Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 41
It was a dramatic scene in the semi darkness, while General Birdwood was writing his dispatch to the Commander in Chief. He was surrounded by his small group of Staff Officers and by heaps of dead and wounded, and stores and ammuntion. In the distance small groups of men could be dimly discerned climbing the hills to the fighting line, or else coming away from them, whilst overhead thousands of bullets kept up their incessant droning. The dispatch finished, it was handed to the naval commander, who immediately rushed down to where I had left the pinnace, and jumped on board her, followed by me, shouting out "Go the the battleship "Queen".
We picked up the "Queen" in the darkness, after a short run, the Commander went on board to see the Admiral. He remained some little time, and then came on to the pinnace. The "Queen" immediately weighed anchor and stood off towards Cape Helles. I then said to the Commander "What are we going to do now" and he replied "Wev'e got to go to every transport in turn, and order them to send their boats in immediately, to bring off the Australian troops. I pointed out to him that such an operation was utterly impossible in the darkness and confusion
then prevailing, and that the only chance of saving the force was to hold on until daybreak. He agreed with me, but correctly replied that he was obliged to obey his instructions. We went to the nearest transport and the Commander shouted out through a megaphone that she was to hold her boats in readiness to send them ashore at a moment's notice. We went to each one in turn, and gave a similar message. In many of these transports the discipline amongst the civilian crews was