Mapping Gallipoli

  • Exhibition time
  • Exhibition location
    Located on the Ground Level

G7432.G1 S65 XII.8e

Quinn’s Post was the most advanced Anzac post, located on the northern edge of the main Anzac line. Along with Pope’s Hill, it was one of the keys to the Monash and Shrapnel valleys. If it had fallen the Turks could have broken into the heart of the Anzac position.

This plan of Quinn’s Post was made by Sapper (later Lieutenant) Ronald McInnis. It shows Quinn’s Post as it was in November and December 1915. As well as showing all the trenches, saps and tunnels at Quinn’s, it also shows interesting features such as the sleeping terraces established by Lieutenant Colonel William Malone of the Wellington Battalion and the locations of explosions of Turkish mines. The plan also includes a table detailing the exploding of mines at Quinn’s Post and the results of the explosions.

McInnis arrived at Gallipoli on 16 September and served there until the evacuation in December. After two months at Gallipoli in and out of the trenches, he was ordered to report to the Officer Commanding 5th Field Company Engineers at Quinn’s Post, to survey the extensive tunnel system before the work on the underground winter quarters began.

McInnis was given his own shell-proof dug-out with a table and a bully beef case as a stool, and shelves. His meals came from the officer’s cookhouse and were served on clean plates, made from the lids of used explosives cans. It was luxurious in comparison to his living conditions in the trenches. McInnis had an assistant and could have anything he needed for his work. Unfortunately supplies were low and in 1921, when writing of his experiences he noted with some humour that “knowing about what could be procured, [I] never asked for anything”. The equipment to hand was not of particularly good quality, but he made do and began his work.

The ground at Quinn’s post was loose enough to dig thorough without need for explosives, but firm enough that deep saps and tunnels could be made safe without shoring with timber. He surveyed saps and tunnels, deep underground. When this was done he surveyed the trenches. Gallipoli was evacuated before McInnis finished his plan of Quinn’s Post. In Egypt, a month after the evacuation, he finished the plan and had several copies made by the Suez Canal Company in Ismalia, Egypt. His copy was stolen with his kit in France and he later made another version from his notes, but it was not as detailed as this plan.