Shadows of Anzac: An Intimate History of Gallipoli

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 390 pages
Author: D. Cameron
Year: 2013
ISBN: 9781922132185
Other: b&w photos, maps, bibliog, index
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

"Dear Mrs Worth, your son asked if I would write and tell you he is in this hospital. He has been rather badly wounded … He is quite my best patient, never grumbles or complains and is so grateful for anything we do for him, and my one regret is, that I have not time, with all my other patients, to do everything I would like to do, for them all. When you write to him do not mention his paralysis, he asked me not to tell you, his words were 'Tell mother about me Sister but make it as OK & bright & hopeful as you can, don't tell her about my old limbs’, which made me nearly cry." - Sister Narrelle Hobbes, Australian Army Nursing Service

On 25 April 1915, with the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) below the slopes of Sari Bair on the Gallipoli peninsula, the ANZAC legend was born. Nine months later, having suffered thousands of casualties from disease, hand-to-hand fighting, bombing, sniping and forlorn charges across no man’s land, the politicians and senior military commanders in London called it quits. While the Turks also suffered terribly, they at least emerged victorious.

The fighting at Anzac was not restricted to the ANZACs and Turks alone. British troops also fought at Anzac from the earliest days of the invasion and large numbers of British and Indian troops were committed to the Anzac sector during the failed August offensive designed to break the stalemate. The invasion was also supported by large numbers of men — often non-combatants — who performed vital roles. Naval beach officers kept logistics operating in some form of ‘orderly’ fashion; Indian mule handlers moved supplies of food, water and ammunition to the front lines; and medical staff and army chaplains worked on the beach, caring for the wounded and the dead. All these men were frequently under fire from the Turkish battery known as ‘Beachy Bill’. Others surveyed the narrow beachhead and bored deep holes for drinking water; signallers tried desperately to establish and maintain communications; and the gunners hunted the battlefield for suitable places to site their guns. Off the peninsula, but just as vital, were the nursing and medical staff on the hospital ships, at Lemnos, Alexandria, Cairo and Malta, and the airmen who flew above the battlefield spotting for the navy and artillery.

Shadows of Anzac: an intimate history of Gallipoli tells the story of the ‘ordinary’ men and women who participated in the Gallipoli campaign from April to December 1915 and gave the Anzac legend meaning. Drawing on letters, diaries and other primary and secondary sources, David Cameron provides an intimate and personal perspective of Anzac, a richly varied portrayal that describes the absurdity, monotony and often humour that sat alongside the horrors of the bitter fight to claim the peninsula.


Part 1. Invasion
1. 'The Light Horse after being left'
2. 'The country thereabouts is ... hairy'
3. 'Throw the forces which land there into the sea!'
4. '... a single shot broke all stillness'
5. 'I was still asleep ...'
6. 'Ahh, it's chilly'
7. '... three wounds in all'
8. '... and this, by the way, was about the only bit of scouting I got to do on the first day'
9. '... probably he is still over there'
10. 'We were advancing towards a landing force 100 times more numerous than us'
11. 'I believe he lost his life on this ridge ...'
12. 'This was the moment of our triumph'
13. '... drawing the enemy's fire'
14. '... the art of shrapnel dodging commences
15. 'Can't you leave a chap alone!'
16. '... so ended the most glorious day of my life'
17. 'Wiggle, waggle boys, the B____s can't shoot ...'
18. '... a lone voice answered'
19. 'I have no idea when the sun crossed over the west today'
20. 'Hannah put a pick through his foot ...'
21. '.. the water, lashed into white spray, caused a curiously pretty effect'
22. '... lacerated mass of wounded humanity'
23. 'Oh Great God of the Turks!'

Part 2. Stalemate
24. 'Who owns these bleedin' donkeys?'
25. 'leaving us "spooks" to take care of ourselves ...'
26. 'The say there are about 200 left ...'
27. 'A thousand years passed ...'
28. '... the task was extremely difficult, if not impossible'
29. '... at the moment the situation is favourable'
30. 'We are in an uncomfortable position with no cover'
31. '... dirty enough to be a Turk'
32. 'The searchlights continued to give us a lot of trouble'
33. 'Water question serious'
34. 'His name, I found, was "Munto, ad he was of "lost cast"'
35. 'The leader was within about five feet before spotting me'
36. 'Attended funeral of poor Simpson'
37. '... here the sight was awful'
38. '... sent me a message to say Phil Robins was killed'
39. '... our friend, the enemy'
40. '... a large number of petrol tins provided'
41. 'He is quite my best patient ...'
42. '... don't leave me boys, the enemy will finish me!'
43. '... all of us seemed to have an attack of coughing'
44. 'He gave Porkie a once over and ambled off'
45. 'Up the gully they are allowed one water bottle per day'
46. 'He will advance from here'
47. '... the war will be over by this time next year'
48. Yours sincerely (Sister) Narrell Hobbes'
49. '... better to trust to the loving kindness of Abdullah'

Part 3. Offensive
50. 'That Chaplain was "Fighting Mac" the Salvationist'
51. 'Left weak.Turks massing for attack on left'
52. 'Will, the old Turks have played the game pretty straight'
53. '... I could see defeat printed across the sky
54. '... the first and last battle I was ever in'
55. 'It doesn't look good'
56. '... it is better to lose your leg than your life!'
57. '... having all been killed'
58. 'Dear little wife and kiddie ...'
59. 'Not a man stirred'
60. '... their first two lines fell almost in a heap'
61. '... found a bullet wound in the middle of the breasy'
62. 'Six of the slightly wounded earned the highest decoration'
63. 'I had a peculiar sensation of someone standing over my body'
64. '... a sticky muddy mass of blood, soil, ammunition ad gear of all sorts'
65. '... it was impossible to avoid treading on them'
66. 'I am going to recommend you for the Victoria Cross'
67. '... the ship glides on in silent darkness;'
68. 'I don't know whether he lived or not ...'
69. 'Another convoy - lot of badly wounded ...'

Part 4. Decline
70. '... only patch of good ground I could discover'
71. '... soldier of the King'
72. '... fell still facing the foe'
73. 'Is it only one trench you want us to take?'
74. 'He had brushed past me quickly ...'
75. 'We often don't get bread'
76. 'He's a strange chap ...'
77. 'All doors to happiness are shut to me'
78. '... guns of all calibres concentrated upon Lone Pine
79. '... thud of bullets has had a sharper, crisper ring in the frosty air'
80. 'Continuously belches smoke'
81. 'Frost-bites are the worst ...'
82. '... the reaction after the shock was too much for him'
83. '... four days out from Fremantle and Australian soil'
84. 'If the sand could be made to trickle ...'
85. 'All feel the leaving very mich ...'
86. 'The crosses of the graves ... seemed to stand out brighter and larger than ever'
87. 'It was a lonely feeling'
88. '... telling us to scram'
89. 'I will always remember those men ... the pick of the whole force'
90. 'I've kept it as a memento'


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Shadows of Anzac: An Intimate History of Gallipoli


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