Saturday 24 April 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.

Troops of an Australian Battalion on the deck of the battleship Prince of Wales in Mudros Harbour just before the landing. Troops of an Australian Battalion on the deck of the battleship Prince of Wales in Mudros Harbour just before the landing. A01829

‘At last the big move which we have been awaiting has come and orderly preparations can be observed every where. Everyone has his respective kit reduced to the lowest possible amount and the rest packed away on the wagons in the ships hold, we are taking no blankets with us. Our gear consists of our great coat which is rolled bandolier fashion with a waterproof sheet rolled around it, 48 hour iron rations in our haversacks and a full water bottle which we have been warned to take. Orders have been read to us giving such details of the undertaking as are necessary, we have been informed that it is to be generally understood that what is about to be undertaken is a most difficult task and must be pushed through at any cost.  There must be no thought of turning back. From our anchorage outside the harbour entrance we obtained a splendid view of the transports leaving the harbour. Several left at dawn and others left during the morning, everyone appears eager and anxious now the movement has commenced, every boat moving within hailing distance of another receives a regular outburst of cheering, which is quickly replied to. About 2pm we witnessed the Navy steam out of the harbour on its way to the scene of operations at the Dardanelles, headed by the Queen Elizabeth, the ships streamed past presenting a magnificent spectacle which to those who witnessed it will never be forgotten. During the rest of the afternoon transports have been leaving in an almost continuous stream.’

For the classroom: How would you feel on the eve of a great battle?