Terrell, Frederick Leopold – December 1915
It is 5 days since snow fell and yet the ground is now frozen 3 inches deep…
We have had orders to pack kits and be ready to leave at a moment’s notice as we are making preparations to evacuate Suvla after the 1000s of wasted lives and good public money which have all been squandered by a handful of muddling officers who are sadly wanting in experience …
My love’s birthday her 24th. Wrote letters to Clara & Mother, had all day off… a day of rest at last after 4 months.
Received news through today that total number died and sent away through exposure were 15,000 men all told as many as 700 men were buried in one grave…
Bombardment still going on, of Gabu Tepe, it has been one incessant roar for the whole week had quite a number of very high explosive shells but they did little damage
… The boats had another successful bombardment killing hundreds of Turks and blowing their trenches into ruins.
Had a busy day erecting evacuation pier at Suvla Cove … The evacuation is in full swing, …The 1st Div of our train left for the ship, leaving about 60 of us behind to make the last embarkation…
… left in our life boats to embark on Elkaharah…
arrived in Mudros… On landing here, had to walk 4 miles to our camp … had leave all day, in that time I went to a Greek village and had a look round; also had a look round a Greek Church, it was very quaint
…Many troops of every kind arriving Many Australians, Went over to 27 Battalion and saw many of my old chums, many of the most unexpected are made N.C.Os & C.Os How they got it, I hardly know …
My day off, in the morning I went round the Hospitals, In afternoon went up to see a Greek Monastery… Had a splendid view of Lemnos could see the whole of it. Received long looked for mail, 3 from Clara & 3 parcels also, 2 letters from Mother and 2 parcels, 1 letter from Maud and Violet, & papers from Clara…
Had a very rough time of it, Rained nearly all the morning, got orders to pack and be ready to mover. Shifted camp at 3 P.M. and moved 4 miles did not have camp ready to sleep in until 9P.M and did not get tea until same. The worst day I have had since I arrived on Active service having little to eat. Only having Bully Beef and dry Biscuits.
… Our beautiful commander Bracegirdle has been sent to hospital with the fever, a pity he had not been shot instead…
Xmas day, same old routine as previous days had inspection this morning, and received order to stand by to leave at a moment’s notice as by all accounts Suez is beginning to get serious During afternoon we received our billies which had to be battled for our Xmas dinner consisted of rice, & for tea we had Plum Pudding My Billy was sent by Mrs Rogers & Family finished evening in the loco sheds where a great concert was held.
My 26 Birthday
This is my 26th Birthday and am spending it under queer conditions But nevertheless, put the day in well, what with rifle drill & plum pudding, one has little to complain of, since we have been on Lemnos, have been getting 1 pint of stout a man. After tea went for a short ramble and ended by getting into a Y.M.C.A. Tent where we spent a pleasant evening among our own boys
Turned to at rifle drill at 9.30 a.m until 12 noon when we dismissed for dinner which consists of Bully and bread with a dash of strong (hat dye) (or tea) I think they call it.
A very fine day, Went through usual routine After dinner went for route march, returned to camp to sit down to a very sumptuous repast which consisted of one slice of bread and, a dish of greasy stew which was hardly palatable. Considering we are away from the scene of action we are getting treated very shoddy.
This being New Years eve, one naturally feels a little down hearted at having no better prospects than war ahead. After dinner I went up to hospital with my mate, and whilst over there had the pleasure of hearing a S Aus band the 12th Battalion. In the evening, things got very merry, plenty of beer flying…