AT THE DARDANELLES.
PRIVATE YOUNO'S EXPEDIENCES. Mr Norman S. Young, late of Little River, who was at the front with the Waikato Com pany, Auokland, and wounded, wriies from Hospital, Alexandria, as under :— "JNile Delta Hospital, Alexandria. Egypt. June 11, 1915 "I thought yonjwould like a bit of Turkey news, and as I am doing nothing and can't pass tbe timr away, as the days are bo long, I thought I would write you a few lines. Old Akaroa, Littlo River, and the Bays are always in my mind. It waa tbe sports who lived on Banks Peninsula that kept so much amassment going:— "We all left Alexandria, the New Z aland infantry only, with the Australians, and picked up about 40,000 Home troops and French Colonial, We all proceeded to Le_u nna Island, and anchored there fer ten days It is three hours run from this Greek island to tbe entranoe of tbe Dardanelles. Here there were were over 100 transports and about 30 warships belonging to tbe Allies, besides submarines, torpedo boats, mine-* layes. and goodness knows what. There were flying machines and balloons, and every kind of fig) ting weapon yon could think of. It was a sight that one will never forget again in a lifetime. For some unknown rearon we stayed here for ten days, and practiced disembarking into .mall boats, so that we could get used to the landing ope rations at the Dardanelles. Anyhow, on Saturday afternoon, tbe 24th of Aprii, the colonel gave out all transports were going out to era to be ready to prooeed to the Dardanelles at I o'cock next morning We were on tbe flegship with General Godley and staff—a lovely transport called the Lutzow, a prize captured from tbe Gerranns at tbe beginning of the war. The flagship pulled up anchor, and steamed out first past about 100 transports and about 32 Allied warships. We had the band playing "Tipperary," then the cheering from eaoh transport—"Are we downhearted ? No!' would be the cry. Some hud great chalk writings on tbe sides of their boats—'This way t > Constantinople' oihers *This way to tbe Harem.' It was an exciting right. We would first pass a French wa-ehip. and their band would play tbe'Marsellaise'; then a Russian warship, and their band would play tbe Russian national anthem. When we passed each bulU dog ,Sons of the Sea' would be the tune, and everyone would sing it, All this lasted fer two hours before we passed tbo last ship We dropped anohor, and all the Allies boats stt:i>ied out. Everything waa all excitenu that night, and we beard the Austra> ! go np at about 1,30 a m-on tbe Sunday ihe Rallipoli Peninsula. At 3.30 the A .ralians landed under very heavy fire. and cut up badly. The noise of our njval guns was terrible. You would think heaven and earth were coming to an end. Several boats were -apsized before the boys got ashore, and many were drowned and wounded, bat as soon as they got a footing they fixed bayonets and charged np the hills which ran up to 700 feet and very eteep The sight of the bn-.yonets frightened tbe Turks, and they soled the hills with the Australians following.
At 7.30 tbe Auckland Battalian landed in punts drawn by a tug. Several Bhells landed injthe tugs from the Turks art llery. A good many were wounded before landing. We got on shore, formed up into .companies, threw up our packs, and charged up the hill to reinforce the Australians, who bad been badly out up. We were pestered with snipers on the way up the bill, and about 20 of our company got hit. Several were officers whom tbey seem to pick out easily. We got
on top, and bad a lovely greeting of bullets ebxMpnrl and maohine guns, and I think within an hoar we only had about 90 left out our 240 men, and not offiaer at all. It was nothing but a bail of bullets, and we could not see the enemy as the hills were covered w th shrubs and Email tree?, about sft high. The enemy had good trenohes and showered ub with bad I bad three pieces of skin shaved of! my neck and face, where bullets just grazed me It is -ad to see all your mates dropping without retaliating, but we held on the ridge with fixed bayonet, all Snnday night, only about 60 «f us on our left dank, and Colonel Stewart, in command of the Canterbury Regiment, came along and told us to try and hold it at any cost, He had just said the word when a bullet struck him in the head add he dropped dead alongside of me. Many of onr hoys advanced too far and were left in tbe hands ot the Turks, and we have never heard of them since, Three of my tent mates were killed tbat night. We were ex peeling to be driven baok into tbe beach at any moment. We oould hear the Turks singing ont 'Allah,' ' Mahomet,' and all torts o! noises quite close to our small trenches We managed te dig under the tremendous hot fire, and the Admiral bad lowered all the boats, thinking we would be driven oat of our position. If the Turks had had any confidence at all tbey could bave had the beach at Gabe Tape cleared ot everything. At 2 a.m. on Monday morning we bad the Australian sth Battalion up to reinforce us, and I can tell you it was a relief, We got very plucky, and gave tbe Turks a wee bit baok. We bod a solid day on Monday, and lost pretty heavily as tho Turk had a bold bid to drive ue out of a position. They could never do thio, as we had by now a firing line that could not be broken, and all day rapid firing and shrapnel shells was tbe order. Just
below our trenches, which covered about two miles, we had a line lying below our tiring line. As one man was killed or wounded he was taken oat, or rather thrown, and a new man put in bis place. It was terrible. For two or three dayß some of the dead laid, and we could not get near them for bullets to bury them. Stretcher bearers and all did their share, and several times while carrying , wound nd in stretchers were popped over by snipers in the gully, which was a terrible I hinderanoe to all. We went out end got several of them dug in the hill with tucker | enough to last them for weeks, and pigeons to Bend| messages of our doings. One sniper they get had 30 discs belonging to our fel lows. They must get too muoh of a load, for be discs are found on every Bniper that' has : .en caught. But the sniper gets a good hare of his bullets baok when he gets caught On the Monday night ai 8 o'clock the order came along for the New Zealanders to come out ot tbe trenches, which was a relief, as we had not had any tea, only water and biscuits, flinoe wo got off the boat. We were taken down t- the beach and dug in, as tbe Turks had the ranges of the different places and Bbelled the beach every morning and hindered the work a lot at the bescb. We did not know when we came down bere that there were wireleßS stations and a regular town of stores guns and ammunition, mules, water carts, telephones, and headquarters, We had all day Tuesday spell and had a swim in the sea with bullets and shells flying and splashing round us. Wo gob used tc them, and looked upon them as part ot oni daily routine. Everything seemed to eomt as a matter of course. We were in thi trenches every other night after things go quiet."
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AT THE DARDANELLES., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3478, 27 July 1915
AT THE DARDANELLES. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3478, 27 July 1915
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