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[Page 112]

[Proclamation by Gen. Birdwood, of 9th August – account of the action at Lone Pine]
I want to thank you all so sincerely for the magnificent work which you all have done in the continuous hard fighting you have had since the afternoon of the 5th. I well know what a tremendous strain this has been upon all, and with what unflinching bravery you have on every occasion faced and dealt with the enemy. The 1st Australian Infantry Brigade began by attacking and capturing the maze of trenches held by the enemy at Lone Pine by the gallantest of charges, in which they completely routed the enemy and drove him with the bayonet from the whole series of trenches he held there. Ever since then the Turks have endeavoured to turn us out but have entirely failed, though I regret to say they have caused heavy losses among our boys. These however have been insignificant compared with the enormous losses inflicted on the Turks, whose dead were choking the trenches and lying in piles all round every trench.

On the left the New Zealand and Australian Division with the Indian Brigade and the 13th Division made a night march which will be memorable in history through the most difficult of country. They succeeded in completely surprising the enemy in the many trenches they held in the lower hills, capturing one position after another with the greatest skill and dash.

Owing to the enormous difficulties of the country we were unable to achieve our object of capturing the whole of the crest of the Chunuk Bair as we had wished, but the New Zealand Mounted Rifles having cleared all the lower hills gave an opening for the New Zealand Infantry Brigade to seize a portion of it which we now hold. The Turks have made constant attempts to drive us out, and are sure to continue to do this, but we all know how determinedly the New Zealand, Australian and Indian Brigades together with the men of the 13th Division now hold it will hang on for all they are worth until as we hope we completely achieve our object.

There is one thing every one of us must never forget - that is, the enormous self-sacrificing assistance the infantry have received throughout from every gun – Australian, New Zealand, [39th?] and Lowland Brigades – in our position. They have always commenced the fight for us by a heavy bombardment of the enemy, and when themselves most heavily shelled by the enemy's guns, have continued to keep up their fire without any cessation or hesitation despite all casualties. We can none of us be sufficiently grateful to our gunners, for whom no praise I can give is too great.

I know that every one of us will wish to express our gratitude to the stretcher bearers who regardless of all risks daily have exposed themselves to bring in the wounded under the heaviest of fire.
Our losses I regret to say have been heavy, but that must always be essential when strong and well defended positions have to be taken, and we must remember that the Turkish losses have probably been five or six times as great as ours, and that they are equally exhausted.

The Commander-in-Chief relies upon us hanging on at all costs to all we have gained, and making good new ground whenever we can do so. We have already captured nearly 700 prisoners, including some Germans, two large German trench mortars, nine maxim guns, and one Nordenfeldt, as well as a very large number of rifles and much ammunition. I know well that every member of the force means to stick to it for all he is worth, to see this through to success and show the Turks what much better men we are than they are.

(Sgd) W.R. Birdwood.
Anzac Cove

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