Wednesday 12th May 1915- Diary of HV Reynolds
Diary of an ANZAC
Please note: Care has been taken to transcribe these entries without alteration to preserve the original language of Herbert Vincent Reynolds.
‘Although it rained fairly heavy during the night my mate and I were duly rewarded for our exertion in completing our dugout last night, we worked at it till well after dark and had the satisfaction of not being disturbed by the rain as it kept perfectly dry*. We have made a terrace of dugouts in the steep side of Victoria Gully and ours is about 4ft wide to allow two of us to lay in the comfortably and the back bank about 5ft deep. We have banked up the sides a bit with old ration bags filled with the earth and covered to the top with our waterproof sheets laced together. It is not altogether worth writing home about, nevertheless it is quite serviceable and as comfortable as circumstances will permit. Any how it is useless going in for anything flash here as Abdul seems to object even to us having what we have got. We are likely to be more contented here in out new situation as the enemy cannot observe all out movements like he could in the old, we also get a nice sea view here. With all the transports at anchor and the various battleships and other naval boats with the islands of Imbros and Samothrace in the distance we get a scene that always offers a certain amount of interest and by climbing a few yards up the steep slope behind us we can get a magnificent view if Kaba Tepe with its wrecked fort on our right flank and away to Cape Helles in the distance. Being off duty today we did not turn out till dinner time when the rain and cleared off. The enemy has been very active again today with his artillery, they put one of the field guns of Hughes battery out of action temporarily and two of the crew were badly wounded. This battery is posted on our right flank and one of the runs is practically in the front line looking right at the enemies positions. It is only used in emergency in the case of the enemy attacking, when it would be firing at point blank range. We discovered this evening that we have to contend with the enemy’s artillery from two directions as they can get at us better from another direction, that is down Victoria Gully, but they cannot get any observation from that direction any more than from Kaba Tepe, so they can only send them over and chance to luck about hitting anything. Some of our Light Horse Regiments landed here today without their horses, to relieve some of our infantry who badly require a spell.’
*The men on Gallipoli learned to appreciate the 'little things' such as a good night’s sleep, keeping dry during a rainstorm or an extra ration.
For the classroom: If you lived on Gallipoli amongst the trenches what ‘luxury’ would you most like to have? Why did you choose this?