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AT THE FRONT.

A GRAND EXPERIENCE

Continuing the a-count of his pxperii-nw, a Peninsnla Trooper at the Malta Hospital writes as follows —

"Then the town you can't imagine the alleged main street, a pioture like you see in tbn "Boys Own" of the World uniforms, but different in the respeot that tech uniform looks bb if it had seen serviop of the hardest. The Allies base is a place which may now be olaespd as one of the world's wonders, big warships of three Navies, hupje transport* There must have been 150 to 200 ships el big size lying snu ;ly bebind those submarine proof nets in a perfeot expanse of blue water, and troops, always troops eomint? and poing The big liners Aqnatania and Mnuretania, eeoh with about 7000 men came in within ft few days of each other to send their quotas ashore; ashore V ousanda of marqueee and tents, Australian Hospitals, N.Z Hospitals. Tommies Hospitals, French uniforms of all sorts, a sort of hideous. blue_ one, a sort of I poor sky blue pre-don inating, big black Senegalese in black uniforms. Tommies ifl various varieties of khaki, New Zealanders, , Greeks in highly ornamental ones, French marines in white caps witn red tassels, British marines and also "dead marines." The Senegalese are huga fellows, as black aa coal, they have a carious way of decorating

iheir faces, by putting three knife cuts acrosß caoh cheek, and these cuts which are inflicted

I expect in childhood leave play marks some'

thing like the deoorations whioh the expert butchers leaves on a carcase of mutton. Judging by the broad and pleasant smile on their blaok faces they are a happy natuied crowd, coming home to camp one evening I passed the prison, a bos somewhat larger than fa piano case and with a large square open window. The prison was apparently made to fit our huge black who lolled out of the window with a most charming smile for everyone on bis homely face.

When I left Gaba Tepe I came away with

Malcolm Abbott who U3ed to be at Wood., lanks with "Paddy". Hβ had only arrived two days before from Zeitoun and told me he intended shifting his "bivy" explaining that as be left his domicile in the morning a shell came in; in the afternoon I found him at the doctors having bis shoulder dressed, be had walked into another of "Anas" and caught a oouple of shrapnel bullets in tbe ehoulser, one of which was still there.

It is quite funny the number of close calte fellows have Some chape you never meet, but they don't immediately start a a recitation of how they just missed it, eto. The rsßult is it makes one a bit soary of telling one's own olo3e go's; but there can be no dou'it that for every man struck fifty just squeak out. I mean escape. It makes one mad v> hen I think of all I'm missing in this cu33ed hospital I bave never had a more interesting time in my life than when at the front. The associations, the grand chums, fellows who would stand by you to the last kiok, and the sharing of the little jobs, and tbe big difficulties, make the life, in spite of the smells -terrible smells—and the millions of flies, a wonderful experience. Of course, our M.R. have not had the terrible experiences of the infantry who went first. Our work has been to hold a position, a hill about 600 ft high from the seashore, and fronted inland by the Turkish trenches, which we have sapped in some places to within fifteen yards of, and this sapping and counter sapping is going on all day and night, varied by attacks from the enemy, proceeded by bomb throwing in the dark. Their genera , idea is to land their bomb in our sapbead and ours vice versa.

Needless to say our position is a huge net work of trenches—fire trenches and communications—and there are always men in the fire trencher each regiment taking a fortnight on this Hill, and then going down to the sea frontage to recuperate, and live in bivys and spend the time in dodging the übiquitous shell, which has a horrid habit of dropping in fora cup of tea, co to speak, or coming for a bathe when the water is full of shrinking soldiers Hi(?h above our rest bivys tower steep cliffs with one or two narrow tracks to the position above, up which toil, during the daily heat, mules with stores or water and sweating soldiers, and at night a gentle crackle of rifle fire and the heavy bump of bombs. Well. I'm much afraid of the censors so I will quit.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19151008.2.10

Bibliographic details

AT THE FRONT., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3494, 8 October 1915

Word Count
794

AT THE FRONT. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3494, 8 October 1915

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