Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 60
of others, which burst all over the valley and some even on the beach. Occasionally the Turks varied proceedings by bursting one high up in the air, but I fancy this was to enable them to guage the range more accurately. At this time no one had thought of digging dugouts, except a few of the very wary ones, who provide against every possible contingency. The result was that this shell fire caught us all unawares and everybody started digging themselves in, except Bettleheim who had been a Turk by birth, and was also a fatalist.
I had to sit outside his tent for an hour without any cover, while this shelling lasted, with the fragments whizzing all around us, but fortunately the ground being very sandy, the effect of the high explosives was minimised. Nevertheless in the course of an hour, one hundred valuable horses were destroyed, and there were fourteen casualties amongst the parties on the beaches. This was our first experience of what was to be followed by six months of almost daily shelling. I induced Bettleheim to dig himself in, and he set his servant about the task only when a great shell had exploded within a about 30 yards of where we sat. I then took the old man off to the "Implacable", and gave him a hot bath, the first he had had since he landed. He also stayed to dinner.
Wednesday May 12th
The day passed with continuous bombardment between the Turkish guns shelling the beaches and our own guns trying to keep down their fire. I went my usual walk on shore and found everyone much disturbed by the menace
Thursday May 13th
I have nothing to record this day until the evening. At 2 a.m. I was roused up by the Gunnery-Lieutenant who told me that we were to send our boats, and endeavour to piok up the crew of the battleship