Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 53
with short scrub and undergrowth. Had several narrow shaves from bullets lobbing up against me while digging cover with entrenching tool, – our chaps on the right of the position have had to retire at times from part of the trenches on the right, but have always reoccupied them with a bayonet charge. The Turkish artillery is pouring schrapnel into us all the time – some more transports with an escort of warships arrived this morning (we can see all the boats below from our position high up on the hills about a mile and a half from the beach).
Our aeroplanes go out scouting every day – fighting on our right very stiff – one of our mine trawlers sunk on the beach by the enemy's shells. They are now burying some of our dead at the head of the valley on the right – poor Tom West shot dead by a sniper in the trench alongside me – shot through the mouth.
Our machine gun is about six yards above me on top of the hill and it draws a lot of the enemy's fire which we get the benefit of. We had to dig ourselves in deep and bank up the sides and rear of the trench as we are being sniped at from the right back and rear left.
28/5/15. Still in the same trenches and we have had to take turns for a sleep, as we have not been relieved since we came here, – feeling pretty good but very cold at night, as we had had to leave our packs and overcoats on the beach (being too much to carry up the steep hillside) – very hot in daytime and very cold at night. We keep up fire a good deal in daytime and it goes on merrily nearly all night on both sides.
29/4/15. Still in same trenches – enemy's schrapnel still going strong and the shells from our ships and artillery below whiz close over our heads on top of the hill on its way to the Turks' positions beyond – some of it comes uncomfortably close – got relieved about 7 p.m. and went down the hill about a hundred yards below for a sleep, having had only a few dozes in the trenches since we landed – find our Company has lost a good
[Private Thomas West, No 1072, 13th Infantry Battalion, killed in action 27 April 1915.]