Thursday 22 July 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. 

Informal outdoors group portrait of members of the 1st Australian Divisional Signal Company wearing some of the first consignment of gas masks delivered to Anzac Cove. Informal outdoors group portrait of members of the 1st Australian Divisional Signal Company wearing some of the first consignment of gas masks delivered to Anzac Cove. P02367.013

‘An attack is expected from the enemy tonight and preparations have been made to meet it, so they will find us all ready for their visit if it takes place. Just before midday a biplane circled overhead for about an hour, returning again about 6pm, it dropped a bomb on the enemy positions and circled overhead for about an hour afterwards. Another barge broke away today but was recovered without much trouble. We did not receive the usual shelling from the enemy this evening at sunset. We were relieved of the Clarkes Gully dressing station by the 2nd Fld Amb today. Gas helmets were issued to us today, they appear to be a much more satisfactory and serviceable article than the respirators issued yesterday, they are made of flannelette in the form of a bag which fits right over the head, the loose open end is then tucked lightly under the tunic collar, a small piece of mica is fitted in the front to see through and the flannelette is charged with an anti-gas chemical, so far we have not seen any sign of the enemy attempting to use gas, but it is good to be prepared. We greatly appreciated a few articles in the way of chocolate, writing paper etc, brought to us by Captain Wassail when he returned from Alexandria yesterday.’

For the classroom: What am I:

I could be used to protect against gas attack

-           I am a liquid

-           I am not a chemical

-           I was put on gauze or a hanky, Soldiers used to breathe through me to protect themselves

-           I am yellow in colour

-           I am a human waste product.... have you guessed it?

I am urine. The ammonia found in human urine proved an effective protection against the chemical weapons on the Western Front.