Wednesday 19th May 1915 - Diary of HV Reynolds
Wednesday 19 May 2010 by Janice Farrer. No comments
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.
‘At about midnight the enemy launched a tremendous attack on our trenches, but despite numbers and the force with which they made the attack our lines did not give an inch. Our rifle and artillery fire was very intense, particularly the latter, and our machine guns spoke to some order as one of the enemies crack regiments of Nizan infantry found to their dismay, for when day broke it revealed lines of them, lying in ‘no mans land’ where they had been mowed down by our maxim gun fire, the slaughter was terrible and beyond description. These troops were brought from Constantinople by Gen. Linman Von Sanders, and with them he boasted of the fact and evidently advertised it, that her was going to sweep us from our positions and drive us into the sea, but it resulted in a hideous slaughter of both his plans and troops. As day broke the enemy commenced to bombard our whole position, with grater violence than he has ever before done. From 6am to 8am it reached its height for intensity and shells were exploding everywhere, they appeared to have it in their minds to wreak vengeance for the terrible failure of their infantry attack by shelling every inch of our positions. It was my sections night off duty and then the attack started we were instructed to be in readiness but it was not till 4.30am that we were needed, as our own causalities till then were so light they could easily be handled by the parties on duty. However then the enemy opened up with their artillery in earnest at dawn, our casualties became heavier and we had a very busy an extremely uncomfortable time. On one occasion we were forced to take shelter with a patient we were bringing down, behind a bit of a cliff opposite Dawkins Point, it sheltered us from extremely heavy shell fire from Kaba Tepe but gave us o protection to the shrapnel from directly up the gully but we were forced to make the best of it till the shelling from Kaba Tepe eased off a bit. An infantry man after negotiating the stretch of beach between Clarkes and Victoria gullies took shelter with us, as it was hopeless to attempt to go on to the ASC depot as things were then. He was sent down for rifle oil for the trenches. Several shells fell close to us and made us a bit anxious when with a crash a high explosive hit the bank opposite. We had no tome to discover if any of us were hit, when a second crashed nearby, nearly on top of us. The concussion flung is about a bit and we were relieved on getting up to find we were alright apart from being bruised a bit. The infantry lad was less fortunate as he received a severe wound beneath his right eye, after bandaging him up we found the enemy has lengthened his range and the shelling on our track has eased off considerably so we made the best of it and pushed on down to the Casualty Clearing Station. Later in the morning we got mixed up in a pretty hot patch of shrapnel and H E Shells near the no 2 ASC depot in which we took shelter, here to make things worse an enemy plane flew over and used the depot as his target for some of his bombs, however much to our relief they fell wide of the mark and exploded in the water at the edge if the beach doing nothing further than giving us a splash of salt water. About 10.30am the enemies bombardment eased off considerably and for the rest of the day kept up only spasmodic fire. At 7.00pm we all turned out and cleared the causalities from all the dressing stations as they had been collecting all day and only those circumstances required to be removed to the C.C.S were brought down on account of our communications being so heavily shelled through the day, however our casualties were extremely light and out of all proportion to the enemies enormous losses.’