Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 204
dressed for lunch I was horrified to see that my face and chest and arms had turned a bright orange colour, and that I looked more like a chinaman than a white man. I lucnhed with Fenton and my sister and both noticed my strange colour, and it was decided that we must consult a specialist that very afternoon. At 2.30 I went to the Colonial Office to see Bonar Law who had askd me to call. He told me that he had received a communication from the Australian Government informing him that I was going out there to lecture on the Dardanelles Expedition, and they were anxious to know what attitude I was going to take up, as they wereafraid I might do a great deal of harm if I criticised affairs too severely.
I replied that I was not going out for at least two or three months, and that there would be vast changes in events before then, and that in any case I should do my best to put the best construction on a bad case. Bonar Law then said ''Perhaps I can arrange to settle your quarrels with the War Office, so as to enable you to go to the Western Front again, instead of your going to Australia. I said that at the present time I was too ill to take the field and that in any case I had arranged to give 25 lectures in England and I therefore suggested that the whole matter should stand over until I knew for certain when I was going to Australia.
I then then had a very interesting conversation on the whole situation with Bonar Law, who was very frank. I warned him that there was only one course, namely to withdraw the troops without undue delay. Otherwise he and the Cabinet would be incurring the gravest responsibility. I told him that itwas utterly impossible to ever move from our present positions, no matter what reinforcements were sent, and that the whole situation was definitely lost beyond hope of retrieving it, now that Bulgaria had come into the war.