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"The enemy’s shelling was shifted on to them in one great concentration of shell. The machine-guns bellowed and poured on them sheets of flame and of ragged death, buried them alive. They were disembowelled. Their clothing caught fire and their flesh hissed and cooked before the burning rags could be torn off or beaten out. But what of it? Why , nothing! They were as devils from a hell bigger and hotter. Nothing could stop them. They were at home in hell-fire, and they caressed it back when it licked and caressed them. They laughed at it; they sang through it. Their pluck was titanic. They were not men, but gods, demons infuriated. We saw them fall by the score. But what of that? Not for one
8th – Advanced to firing line this afternoon. Started to advance about 4 o’clock, and dug in about a mile or more from the line. Had tea; had barely
last updated : 20/01/08
comrades, although such cover is only rom sight of enemy, as a man won’t stop a
bullet, but it’s wonderful what you’ll cover behind when advancing. The machine
gun fire was very hot. We never fired a shot, even after passing the firing
line, which half of us did not know was the firing line. Lots of us were
carrying picks and shovels to dig in with. We lost a terrible number of men in
the advance, and our artillery had to cease fire for a while at the last, as we
had advanced right into their fire zone and were receiving some of their shells.
There seem to be dead and wounded Australians everywhere.
Diary entry of 8th May, Frederick Heatley SYMONDS (5th Battalion, AIF), published in "The Inglewood Advertiser" on 1st October 1915 - transcribed by Heather Ford, 2000
breath did the great line waver or break. On and up it went, up
and on, as steady and proud as if on parade. A seasoned staff officer watching
choked with his own admiration. Our men tore their helmets and waved them, and
poured cheer after cheer after those wonderful Anzacs."
A British major quoted in “Gallipoli”, Robert Rhodes James, p. 154
"The 8th Battalion on the afternoon of 8th May, 1915, digging in at its new bivouac immediately before the receipt of the order to attack", period picture reproduced from "The story of Anzac", Volume II, (Sydney 1981), Charles E. W. Bean, p. 25
swallowed it when we got orders to get into fighting order, and a few minutes later were advancing in extended order. After we had gone a short distance the shrapnel commenced to come, at first at irregular intervals, and then more steadily, I kept near Edgar as long as possible, but by the time we had made a couple of rushes we were all mixed up. The rifle fire got very warm after a while. We were advancing in a sort of half circle, and were receiving fire on all sides and rear. We advanced over several lines of trenches which had Ghurkas and Tommies in them. Our men were going down everywhere, but we kept going. It was nothing to take cover behind .
"Australian dead at the battle of Krithia, Helles 8 May 1915. Notice the flat nature of the battlefield by comparison with the Anzac area", period picture reproduced from "Gallipoli 1915”, (Sydney 2002), Richard Reid, p. 40