On June 28th 1915 a huge demonstration was made by our Brigade against the Turks. Our object being to keep enemy reinforcements from going to Cape Hellas where our people were attacking.
We left our trenches about noon and then the fun began. The Turks opened a furious fire: guns, machine guns and rifles and we caught it pretty rough on account of having no cover. We Signalers had the worst time carrying dispatches across open country under a terrible fire. It’s a wonder we were not all killed. My old friend Blackwell was riddled with bullets. I shot three Turks whilst taking a spell in a shell hole.
About 1600 word came that the attack was successful and that our object was achieved. We then retired on our lines absolutely exhausted and bleeding from dozens of cuts caused by the undergrowth and barbed wire. The day was frightfully hot and we had very little water. I started out with full equipment and finished up almost naked.
Our casualties were about 120 which was surprisingly small. One man was taken prisoner and we had to leave many dead behind. We were given great praise for our work. A few others and myself got special mention.
J. A. Graham
FOOTNOTE: The “Blackwell” mentioned above is Private John Milton Roy Blackwell. His war records (some published below) can be found in the National Archive of Australia:
There is a vast difference between the Australian and the Turk as a fighter.
The Turk never shows himself unless necessary. He takes no unnecessary risks, whilst the Australian is careless and continually exposing himself. The Turks play a great game through this campaign and much can be said of his sportsman like qualities.
When the Majestic was sunk (25 May), boats of all descriptions went to her assistance and they offered a beautiful target for the Turkish gunners, but they never fired a shot. They let the work of rescue go on in peace. There are other instances too numerous to mention.
J. A. Graham
With regard to the fighting, there were some awful blunders made.
The 9th Battalion patrol reported the discovery of a deserted enemy trench, so Lieut Jack Hanly (one of the very best) and 13 men were told off to go out and if the above trench was not occupied, they were to go on until they found the Turks.
Just fancy, sending 14 men out against the enemy’s first line trenches. It was murder pure and simple.
Lt Hanly said he would never return and neither he did. They found the Turks in the supposed deserted trench and it’s a wonder any got back alive.
J. A. Graham
AT SEA. 1914-12-10. GROUP PORTRAIT OF OFFICERS OF THE 5TH AUSTRALIAN LIGHT HORSE REGIMENT (5ALH) ABOARD SS PERSIC EN ROUTE TO EGYPT. LEFT TO RIGHT: BACK ROWS: CAPTAIN (CAPT) EDWARD STEWART JAMES, CAPT HENRY KING IRVING, CHAPLAIN FRANCIS DE MOAG TUBMANN, CAPT RICHARD STEWART BILLINGTON, CAPT JOSEPH ESPIE DODS, MAJOR (MAJ) WILLIAM CHATHAM, CAPT THOMAS JOSEPH BRUNDRIT (KIA ANZAC 1915-10), LIEUTENANT COLONEL (LT COL) DONALD CHARLES CAMERON, MAJ WILLIAM LECKEY FERGUSON WRIGHT, CAPT GEORGE PETER DONOVAN, LIEUTENANT (LT) THOMAS BESWICK FARGHER, CAPT HERBERT FRANCIS MCLAUGHLIN, CAPT AUGUSTUS MAXWELL RYAN, LT JOHN MATTHEW HANLY (KIA ANZAC 1915-06), CAPT MALCOLM STUART KENNEDY; SECOND ROW: CAPT PAUL DEGGE ROBINSON, LT COL LACHLAN CHISHOLM WILSON, LT COL HUBERT JENNINGS IMRIE HARRIS, MAJ EDMUND EDWARD RIGHETTI, CAPT EUSTACE ROYSTON BAUM PIKE; FRONT ROW: CAPT JOHN GEORGE DONALD MCNEILL, MAJ ROBERT HAROLD NIMMO. (ORIGINAL PRINT IN AWM ARCHIVE STORE) (DONOR JOHN OXLEY LIBRARY) Source: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P01541.001/
On 10 December 2013, Lt John Matthew Hanly was honoured when his story was read out as part of the Last Post Ceremony, which is presented in the Commemorative Area of the Australian War Memorial each day.
The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told.
Hosted by Troy Clayton, the story for 10 December 2013 was on Lieutenant John Matthew Hanly, 5th Light Horse Regiment, First World War.
The Address is read by Commander Joseph Kempton. (LINKS BELOW)
Jack Graham, ANZAC soldier, kept a diary from 1914-1918. Here it is, blogged 100 years later to the day....