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[Page 24]

The Mule transport

Chapter 4

The difficulties of transportation made it utterly impossible to utilise motor lorries during the Peninsular campaign on account of the rugged nature of the country.

We trusted entirely to the efficient and prompt delivery of our food, ammunition, and necessary timber supplies to the Indian Mule Corps. Every difficulty was overcome by the wonderful energetic capabilities of the mules who climbed the most precipitous mountains with the greatest of ease.

The mountains were cut away, and suitable tracks for mule and foot transport were made. The mules were often troublesome, and caused much trouble by their stubbornness in refusing to move. I have seen them so obstinate that their Indian mule drivers lost all control, and the mules backing carelessly have tumbled, packs and all, down the sloping sides of the cliffs. They never seemed to hurt themselves but they caused much anxiety and frightfulness terror to us where dugouts were situated directly beneath their tracks. The transport quarters were situated in Reserve Gully, No. 3 outpost, and various other places of refuge. The Turks always seemed to have good knowledge of their whereabouts for they constantly peppered the mules with shrapnel which was always causing severe casualties among those most valuable and faithful animals who were difficult to obtain on account of the difficulty of the marine transportation.

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