Finsbury Rifles in Gallipoli: 22 September to 30 September

Location: AGHYL DERE (Anzac)

Date: 22.09.15
Hostile aeroplane over trenches about 11 am. Between 4.30 and 5.30pm heavy bombardment of lines. Two men wounded, one machine gun out of action and damage done to parapet of trenches in parts. At night small parties of Turks again seen in neighbourhood of advanced post. Two officer patrols sent out in early morning but without result.

Date: 23.09.15
Battn. relieved by 1/5 Beds between 5 and 6 am proceeded to old bivouac in Divisional Reserve where day spent in settling down. No fatigues. Capt Collins invalided home with pulmonary affection[sic].

Date: 24.09.15
150 men provided for work on new supply road during day. No signs of improvement in health of troops. Lieut Heilgers to hospital. Much firing on our right during early hours of evening and many shots fall in bivouac; one man slightly injured.

Digging fatigues at night as usual in front line trenches. 14 men to hospital and effective strength of Battn. reduced below 300.

Date: 25.09.15
Quiet day. 20 men to hospital and many on light duty. Camp inspected by ADMS. Fatigues as usual night and day becoming increasingly difficult to obtain necessary numbers of men. Heavy gun fire during night.

Date: 26.09.15
Fatigues as before and ordinary routine inspections in camps. Battn. paraded at 3pm for Divine Service. Apparent improvement in health of troops, only 8 men to hospital. Uneventful day and night.

Date: 27.09.15
Bivouac shelled at intervals throughout day with shrapnel and high explosive, the latter apparently from 6 in howitzer. No damage done. Bombing course re-started under officer of 1/5 Norfolks. Fatigues and routine as usual. Very heavy firing on our left in early hours of evening but no alarm. 8 men to hospital.

Date: 28.09.15
Orders received for relief of 1/5 Beds R. following morning in firing line. Quiet day and night. Australian trenches visited by 1 officer and 1 NCO. Machine gun course started under Lieut. Hooke. 3 officers of this unit attend. 4 men to hospital. Fatigues during day only.

Date: 29.09.15
1/5 Beds.relieved at dawn. Lines inspected at 10 am by GOC. Divn [General Officer commanding the Division]. Trenches heavily shelled by shrapnel from 4.30 to 5pm, little damage done. About 5pm. Sandbag Ridge bombarded by our howitzers with little effect. Quiet night. Nil report from officer patrol and out at 9pm. Good progress made on trenches by Coy of 1/5 Beds in local reserve. No men to hospital.

Date: 30.09.15
Trenches shelled at intervals during day ineffectually but whole line heavily bombarded at 8pm and two men killed and wounded. At dusk big fire noticed near Apex and clouds of smoke coming towards our trenches, Battn stood to for ¾ hour as a precaution any measure. Remainder of night quiet and nil report from patrol, one man wounded in advanced port, & 4 to hospital. Usual routine and much work on trenches by ourselves and parties of 1/5 Beds.

[September War Diary signed off by Lt Newton again]

 


More Information

By the end of September the Finsbury Rifles had suffered terrible losses from the fighting in August and diarrhoea and dysentery. Only 300 men remained fit from a battalion that probably numbered 800 when they sailed from Liverpool.

For more information about the problems of disease at Gallipoli look at http://gallipoli100education.org.uk/about-gallipoli-2/the-campaign/were-the-allies-defeated-by-illness-and-disease-at-gallipoli/

Or

http://www.iwm.org.uk/history/9-reasons-why-gallipoli-was-one-of-the-worst-fighting-fronts-of-the-first-world-war

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