The Gallipoli Houses





anzac cove

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ANZAC, from the Sydney mail, 20 October 1915.  The beach at Anzac Cove, with its piers and piled boxes of stores, was an image strongly associated in the popular mind with the Australians at Gallipoli”, picture reproduced from “Gallipoli 1915”, (Sydney 2002), Richard Reid, p. 74.


"Part of a boatload of men of the 14th Australian Infantry Battalion going ashore on 25 April, to follow up on the assault wave. Note the variety of headgear, of which the famous slouch hat was always the most popular.", picture repro-duced from “Gallipoli Illustrated”, (Blair Athol-1981), Kit Denton, p. 18

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Before the landing a message by the Corps commander Birdwood was distributed among the men :

Officers and Men,

In conjunction with the Navy, we are about to undertake one of the most difficult tasks any soldier can be called on to perform, and a problem which has puzzled many soldiers for years past. That we will succeed I have no doubt, simply because I know your full determination to do so.  Lord Kitchener has told us that he lays special stress on the role the Army has to play in this particular operation, the success of which will be a very severe blow to the enemy – indeed, as severe as any she could receive in France.  It will go down in history to the glory of the soldiers of Australia and New Zealand. Before we start, there are one or two points which I must impress on all, and I most earnestly beg every single man to listen attentively and take these to heart.
We are going to have a real hard and rough time of it until; at all events, we have turned the enemy out of our first objective. Hard rough times none of us mind, but to get through them successfully we must always keep before us the following facts.  Every possible endeavour will be made to bring up transport as often as possible; but the country whither we are bound is very difficult, and we may not be able to get our wagons anywhere near us for days, so men must not think their wants have been neglected if they do not get all they want. On landing it will be necessary for every individual to carry with him all his requirements in food and clothing for three days, as we may not see our transport till then. Remember then that it is essential for everyone to take the greatest care not only of his food, but of his ammunition, the replenishment of which will be very difficult. 
Man are liable to throw away their food the first day out and to finish their water bottles as soon as they start marching.  If you do this now, we can hardly hope for success, an unfed man cannot fight and you must make an effort to try and refrain from starting on your water bottles until quite late in the day. Once you start drinking you cannot stop and a water bottle is very soon emptied.

I was still asleep ... It was before morning and the corporal who was the sentry started shouting, saying, “There’s something unusual. Get up !!”  Then the squad commander ordered us all to kove into the trenches ... There were very few of us in the squad, seventy or eighty troops, that’s all ... The sentry pointed down towards the sand and we saw there were lots of them pouring out of their boats, and we opened fire and they lay down on the sand with their guns in their hands.

Private Adıl Şahin (27th Regiment) quoted in “The boys who ca
me home”, (Crows Nest 1990), Harvey Broadbent, p. 47-48.




Also as regards ammunition – you must not waste it by firing away indiscriminately at no target.  The time will come when we shall find the enemy in well entrenched positions from which we shall have to turn them out, when all our ammunition will be required; and remember: Concealment whenever possible, Covering fire always, Control of fire and control of your men, Communications never to be neglected 

W.R. Birdwood 

"Gallipoli, The New Zealand Story", (Auckland 1998), Christopher Pugsley, p. 102-103

last updated : 20/02/07


"In no time a primitive township was clinging on the hillside", period picture reproduced from “To hell and back”, (Sydney 2007), Sydney Loch, p. 150.

Our progress from the trawler to the shore was slow, but the sea was calm, and we were not molested by shellfire. Shortly before we reached the jetty, we had a clear view of the landscape. Behind the stacks of stores on the beach, the hills and gullies were scarred with dugouts, many of which were roofed with blankets or waterproof sheets. One man with a raucous voice called out, ‘Gawd strewth, it looks like a bloody mining camp"

"These things Happened", (Melbourne-1975), F.F. Knight, p. 125-126.

"Dugouts at Anzac with Plugge's Plateau in the background.  Some dugouts were simply big rabbit burrows, heavy with the smell of clay; Charles Bean described them as a cross between a grave and a cave.  Others were more elaborate, with galvanised-iron roofs on which earth had been piled as protection against shrapnel pellets, a waterproof sheet for a door and sandbags for walls.  Candles provided the light.  Thus did Australians and New Zealanders, privates and generals live for eight months.", period picture reproduced from "Gallipoli",  (Sydney 2002), Les Carlyon, p. 233.

… A man’s dugout was his home, and anyone else who was found there without a reasonable excuse was considered to be there with intend to steal. What was a reasonable excuse? Diving for cover from enemy fire was one; but to remain after this emergency had passed was something which was not done. No doubt officers and NCOs inspected dugouts, even in the absence of the occupants, to ensure that they were kept clean. I cannot remember anything being stolen from my dugout. Theft from comrades was generally considered to be very low, although there were many unfortunately who considered that the government was fair game.

"These things Happened", (Melbourne-1975), F.F. Knight, p. 160.

"Aerial view showing Anzac", reproduced from a period picture  (Güven Pınar - private collection).

Very soon after my arrival at Anzac, I was told unofficially of four strict rules of conduct which I would disregard at my peril.  No man was to relieve himself in any way except at a latrine.  If anyone suffering with dysentery had an accident on the way there, that was excusable.  He could wash himself and his clothes in the sea.  All food scraps were to be buried or burned.  The obvious reason for these two rules was sanitation.  There were too many disease-carrying flies about as it was. …


“Anzac Cove early in August, 1915”, picture reproduced from “The New Zealanders at Gallipoli”, (Auckland 1921), Major Fred White, p. 199.

At 4 a.m. when they were still 3,000 yards away, the tows were cast off, the black shapes of the battleships slid slowly astern, and a line of pinnaces, their engine sounding unnaturally loud, went on with the boats towards the shore. There was still no sign of life there.  Once a signalman cried out, “There is a light on the starboard bow.”  But it proved to be nothing more than a bright star and there was still no sound but the throbbing of the pinnace engines, the slow fall of the sea on the rocks. When they were within two or three hundred yards of the beach the pinnaces in their turn cast off, and the bluejackets took to the oars. The dawn was breaking.
The men had now been in the boats for several hours, their limbs had grown stiff and cramped, and the tension of waiting was becoming unbearable.  It was inconceivable that they had not been seen.  Suddenly a rocket soared up from the cliffs, and this was instantly followed by a sharp burst of rifle fire.  Here finally was the moment for which they had been trained : the men jumped out of the boats and began wading the last fifty yards to the land. A few were hit, a few were dragged down by the weight of their packs and drowned, but the rest stumbled through the water to the beach.  A group of Turks was running down the shore towards them.  Forming themselves into a rough line and raising their absurd cry of “Imshi Yallah” the Dominion soldiers fixed their bajonets and charged.  Within a few minutes the enemy before them had dropped their rifles and fled.  The Anzac legend had begun.

"Gallipoli", (Ware 1997), Alan Moorehead, p. 114

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