Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 129
who commands the Hawk Battalion of the Naval Division and who was my unhappy predecessor in contesting Poplar. Leslie Wilson's denunciations of the Generals beat anything I have ever heard. In fact I think they wish to get rid of him but are afraid to try because he is an M.P with influential friends in the Conservative Party. The tale of muddle mismanagement and useless slaughter is an appaling one. He particularly remarked on the hardships inflicted on the older men the Marines Reserves many of whom are over fifty and who have been dragged out under false pretences to be slaughtered in front of Achi Baba. He told me what had happened in regard to a small trench of absolutely no importance which lay in front of the ground occupied by his battalion. He was ordered to take it and protested vigorously on the ground that he could not hold it after he had taken it.
Time and time again he protested but finally received a definite order a which had to be obeyed. He took it without much trouble and then got bombed out, exactly as he had predicted, losing three good officers and eighty men. Finally he retired with only six survivors. A Marine battalion then took his place and were ordered to take it again suffering the same fate. He declared that none of Hunter Weston's orders were ever intelligable and always had to be changed or modified, or ignored. He could never give a definite objective for an attack but would end up every order with 'Go as far as you can and then entrench'. He discribed the battle of June 4th as a cold blooded massacre. The Naval Division for instance were ordered to attack a line a thousand yrads wide with about the same number of men in the firing line after a totally inadequate artillery preperation. They advanced and were massacred with machine guns. The Colling-