Sunday 23rd 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.
'Was on duty at Victoria gully station from 7am to 1pm. At about 9am an exceptionally heavy shelling of the enemies communications near the Olive Grove behind Kaba Tepe attracted our attention, being curious as what was going on, we climbed to the top of the ridge between Clarks and Victoria gullies where we could get a splendid though by no means safe view of what’s going on. Lying very close to Kaba Tepe point where two cruisers, one the Albion had gone aground and the other the Canopus was attempting to tow her into deep water. The Albion was firing broadside after broadside at the enemies communications near the Olive Grove while the Canopus and a small gunboat were firing a number if shells also. We could see the shells exploding from our point of observation and at the height of the shelling the road marked by a row of trees near the Olive Grove was covered with a huge cloud of dust and smoke, it was a mighty unhealthy place for any one to be in while it lasted. After about an hours bombardment the Albion managed to ease herself off the sandbank on which she went aground and at about 10.30am the three boats steamed off slowly, seeming to be none the worse for the enemies shelling which they had a little of. Now that things have settled down to trench warfare in earnest here and the trenches are up to the make, we are suffering very few casualties, the majority of which are caused by shrapnel on our communications and depots. At about 11am or a little later an enemy plane flew over us and much to out disgust when he appeared to be directly above us he let a bomb go. We could see it coming like a little silver speck at first, then the peculiar nerve racking noise as it appeared to be coming in rushed get us all diving like rabbits for the nearest hole. Looking up at the thing coming it appeared to be coming it appeared to be coming fair on top of us it was a great relief to hear the crash and realize that we were not in pieces. Anyhow it fell too close for comfort only 20 yards from our dressing station and luckily where it hit there were no bivouacs, unfortunately there was one chap in the vicinity where it fell and he was killed instantly. Another meeting took place between the enemies officers and ours at the same place as yesterday but after a bit of conference they returned to their own lines.’
*It took three meetings to arrange for the temporary armistice to bury the dead.
For the classroom: Why might the negotiations take this long? What things might they be discussing?