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

September 1 - 4

Sept 1 At 8 pm the Engineer party arrived to assist in the operation and the fatigue party of 100 men went out, all proper precautions having bene taken for their safety, an armed escort being posted to protect them, Schuster of my Regt and Gossal of the Middlesex being in charge. The work had not proceeded long when Schuster was shot through the arm. There were many other casualties in rapid succession and I withdrew the party at 11pm it being, as I was certain would be the case, nothing less than murder to continue it. Result, 100 yds of trench scratched, 3 men killed (Engineers & Middlesex) and Schuster of my Regt and 3 men of the Middlesex wounded. Schuster a great loss although but temporary, he has a clean wound through the forearm. Meanwhile heavy fire was proceeding on my left where the Turk were evidently attacking the 29th Div and later on the right in the same direction as the previous night. Stood to arms but nothing more occurred on my front. Altogether a disturbed night, bullets flying in every direction over my dugout. 

Sept 2  Gen Nicol arrived early and had to confess that I was right and that my plan of doing the work by sapping was the only way. The Brigadier arrived later, was very nice, and told me that events had proved me to be completely justified. I am thankful that I was not responsible and only did what I was told under protest. Laid out the future work and went all round the section with Hastings.  

Sept 3  The Brigadier came over early and discussed matters generally. We had expected to be attacked last night but beyond incessant rifle fire, the enemy made no movement in front of our line. Worked hard during the day and night at the new trenches and saps and improving things generally. Came in for severe shelling for a short time in the afternoon, the usual incessant rifle fire at night hundreds of bullets whistling over me.

Sept 4  The whole Division is to be reorganised, 2 Sub-Divisions being created. The 1st, 2nd and 5th Brigades under Wiggin, 3rd and 4th Brigades under Taylor. I consequently get command of 4th Brigade with Maj Croshaw 19th Hussars as Brigade Major, Bell having temporarily temporary command in Llewellyn’s absence. Went all round the trenches with Croshaw and showed him the whole thing. Moved my headquarters in the afternoon to a dug out in Azmac Dene (an old river bed) at present our reserve line – jolly if it rains ! Whilst arranging our quarters we were heavily shelled and 4 men were hit close by, Child of C Sqn being killed & Tptr Brown of A Sqn severely wounded in the chest.