As the history and future of World War 1 and Europe concentrated on the Bosphorus strait of the Ottoman Empire, the everyday lives of ordinary Anzacs became horrific, as described in Crusading at Anzac, pictured and described by Signaller Ellis Silas, a soldier artist serving with the Australian Expeditionary Force at Gallipoli.
The roll call — Quinn’s Post
This is always a most heart-breaking incident. Name after name would be called; the reply a deep silence, which would be felt despite the noises of the instant cracking of rifles and screaming ofshrapnel.
This was taken the morning after the charge on Sunday night May 9th.
We, the 16th Platoon, were supposed tobe resting, and were only to reinforce if the necessity arose.
Unfortunately, through some error we were sent into the firing line.
At dawn, the following morning, there were few of us left to answer our names. When the roll was called — just a thin line of weary, ashen-faced men.
The bodies on the right we were unable to bury for some days, as we were so hard pressed by the Turks.
Anzac, May, 1915
The stream of wounded
From daybreak there had been a ceaseless of stream of wounded — in many cases they died on the way down — until in many places the pass was so cumbered with the dead and badly wounded waiting for the stretchers that it became impassable.
Along the edge, bodies were hanging in all sorts of most grotesque, and apparently impossible, attitudes.
Seeing those fine, stalwart men going up the gully, and shortly returning frightfully maimed and and covered with blood, was a sight I shall never forget.
One poor fellow, a New Zealander, came tearing down the gully, smothered with blood, and quite delirious, kissing every man he passed, upon whom he left a splash of blood.
Some would come along gasping out their lives, suddenly drop, then remain silent for ever.
The ridge where the shrapnel is bursting was the one we took on the night of May 2-3, now an historical event.
We had to abandon this ridge, and so were never able to bury our poor fellows, who can be seen lying on the hillside. Anzac, May, 1915
Foreword, by General Sir Ian Hamilton
As the man who first, seeking to save himself trouble, omitted the five full stops and brazenly coined the word ‘‘Anzac’’, I am glad to write a line of two in preface to sketches which may help to give currency to that toke throughout the realms of glory.
Though treating so largely of death, they are life-like; though grim, they do justice also to the gaiety and good humour which never deserted any of our troops in the trenches; though slight, they seem solid and serious enough to such of us as were there.
Therefore it is that I wish for these outlines of heroes abiding fame, and hope that many an Australian or New Zealander now unborn will better realise by their aid what a splendid thing it was to have been alive and crusading at Gallipoli in the year of our Lord 1915. April 29, 1916