11th Battalion Diary - 25 April 1915
The 11th Battalion boats all made for
the extreme left, to the north of Ari Burnu. The Battalion had to get
past the point of Ari Burnu, where the beach receded, and consequently
had about 200 yards more to row than the other boat parties. They thus
came under heavy fire while still on the water, and many casualties were
inflicted before the troops reached the shelter of the land.
The boys had the greatest difficulty in
getting ashore, loaded as they were with their heavy equipment. Even
those in the bows of the boats were in fairly deep water after they
sprang out, and any men hopping out at the stern and thus getting
totally under water had very little chance of getting ashore, and
numbers must have been drowned in the dark and confusion.
When the boys reached the shore, their
one desire was to get at grips with the enemy; but everything was
against them from the start. They were sodden with seawater and their
equipment dragged; they had landed in unknown terrain in a strange
country, which rose up stark and steep in front of them. However, they
clambered up hand over hand, and helped each other up the worst parts of
the steep and precipitous cliffs. Meanwhile, a machine gun was
enfilading them and causing many casualties, and the unfortunate wounded
and killed rolled down to the beach below.
Gasping and spent, the survivors reached
the brow of the ridge, to be confronted with a maze of ridges and
valleys – the later frequently deepening into ravines, with the general
tendency of the country to rise higher and higher to the great central
ridge. Wherever the enemy were in force they always seemed to have
higher ground from which to fire, and the 11th Battalion suffered
heavily in the first day’s action.
BELFORD, Walter C, Legs Eleven. Being
the story of the 11th Battalion (AIF) in the Great War of 1914-1918,
page 69 (source 171)