Letters From Gallipoli

Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
If you have Facebook this is worth a glance at. Letters and stories from man at Gallipoli an interesting view of the life and attitudes of the men who were there.


One thing that struck me was that the page had to ban over a thousand idiots who virtue-signalled their RIPs and never agains when they were told that it was not about them but about the men who were there.

Pte. Leslie Green, 10th Battalion Australian Infantry, wrote to his nephew on 8th November 1915.
“Dear Morris, — Just a line to let you know I am still in the land of the living. I have only been back a couple of weeks. I stopped a bit of bomb with my foot. It fell in the trench when I was sleeping. My mate, who was sleeping near me, was badly hurt. We had some great fun on the 5th of November, Guy Fawke's night. John, the Turk, had a lively time of it. We threw about 500 bombs. The star shells were going all night. They are much prettier than a rocket. Our guns are wonderful; they can put a shell anywhere they want to. Well, Morris, you wanted to know about our landing. I was with the first to land. The Turks opened fire on us thirty yards from the shore. I had an oar, which I did not lose much time with. We did not take much time to get into the Turks with the bayonet; we soon had them on the run. I will never forget the first charge; we went at them like a lot of lions; you could hear us for miles. I got a piece of shrapnel in my arm, but I did not know I was hit until after we got to the second line of trenches. I was going for a Turk with the bayonet, and when I was within a yard of him he fired point blank at me. The bullet went through my hand and hit my rifle. I went down, but luckily another chap came up and finished the Turk, or otherwise he would have killed me. It was after I went back that I discovered I had been hit in the right arm. I suppose you have heard a lot of things about the Turks. A lot are not true. They are fair fighters. It is the German officers that are to blame. I suppose you heard of the Lone-pine trench taken by the 1st Brigade. We could see the charge from our trench. It was great to watch them capture the trenches. You should hear how our boys cheer when they attack. We can hold our own with any soldiers in the world. We have done everything that we were asked to do. The new brigade are just as good as the old ones. They took to it like a duck to water, always eager for a scrap. Some of our chaps badly want a spell, as they have not been out of the firing line since they landed, so
“Tell all the young blokes to come and help their mates.
“I believe the war will last another year. I do not wish to come home until it is over. It is hard life, we have in the trenches. We do not take our boots off from one week's end to the other, but you never hear anyone grumble. We know that it is our duty. I think it will be a bit rough here in winter, but we will battle through it. We have no warm clothes, yet I suppose they will be on the way over. It was my birthday last month; I was 24. Tell your sister I received the pipes and had a good smoke. It is lovely to have friends to think of; it keeps a man going. We are all very tired. I am not so bad, as I had five weeks at Lemnos Island. I am very surprised to hear that ——— has joined the cold-feet brigade. I went to see Charlie D'Alton the other day. He was in England for four months, wounded. Things are pretty quiet here now; we do not get so much shrapnel. I think the Turks are getting tired of it. They give us plenty of bombs. You see some pretty sights at night. I notice in reinforcements that there are a lot of married men. I think it is a shame that the single men should not come first.
“If all those stay-at-homes were to
“come it would give us a spell, and
“it would be only fair for all we
“have done for them.
“It is wonderful how the Australians take to war. Our new brigade soldiers are just like the others. It seems nature to them; they take no notice of the shrapnel from the first day. This is the place to see brave deeds done. There are many V.C.'s won and have not been seen. We have plenty of work to do carrying wood and water from the beach. It is no light job carrying wood and water (50lbs on your back) up these hills, but you never hear anyone grumble. I will say good-bye, as I have to go on duty soon, and I want to have a smoke. With love to all, I remain, your loving uncle,
“Leslie Green.” [1]
[1] 'Dimboola Banner and Wimmera and Mallee Advertiser' (Victoria), 14th January 1916.

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Dwarf

LE
Book Reviewer
And this bloke who rejoined when he didn't have to. Tragically losing his wife and new born son on the Lusitania.

Boer War veteran, Sgt. James Cooper, 1st Battalion Border Regiment, did something quite extraordinary on 8th November 1915. He was highly motivated.
Originally from Burnley, Lancashire, when war broke out Cooper was living in the United States. He decided to rejoin his old regiment but as his wife, Nellie, was expecting a baby, they decided that she would remain in the States and follow after the child was born. Nellie Cooper and three month-old Joseph took passage on the Lusitania. Both were killed when the liner was torpedoed on 7th May 1915.
Captain & Adjutant William Clague, 1st Battalion Border Regiment, described how Sgt. Cooper began to take revenge for the loss of his family.
“No. 18799 Sgt. J. Cooper a Sergeant in our right Company in the firing line suddenly told the man on either side of him to stop shooting, leapt over the parapet and ran quickly over to the enemy's trenches about 120 yards away. He was then seen to stand on the enemy's parapet & coolly empty his magazine into the trench below him. He then ran quickly back to our trenches & leaped in quite unhurt. His retreat to our trench was covered by the men firing rapid at the Turks who had by then manned their trench, several bobbing up waist high — Sgt. COOPER reported having shot 5 Turks in their trench, 3 of them being at breakfast just below him and 2 a few yards to his right.” [1]
An anonymous officer, possibly Captain Clague, wrote about what Cooper had done:
“An extraordinary incident occurred here on the morning of November 8. Our firing line varies from 120 to 50 yards from the Turks. Sergeant Cooper, who had left the army and had come back from America to rejoin on the outbreak of the war, was posted to us. His wife and three children were all lost in the Lusitania, and he wanted badly to get a bit of his [own] back. At about 8.30 in the morning he told the men near to stop firing, and, jumping over the parapet, he went at a steady double over to the Turks about 120 yards away. Arriving there, he found three having breakfast. He shot one. The others tried to escape, but tumbled over one another, and he shot them. Then, turning to his right, he shot a man who was aiming at him, and then a fifth. And after that he toddled back! All the Turks near by were so excited that they got up breast-high over the parapet to fire at him, and the men in our line bagged several more. Cooper was not touched. It was an extraordinary incident. No one can ordinarily put his hand over the top by day for ten seconds without getting a bullet through it or near it.” [2]
For this act, Cooper was mentioned in despatches on 1st January 1916. He added a Military Medal [3] and a Distinguished Conduct Medal for his services on the Western Front. The citation for the D.C.M. read:
“For most conspicuous gallantry and initiative near Courtrai on 14th October 1918. When his platoon was held by enemy machine guns he worked well forward under heavy fire, located the guns, and returned. In the attack on these guns he was one of the first to reach them, and killed two of the enemy gunners; the remainder surrendered. He did fine work.” [4]
It seems Cooper's apparently reckless act at Gallipoli on 8th November 1915 was not an isolated incident.
[1] 1st Battalion Border Regiment War Diary, TNA WO 95/4311.
[2] 'Hawera & Normanby Star' (New Zealand), 16th February 1916.
[3] 'London Gazette,' 11th November 1916.
[4] 'London Gazette,' 2nd December 1919.
Image: 'Burnley News,' 15th December 1915.

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In early 2019 we holidayed in NZ. One of the highlights was the Gallipoli exhibition in the museum at Wellington. Very well curated and incredibly moving - I was almost reduced to tears and in a very sombre mood when I’d finished.

An essential visit if you’re there.
 
Last edited:

Awol

LE
Twice as many Brits, and three times as many Frenchmen died at at Gallipoli than Anzacs.

Also, and with some relevance to Gallipoli (Although most died on the Western Front) pro-rata and as a proportion of the population at home, more Kiwis died than from any other nation.

Rightly or wrongly I’ve seen Kiwis as quiet, brave and unassuming. Australians on the other hand appear loud, also unmistakably brave, and ‘in your face’. Similar in fact to the Americans and the Canadians. Both fearless in their own ways, but very different in character.
 

oldnotbold

War Hero
In early 2019 we holidayed in NZ. One of the highlights was the Gallipoli exhibition in the museum at Wellington. Very well curated and incredibly moving - I was almost reduced to tears and in a very sombre mood when I’d finished.

An essential visit if you’re there.
Probably the best military museum gallery I have seen if you're talking about the one in Te Papa (the national museum)
 
Twice as many Brits, and three times as many Frenchmen died at at Gallipoli than Anzacs.

Also, and with some relevance to Gallipoli (Although most died on the Western Front) pro-rata and as a proportion of the population at home, more Kiwis died than from any other nation.

Rightly or wrongly I’ve seen Kiwis as quiet, brave and unassuming. Australians on the other hand appear loud, also unmistakably brave, and ‘in your face’. Similar in fact to the Americans and the Canadians. Both fearless in their own ways, but very different in character.
But the casualty stats aren’t part of the Australia narrative. I’ve told those stats to an Australian mate previously and he was completely unaware of it, it’s not taught that way.
 
Twice as many Brits, and three times as many Frenchmen died at at Gallipoli than Anzacs.

Also, and with some relevance to Gallipoli (Although most died on the Western Front) pro-rata and as a proportion of the population at home, more Kiwis died than from any other nation.

Rightly or wrongly I’ve seen Kiwis as quiet, brave and unassuming. Australians on the other hand appear loud, also unmistakably brave, and ‘in your face’. Similar in fact to the Americans and the Canadians. Both fearless in their own ways, but very different in character.

Wow ! Did not know the numbers attending and casualty rate of French forces at Gallipoli .
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
In early 2019 we holidayed in NZ. One of the highlights was the Gallipoli exhibition in the museum at Wellington. Very well curated and incredibly moving - I was almost reduced to tears and in a very sombre mood when I’d finished.

An essential visit if you’re there.
It was amazing in the true sense of the word. The Diorama of the trenches and the 'larger-than-life' size statues were incredibly thought-provoking.

Peter Jackson is a great designer and supporter of these exhibits. His aircraft museum at Omaka is superb.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Twice as many Brits, and three times as many Frenchmen died at at Gallipoli than Anzacs.

Also, and with some relevance to Gallipoli (Although most died on the Western Front) pro-rata and as a proportion of the population at home, more Kiwis died than from any other nation.

Rightly or wrongly I’ve seen Kiwis as quiet, brave and unassuming. Australians on the other hand appear loud, also unmistakably brave, and ‘in your face’. Similar in fact to the Americans and the Canadians. Both fearless in their own ways, but very different in character.
My Kiwi-resident offspring points to the percentage of male population lost, rather than the stark figures.

That makes you think.
 
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