Finsbury Rifles in Gallipoli: 29 November to 5 December

Location ANZAC BEACH

Date: 29.11.1915
Hospital heavily shelled during morning. Sea still very rough but weather improving although bitterly cold. Owing to heavy Australian casualties, obliged to leave hospital and accommodated in tents in immediate neighbourhood. 1 man wounded and 3 men to hospital. Night quiet.

Date: 30.11.1915
Fine day, no wind, sea calm. Notice received that immediate embarkation unlikely owing to lack of transports. Tents inspected by CO. Rifle inspections held. One man to hospital. Night quiet.

Date: 1.12.1915
Fine day and sea calm. Uneventful day and night. Physical drill and normal routine. No men to hospital.

Date: 2.12.1915
Dull day but sea is still calm. Hospital shelled with fatal results to staff. Quiet night. Routine as before. No men to hospital.

Date: 3.12.1915
Orders received that battalion would embark at 0750, order cancelled at noon owing to change in weather. Further orders to be ready at 1900, received at 1800 and at 1930 battalion embarked in SS EL KAHIRA without incident. 5 men to hospital.

Location: MUDROS

Date: 4.12.1915
Arrived MUDROS about 1000 and marched to PORTIANOS CAMP where remainder of day spent settling down. Various brigade and divisional fatigues furnished. No men to hospital.

Date: 5.12.1915
Quiet day, battalion resting except for sundry fatigues. Inspection by CO during afternoon. 3 men to hospital.


More Information

The Rifles’ wait at the 1st Australian Stationary Hospital must have been unpleasant. The hospital was an easy target for the Turkish guns , who probably realised that it was being used as a temporary barracks. Moreover, many of the transports had been damaged in the storms and the weather was still unsettled. Finally, on the 3rd December, the battalion was able to embark on their transport, a steamer called the SS El Kahira. They arrived at Mudros Harbour on the following day.

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