The Gallipoli Houses

DUGOUT ON MC LAURIN HILL

 

 

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the first authentic hotel on the Gallipoli peninsula

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a dugout near lone pine - general view

 

 

 

“In the foul, fly-blown gullies of the peninsula the chance of any return home diminished daily. ‘You’ll want flowers on your grave next’, was a stock response to a complaining soldier”, period picture reproduced from "Voices of Gallipoli" (Auckland 1988),  Maurice Shadbolt, p. 120.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

"By this time the Battalion (*) were becoming559 something of connoisseurs in the qualities of dug-outs. Dug-outs are of two kinds, those you dig for yourself and those you dig for somebody else. In the former case,

Last updated : 10/04/08

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Mail published many shots of these primitive residences and tried to reassure anxious families in Australia that by burrowing into the earth their sons and hubands were safe from Turkish shrapnel. They further suggested that the troops were able to make themselves "comfortable subterranean shelters".

The nature of this shelter varied depending whether it was in the front lines or in a back area. In the trenches men made do wi
th scrape holes hollowed

out of the trench wall or simply slept on the ground. In reserve, just behind the line, covered ‘dugouts’ were constructed into the sides of even the most precipitous slopes. Further back, headquarters staffs were accommodated in slightly more elaborate structures that were sometimes protected by sandbags. In many instances soldiers did what they could to soften their surroundings by pinning up photographs end even pages from newspapers

"Gallipoli 1915”, (Sydney 2002), Richard Reid, p. 105.

you collect as many sand-bags, pieces of corrugated iron, pit props, and miscellaneous building materials as your ingenuity or your dishonesty can achieve, and then proceed to dig yourself an eligible residence. The depth dug is usually in inverse proportion to rank: the higher, the deeper, though to go too deep was considered to exhibit a somewhat excessive desire to be safe at all costs. The Australians had a story of an officer whom they did not like, and on whose courage they (probably unjustly) reflected. They declare that he was severely wounded, as the rope broke when he was being lowered into the dugout and he fell the remaining eighteen feet.

The dug-out that is dug for another is not so elaborate. You burrow into the vertical face of a hill until a cavity large enough to contain a man is created, and leave it for the occupant to make the best of. Before he has learnt to do this, he has probably bumped his head several times and filled his hair with earth. At the same time, however small it may be, it is unwise to forsake the burrow constructed for you by the experienced inhabitant and strike out a line for yourself. Two officers who attempted this were quickly disillusioned. Their first effort installed them in a cemetery, where a corpse was awaiting burial. Their second reopened a recently filled in latrine, while the third found them in the midst of buried Turks. Then they gave up"

"The Tenth (Irish) Division in Gallipoli", (Dublin-1993), Bryan Cooper, p.276

(*) 5th Connaught Rangers

Visitors to the Anzac position on Gallipoli during 1915 felt it to be one of the strangest looking commuties even seen. English journalist Henry Nevinson wrote of how the Anzacs stared out at the sea from the ‘mouths of little caves cut in the face of the cliffs’. This phrase neatly describes the dwellings of the ordinary soldiers at Anzac. Often these were holes or  ‘dugouts’ covered with a canopy of scrub held up by pieces of wood or with whatever protection against the elements they could find. The Sydney


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