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came the long wait while the attackers crossed the gully. To the waiting New
Zealanders –the New Zealand Infantrymen who had penetrated farthest into
Turkey- the minutes seemed hours. But a shower of hand grenades announced the
beginning of the end. From the dead ground in the front came bombs and more
bombs. Away from the left came the Turkish shrapnel. To fire at all, our men
had to stand up in the trench and expose themselves almost bodily to view.
One by one they died on Chunuk, until after a few hours desperate struggle
against overwhelming forces the only New Zealanders left alive were a dozen
severely wounded. But not for a long time did the first Turk dare show his
head. Then into the trench several crept with their bayonets to kill the
wounded. Fortunately a Turkish sergeant arrived and saved the lives of the
wounded who were carried of to the German dressing stations behind Hill Q. In
all the history of the Gallipoli Campaign there is no finer story of
fortitude, no finer exhibition of heroism and self-sacrifice, than was shown
in this forward trench of Chunuk on that desperate August morning. Here died
some of the noblest characters in the New Zealand Army. August 8 was a day of
tragedy for New Zealand, but no day in our calendar shines with greater glory.
"The New Zealanders at Gallipoli”, (Auckland 1921), Fred Waite, p. 220-221
There is an
observation post here... and from it one can see a large portion of the
country over which we are operating. To that post about 4.15 went a procession
of sleepy Generals and staff carrying glasses, telescopes and anxiously
awaiting the dawn, to show the success or otherwise of the troops. It began to
get gradually lighter and all glasses were turned on the summit of Chunuk
Bair, which was the only point of attack which could matter. Still it got
lighter, and then someone said: ‘ I see men on
Chunuk Bair.’ ‘They are our men’, and so they
were. We reached the summit, should we hold it
and should we progress?
Major General Frederick Shaw quoted in “Defeat at Gallipoli”, (London 2002), Nigel Steel & Peter Hart, p 239.