2nd Battery AFA
From 22 Nov 1915
22nd November 1915
Rained heavily last night. Thanks to someone we didn't go down to the Beach for loading purposes. Bitterly cold today. Been muffled up like a Polar Bear. Today all NCOs went across to A69 5 inch Howitzer Battery for instruction. Find the guns very simple, much more than the Eighteens! Our Battery is taking over similar guns. Awaiting their arrival. 'Beachy' paid us his compliments again. Awfully interfering chap. Stormy night.
23rd November 1915
Along Howitzer Bty again today. 'Beachy' spotted us while coming back and started interfering, also a sniper had his little say. Got a couple of mules but didn't get us of course. Bitterly cold again. Short rationed in everything. Haven't had a wash for 4 days. Played 500 at night. A bit of hate landed at 8 pm but died down about an hour later.
24th November 1915
Party went down to complete loading operations at beach late last night. Forgot to call me. Didn't reprimand them of course. Had another visit to that A69 both this morning and afternoon. Beachy waits for our party now seemingly. We had to take cover twice going round by the beach. Capt Callaghan DCO (our old Captain) at the Bty today. Won't be long before we get our guns now.
25th November 1915
Bitterly cold again. Working party out again last night. Got back some unearthly hour this morning but saw nothing of our Howitzers. Beachy still busy on the beach. Last night 5 Turks managed to get through our lines, but were met in Monash Gully by some of the lads. The Turks, not the 'lads', went west.
Written on the back of the photo -
"The first fall of snow at "Anzac" Sat. evening and. Sunday Nov 27th 1915. This is one of the eighteen pounder guns with which our Australian Artillery is equipped. The temp was 12 deg below freezing point. Note the wire netting with brushes on top to hide the gun from enemy aircraft. Sid"
26th November 1915
Slightly warmer today, although plenty of room for improvement. Round at A69 all day. Saw some of the Turkish Batteries trying to get some of the destroyers and trawlers, also an aeroplane or two, also got introduced to a sniper who nearly scored 2 hits I know about. Our gully got shelled in it's turn at Dinner time. Saw most amusing incident but can't put it down here. Visited a 4.7 on the right flank later. Raining.
27th November 1915
Raining and quite cold enough for snow. Along at A69 all day. Sea very rough and things looking very black in general. Horribly short rationed with food and water. Too rough for boats to get close enough in for the use of lighters. Can't expect our guns to arrive in this weather. Bunk at 5.30.
28th November 1915
Snowing hard. Started last night at 11 pm and still snowing 6 pm. Cold as Charity with a 30 m.p.h. wind whisking the spindrift about. Lovely sight from my dug out. Everything is perfectly white. But gee, isn't it hot. This afternoon got issued with McIntosh's warm underclothing. Don't half need them either. Managed to pinch some Quaker Oats and had porridge for supper. Wrote Linda. Bunk 9 pm.
29th November 1915
Stopped snowing, but absolutely raw. Tired of being an Eskimo so crawled out into it. From 10 till 2 the Turks have been bombarding out trenches positions, one shell, a 5.9 HE has just lobbed into Shaw's dug out just above me, but didn't explode. He is only bruised. Johnston wounded with shrapnel. Sorry to report that Lt Dixon (Jim) badly wounded. The heaviest bombardment the Turks have given us for months. Sent over 8.2 HE Howitzers. Smashed Lone Pine about. Casualties very heavy on our side. Expecting an attack tonight.
30th November 1915
Contrary to expectations, the Turks never attacked last night. Just an occasional shell lobbed by them and our own reply with Howitzer fire. Saw Jim today, looking very seedy on it, but as 'cheery' as of yore. This afternoon the Lord Nelson and several cruisers and destroyers came up and loosed 'Hell' round the point. At present things are perfectly quiet. Not a gun firing anywhere. Believe the final dash for the Narrows to be made within the next few days. Bitterly cold.