Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty was barely able to stand. Exhausted from the intense fighting of the previous two days, he used a brief period of respite to pen his experiences of the past few days to paper. Cecil had written in his diary every day since he had left Australia. When he had completely filled his first diary he began a second, writing on whatever scraps of paper he could find and often using the backs of envelopes sent from home. For many soldiers writing helped them make sense of what was happening.
Two days earlier, on the afternoon of 6 August 1915, Cecil had been one of the nearly two thousand men of the 1st Australian Infantry Brigade to charge the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine. He had waited anxiously as the Turkish shells exploded before them, the fumes suffocating and the shrapnel deadly. The whistle had blown three times and Cecil and the others had charged towards the formidable and entrenched Turkish line. He was in the thick of it now. In what he described as a trance, Cecil pushed through the heavy machine gun and rifle fire with shrapnel shells bursting around him. Having crossed the nearly one hundred metre wide gap to the Turkish lines he found himself in an extremely exposed position along with several other Australians. “This is only suicide, boys,” Cecil exclaimed to them. “I’m going to make a jump for it.” Cecil’s account of what happened next ends mid-sentence with the words: “I sprang to my feet in one jump…” There are no further entries after that.