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 18 – October 2

Sept 18  The Turks began shelling our trenches at 6.30 am and gave us a pretty warm time of it. Not much rest here from what I can see. Discussed the work to be done with Gen Taylor but it is impossible to work by day without drawing heavy shrapnel fire se we must turn night into day. About 5 pm a terrific outburst of both artillery and rifle fire suddenly commenced which at first we thought was a general attack along the whole line. The bullets fairly rained over our trenches and dug outs and we had to go to ground. Gen Wiggin, who was with Gen Taylor when it started, wanted to get back to his own HQ and ran as far as our trench where he rested to get his wind. He was begged to remain there but would go on and was seriously wounded in the chest when he had run within 2 yards of safety, only about 100 yards from our trench. This makes the 3rd Brigadier to be hit out of 4 in the Division.

Sept 23  Very cold. Heavily shelled both morning and evening. Went over the details of the advance line which I am to take over on Saturday night which includes the section which I first took over on Aug 28th. Parts of it now very wet.

Sept 25  Heavily shelled at 7.30 am & again at 11 am. They very first shell in the morning hit  the parapet of my dugout covering Alfred and me with dust when we were folding up our blankets and spoilt the breakfast just ready for Croshaw and myself. Another shell at 11 am hit the parapet again and filled the servants dug out with earth covering the whole of their kit. About time we left ! Marched out of the Reserve Line at 8 pm to take over the line now held by the Westminster Dragoons, Hants, Bucks, Berks and Dorset Regts from Hill 50 to Tints Corner. By 10 pm we had taken over the line and the other Regiments filed out. Went round all the sentries in the whole section with Croshaw and eventually got to bed at 1.30 am. The trenches very wet and muddy in places and fairly splashed around all night.

Oct 1  Fairly quiet day, ‘Whistling Willie’ put a good many high explosives close to me dug out in the afternoon. Very hot day with a thick mist in the morning. 

Oct 2  My wedding day !  Collected 25 rifles from dead men in front of my lines in the early morning. Another very hot day. Discovered a Turkish sap from their lines up to within about 60 yards of mine, must deal with it.