• Pte Albert Leslie McFarlane's Gallipoli Diary

Private Albert Leslie (Les) McFarlane (1888-1973) Fifth Battalion A.I.F., 6th Reinforcements Service Number 2202The following extract Les's diary includes his experiences over a two-week period from the point of embarkation in Egypt on August 1st 1915 as one of the 37,000 troops who took part in the second major offensive at ANZAC' on the Gallipoli Peninsula, to his time waiting on a hospital ship at Imbros:SUNDAY 1ST AUGUST 1915EgyptReveille at 4 o'clock. Packed our kit and left Heliopolis camp at half past six for railway station. Train for Alexandria at 9 o'clock. Reached at 3 o'clock and went on board at 4 o'clock, and left for Dardanelles at 7 o'clock on the S.S. Hovorford. Sent packet of post cards home. Our troop deck is suffocating, had a swim and slept on deck.MONDAY 2ND AUGUST 1915Mediterranean SeaDay fine and warm. Steaming slowly across the Mediterranean, passed one or two vessels. Assisted the doctor with the sick parades, and wrote some cards to home. We were each issued with one hundred and fifty rounds of ball ammunition, made me feel as though I was now a fair Dinkem soldier. Now travelled at night with lights out. Blew fairly hard through the night and the sea was pretty rough. Post card to Duncan and Aunt E. and home.TUESDAY 3RD AUGUST 1915Mediterranean SeaStill steaming across the Mediterranean and continually passing small barren islands. Assisted the doctor with his patients. Sight several large transport conveying troops to Lemnos. Expect to arrive at Lemnos 8 o'clock tomorrow. Wrote card to L.D.P. EllieWEDNESDAY 4TH AUGUST 1915DardanellesArrived at Lemnos at 8 o'clock, found the place very busy, very crowded with boats of every description. Large battle ships gunboats, cruisers, sub-marines, hospital ships and transports. We transhipped to a smaller vessel and moved straight to the Dardanelles. At half past two arrived at Z beach, guns were bombarding the forts and a heavy rifle fire was kept up on the land. Land at eleven am? without any difficulty but lost a man on the way to the trenches.THURSDAY 5TH AUGUST 1915 ANZAC (Assault on Lone Pine)Spent the day in the trenches With (no) food or tea, just had our water bottles which have to last us 48 hours. Shells were flying about in every direction and a continuous rifle fire is kept. The Turks are entrenched about 15 yd to 450 yd? Aeroplanes are continually flying over us and dropping bombs. and I are split up. Went to sleep close to the firing line as supports.FRIDAY 6TH AUGUST 1915 ANZACHeld as reserves in a support trench and at half past four in the afternoon our guns began to bombard their trenches. They return a heavy shrapnel fire which raked our trenches considerably. The First Brigade charged and occupied the trenches in front of our firing line and drove the Turks back considerably. We held our firing line until 2 in the morning. A heavy rifle fire was kept up all night. Our losses were comparatively light, took a good lot prisoners.SATURDAY 7TH AUGUST 1915 ANZACDay very busy and our boys advanced in many places and captured more trenches and took a good many prisoners. The Tommies affected a landing at Salt Lake and advanced several miles inland. The warships took a great part in the attack. It was a great sight to see the war vessels firing their broadsides. Have not seen Stan since Thursday and spent most of the day carrying rations.SUNDAY 8TH AUGUST 1915 ANZACOur troops advanced and to (took) several lines of trenches on the left flank and the Tommies did likewise on the left. We were shelled a good lot in our dugouts. The warships are playing a good part in the game and assisting in the landing of further troops near the Salt Lakes. We are living very rough and dirty, and not getting much to eat. Have not had a wash since we landed. Our casualties have been heavy. The days are very hot.MONDAY 9TH AUGUST 1915 ANZACStill making progress on the right but we are getting a fair amount of shell and shrapnel from the enemy. A and B Companies of our Battalion relieved some of the 7th in the front firing line Stan being among them. Had a very narrow escape from being struck by a shell just missed it by about three seconds. The Turks are having a pretty rough time.TUESDAY 10TH AUGUST 1915 ANZACStill being held in reserve and have not had a shot yet but I am getting plenty of fatigue work which is no fun climbing up steep hills with 70lb on your back. Got orders to go to the new firing at 8 p.m. which we held to the morning. A. B. Company had a good many casualties Monday night mostly from Bombs and hand grenades thrown by the Turks. Our big guns are still giving them a heavy fire. Saw our aeroplane chase a German ?.  Twas a good sight.WEDNESDAY 11TH AUGUST 1915ANZACStill lying in our Saps and it was at 12 noon that a high explosive shell burst through the roof of our Sap and caught three smashing my foot and making a lot of small wounds on my legs and arms and breaking another mans nose, the third only received small scratches. I was completely knocked out by the explosion and the pain was very great had it dressed and was removed to the beach then to the hospital ship where they took my foot off in front of the ankle.THURSDAY 12TH AUGUST 1915On Hospital Ship at ImbrosDo not feel too bad today though I am a bit sick from the chloroform. We moved to Imbros during the morning and lay there all day. The boat is full of wounded men and some very bad cases too. Have been wondering how Stan is I have only seen him once since we landed. Had my foot dressed during the day and it hurt some too.FRIDAY 13TH AUGUST 1915On Hospital Ship at ImbrosStill lying at Imbros but and it is suffocating lying here in the bunk and the heat it is not doing the patients any good. My foot is fair not too bad though it wakes me up a bit now and then. The water is not good and rarely get a drink of Cordial. Am longing for a few lemons or some fruit. Had my foot dressed the nurse said it is doing well.SATURDAY 14TH AUGUST 1915On Hospital Ship at ImbrosStill anchored at Imbros will be pleased when we get away on the move somewhere or other, the conditions are bad here. It is hot, the water is bad and so are the flies. Removed a few of our patients off to the hospital on the island.
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