State Library of NSW
[Continuation of Compton Mackenzie's despatch of 30 June 1915]Sir Ian Hamilton at once gave the D.S.O. to Lt. Col. Wilson, an honour in which every man in his regiment may be said to share. Of the Royal Scots one can add nothing but that they are Edinburgh Territorials brought in by the fortune of War to make the twelfth regiment of the immortal 28th Division whose deeds since the twenty-fifth of April may have stirred the ghost of Homer to sing their valour.
Mention has been made already of the difficulties that oppose our advance upon the two flanks. On the twenty-first of June it was determined to straighten the line upon the extreme right and at 4.30 a.m. the preliminary bombardment began. The dawn had been clear, but soon a curtain of silver, through which gleamed the ghost of the rising sun, hung over the Kereves Dere. This was the smoke of bursting shells. Slowly as the sun climbed up, the curtain became more substantial; then it seemed to droop and sweep along the hollows like a vanishing mist of dawn, and during a respite the thin blue smoke of the bivouac-fires came tranquilly up into the still air. The respite was very brief, and the bombardment began again with greater fierceness than before: the 75's drummed unceasingly: the reverberation of the 125's and of the howitzers shook the observation post.
Over the Kereves Dere, and beyond the sloping shoulders of Achi Baba the curtain became a pall. The sun climbed higher and higher: all that mirage of beauty had disappeared, and there was nothing but the monstrous shapes of bursting shells, giants of smoke that that appear one after another along the Turkish lines. All through the morning the bombardment cannonade went on. By noon the Second Division of the French had on the left stormed and captured all the Turkish trenches of the first two lines. Even the Haricot redoubt with its damnable entanglements and its maze of communicating trenches was in French hands. On the right, however, the First Division after reaching their objective had been counter attacked so effectively that they had fallen back. Again they advanced: again they were driven out. It began to look as if
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