Pipe from an Australian water cart : Gallipoli

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number RELAWM00432
Collection type Technology
Object type Vehicle accessory
Physical description Steel
Maker Unknown
Date made pre 1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Section of steel piping with elbow fittings at each end, which have been screwed onto a shorter length of pipe. Each end of the piece has been crewed into a tee fitting, which then has another piece of pipe screwed into the other side of the tee fitting. Each of these pipes are then screwed into the arms of a cross fitting. Threading on the upper end of the cross fitting shows where it was originally attached to the water cart. The lower end has a male adapter screwed into it, which would have had a tap attached to it, but is now absent. One of the elbow fittings has a smaller brass male adapter screwed into it. There would have been taps attached to the elbow and tee fittings.

The elbow fittings, one of the tee fittings and the cross fitting all have metal supports secured around them. There are two large metal 'strap' supports around the body of the pipe which would have secured the pipe to the water cart. One of the elbow and one of the tee fittings have been knocked 45 degrees out of line to the rest of the fittings. The pipe has dried mud embedded in some of the fittings and has splashes of a light purple paint.

History / Summary

This item came from an Australian water cart that was collected by members of the Australian War Records Section (AWRS) in January 1919. It was later knocked off the cart during transit from Gallipoli to Egypt. A small party of AWRS staff, led by Lieutenant William Hopkin James, worked on Gallipoli between December 1918 and March 1919, taking photographs and collecting items for the national collection.

The supply of water was insufficient at ANZAC for much of the campaign. Wells were sunk, supplies were brought in by ship and condensers were used to try and supply enough water to the thousands of men at Gallipoli, but they were not fully successful. Water pipes were laid throughout the ANZAC position and large tanks installed to help in supplying the troops.

A variety of water carts were used to transport water to the troops, where they could fill their empty kerosene tins or water bottles. The most famous was the Australian Furphy water cart, however, but this pipe did not come from one of these carts.

This pipe was probably attached to the side of a water cart (there may have been another on the other side of the cart) and would have had five taps attached allowing five men to gather water at the same time.