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 29 – September 1

Aug 29  Stood to Arms at 3.45 after a quiet night in the trenches. Carefully inspected the whole of my line and arranged for various improvements. A great many dead bodies lying with 25 yards of my line between the 2 lines but impossible to bury them under existing circumstances. General Nicol who commands this section visited my line, he was at Harrow with me. Quiet night except for snipers. 

Aug 30  Received the sad news of Genl Kenna having been killed in the trenches to the right of our line last night, Tpr Beaumont of C Sqn was shot dead through a loophole in the trenches in the early morning. Received orders from Genl Nicol to move to another section further to the right tonight. Expect to move about midnight from Tinto Corner where I now am to Kavakler where the line is not finished. Col Cox with the Dublins arrived about 11.15 pm and it was just midnight before I was able to move, heavy firing from the Turkish trenches all the time.  

Aug 31  Arrived at my new line at Kavakler at 2.15 am and found the South Notts and Derbys temporarily holding the line. My new line is in a very unfinished state, 200 yds of new trench still to be done and those that have been begun far fromsafe. Snipers all over the place ! Inspected the whole line and feel that if I am here long I shall have a permanent stoop !  Cpl Filby of C Sqn wounded in the chest, fear it has gone through the top of his lung. Hear that Hastings and I got out of our dugout at Tinto Corner just in time as a shell burst there this morning killed the orderly of the MO of the Munsters within yards of where we had been living ! 

Sept 1  Went all round my section in the morning and had a long conference with Gen Peyton and the Brigadier as to the best way to dig the new fire trench in advance of our present line. I am strongly in favour of doing it by sapping for although  will take longer, it is much safer and it has been sited so near to the Turkish trenches that one must have many casualties if any other course is adopted, both my Generals agree with me but Genl Nicol who commands this section is anxious to have it done at once and with a large fatigue party at night. Later in the day he ordered me to adopt his method which I am going to carry out under protest. Discussed everything with Ferguson of the Engineers who also agrees with me – arranged with Bristow the MO for dressing stations for the certain casualties which must occur.