A serious problem was getting away the wounded from the shore, where it was impossible to keep them. All those who were unable to hobble to the beach had to be carried down from the hills on stretchers, then hastily dressed, and carried to the boats. The boat and beach parties never stopped working throughout the entire day and night.
The courage displayed by these wounded Australians will never be forgotten. Hastily dressed and placed in trawlers, lighters, and ships’ boats, they were towed to the ships. I saw some lighters full of bad cases. As they passed the battleship, some of those on board recognized her as the ship they had left that morning, whereupon, in spite of their sufferings and discomforts, they set up a cheer, which was answered by a deafening shout of encouragement from our crew.
I have, in fact, never seen the like of these wounded Australians in war before, for as they were towed among the ships, while accommodation was being found for them, although many were shot to bits and without hope of recovery, their cheers resounded through the night, and you could just see, amid a mass of suffering humanity, arms being waved in greeting to the crews of the warships. They were happy, because they knew they had been tried for the first time in the war and had not been found wanting. They had been told to occupy the heights and hold on, and this they had done for fifteen mortal hours under an incessant shell fire, without the moral and material support of a single gun ashore, and subjected the whole time to the violent counter-attacks of a brave enemy, led by skilled leaders, while his snipers, hidden in caves and thickets and among the dense scrub, made a deliberate practice of picking off every officer who endeavored to give a word of command or to lead his men forward.
No finer feat of arms has been performed during the war than this sudden landing in the dark, this storming of the heights, and, above all, the holding on to the position thus won while reinforcements were being poured from the transports. These raw colonial troops, in those desperate hours, proved themselves worthy to fight side by side with the heroes of Mons and the Aisne, Ypres, and Neuve Chapelle.
THE FOURTH DISPATCH.
Dardanelles, April 27.
Throughout the night of the 25th and the early morning of the 26th there was continual fighting, as the Turks made repeated attacks to endeavor to drive the Australians and New Zealanders from their positions. On several occasions parties of the colonials made local counter-attacks and drove the enemy off with the bayonet, which the Turks will never face.
On the morning of the 26th it became known that the enemy had been very largely reinforced during the night and was preparing for a big assault from the northeast. This movement began about 9:30 A.M. From the ships we could see large numbers of the enemy creeping along the top of the hills endeavoring to approach our positions under cover and then to annoy our troops with their incessant sniping. He had also brought up more guns during the night, and plastered the whole position once again with shrapnel.