Colonel's Gallipoli Diary

Colonel Alexander Weston Jarvis, Commanding Officer of the 3rd County of London Yeomanry, writing his diary in his trench at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, 1915

October 23 – November 2

Oct 23  Had a man hit last night, Tpr Booth (3rd County). Very cold and wet, rather miserable in open dugouts.

Oct 29 Glorious day and quite hot. Definite orders that we are to leave for Mudros on Monday night, Nov 1st.

Oct 31  Croshaw and I walked over to Anzac to see Sir A Godfrey. Found him and Charles Bentinck at his HQ and had a long yarn with them. They took us through part of the lines and showed us the whole position and what had taken place early in August, most interesting. It is quite marvellous how they got on so far against determined opposition and Godley who is in command of all the New Zealanders as well as a few Brigades of Australians, says the men are wonderful. The loss of life in the Anzac Corps was terrible, hundreds of bodies still there unburied. Had tea with them and walked back via the Gurkha lines. 

Nov 1  A conference with the Brigadier in the morning and then walked over to Anzac to see Freddy whom, I am sorry to say, I found in bed with a touch of the prevalent complaint, dysentery. Hope he won’t be too bad.  We are to sail from Lala Baba tonight. Left the trenches at 8 pm. A good deal of sniping going on and bullets flying about when we got into the open. Only had one man slightly hit. When we got to the port of Lala Baba at 9.30, were told that the transport was not in and would be late. We therefore lay down in the sand till 12.30 am when we were told that it was too rough in the Bay to embark us all and we were therefore distributed about in various parts of the place. I landed on my feet with the M.L.O.’s department. I actually slept in a bed ! The first time since I landed in August except the 2 nights I spent with Gen Peyton. 

Nov 2  A lovely day, quiet morning and in the afternoon we got all our baggage loaded on lighters and transferred to the transport ‘Ermine’. The Turks luckily did not take advantage of us by shelling during the operation which was what Gen Peyton was afraid of if it was done in daylight. I fancy he seems to think that we shall eventually be sent to Egypt to reorganise the Division, which of course is the common sense thing to do. He asked me if I would like to take an Infantry Brigade but I said I would rather stick to the Division which he said he was sure I would reply. Embarked on the ‘Ermine’ at 6.30 pm as soon as it was dark. Sailed about midnight.