Volume 2: Letters written on active service, M-W, 1914-1919 - Page 80
destination ordered to make ourselves comfortable, as luck happened we never got a call. Waking next morning we found ourselves sleeping just opposite a dead Turk, who had buried in the parapets his feet just projecting out, the smell was "oncos" but being dog tired, once asleep one didn't notice it.
Well that ended our career with the Gurkhas; getting orders to relieve the first division, who were getting a spell, the whole second division took their positions, which they won in landing on the historic 25th April, our position was where the Sixteenth Battalion were know[n] "as Pope's Ridge", the trenches for a time were a bit strange for our boys, being very shallow and being used to our own round the left, quite a few of them got popped over all through the head, which means nearly instantaneous. After they were ther[e] a while they kept their heads down, this is where the Turks were so close on "Quinns Post" they were only fifteen yards away; ours were about seventy. That was the post next to us, Russell's Top on our left which the 20 Battalion held.
Well this was quite a change from the left, being just like Garrison Duty, just holding the position. After a while they made lovely trenches of them, made a new one in front of the old one which took a bit of work tunnelling underneath, knocking the top down and also making recesses for the steep. Our worst lot here was the fatigue work, climbing up and down the hill which was like I should say, the last pinch of the bullock track, Mount Pleasant. Two stretcher squads were put on fatigue work, myself being one of them, also had to act with bearer, when needed, it was only on a couple of occasions that we were called out.
The first introduction was the "Big Stick" Bombs, which exploded like the effect of a hundred pound shell. They are fired out of a trench going about three hundred feet up in the air, then turning they come straight down behind the lines. The first six – they must have got about a dozen of us. The first shell caught a lot round the cook house just at dinner time, if you heard the report of the gun you would see the stick go up in the air giving you a chance to get under cover. They kept a sharp lookout for them, then those that used to give us warning to take cover.
The flies were also very troublesome causing a lot of sickness, a great number of our boys being sent away making it bad for the ones who were left behind. They ha[d] to bog in and make tunnels and recesses to get cover from the big shells. If you weren't in the firing line, you would be on fatigue work, they kept us going. Our fighting here consisted mostly of Artillery duels and snipers doing most of the shooting, and of course there was a usual "stand too's" morning and night, and on occasions when "Jhonny Turk" got a little excited we used to get orders to stand to, we also used to give a demonstration at times, which used to make John's Turk wonder where all the fire came from. It was pretty to see these the different signals of rocketts flying about all colours, they were very nice,