculation, though rather cheered, it is true,
by the thought of the annoyance set up amongst the millions of germs
inhabiting my system.

I made several efforts to go on deck, but was forced each time to give
in and return to my cabin.

This was the more annoying, as we were passing through what to any
traveller by sea, and to me especially, was the most interesting zone:
full of romance and mystery, with stories of sunken submarines, rumours
of nets and mines, and all the strange happenings of this strangest of

There was naturally a certain amount of speculation on the steamer as
to the possibility of attack by submarine: this new factor in modern
warfare, which, from a romantic point of view, has so largely conduced
to the elimination of spectacular fighting.

At the time of sailing we had heard of submarine activity in the
western entrance to the Channel, though the apparent indifference of
the passengers was a wonderful testimony to the calmness of the Briton
in the presence of a very real danger. However, hopes ran fairly high
that we might soon get into safe waters, as we were favoured with a
fairly heavy summer gale, which should, with luck, see us well round
Ushant and down the bay.

We were pushing along doing a steady ten knots with our fore-deck
frequently taking it green; but, well loaded as we were with general
cargo, the ship was wonderfully easy in motion. This was in comforting
contrast to a tramp-steamer close by, which looked as if she wanted to
see how far she could roll without turning over.

Ships bound for the Mediterranean and to other parts are more scattered
nowadays than formerly. Since the war they have avoided the recognised
trade routes. Probably there may be enemy submarines bound out to the
Eastern Mediterranean, but the likelihood of attack from these appeared
to us small. After all, they would surely reserve their stock of
torpedoes for a more important quarry, and, in any case, would hardly
be likely to advertise their presence before arriving in their intended
zone of operations.

During the night we passed a number of patrol boats keeping their
ceaseless vigil. The patrol service will, when the war is over,
undoubtedly reap the full meed of praise to which they are entitled.
It is utterly impossible for the landsman to grasp the soul-wearying
work on patrol vessels. Frequently of quite small tonnage, keeping the
seas in every kind of weather, not bound anywhere in particular, but
just slogging to and fro on a set beat, rarely thought of except by the
relatives and friends of those serving in them.

We reached Gibraltar in two or three days, during which time no alarms
from submarines disturbed our peace. The sight of the Rock for the
first time must frequently call forth an exclamation on the strangeness
of events which have enabled us to take and hold so fine a strategical
position. Isolated as it is from any other of our possessions, it has
certainly served us well in the Dardanelles campaign.

Malta was made in the early morning, and it certainly looked a gem set
in a sea of opal, although closer acquaintance found it stiflingly hot.
Our time here was short, as we were ordered to a vessel leaving early
next morning for Mudros, the base in the island of Lemnos. The ship
in which we took passage was one of an entirely new class, specially
designed for the destruction of submarines. On our passage up, a matter
of three days, a sharp lookout was kept, as we were now nearing the
danger zone. For some reason difficult to discover there appeared to be
a lull in the operations of these craft, due, probably, to the numerous
devices employed to restrict their activities. Nevertheless, continual
reports were coming in of their being sighted, and our Captain was
anxious to try the efficacy of his means of offence, but we were
disappointed or otherwise, according to our various temperaments, for
we sighted nothing suspicious.

On the third day a French destroyer, with whom we exchanged recognition
signals, steamed up to us for a closer inspection. This denoted our
close proximity to the great naval base from which the operations in
this theatre of war were largely conducted.

A distant view of Mudros, one of the finest natural harbours in the
eastern Mediterranean, showed a vast concourse of ships, which grew in
interest and numbers as we approached. Eventually we steamed between
lines of warships to an anchorage given us by signal. I have seen many
reviews and naval pageants, but nothing to compare, in interest, with
the assemblage of ships that we now witnessed. British battleships,
French battleships, cruisers of both nations; a Russian cruiser, the
_Askold_ (which had incidentally been badly hammered in the war with
Japan); destroyers, torpedo boats of all ages, submarines (some fresh
with the laurels of raids in the Sea of Marmora), North Sea trawlers,
tramp-steamers, transports, food-ships, motor-boats, Greek sailing
vessels, motor-barges for landing troops, private yachts taken over by
the Admiralty (the Admiral conducting operations being himself in one
of these), and endless other craft gathered from everywhere to assist
in the enormous undertaking of supplying food and munitions and to
guard the routes to the various other bases established in the islands
around. Towering above all the vessels could be seen the _Aquitania_
and the _Mauretania_, their immense bulk dwarfing every ship in the

Ashore were camps in every direction, that of the French being the most
conspicuous, as, owing to its longer occupation, the ground had lost
every trace of vegetation and had become a vast arid mound, looking
terribly hot, with clouds of sand blowing continually across it.

The fact of so many battleships and cruisers being in the harbour
was an eloquent tribute to the moral influence of submarines. These
craft would appear to have been less active recently, whether as a
result of means taken to combat them (the sea is a maze of nets), or
whether from engine troubles or shortage of petrol, it is impossible
to say. On the other hand, they may hope to lull us into a sense of
false security, and thus to entice the larger ships out. Whatever the
cause, our belief in their inactivity is strengthened by the fact
that a number of warships are patrolling the seas continually without

We spent a few days in this port before an opportunity occurred to
get nearer to the area of hostilities. I was fortunate enough to be
appointed to a ship which left almost immediately for Kephalo, our base
in the island of Imbros, some ten miles distant from the enemy coast.
After a rapid passage through a sea studded with indicator nets, we
arrived at Kephalo. A fair enough anchorage, this, in summer, though
a practically continuous breeze from the north-east, sometimes of
considerable strength, is apt to make it uncomfortable for small craft.

The setting here is rather more picturesque than Mudros, by reason of
the smaller water area and higher hills on the northern side. Here
again a large concourse of ships was gathered, mostly transports,
though two vessels, the balloon-spotting ship _Hector_ and the
plane-carrying and repair ship _Ark Royal_, were of unusual interest.
The flagship _Exmouth_, with a large collier made fast on either beam,
was evidently determined not to allow the marauding submarine any
opportunity of repeating her _Majestic_ and _Triumph_ successes.

Nothing has been left undone to make Kephalo a safe anchorage. A
complete net-guard stretched across the harbour has up to the present
been effective in preventing submarine attack.



The strictest secrecy was maintained with regard to the new landing in
Gallipoli, thus preventing anything but the vaguest rumours leaking
out as to the point chosen for disembarkation. It was presumed that
the Turks must have taken every possible protective measure to guard
against surprise. I was very fortunate in being attached to the ship
which the Admiral conducting operations had chosen as his temporary

It is difficult to give any idea of the strange feelings that possessed
us as we crept through the darkness on the night of August 6, knowing
that big events loomed ahead. Would it be a surprise to the enemy? Had
they any information of our movements? A single bright light showing
on the northerly end of Imbros looked suspiciously like a signal to
the Turks, a simple matter when one realised that our bases in these
islands were held entirely on sufferance and we had practically no
jurisdiction over spies. Our occupation of the various islands
was somewhat Gilbertian; after the war between Turkey and Greece
both parties claimed the islands in the Ægean, neither being in a
position to hold them successfully. Consequently, when the Dardanelles
operations commenced, we naturally decided to regard the islands
as "No Man's Land," although the Greeks knew that, in the event of
a successful campaign, we should probably hand them over to their
keeping. It is certain that without them we could never have carried on
the operations in this theatre of war.

We left the anchorage of Kephalo with every light obscured and silence
enjoined, even white clothes and cigarettes being forbidden on deck. It
was fortunately a dark night even for these parts. At slow speed with
a picket-boat close on our quarter we crept across the twelve miles
separating us from Suvla Bay, which by now was generally presumed to
be the place chosen for what we hoped would be a surprise landing.
Two cruisers, the _Theseus_ and _Endymion_, carrying large numbers
of men, and specially fitted with gangways over their sterns to
allow the troops to walk down into motor-lighters, were sent on with
destroyers towing motor-lighters full of troops to be at the point
of disembarkation at about 11.30 p.m. We on the flagship steered a
slightly more northerly course, in order not to interfere with these
vessels in the darkness, and arrived in Suvla Bay at about 12.30 a.m.

The fact that the landing had already begun was shown by desultory
rifle-fire from the shore, but of so spasmodic a character that a
feeling of hope arose that the surprise was complete. Impatience now
became general for the first gleam of daylight. After an apparently
endless wait the dawn began to make in the eastern sky, and there was
enough light to get some idea of the general state of affairs.

On C beach the troops had landed from the cruisers and destroyers in
the darkness with practically no opposition. A beautiful sandy shore,
sloping at sufficiently steep an angle to allow the motor-lighters to
beach without difficulty, facilitated the landing. The troops, dashing
forward, were able to penetrate inland and drive the small bodies of
Turks out of their trenches. They then advanced over the now dry salt
lake some considerable distance.

On A beach things were not so successful. Here, a shallow ridge
of sand, running parallel to the shore, held up three of the
motor-lighters carrying some 1500 men at a point where wading was
impossible, owing to the deeper water inside the ridge. Here the men
were subjected to considerable rifle-fire from bodies of Turkish troops
and suffered a number of casualties. Picket-boats, however, succeeded
in taking them off and landing them on the beach.

By this time it was possible to see more plainly what was taking place.
Two batteries of Turkish field-guns opened fire with shrapnel and high
explosives on the landing-parties and on the three lighters which were
firmly fixed on the sand reef. The lighters specially claimed the
attention of the enemy's guns, doubtless under the impression that they
still contained troops. Beyond the lighters large numbers of men could
be seen filing along the beach, or forming up, and amongst these, large
columns of sand and dust showed where the shells pitched, causing many

At about five o'clock an enemy aeroplane was sighted, but so occupied
was everyone with the work in hand that practically no attention was
paid to her; and shortly after, four large bombs were dropped in quick
succession in the harbour, causing huge columns of discoloured water to
rise, but doing no damage to the shipping, which by now had grown in
numbers. Five fleet sweepers arrived bringing large numbers of men,
who were landed rapidly to support those already ashore, and as quickly
disappeared into the scrub beyond the beach. The _Talbot_ and _Chatham_
were now busy with their 6-inch guns driving back those Turks who still
endeavoured to oppose our landing. The _Talbot_ by a few well-placed
shots entirely disposed of a battery which had considerably annoyed us
during the early part of the operations. It was impossible now to see
exactly what was taking place, as the low-lying land, over which the
troops were advancing, was hidden by sand dunes from the harbour.

By now large transports were arriving with more troops and stores,
and a battery of field artillery was landed and quickly galloped into
a position on Lalla Baba, where they could give good support to the

A slight description of the country in which this attempt to straddle
the peninsula was taking place may be of interest, as seen from the
sea. On our left Suvla Point, with Nebruniessi Point to the right,
formed a small bay known as Suvla Bay some mile and a half across. To
the right of Nebruniessi Point a long gently curving sandy beach some
four or five miles in extent terminated where the Australian position
at Anzac rose steeply to the Sari Bair range. Inside and immediately
in front of us was a large flat sandy plain covered with scrub, while
the dry salt lake showed dazzlingly white in the hot morning sun.
Immediately beyond was Chocolate Hill, and behind this again lay the
village of Anafarta some four miles from the shore. As a background,
the Anafarta ridge ran from the village practically parallel with
the sea until it took a sharp turn due west to Suvla Point, where it
gradually sloped down to the coast. Beyond the plain in front of us a
number of stunted oaks, gradually becoming more dense further inland,
formed excellent cover for the enemy's snipers—a mode of warfare at
which the Turk has become an adept.

By climbing into the foretop of the vessel, it was possible to watch
the living cinema of battle. Glasses were necessary to distinguish the
light khaki of our men against the scrub and sand. The troops marching
in open order across the salt lake formed a most stirring picture as
they crossed the unbroken surface of silver-white. Overhead shrapnel
burst unceasingly, leaving small crumpled forms on the ground, one or
more of which would slowly rise and walk shorewards, while others lay
where they fell. Beyond this open space it became almost impossible
to follow the movements of the battle, but the continual rattle of
musketry showed where the advance was proceeding into the more thickly
wooded plain. Our hopes that the surrounding ridges would be taken
before nightfall were unfortunately not realised. The enemy, though not
in great strength to commence with, were continually reinforced, while
the broken nature of the ground made anything like perfect cohesion
amongst our various units extremely difficult. To make matters still
worse, the enemy's shells caused dense bush fires, which, driven by the
wind, burst into sheets of flame. Great difficulty was experienced in
dealing with snipers. Officers and men were continually shot down, not
only by rifle fire from advanced posts of the enemy, but by men and
even women behind our own firing-line. The particular kind of tree in
this part, a stunted oak, lends itself peculiarly to concealment, being
short with dense foliage. Here, a sniper would lurk with face painted
green and so well hidden as to defy detection. Others would crouch in
the dense brushwood, where anyone passing could be shot with ease. When
discovered, these snipers had in their possession enough food and water
for a considerable period as well as an ample supply of ammunition.
Although this seems a murderous kind of warfare, there is no question
as to the pluck of the sniper, of whatever nationality, for he has
little chance of getting back to his comrades and small likelihood of
quarter if caught.

Water, or rather the want of it, was a serious bar to our progress in
the initial stages. Those who formed the first landing-parties carried
provisions and water for forty-eight hours; but in a country of this
nature and under a boiling sun it is naturally impossible to convince
the young soldier fighting in a temperature he has never experienced
before, of the necessity of husbanding his water supply. So it proved
in this instance. The advanced troops were completely exhausted by
thirst. Could this have been remedied at once it is certain a different
tale would have been told.

The question which now arose amongst those who were conducting the
naval side of the operations was, how long would the Turkish guns
allow the shipping to remain in the harbour (it became a harbour,
theoretically, as soon as the steamer detailed for the work had laid
submarine defence nets).

The bay was now thickly crowded with shipping, including such tempting
bait as big transports full of troops, store-ships, and every kind
of vessel which goes to the support of an army. Yet, fortunately, we
were only subjected to intermittent shell-fire, the Turks probably
experiencing some difficulty in getting guns into position in addition
to those required against the troops.

It was not until the 12th August that any serious action was taken by
the enemy against the ships in harbour. On that day the vessels inside
the defence net consisted of a large monitor lying close in shore,
several smaller monitors at intervals off the beach, the _Cornwall_,
_Chatham_, and _Swiftsure_, and a number of transports and storeships.
The _Swiftsure_ was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Christian, who
conducted the naval side of the operations.

Shortly after midday the Turks opened fire on the monitor _Havelock_.
The range was good, but the first shells were ineffective, though they
fell close round her. As she was lying at anchor, and things were
becoming rather uncomfortable, she weighed and was just moving when
a shell burst on the upper deck behind the funnel, without, however,
doing serious damage. The enemy's gunners realising now that their
chances of hitting the _Havelock_ were small, turned their attention
to the _Swiftsure_. The latter, surrounded as she was by picket-boats
and lighters, found it difficult to get under weigh quickly. Several of
us were standing on the quarter-deck of the flagship when the shells
began to come in our direction. The first shell pitched some fifty
yards short; the next passed overhead, falling fairly close to our
port side. They had our range to a nicety. The probability that the
third would hit us caused a hurried exodus below deck, where, although
the protection afforded was not great, one felt a sense of security
which was perhaps more theoretical than practical. Almost immediately
the heavy thud of a projectile outside the ward-room told us that our
judgment was not far wrong. Fortunately this failed to explode, and was
afterwards picked up on the net shelf. Another entered the ship's side
close to the padre's cabin, and, going through three steel partitions,
brought up in the petty officers' pantry, where a peaceful domestic was
engaged in washing-up. Fortunately for him this also failed to explode.
Immediately afterwards three high explosive shells came inboard on the
upper deck, and bursting there killed 7 men and wounded 16. Curiosity
in this case had overcome a sense of prudence, for they had been
watching the enemy's attempt to drive us out of the harbour.

The numerous picket-boats, lighters, etc., had now left us, so we
were able to get weigh on the ship. We slowly steamed in a circle
without going outside the defence net, in case a submarine might be
lying in wait as part of a preconceived plan. The fact that we had
moved from our former billet was sufficient to stop the enemy's fire,
as practically all his guns were field artillery, making it almost
impossible to follow a moving object with the accuracy of a naval gun.

It is not my intention to attempt any elaborate description of the
land operations, as it was very difficult to obtain really reliable
news. Moreover, after the first few days, the Turks had succeeded in
bringing up a number of fresh troops and artillery, and were strongly
entrenched. It was increasingly evident, therefore, that, unless a
very large body of men could be brought up the advance had virtually
ceased and resolved itself into a digging-in competition. Up till now
the Turks had made no concerted effort to drive us out; but one night,
at about eight o'clock, a heavy bombardment suddenly commenced on the
left flank, which lasted about an hour and a half. The sky was lit
by hundreds of bursting shrapnel, high explosives and star shells:
the prelude, presumably, to an attack in force. From our position in
the bay it certainly looked as if a big fight were in progress, and a
great deal of speculation was rife on the ships in harbour as to the
outcome. About 9.30 a signal arrived from the Headquarters 9th Army
Corps, saying "Situation well in hand." It appeared, for some reason
unknown to us, that the enemy had entirely failed to follow up the
bombardment and attack. Indeed, as far as could be ascertained, not
a single Turk had left the trenches, and we afterwards learned from
deserters that even flogging and threats had failed to move them.

After this, day succeeded day with a desultory artillery duel morning
and evening, the afternoons being presumably spent by the Turks in
a siesta. Little was accomplished by the artillery fire, beyond the
annoyance caused by shells falling amongst the stores and dug-outs at
the bases. It was astonishing to see high explosive shells bursting
in what appeared to be crowded areas and to learn afterwards from the
soldiers that comparatively few casualties had resulted. Certainly, at
times, a shell would cause considerable damage, especially if it fell
on rock or hard earth: one of these killed and wounded upwards of 100
mules, and another, which I saw, killed 9 men and wounded 7; but these
were exceptions. The Red Cross dressing stations had been shelled in
the early days of the landing, as, owing possibly to the restricted
area held by us, or more probably to carelessness and want of thought,
large quantities of stores and ammunition were landed close to the
dressing stations. These suffered considerably in consequence from
shell-fire. This was not a deliberate act, as no nation could possibly
have conducted warfare in a more above-board and clean-handed manner
than the Turks. The fact that such qualities could be attributed to
the Turk was a surprise to me, though naval officers generally have
long regarded him as the gentleman of the Eastern Mediterranean. This
is further borne out by his reported refusal to use poisonous gas when

On the afternoon of the landing the Turks sent in an emissary to
say that the Red Cross stations would be respected provided no
stores were landed in the vicinity. Also at a later date the Turkish
Headquarters made a helio to the effect that they had seen tows of
boats communicating between warships and the dressing stations. This
they very naturally resented, and said it must cease or they would feel
compelled to open fire. In another case a surgeon told me that the
enemy had actually sent to apologise to him for the accidental shooting
of one of his stretcher-bearers. All this is, of course, only what one
would expect from a chivalrous enemy. So brutally, however, have many
of the theoretical usages of war been violated that the action of the
Turk stands out in bright contrast, and shows that this much-maligned
race retains a sense of honour which seems to be lacking in others who
claim the right to lead the world in this direction.

The Turkish prisoners taken by us were few in number. Many were farmers
whose one wish appeared to be to see the end of the war. After all,
when one remembers that the Turk has always been friendly to the
British, it is not surprising that in fighting against us he should
still retain a good deal of his old feeling. At the same time he is
fighting in defence of his own country, and is regarded by all who
know him as never so effective as when on the defensive. All one hears
and reads of dissension amongst the Turkish and German officers may
be true, as no doubt the German officer has taken a high hand in his
dealings with the Turkish Army. At the same time the Turk is not so
blind but that he realises, to the full, the value of the German as a
teacher of the latest methods and devices of warfare.



Shortly after my arrival I was appointed to a ship engaged in
bombarding enemy gun positions and trenches off the left flank of the
army at Helles. To those unacquainted with warships perhaps a short
description of the ship may be of interest, though I cannot of course
enter into an exhaustive account of our particular form of defence
which has been evolved through the advent of the submarine. The ship I
joined is known in the Navy, since her re-incarnation, as a "blister"
ship. She belongs to the _Blake_ and _Blenheim_ type, which were in
their day the finest cruisers turned out by any naval power; handsome
vessels, good sea-boats, and generally a crack class; but on the
outbreak of hostilities they were a back number and practically ready
for the ship-breaker. One of the surprises of this war, however, has
been the amount of active work done by the older vessels, many of
them good enough ships, though not fit to lie in the battle-line,
but excellent for bombardment purposes, for which they have been
extensively used. Amongst these the cruiser I have mentioned came
in for special protective treatment. Since the German submarine had
driven our battle fleet into protective harbours, and the Army must
be supported at any cost, a scheme for rendering these vessels proof
against the torpedo had to be devised. Torpedo nets had failed in the
case of the _Triumph_, and were apt to render a ship extremely unhandy
in the event of the enemy batteries successfully getting the range.

The first day on which the ship saw any action we left Kephalo at nine
o'clock in the morning to relieve the _Endymion_, our sister-ship
on the left flank, each of us doing forty-eight hours on patrol and
forty-eight in harbour. I must say my feelings were somewhat strange at
being actually on a war vessel for the first time about to come under

Impressions of this kind have been described so often that I feel
nothing in the way of a pen-picture can give readers any new idea of
the sensation. My own feelings were a strange mixture of a desire to
get under some really effective cover and a wish to see the fall
of our own shot on the enemy's position. Our first taste was at a
range which enabled one to get a fair warning of the approach of the
enemy's shell. One heard first the distant bang of the gun, followed
almost immediately by a long whine which grew in crescendo until the
shell hit the water with a loud plop. In the case of shrapnel this
exploded generally very short of us, leaving a round ball of white
smoke suspended in the air for some moments, the bullets generally
striking the sea some fifty yards ahead of the burst. The shells which
straddled the ship were the most trying, as the sound of a projectile
passed right overhead, and seemed as if it must be coming inboard. The
long range (most of the shell-fire being 12 or 15 pr.) made the danger
problematical, as the angle of descent was very steep. On the other
hand, should we be hit, the shell was likely to fall on our unarmoured
decks. In the case of several ships comparatively small shells had
caused damage in this way out of all proportion to the size of the
projectiles: in one instance a shell came inboard on the _Grafton_
between the foremast and funnel, and bursting there, killed 9 and
wounded 17 men.

The general consensus of opinion on board was that the Turks only
fired when fired on, which went some way to allay apprehension. Our
first day out certainly confirmed this idea, for it was not until we
had fired a number of rounds that any reply came from the shore, and
that of so desultory a nature as to cause us little worry. At about
five in the afternoon one of our seaplanes came out to observe and spot
our fall of shot; this was the only way in which any accurate results
could be obtained. While off the coast we were practically at the
disposal of the military, who informed us when any Turkish batteries
caused them particular annoyance. They would then signal to us the
position on which they wished the shells to be fired.

The procedure was of some interest, as the shooting which we were
required to do was of a somewhat novel kind for naval guns. With very
few exceptions, where the objective could be seen, the target was only
one of many concealed batteries. On one occasion as many as 800 Turkish
shells were fired in a comparatively short space of time from the
Asiatic shore on to Helles beach, although the total casualties, due to
the wonderful system of dug-outs, were only three mules killed and two
men wounded.

The hour chosen for our practice on the enemy's gun emplacements was,
as a rule, late in the afternoon, by which time the sun was directly
behind us and showed up every formation of the coast. At about the
time appointed one or other of the lookouts would report "Aeroplane
in sight, sir," and shortly afterwards one shot would be fired, or
possibly three, to give the aeroplane something to work on. The range,
usually about 8000 yards, was arrived at by the navigator, who, knowing
our own distance from the coast to a yard, would then use the squared
map of the peninsula on which every known Turkish battery was marked,
and add to it the distance inland of the particular battery, taking for
a point of aim some feature on the land, the ship being stationary.

The most interesting place on the ship while firing was in progress was
"Monkey Island." This is the platform above the chart-house used in
ordinary times for navigation and from which a clear all-round view can
be obtained. It was surrounded by a thick protection of canvas packed
with cotton-waste, rope, and other odds and ends to render it proof at
least against shrapnel and rifle bullets, whilst overhead a thick mat
was suspended for the same purpose. It is from this position that the
directions are handed on to the guns by voice-pipe from the control on
the foremast, where the gunnery lieutenant is stationed.

Soon after the first shot is fired, the tinkle of a bell can be heard.
This is the telephone from the wireless-room, where the aeroplane's
spotting correction has been received, and the Captain's voice is heard
at the voice-pipe from the conning-towers to the fire-control, giving
the gunnery officer the correction. Assuming the aeroplane's signal to
have been, say, 200 short 50 left, the gunnery lieutenant then gives
the corrected range via "Monkey Island" to the guns, or whichever
particular gun he wishes to use. The message is handed on by a boy
to the gun below, and there repeated by one of the gun's crew back
to the fire-control in confirmation. A moment's pause, and the order
"Fire" is again given. Immediately a sheet of bright orange flame, and
an ear-splitting crash are followed by a vibrating rush of the shell
through the air, gradually dying down to a distant sigh. Then just over
our point of aim a dirty yellowish cloud rises slowly, showing roughly
the spot on which our shell has fallen. At last, after possibly four
or five shots, the aeroplane makes the signal "O K," showing that one
of our shots has got home in the gun emplacement, and rapid fire opens
from all guns which bear on the side engaged.

An instance of the unfailing supply of the lighter side of things was
afforded one day when the ship was under fire from Turkish batteries.
Everyone was under cover more or less, though it is a very difficult
matter to get men who have never been under fire to take cover
adequately. The human is a curious animal when he wants to see what is
happening, and, as a rule, it was not until a ship had been badly hit
and men killed or wounded that the necessity to seek cover seemed to be
taken to heart. On the occasion already mentioned the Turks were doing
some very good shooting, and a fairly large high-explosive shell burst
on the water close to us on the starboard side just abaft the bridge. A
large number of shell fragments came inboard, scattering groups of men,
who were watching events, without injuring any of them. Their hurried
flight caused much hilarity amongst the gun-layers and others already
in cover, but any sense of fear on the part of those so dispersed
rapidly gave place to a desire to collect souvenirs in the shape of
shell-splinters. A piece of shell which has actually come aboard your
own ship while you are in her possesses a value to the finder which is
peculiarly personal. Consequently the fo'c's'le and waist of the ship
immediately became a hunting ground for eager collectors; and as most
people know the amount of gear on a ship's deck, it will be understood
that there were possibilities of a find in a variety of places.
However, the first men on the scene rapidly collected all that could be
found, and a large number sought in vain for a memento of the occasion.
Amongst these was a member of the crew whose late arrival precluded any
chance of finding souvenirs, but whose brain was not slow in supplying
a substitute for the much-sought-after booty. Every warship carries
a blacksmith's forge, and scattered about in its vicinity are nearly
always to be found a number of small pieces of iron of all shapes and
sizes, many of them remarkably like shell-splinters. The late-comer
quickly turned his attention to these, and, making a rapid collection
of the most likely looking fragments, he joined the still eager
searchers. Presently, as the enthusiasm waned for want of spoil, he
produced a number of deadly looking fragments, some of which he gave to
empty-handed shipmates, while others he parted with for small sums.
These are now probably looked upon in sundry homes as the "bit o' shell
that nearly wiped out poor Bill."

I suppose active service always brings with it periods of dullness and
monotony, when any little incident like the foregoing is welcomed with
relief. Another event of this kind which seems to me worth recounting
caused a good deal of amusement at the time.

On our ship there was a small coterie of non-executive officers,
whose particular duties were not called into use when the ship was
under fire. The novelty of being fired at having worn off, and the
danger of unnecessarily exposing oneself realised, they decided, after
interrogating sundry experts on the subject, that the safest place in
the ship, short of the indignity of descending below the armoured deck,
was the gun-room. We carried no midshipmen, so that the gun-room was
occupied only by one or two warrant officers whose duty, during action,
mostly lay on deck. It was here, therefore, that the aforesaid coterie
gathered as soon as we came under fire, to indulge in a quiet game of
bridge. The prolonged immunity of this particular spot from shell-fire
had lulled into a sense of security any feelings of apprehension as
to the likelihood of a shell finding its way there, the more so as it
was not only on the lower deck but on the disengaged side. But the
joyful band of card-players received a severe shock. Firing had been in
progress for some time, and a few shells of the enemy had pitched near
the ship while a game of bridge was in full swing. Suddenly a terrific
crash on the starboard side, followed by a big explosion, denoted the
arrival of a shell in their immediate vicinity. It had penetrated the
side exactly opposite the gun-room, and, bursting, fortunately in a
store-room (thus to some extent localising the damage), hurled several
large fragments through the open door into the midst of the players
without actually touching one of them. The luckiest escape was that of
an officer who was standing in the doorway at the time leaning with
one hand high up on the side of the entrance. A fragment of shell
passed beneath his arm close over the heads of the players and buried
itself in the casing on the inside of the ship. The whole flat outside
was filled with dust and débris, and it was some moments before the
occupants could get sufficiently sorted out to realise that no injuries
had been received. Needless to say, this rude disturbance caused a
somewhat hurried exit from the "safest" place in the ship, and great
was the chaff which had to be endured by the erstwhile inhabitants, the
more so as this was the only hit scored by the enemy on that day.



The work of the trawlers in the Dardanelles demands special mention.
The men running these vessels are in the majority of cases elderly,
and the ships themselves were never intended to come under fire; yet
these men have constantly been in very hot places, and have gone there
knowing what was in store for them.

The ships have been used for every conceivable kind of work. They have
carried stores, troops, mails and munitions. They have been engaged
in mine-sweeping, patrolling and towing nets. They have tackled the
elusive submarine; in fact, they have done everything that can be
thought of short of bombarding forts, and they would cheerfully take
this job on if required. Here is the typical day of a trawler during
general ferry work, on which I took passage.

We left Kephalo early in the morning, calling first at Anzac, then at
Helles; from there to Rabbit Island and Tenedos; back to Helles, and,
if required, to Anzac again. Generally from Helles this trawler would
go direct to Kephalo. The round is seventy odd miles. Every morning
on starting, the skipper knew the ship would come under shell-fire at
Anzac almost without fail, as the anchorage is commanded by the Turkish
guns, and any sign of movement, or of ships arriving or leaving,
invariably brought its accompaniment of shells. I gathered from him
that this had been his daily lot for four months.

He was a fine type of North Sea skipper, and took everything as it came
with a stoicism which was admirable. He didn't like it—nobody does; but
it was his job, and there was an end of it!

The day on which I took passage with him was typical of all the others.
We left Kephalo at seven in the morning, the sun well up and already
hot, blue sky, blue sea and a very light breeze. Anzac, our first port
of call, showed up clearly some twelve miles off, standing out, by
reason of its distinctive character, from the rest of the coast. Rising
between the flat sandy beaches—C beach and Brighton beach—it looked as
if the Sari Bair range had suddenly been chopped off or slipped into
the sea. Here were no foot-hills sloping gently to the coast, but
abrupt sandstone precipices looking very unfinished in the brilliant
morning light.

The fact that our reception, of which I had already been warned,
would be as usual, was borne out on nearing the coast. The Anzac
water-steamer, lying some 3000 yards out waiting for lighters to come
off, attracted the attention of the enemy. When we got fairly close
to her we heard a distant bang, which told us the Turks were awake.
Now a gun being fired at you is unmistakable and quite different from
one of your own guns, though the latter may be much louder. In this
case, although only a second or two intervened between the report and
the splash of the shell, it gave time for speculation as to what was
the enemy's objective. The shell fell about fifty yards short of the
water-boat, and was followed immediately by another which straddled
her, pitching about the same distance over. On this, she rapidly got
under weigh and stood out to sea, followed by a number of rounds which
were ineffective.

By this time we were close into Anzac beach, and had anchored
preparatory to a picket-boat coming off to take our mails, etc. Four
other trawlers lay close to us engaged on various duties. The Turks
being baulked of their first quarry, now turned their attention to
us, and it must be said that nothing is much more unpleasant than to
be confined in a very small vessel at anchor with no protection but
the thinnest sheet-iron. Their first shot at us was shrapnel, and the
range not bad. Shrapnel is, I think, the most spiteful sounding of all
shells. The sharp report of the shell burst, followed by a kind of
metallic whistle as the numerous bullets tear through space, being very
unpleasant. However, after this trial-shot the enemy turned to high
explosives, and one's feelings gravitated between hope that they would
not hit us and wonder that they didn't. Some of them were certainly
closer than I cared for, but having a camera and a feeling that, after
all, things were very much in the hands of Allah, I thought the moment
seemed opportune for a photograph. Being on the bridge at the time,
I held my camera ready and was almost immediately rewarded by a high
explosive pitching about thirty yards over us on the port side. There
was no time to look in the finder, as the column of water thrown up by
a shell subsides very quickly, so I simply pointed the camera at the
spot, in the hope that somewhere on the plate there might be a result.

By now we were under weigh again, after handing our mails over to the
shore-boat, and the other trawlers were heaving up their anchors. The
Turks, realising that little was to be achieved, ceased fire, except
for an occasional shrapnel to hurry us on our way.

Anzac, as we left it with the morning sun right overhead, looked a
most forbidding spot. The deep, gloomy shadows of the gullies were
accentuated by the brilliant sun lighting up each knife-edged ridge.
One could picture the scene on that morning of April 25, when the
gallant troops from Australia and New Zealand made their wonderful
landing on this inhospitable shore.

Our course, after standing well out to avoid the enemy's guns, now
lay to the southward, parallel to the shore, Helles being our next
calling-place. At this time the only parts of the peninsula occupied
by the Allies were Anzac and Helles. Seeing the great extent of
country held by the enemy, it was brought home to one what very small
holdings were ours after months of desperate fighting. Here and there
on the way were monitors and destroyers occasionally firing on enemy
gun positions, or on any movements of troops that could be seen.
Opportunities for the latter were rare, the nature of the ground
rendering it easy for the enemy to keep entirely out of sight. Nearer
the end of the peninsula was my own ship, the _Theseus_, one of the
flanking ships patrolling on the left of the troops at Helles. Shortly
after we rounded Cape Tekeh and anchored, where again a picket-boat
came alongside, bringing details for the island of Tenedos and taking
off the mails we had brought. Meanwhile, a certain number of shells
were falling on the base camp, and occasionally an "over" would drop
among the shipping; but nothing came near enough to worry us.

The base camp from the sea gave an impression of a burnt-up waste.
The long occupation had removed every sign of vegetation, and nothing
remained but yellow sand and clouds of dust driving seaward in the
freshening breeze.

The place was teeming with life, apparently oblivious of the falling
shells. The whole face of the sand-cliff was honeycombed with dug-outs
and roads cut for transport, and the beaches were covered with the
endless paraphernalia of a camp in war-time.

Our next place of call was Rabbit Island, to the south of Helles. As we
left the end of the peninsula, a wonderful panorama could be obtained
of the whole position. Achi Baba loomed over all, while to the right
Seddul Bahr, the entrance to the Dardanelles, and the Asiatic shore
showed clearly. It was here that the disastrous attack of April 18
took place, which showed us the futility of forcing the Narrows without
an adequate landing force acting in co-operation.

Our stay at Rabbit Island was short. Only one or two ships lay there.
The island itself is a barren hummock of very small extent, and of
little value except for the special use to which it is being put. Some
ships' boats came off for fleet letters and a few mails, after which we
took our departure for Tenedos.

Tenedos, one of the most flourishing of the islands in the vicinity of
the Dardanelles, is used by us and the French as an aeroplane base. The
picturesque harbour is surrounded by quaint buildings, with an ancient
fort dominating the whole. A short stay here completed our business.
The return journey to Helles and Kephalo was uneventful. True, our
reception at Helles was disturbed somewhat by a 6-inch shell, which
fell immediately astern of us as we were approaching our anchorage.
Fortunately, this was a solo, for, though we momentarily anticipated
the usual chorus, nothing further occurred to disturb our peace of
mind. None the less, I must say I looked forward to an early departure;
but this was disposed of temporarily by the arrival of a picket-boat
with orders to wait for two naval officers. However, this only delayed
us some twenty minutes, when we took our leave of Helles, arriving at
Kephalo at dusk.



In the various landings in Gallipoli it naturally came about that
the Navy, after the actual disembarkation of the troops, had a
great deal of work to do in connection with the incessant stream of
material, stores, etc., and this necessitated more or less permanent
beach-parties, composed of bluejackets who lived and had their being
with the soldiers at the base camps. A naval captain, as beach master,
one or two lieutenants and midshipmen to run the picket-boats, and a
number of seamen ratings comprised these parties. It was their duty
to see to the handling of the transports, landing of stores, and the
various other jobs which come natural to a sailor where sea and shore
meet. The bluejacket takes a different view of life from the soldier.
This is not surprising, for his mode of life and training is peculiar
to the Navy. Certainly the sailors on the beaches were generally
regarded with considerable interest by their military companions. A
Major with whom I came in contact gave me an entertaining account
of the naval camp situated close to his dug-out. It appeared at the
commencement of activities on shore that the collecting of souvenirs,
in the shape of shell-splinters, shrapnel cases, or anything of this
nature, was greatly in vogue, and developed into something of a fine
art. As a rule, when the Turks began to shell the beaches, every one
whose occupation would allow, dived into his dug-out and remained
there until the firing had ceased. The sailors' camp was no exception
to this; but however hot the fire, one or more heads would invariably
be seen projecting from the entrance to the dug-out somewhat like a
tortoise looking out from his shell. An instinctive knowledge seemed
to be possessed by the owners of the heads where a shell in flight was
likely to pitch. The moment the explosion had taken place a number of
men carrying spades would emerge from the dug-outs, race across the
sand and scrub to the spot and begin a furious digging competition for

Sailors have been trained from youth up to regard anything and
everything, from a piece of string to a traction engine, as likely
to be of use at some time or other. Consequently their dug-outs were
museums of all the flotsam and jetsam which a military base provides
in war-time, and, I imagine, a good deal which does not come into this

The Major, who seemed so entertained with the beach-party and its
doings, told me that immediately after the Suvla Bay landing, and
during the advance on the left flank, it was his duty to take charge of
a considerable amount of unused Turkish field-gun ammunition amounting
to some 700 rounds. Now there is probably nothing which appeals to the
collector of battlefield souvenirs so much as a complete cartridge case
and shell. This makes a beautiful trophy when polished and gives the
possessor somewhat the same feeling as a schoolboy who obtains a rare
unused stamp which he knows to be genuine.

The ammunition in question was to be sent down to the base, where
instructions would be given as to its disposal. Oddly enough, soon
after arrival it appeared to be slowly and steadily diminishing, and
reports reached the Major of dark figures having been seen flitting
about the store at night. On his return to the base the number of
shells had been reduced to some 300, and for a long time their
disappearance was wrapped in mystery. One day, however, when on his
way to call on a brother officer, the Major's direction lay through
the beach-parties' camp. Whilst passing one of the dug-outs he was
surprised to hear a sharp explosion and to see four sailors hurl
themselves into the open through the diminutive doorway. One had a
somewhat blackened face and very little eyebrows or front hair, whilst
the others were in the evident enjoyment of a good joke. Inquiries
elicited the fact that the hurried exit was caused by the premature
explosion of a shell-fuse which was being coaxed into yielding up its
active properties with the aid of a jack-knife or some similar weapon.
A closer inspection of the dug-out disclosed the fact that amongst
many other trophies of war a considerable number of the missing shells
played a large part in the decoration of the interior. Most of them had
already undergone the aforesaid operation, and, with charges drawn, now
stood ready to be sent home, when opportunity should offer, to grace
the parlour mantelpiece.

In the matter of clothes the sailors showed a marked disinclination
to wear anything provided for them. They were supplied with khaki, as
white would be far too conspicuous; but, being ashore, and feeling,
I suppose, something of a sense of relaxed discipline, it was almost
impossible to get them to wear the clothes served out. Consequently
you saw the strangest collection of garments being worn in the
beach-parties' camp. An order to wear the clothes provided would
produce a return to regulation dress for a day, or possibly two, after
which most of the men would again be wearing the kit which suited
their particular tastes. It was found hopeless to try and enforce
the rule. After all, in a case of this kind, and under the peculiar
circumstances, it is perhaps better to indulge a man's fancy as long as
it does not affect the work in hand and keeps him cheerful and happy.

A naval officer, whose duties lay on shore, told me this story one day
which I think is good enough to relate.

He was outside his dug-out one afternoon and chanced to see two men
passing in strange raiment. The combination of gait and the fact
that both were wearing navy flannels told him at once that they were
blue-jackets. Anxious to know what their special mission might be, he
stopped and questioned them.

"Where are you going?"

"Motor-lighter K—, sir."

"Do you belong there?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then what are you doing here?"

"Well, sir," (hesitating) "we've just been up to the trenches."

"Were you sent there with orders?"

"Er—no, sir."

"How long have you been up there?"

"'Ow long, sir?" (then to companion) "When was it we went up, Bill?"
(indistinct murmurs from diffident comrade—then to Captain) "I should
say about four days, sir."

Finally the Captain ordered them down to a picket-boat in which he was
about to visit the flagship, and they were put in the midshipman's
charge under arrest. On the way out the Captain heard the two
adventurers discussing their detention with some bitterness, always
ending with the same refrain, which was repeated several times, thus:
"Fine thing, this—under arrest. Well I'm ——! And they treat yer like a
gentleman in the trenches—treat yer like a gentleman, I say."

It is difficult to imagine the point of view of men leaving the
trenches with regret.

I believe I am right in saying that at the original landing at Helles
many blue-jackets in charge of the landing-parties, whose boats
had been sunk by the terrible fire, though they themselves escaped
uninjured, joined with the soldiers in the advance on bare feet and
with boat-hooks for weapons.

Here is an incident which came under my personal notice, and though
not really belonging to this chapter on beach-parties is nevertheless
indirectly connected with the subject. It serves to illustrate the
humorous spirit obtaining in the fleet, and occurred on a ship to which
I was attached for some time. Our gunner, a man who had seen a great
deal of service in almost every part of the world, was blessed with
a large sense of the ridiculous. Now, the ship's carpenter seemed to
possess an extraordinary attraction for shells, inasmuch as in whatever
part of the ship he happened to be when we were under fire a shell
invariably seemed to arrive in his close vicinity. This had happened
so often that it got on his nerves. It occurred to the gunner that
the shining hour might be improved by a little gentle attention on
his part. It must be understood that what he did was done entirely to
amuse himself and not from a wish to play to the gallery. One day, when
several shells had fallen near us and to which we were not replying at
the time, he ensconced himself behind an iron door leading from the
battery on to the quarter-deck, which door was standing open at right
angles to the doorway itself. Having provided himself with an iron bar,
he kept vigil there in the hope that an occasion might arise which
would take the carpenter past his hiding-place. His wait, though long,
was not unrewarded. The unwary carpenter came along the battery and out
on to the quarter-deck, and at the moment of passing the gunner the
latter delivered a tremendous blow on his own side of the iron door
with the bar. The effect on the carpenter exceeded the gunner's wildest
dreams, and caused infinite amusement amongst those of us who witnessed
the incident, for we had been wondering what could be the meaning of
the gunner's manœuvres.



It is, of course, a debatable point in this war, the first in which
submarines have played a large part, to what extent they have justified
their existence. Certain it is that as a moral force they are in a
very strong position. Our own main battle-fleets have had to take very
complete measures for protection against this form of attack. Any
excursions to sea must always be done at high speed with an advance
guard of destroyers and other light craft, though there is consolation
in the fact that the fleet of the enemy have chosen to remain in more
or less land-locked harbours with elaborate boomed defences. At the
same time it is certain that the war at sea cannot be brought to a
final end by the submarine, but must eventually be settled by the
Capital ship.

The German submarines have had greater opportunities of paring down
our Navy than we theirs. This applies especially to the early days of
the war, when, owing to the total unexpectedness of the upheaval,
before experience had taught us how to deal with these unseen craft,
they failed entirely to achieve anything that caused us alarm from a
military standpoint. A few ancient cruisers fell to them, three of
which, the _Aboukir_, the _Hogue_, and the _Cressy_, were so destroyed
while indulging in a perfectly human desire to save life. All the ships
so sunk were easy targets owing to slow speed. So far not one really
fast modern vessel has been sunk by this form of attack.

If it could ever be known, which I fear is impossible, how many
torpedoes have been fired at warships without taking effect (and the
number is large), it would only go to show the difficulties encountered
by the submarine and the immunity of the fast vessel. Add to this the
large number of enemy submarines destroyed, nearly all by means evolved
since war began (a period notoriously difficult in which to carry out
experiments), and it is only reasonable to presume that, when times of
peace come again, it will not be long before means are arrived at which
will render surface vessels almost entirely immune from this form of

Everyone is agreed that one of the brightest spots in our campaign in
the Dardanelles has been supplied by the British submarines. If there
are still people at home who ask what the Navy is doing, one can point
to these vessels as an example of what the whole Navy would do had they
any scope in which to exercise their activities.

But we are dealing with an enemy who feels that he has nothing to gain
and everything to lose by seeking an engagement. The impossibility of
forcing his stronghold must be obvious to the least enlightened.

Our submarines out here have penetrated what most naval men would have
declared to be an impassable barrier until it became an achieved fact.
Think of the obstacles their crews have surmounted: rows of mines
susceptible to the lightest touch, nets completely across the Narrows,
and last, but not least, a strong current flowing seawards. Only then
can you begin to realise the difficulties and dangers in endeavouring
to gain an entrance into the Sea of Marmora and the main sea route for
the Turkish water-borne supplies. The following signal, typical of
many others, "E— arrived in Sea of Marmora without trouble, torpedoed
a steamer in False Bay on her way," furnishes an indication that these
desperate ventures are undertaken as a matter of course.

I met Commander Nasmith one afternoon at Kephalo. He had just returned
from an aeroplane flight up the Narrows after an investigation of
the net defence placed across at that point to prevent submarines
from penetrating into the Sea of Marmora. He did not seem very much
impressed, and his judgment was justified next day when he took E11
through the defences and arrived in Marmora without mishap. The
train-like regularity with which our submarines have accomplished this
task is apt to make the venture appear commonplace to the newspaper
reader, who may imagine that there is some easy road which, when once
found, is plain-sailing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every
submarine that goes up does so with the full knowledge of the dangers
to be faced, and the occasional loss of one of them shows the perils

In the early stages of the operations the net across the Narrows could
be negotiated by diving under it; but, on a subsequent occasion, a
submarine returning to the open sea found that the Turks had placed a
deeper net in position. This particular submarine fouled the net at a
depth of over one hundred feet, and was actually hung up by stout wire
for upwards of fifteen minutes. It is impossible to imagine anything
more likely to unnerve men than to be caught like herrings in a net
below the surface, and actually to hear, as they did, hydrostatic
bombs exploding around them. The Turks would know, of course, by the
agitation of the net above, that a submarine was caught; however, by
going astern and then ahead, and allowing her whole weight to come on
the net, the vessel broke through and returned in safety.

Many of our submarines after penetrating to the Sea of Marmora have
made protracted stays of twenty-eight to thirty days, which is the
more astonishing when one realises the cramped conditions and general
discomfort when living on one of these boats for any length of time.
I think it may be said that the Turks have ceased to regard the sea
route as a means of supplying their troops with any degree of safety,
the number of transports sunk being very large, including war vessels.
One of the most successful pieces of work accomplished at the time of
the Suvla Bay landing was the sinking of the _Kaiserin Barbarossa_ by a
British submarine. This ship had formerly belonged to Germany, but was
purchased from them by Turkey. She was sent down from Constantinople to
take position off Gallipoli or thereabouts with a view to indirect fire
over the land with her 11-inch guns, of which she possessed eight. She
was also reported to be carrying large quantities of ammunition for
the land forces. One can well imagine, therefore, the enthusiasm with
which the signal of her sinking was received. Undoubtedly our ships and
land-force thus escaped what might have been a severe menace, while the
effect on the enemy was evidently salutary, as no further attempt was
made to dispatch a war vessel with guns of heavy calibre to co-operate
with their army.

Possibly at some future time a fuller description may be written when
all the facts become known of the adventures of our submarines in this
inland sea. These should certainly supply the historian with some of
the most romantic episodes of the war.



The handling of wounded in the Dardanelles has been a difficult
proposition, which the nature of the country has not tended to lessen.
The injured men have to be taken off the shore by small boats and then
transferred to hospital ships.

These ships are obliged to lie off some distance clear of rifle-bullets
and shell-fire. Even then, several cases have occurred of men already
wounded receiving further injury through stray shots reaching the ships.

A patient was sitting on his cot preparatory to turning in, when a
bullet entered the open port and passing through two thicknesses of
his pyjamas, buried itself in the deck. A nursing sister standing
near at the time was relieved to see the man laughing and holding
out his coat for her to examine. These occasional missiles were not
fired intentionally at the hospital ships, but came over from trenches
running parallel to the shore.

In most cases the ships lay out a mile or more. The first batch of
wounded I saw came off after the landing at Suvla Bay. They arrived
alongside us in a ship's barge towed by a picket-boat. They had been
wounded during the night, and presented a sad spectacle, lying in the
boat in every conceivable attitude with bandages through which the
blood was soaking. Some of them were oblivious of everything, and wore
a pathetically dazed look. Others not so badly injured seemed mildly
interested in events around them, while the still lighter cases waved
to us and appeared quite cheerful. The lightly wounded soldier is
probably the happiest of all. He is out of the inferno of battle and is
fairly certain of return to health and strength.

Those wounded among the first parties landed on an enemy's coast are,
generally speaking, bound to undergo the greatest hardships. This
specially applies to the Dardanelles. At Suvla Bay the suffering caused
was added to by the shortage of water. The shore to which the wounded
were brought was entirely devoid of shade, and the blazing sand was
intensified by the heat of the sun. Operations on serious cases were
performed with the greatest difficulty, and the shallow water close
inshore made it impossible for the steam-cutters to bring their tows
of boats very near. The tows had, therefore, to be rowed to the beach
by three or four sailors; the wounded were placed in them and rowed off
again to the cutters.

An undertaking of this kind takes some considerable time when large
numbers of sufferers are continually arriving. Consequently the
dressing stations rapidly became congested, and it was some days before
matters could be reduced to smooth working.

As soon as sufficient material had arrived, pontoon piers were built to
allow the steam cutters to come right alongside.

The drinking-water difficulty was remedied to a large extent a day
or two after the landing. War vessels in the harbour using their
distilling plants were able to cope with the demand. Lighters, boats
with canvas tanks, and in fact anything that would hold water were

These were towed as close inshore as the depth would allow, and
connected with the beach by pipes. Each lighter carried a portable
fire-engine for pumping purposes. This supply greatly alleviated the
sufferings of the wounded. A severely injured man may be deadened to a
sense of bodily pain, but thirst, which is scarcely ever absent, is the
hardest to bear.

The amount of sickness among the troops in the Dardanelles far exceeds
in proportion that of any other theatre of war. The reasons are not far
to seek: want of proper rest, lack of really good water, and, worst of
all, innumerable flies. This latter pest is the cause of much sickness,
and is a most difficult problem to deal with. One must also take into
account the intermittent shell-fire on the bases. This, while it tries
the strongest nerves, at the same time tends, through custom, to make
men regardless of danger.

A large number of hospital ships are naturally required to carry the
sick and wounded. As far as can possibly be arranged, one of them is
always lying off each base, so that immediately a ship is filled and
proceeds to her destination her place is taken by another.

The carrying capacity of each vessel varies, though the smaller
ones can accommodate even between two and three hundred; the mighty
_Aquitania_, however, takes as many as four thousand.

Most of the light cases are conveyed to the islands of Mudros and
Lemnos, while the serious ones are taken to England.

The most touching sights are the small cemeteries dotted about near
the shore. On each grave is a rough wooden cross, erected by loving
comrades, and bearing the name and regiment of the dead hero. There
seemed to me to be something infinitely sad at the thought of these
men, who had given their all, sleeping a last sleep so far from the
country they loved.


CAPE TEKEH         Clouds of Sand blowing Seawards         A

A         SS RIVER CLYDE         HELLES         ACHI BABA         B






These shells come from concealed guns on the slopes of Achi Baba, and
from the Asiatic batteries. While causing much hindrance to the work
on the beaches, at the same time the casualties are light, due to the
wonderful system of dug-outs, the men taking shelter immediately firing



Achi Baba shows beyond the coast-line, and from this point of view is
disappointing when seen for the first time. To the right and on the
cliff is a brown patch extending from top to bottom, known as Gurka
bluff, while immediately to the left of this is a zigzag line of
trenches showing the northerly limit of our gain in this area.]


The shell-bursts from these vessels on a still day were a wonderful
sight. The beautiful shapes of the dense masses of smoke resembled
cumulous clouds, hanging as they did for a long time before

[Illustration: HELLES]


This vessel was often engaged in firing on the enemy's gun positions,
her salvoes of high explosive shells making a wonderful picture as they

[Illustration: A KITE BALLOON]


This drawing was made from H.M.S. _Theseus_, with the aid of
field-glasses. It seemed impossible for anything to live as one watched
the tremendous explosions of these heavy shells.]

[Illustration: OFF CAPE TEKEH]



The observers in the Balloon are able by their altitude to see the
Turkish gun emplacements and to correct by signal to the ship firing
the fall of her shot. These Balloons are very stable even in high
winds. Up to the present they have escaped any damage despite attempts
of every kind by the enemy.]


[Illustration: LANDING AT "A" BEACH, AUGUST 7, 5.30 A.M.

A number of fleet boarding steamers took the troops close inshore,
whence under the covering fire of warships they were conveyed in motor
lighters. Three of these lighters can be seen in the middle distance,
where they had grounded on a ridge during the night. Practically all
the troops were removed to shore by ships' boats before daylight. The
lighters then came under a heavy shell-fire, the enemy doubtless under
the impression that they still contained men.]

[Illustration: TRAWLERS]


These troops were supporting the night-landing previously effected.
A number of casualties were caused by bombs dropped from a hostile
aeroplane and by Turkish shells.]

[Illustration: A TRANSPORT]

[Illustration: "C" BEACH, AUGUST 8.

This beach was extensively used for landing stores and ambulance
wagons. In the distance can be seen the Sari Bair range, which runs
down to the Australian position at Anzac.]

[Illustration: SUVLA POINT]


It was here that the largest number of wounded were brought immediately
after the landing. The drawing shows the station as it appeared about a
month afterwards.]


The shallowness of the water close inshore made it no easy matter to
get the wounded away. Ship's boats were rowed close in, and the wounded
were taken in tow by picket-boats, whence they were towed off to the
hospital ships.]

[Illustration: Smoke drifts from shells]


The effect of this vessel's lyddite bursting was very fine, an
interesting contrast to this being the flash of her guns which showed a
pale lemon colour in the approaching dusk.]

[Illustration: OFF ANZAC]


This lake, dry in summer, is hard clear sand, dazzlingly white in
sunlight. It was over this that the troops advanced to the attack on
Chocolate Hill, on August 7. In the distance is Sari Bair, the highest
point of the range, running down to Anzac on the right.]

[Illustration: A Tug attempting to tow off a lighter at Suvla while
under fire]

[Illustration: LALLA BABA.

This position was continually under fire from shrapnel and high
explosive shells. These frequently burst among the stores and material
on the beach at the foot. Practically no part of the coast held by us
is free from enemy shell-fire.]


Lalla Baba is to the left, Salt Lake behind it, a small portion of
the latter just on its right. Chocolate Hill is the small hill in
the middle distance. Immediately to its right are the "W" hills. The
village of Anafarta can be seen on the distant ridge in the right
centre of the drawing.]

[Illustration: LALLA BABA from Suvla Bay]


This drawing was made some days after the actual landing. This ship is
one of the vessels which took part in the operations at daybreak on
August 7.]

[Illustration: High Explosive Shell bursting.]


This sketch, made from a dug-out on Chocolate Hill, shows the position
when looking back over the dried-up Salt Lake. At the foot of the hill
can be seen the partially burnt-up shrub, while the markings on the
lake are caused by ambulance-wagon tracks and other traffic. To the
left is Lalla Baba with Suvla Bay in the centre, and in the extreme
distance the island of Samothrace.]

[Illustration: "Hector" with Kite Balloon up]


The transports and store-ships frequently came under fire from the
Turkish guns. The fact that few casualties were occasioned shows the
enemy's gunnery not to have been very accurate.]

[Illustration: GABA TEPE]


The Welsh casualty clearing station.]

[Illustration: Balloon nearly down]


These war-vessels were used to cover the advancing troops, or to shell
any bodies of Turks which could be seen.]

[Illustration: ANZAC.

This sketch was made to the south'ard, and shows the dug-outs and some
of the roads made since the occupation. The highest point is Sari


[Illustration: ANZAC.

This is the position at which the Australians and New Zealanders made
their magnificent landing in the dawn on April 25. The drawing gives
some idea of the terrible nature of the coast stormed by these gallant


[Illustration: MOTOR LIGHTERS.

These lighters have been extensively used in landing troops from the
transports. They have proved invaluable, being capable of taking as
many as 500 men at one time.]


[Illustration: H.M.S. 'TRIAD']

[Illustration: SEAPLANE BASE.

A general view of the Seaplane base camp from a hill close by. On
the left of the sand ridge is a salt-water lagoon, while in the far
distance is the Gallipoli peninsula.]



The seaplanes in the Dardanelles have done much excellent work, and
are extensively used in observing for the ships engaged in bombarding
Turkish gun positions.]

[Illustration: Ship's cutter under sail]


[Illustration: French Cruiser Jean D'arc]

[Illustration: SUBMARINE E11 AT KEPHALO.

The vessel commanded by Commander Nasmith, V.C., which penetrated
the Narrows and arrived off Constantinople, causing the greatest
consternation there by sinking several vessels off the city and one
actually alongside the quay.]

[Illustration: A DESTROYER.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. _BEN-MY-CHREE_ AT KEPHALO.

A seaplane carrier.]

[Illustration: A SEAPLANE CARRIER.]


The less serious cases among the wounded were brought from the mainland
by hospital carriers and landed at rest camps in the island.]

[Illustration: GREEK TRADERS]


Carrying the flag of the Contre Amiral Guepratte. This is the vessel
shells from which are shown in a previous drawing.]



The enormous bulk of the _Aquitania_ was an outstanding feature in the
harbour. The smaller hospital ship alongside is handing over serious
cases to be sent back to England.]

[Illustration: H.M.S. 'Lord Nelson']


Submarines always receive a great ovation from vessels of every
nationality in harbour on their return from raids in the Sea of

[Illustration: MUDROS HARBOUR.

In the centre of the drawing is H.M.S. _Glory_. To the left are some of
the French ships; while the Russian cruiser _Askold_ can be seen on the
extreme right.]

[Illustration: The "Majestic's" fore foot still showing above water off


Some idea can be gained of the size of this vessel by the collier of
8000 tons lying alongside. The _Aquitania_ has a carrying capacity of
upwards of 4000 wounded.]

  Printed in Great Britain by
  Richard Clay & Sons, Limited.

       *       *       *       *       *


Minor punctuation and printer errors repaired.

Italic text is denoted by _underscores_

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