Tuesday 27 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.       

The Quarter Master store of the 4th Battalion, AIF, at the top of Shrapnel Gully. The Quarter Master store of the 4th Battalion, AIF, at the top of Shrapnel Gully. H15684

‘Things got extremely lively about midnight when we received a call from the head of Shrapnel gully for all available stretcher parties, there we found several wounded chaps in an almost inexcessable position. We has great difficulty in getting them to the beach, there being no track of any sort. We had to slide them down a bank which gave absolutely no foothold, into the bed of the gully where the only way down to the beach was to wade through a small stream which ran through it. It was thoroughly a back breaking job as we found to our dismay, the water was knee deep, and the slay like mud in it caused a suction that almost kept you from walking in it, let alone having the weight of a wounded man to carry as well. The enemies’ shrapnel has been more severe today and has done a fair amount of damage. A mine sweeper was sunk just off Hell Spit this morning about 10am. At about 7pm Captain Wassail went with most of B section to an aid post in Victoria Gully, the shelling was very severe at the time and there being no shelter for everyone he took all except my party back to the bivouacs near the beach, leaving us to bring a wounded chap back after he had received medical attention. Things have quietened down a bit when we left the post but just as we reached the crest of the ridge between Shrapnel and Victoria gullies the enemy concentrated a battery upon the crest and sent shell after shell into our vicinity, however none of us lost any of our nine lives and besides feeling a bit unsettled we got out of the mix-up none the worse for being caught in it. At about 11pm we were relieved for a spell. My mate and I lost no time in making a bit of a bivouac, we no sooner got down than a flash and a crash simultaneously right alongside us, made us thing until we felt ourselves that the worst had happened. However what I thought was nothing less than a leg off turned out to be a common ordinary bruise above the left knee with just a slight cut to show where the lump of iron bumped me. I can thank my greatcoat for breaking the force as it suffered more than me. One of our seaplanes was damaged today by shell fire but fortunately it managed to land safely.’

For the classroom: Working under such high pressure would eventually take its toll on some of the men. How might the stress affect their well being?