Monday 26 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.

    A stretcher bearer from 1st Australian Field Ambulance has time to smile as he and others of his unit unload their equipment after landing at Anzac Cove. A stretcher bearer from 1st Australian Field Ambulance has time to smile as he and others of his unit unload their equipment after landing at Anzac Cove. A05782

    ‘Obtained about an hour’s sleep early this morning, we had hardly been able to make the best of a few minutes to rest before I was asleep. I have vague recollections of being awakened and told to get my gear and be ready to go back to the boats*, but evidently went off to sleep without grasping the full meaning of the order, however we are still here. It seems there was some talk of evacuating our position here and re-embarking during the night. Our unit seems to have been the first intended to withdraw, had we been compelled to take such a step, fortunately it did not come about.

    The units of the division are thoroughly disorganized and there appears no possibility of sorting one battalion from another at present, as the enemy is throwing increasing weight against our line every hour, rendering any efforts at organizing impossible, all out efforts are needed now to defend and hang on to what we already hold. Practically all the wounded have been cleared from the aid posts and have been got away to the ships, there is still a constant stream of wounded coming down from the line. Shrapnel fire gave us an extremely lively time during the day in Shrapnel gully, it has been exploding very high, a thing we have reason to be thankful for. A seaplane has been very busy circling over our position today. The enemy is making every effort to prevent us landing more troops and stores by keeping up an incessant fire over the water with shrapnel. All day the sailors in charge of the boast have been back and forward from the transports to the beach with stores and ammunition etc, going through it as though it was nothing more than an ordinary days work. At about 6pm a party of us commenced to work from the aid post at the head of Shrapnel gully, a large number of wounded having collected there.’

    *Consideration was given to evacuating the ANZACs after the massive losses during the landing. After receiving word of the AE2’s success in penetrating the Dardanelles the ANZACs were told to ‘dig in’ and thoughts of an evacuation were abandoned.

    For the classroom: How might the men have felt after hearing rumours of an evacuation?