Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 26
lan, but at the same time I said that I had no personal feeling in the matter, and that I was quite willing to give the scheme a trial. I also met General Braithwaite, Sir Ian's Chief of Staff, who also received me in a very affable manner. In fact I thought the reception I met with a little too marked and seemed rather to show a desire to utilise my services, as an advertising agent rather than as an independent eyewitness. I looked up several other members of his Staff, and amongst them was Dawney, young Broderick, Jack Churchill, Winston's brother. He has come out as Camp Commandant, a nice soft job, with no danger in it, I suppose obtained for him through the influence of his brother.
During my stay in Mudros Bay, I took the opportunity wherever possible of going on shore, and getting exercise. On one of these trips who should fall down at my feet, and kiss my hands but that old blackguard, Couppa, who had been my dragoman throughout the various Balkan Wars. He expressed the greatest pleasure at seeing me again, and wanted to come back into my service, but I told him I did not see much chance of being able to employ him. He had set up a store on the island, doing a vigorous trade selling articles at an enormous profit, to British, French, Australian and Senegalese soldiers and sailors. At this time the majority of the troops were kept on the transports, but there was a camp of some of the Australians Battalions on shore. I could not pick up more than a general idea of the composition and numbers of our forces, which were kept a profound secret, but from the number of ships and from other available data, I put them at about 70,000 men.