Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 37
out of their teens, in old white duck suits dyed khaki, and carrying revolvers and water bottles almost as big as themselves. It was a stirring and inspiring moment when at 2 a.m. or 2.30 a.m. the pinnaces towed the boats alongside and the men immediately embarked in them. Thanks to the constant rehearsals, there was no confusion, and no overcrowding, and everyone was embarked without a mishap. The tows then went astern, each battleship towing four behind her. At 3 a.m. steam was again raised and we moved slowly in towards the shore until a little after four, the dim outlines of the coast became visible for the first time. At 4.30 a.m. the four battleships were in line, at about 3,000 for yards from the shore. The signal was given for the tows to be cast off, and to make their own way to the beaches.
It was still very dark, and the pinnaces each towing three or four boats looked like great snakes as they slowly made their way inland. As soon as they had departed I went forward to the bridge to join the Captain, and his Staff. I think it was the most exciting moment I have ever known watching the boats which hardly seemed to move, make their way towards the land.
(For full account of the landing and events during the day, see elsewhere).
Throughout the afternoon the fighting continued, and we continually received orders to fire on various positions, where the Turks were vigorously pressing the Australians back, to the first line of hills they had seized on landing. It was obvious they were extremely hard pressed. The wounded never ceased to come off the shore in an endless - stream, and the accomodation on the hospital ship speedily gave out.