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[Page 249]

We ought to be able to hold Helles without much trouble but even if we commence our preparations in time we shall be faced with enormous difficulties at Anzac and Suvla Bay. Our troops will have to face the greatest hardships from cold wet trenches and constant artillery fire. I believe that at the present time the sick rate for the army is roughly 1000 per day. During the winter it is bound to rise to an even higher figure. I know one general, whose judgement is usually sound who considers we shall lose during the winter in sickness alone the equivalent of the present strength of the army. This May be an exageration but in any case our loss is bound to be very heavy. The whole army dreads beyond all else the prospect of wintering on this dreary and inhospitable coast. Amongst other troubles the autumn rains will once more bring to view houndredd of our dead who now lie under a light covering of soil.

But I suppose we must stay here as long as there is the smallest prospect of the Balkan Alliance being revived and throwing in its lot with us even if they do not make a move until next Spring. I have laid before you some of the difficulties with which we are faced in order that they May be boldly met before it is too late. No one seems to know out here what we are going to do in the future and I am so afraid we shall drag on in a state of uncertainty until the season is too far advanced for us to make proper preperations to face the coming winter in a certain measure of comfort and security. At the present time some of our positions gained by the Colonial Corps high up on the spurs of the hills on which the Turks are perched cannot be considered secure. A sudden counter attack vigorously delivered would jepordise the safety of our line and might lead to a serious disaster. There will have to be a general reshuffling of the whole line and some of our advanced posts will have to be abandoned during the winter months.

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