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By F. L. Morrison
Street and Central Street, in which latter Battalion Headquarters were
Our first night passed uneventfully, but the following day we gathered
that something was brewing. Orders were received to clear the western
portion of our firing line and support trench to permit of a bombardment
by the French artillery. (The French held the right sector at
Gallipoli.) Fire opened at 3.45 p.m. and for about two hours the
“Seventy—fives” kept at it, doing considerable visible damage to the
enemy’s wire and trenches. The enemy replied with counter—battery work,
and also shelled our communication trenches what time Colonel Morrison
and Captain Simson, our Adjutant, had the unpleasant duty of
reconnoitring the area in which the bulk of the enemy’s fire was
falling. They were searching for trenches in which the Battalion would
be held in reserve for the attack which was now in preparation.
During the night Lieut. W. Beckett reported some activity in No—man’s
Land in front of “A” Company and invited the bombers to try their hand.
Now the bombers had received their first introduction to their
precarious weapons only 24 hours previously, when they took over from
the 7th H.L.I. a Garland mortar, a trench catapult and various crude
jam—tin and canister bombs of sinister aspect. Selecting the catapult,
which Lieut. Leith thought would be less dangerous to his team than the
mortar, they aimed as best they could in the dark, applied a canister
bomb to the pouch, lit the fuse and pressed the trigger. The shot was a
lucky one exceeding their highest expectations. It burst among a party
of Turks crouching in the open. Amid shrieks of “Allah!” survivors could
be distinguished making for cover. Immediately the Turkish line opened
up rapid fire, which was continued for about half an hour before things
settled down to normal again.
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