One battle of the South African War 1899-1902 typifies all the qualities that Australia has come to interpret as synonymous with the Anzac legend, but it occurred almost fifteen years before Australian soldiers ever landed at Gallipoli. This was the Siege of Elands River, a twelve day siege of a supply depot defended by soldiers from five of the six Australian colonies.
Cosgriff’s Diary: Friday 9th May 1941
Bryant's Diary: Friday 4th April 1941
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 21st March 1941
Today was one of the lousiest days I’ve put in anywhere. The weather was terrible. The old Sahara Desert can be very nasty when it likes. Sand is everywhere. A warning order has arrived ready to move by night. It might be tomorrow night. Information has been received that some Wogs* are signalling to aircraft by placing their camels near objectives. We’ll have to watch them.
Bryant’s Diary: Friday 7th March 1941
Bryant's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941
Retired back to Wadi Chariar and took up positions in old Turkish trenches.
Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941
As we ready ourselves to commemorate Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial, we can gain a small insight what it was like at the Gallipoli landing. Personal diaries held by the Memorial describe what it was like landing at Gallipoli on Sunday, 25 April 1915 under the heavy fire of Turkish machine guns. Although the photos accompanying this blog post do not relate directly to the diary entries, they are able to illustrate the stories in a different way.