Item 02: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett articles on the Gallipoli campaign, 1915 - Page 126

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[Page 126]

[Text incorporates handwritten corrections by E.A.B.]
The Old Guard at Suvla Bay on August 21st

The modern War Correspondent is often placed in a difficult and delicate position in his endevours to do justice to the deeds of particular units on the battlefield; whilst at the same time conforming to the universal rule of the Censorship that nothing must be written which will either directly or indirectly betray information which may be of even the remotest value to the enemy. It is much more difficult to make a cable intelligible and interesting when you can only deal in generalities in discribing the movements against an enemy's front; and it also apt to give the impression that you have been too lazy or too far away to find out which particular band of heroes immortalized themselves in the attack against a position which you have named.

Afterwards when the papers reach the troops in the trenches you are often greeted reproachfully by the men and even by the officers who cannot undersdtand why a particular regiment or Brigade has been mentioned, whereas the unit to which they belong, having equally distinguished itself, receives no recognition at all. Sometimes of course it happens that you receive the local information about a distant part of the firing line too late to embody it in a first dispatch, but in ninety cases out of a houndred it is the censor who step in with excellent reasons from his standpoint - but which to the writer after all the trouble he has taken seem blatant and palpable trivialities - and removes the names of regiments and brigades substituting the dreaded 'blank' or 'a regiment' or 'a brigade'.

This of course robs the story of a great deal of its local interest and leaves the writer with the uncomfortable feeling that he will have some awkward and pertinent questions to answer the next time he visits that section of the line where omissions have occurred. Sir Ian Hamilton has relaxed the rule whenever possible that the names of no regiments must be mentioned in dispatches for the excellent reason as he himself remarked that 'the composition of the whole of my force was accurately

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