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

August 22-28

Aug 22  Arrived at Lala Baba at 4.15 am walking the last mile with Genl Kenna who had commanded the Division during the day and who spoke with enthusiasm of the behaviour of the men. Cpl Haslop was shot on the way back in the dark. I find that I have lost 40 men killed and wounded and 2 officers wounded (Llewellyn and De Pass). Altogether the casualties have been very severe, Longford (Comd 2nd Brigade severely wounded and died on the ship today, Jack Milbanke (Comd Sherwood Rangers) & Gurney Sheppard (Comd Herts) killed, Cole (Comd S Notts), Gooch (Comd Berks) and Playn (Comd Glosters) wounded. The 2nd Brigade suffered severely in attempting to take Hill 70. The Dorsets I understand have all their officers killed or wounded except the C.O. The Bucks in much the same condition but of course the officers left behind at Lemnos will now arrive. Marched at 8 pm for Chocolate Hill. Elisha of C Sqn was killed whilst the Regt was lying on the ground below that hill waiting to move up to our dug outs. Eventually a section of the hill was allotted to us and all got snugly dug in. 

Aug 23  Heavy firing started at 5 am. Stood to arms about 10 o’clock received a dose of shrapnel and Knollys of the Roughriders had a leg nearly blown off by the fuse of one of the shells. We were subjected to various bursts of ‘hate’ during the day and constant sniping although a quieter night. 

Aug 24  The usual shelling and sniping. Ferguson of ‘C’ Sqn hit in camp. Generals Peyton and Mahon visited me at my dug out.

Aug 25  Stood to arms at 4.30. Gen Peyton held a conference of Brigadiers and COs to consider reorganisation. He thinks we may be here for a long time. Only 9 officers per Regt to be left here, the remainder to go to Suvla Bay to rest and change every week or so. Fairly quiet day till the afternoon when we had a very serious shelling. The enemy having got our range to a T, Tprs Lawford, Macfarlane and Richards hit by shrapnel. I fear Macfarlane may be bad as he got it in the stomach. 

Aug 28  Heavy rifle fire in the trenches broke out at midnight & continued for 2 hours. Stood to at 5.30 am. The camp was heavily shelled…bursting shrapnel all over our dugouts, Marson, Cpl Withers and 2 men being hit, Terraine getting it through the lungs. This went on without cessation till 8 o’clock, afterwards intermittently all day. The 1st Brigade having a great many casualties. One shell burst close to an ambulance wagon severely wounding 2 of the mules which had to be destroyed. Ordered to the trenches tonight to relieve the Westminsters and Herts. Probably a safer place than this. Paraded at 8 pm and took over the line held by the above Regiments with the Middlesex and my own. A long job but had completed  everything by 11.30 pm when the Westminsters and Herts withdrew to Chocolate Hill.