Page.1. Gallipoli
The MEF established Base Post Office Y to control the postage service at Gallipoli, with the Corps and Divisions being accompanied by their own postal units. Back in Egypt NZ Advanced Base APO was set up in Alexandria to handle mails between the Division and New Zealand
In the confusion of the landing brigade field officers combined together to handle mail coming ashore, and to accept what little mail there was from the men in the lines. Scraps of packets and card were used until field service postcards and later green envelopes and writing paper became available.
Sargent R. Miller, who was with the field post offices wrote on 11 May 1915 (Published Lyttelton Times 2 July 1915)
"We are still under heavy fire, and the postal boys have hade many narrow escapes from death while delivering the mails to our gallant boys in the fighting lines. I had a narrow squeak yesterday, a shell landing eighteen inches from me, but luckily it failed to explode. Life is not half bad here in our dugout, and would be real comfortable but for the reminders the Turks constantly give us. I would not be surprised if you hear complains about the mails now. Of course, everting is pretty irregular. We have no direct steamer from Egypt, and consequently mails come over to the Dardanelles in drips and drabs. Then again, no one knows where we have landed. The mails are put on any boat coming our way, and generally these boats land troops ten miles down the beach before anything can be removed from one boat to another.
A transfer has to be arranged and then a tug has to be requisitioned to convey the mails from ship to shore. Then again, men are landing and the wounded taken off before the mails can be attended to. We receive on an average about 365 bags at a time, and we have twenty- six men to handle and distribute these bags to all units.
The Post Office Corps is distributed as follows- Eight men on the communications ship, and the rest scatted about in twos and threes all over the fighting area. The dimensions of my office are 5ft by 6ft by 5ft high. Here we do the work of the head post office and eat and sleep in the same quarters; so you can guess what it is like with thousands od letters in such a space. The letters have to be packed up and room made to sleep at night. We carry no sorting sacks or hoppers or desks, and until one has had a few weeks in a military post office in a fighting area one has no idea what a hardship the post office boys in trying to please everyone.
The men in the tranches are a fair distance off, and these bags of mails have to be carried up hill and down dale all through scrub country to them. Every yard or so one has to drop and take cover as the shells whistle around. It is an exciting experience. Perhaps we grumble sometimes because we are not in the trenches, but we comfort ourselves in the knowledge that although the shells are whizzing around us, and we are not actually fighting, we are bearers of precious messages to the men in the trenches from dear ones across thousands of miles of sea.
Then we have to deal with the returned correspondences of the wounded boys and those killed in action. These letters have to be marked up, and if a man is killed his letters have to be indorsed by an officer. We then have to trace the wounded who have been sent off to the hospital ship. New Zealanders are doing magnificent work at the Dardanelles, and I have been informed that several of them are to be recommended for the Victoria Cross and other honours.