Sunday 11 April 2010 by Janice Farrer. 1 comment
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.

A Wight floatplane about to ascend at Mudros Harbour. A Wight floatplane about to ascend at Mudros Harbour.

‘On duty with the guard today, a number of war ships entered the harbour during the night. A seaplane* rose and circled over the harbour for about an hour today.’

*The sight of a seaplane was so strange for many of the men this event was recorded in many personal war diaries.


SQNLDR Hugh Dolan

Aircraft at Gallipoli The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF), of which ANZAC was a major part, was served by aircraft from the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) throughout the Gallipoli campaign. The first to arrive was HMS Ark Royal, which was the world's first aircraft carrier with six seaplanes and four wheeled landplanes in her large hold on 17 February 1915. Her seaplanes undertook reconnaissance missions over the Dardanelles locating Turkish batteries, trenches, camps, and sea mines. Next to arrive was a landplane squadron (No. 3 Squadron RNAS) with eighteen aircraft based on the Aegean island of Tenedos. A a large tethered sausage shaped kite balloon arrived next on HMS Manica, an experiment designed for the Dardanelles offensive on the suggestion of ANZAC's General Officer Commanding, Major General Birdwood, arrived off the Gallipoli coast on 16 April. Aircraft assisted ANZAC Headquarters by supplying senior officers with intelligence on Turkish positions behind and around ANZAC Cove. Over 55 dedicated reconnaissance missions were conducted before the landing. This information was supplied to ANZAC as post mission reporting, map overlays and lists of major defensive works. ANZAC' s own intelligence officer, Major Villiers-Stuart, was taken on a flight over ANZAC Cove on 14 April after all senior officers were briefed on the landing plans. The story of how the ANZACs used this information to their advantage is recorded in a book soon to be published by Pan Macmillan called "36 Days".