shore which was a mass of tiny pin points of light, a shore which echoed and re-echoed with the report of rifles and machine guns. We were at the front at last and as we tumbled into huge lighters we realised this fact, for splash; splash; came the bullets into the water, and ping; ping; went more lead close enough to our heads to make us duck down and wish we were at home in
bed. It took us half an hour to get to the shore and fortunately no one was hit en route, though many had very lucky escapes.
The first realisation of what the war really is like came to us as we stumbled across the beach, which was just littered with wounded men – English, French, Indians, New Zealanders and Australians.There were hundreds of them, all hurt in the bayonet charge and the fighting on the previous day. Mention of wounded will conjure up in your minds, pictures of huge marquees snowy white sheets and dainty bright-faced nurses, but at Anzac where we landed there were no comforts. The wounded were just lying in rows on the ground, waiting patiently their turns to be taken off in the boats to the hospital ships in the roadstead. Taken in conjunction with the fiendish noise of the guns, the sight of the wounded had a nerve racking effect on us, but we were given very little time to think about anything, because we were still 2 miles from our post, and we had to reach it before daylight.
So on we trudged, through an opening leading to a trench and as we passed a point we were each were handed a respirator and additional ammunition – a big box, between two men. There was no marching in fours – it was just a case of get on as fast as you could and the pace I may say was not too hot, owing to our packs and that confounded case of ammunition.
In the crush and I may say it, the confusion, a fellow named Scott and I myself got separated from the rest but we struggled on and eventually came out on to an open space, when I got the fright of my life. Inadvertently we had stumbled on to a howitzer battery and just as we reached it, one of the guns was fired – as it seemed almost in my face.
Of course there was no danger, owing to the angle of the gun, but when the rush of air blew my hat off and the hellish report nigh deafened me, well to tell the truth, it scared blues blazes out of me. Soon, however, we caught up with the others and on we went through the sap, a trench, passing quite a number of poor fellows who had fallen to snipers, and at last just at daybreak we reached the New Zealanders base – just a strip of level sand between the sea and a huge cliff. Not a tent was to be seen anywhere, the homes of the "big bugs" were the homes of Thomas Atkins, Esq., just holes in the side of the hill, which resembled a huge inverted colander. On the flat were piles and piles of boxes and cases, and working amongst them at top speed were the Army service Corps and the Indian Mule Corps.
Boxes, tins of water and ammunition were being strapped on to hardy little mules and every half hour or so, away would they would go each mule with an Indian, bound for the trenches. We were told to make ourselves comfortable where we stood. We just lay down and thought of huge pints of frothy ale, of cooling shower baths, and of clean sheets and a comfortable bed, at least we commenced to think of them but the visions conjured up did not last, because Whizz; Phitt; Plunk: the bullets commenced to fly about and in a trice one of the sergeants of B. Coy. stopped one with his leg. That made us sit up and take notice and when three others received leaden presents in the space of five minutes, we began to think how nice a place a big cave or a deep well would be, but of cover of any description there was none, so we just had to sit there and trust to luck. Fortunately, I had a good marble, but quite a lot of unfortunates got "stars" a few qualified for harps and a seat on a cloud, but not many were fatally hit. We remained at the base for several hours and in that time I