Forward by Hon William Cox AC, RFD, ED, QC.
Some excerpts from Berts diaries and other stories.
"... little did any of us dream that day that he who was being left at
home (certainly only for the time being) would be the one of our family
who would pay the supreme sacrifice. Yet it was so...“
"... busy day, very hot, flies a plague."
Sunday 9th Apr
"Only meat & bread from A.S.C.. Easy, quiet day so cleaned up my store &
wrote a letter to mother after tea."
Monday 10th Apr
"Hot & dusty, rode to Ordnance to draw harness."
Tuesday 11th Apr
Hot – busy day –... "
"... many have gone on their last long sleep. Our turn tomorrow & I am
full of glad expectation & confidence. If I go under in the struggle I’m
"... we were shelled twice and had to take cover – General Bridges
handed the sketches and other reports to Major Blamey and told him to
follow up the report with me fully from where we left our lines to start
on the patrol.
Blamey and I spent the next few days…”
it became clear that the patrol was moving straight toward them – eight
men in all. They were about twenty yards away or less, and they were
getting ready to act when
turned round and saw three of the others bunched together as men will
bunch together when they are frightened, although it was the very worst
thing to do on such an occasion. They shot these three and all fell.
“– went down beach on
foraging expedition shortly after 6 o’c & brought 7 dozen eggs @ 3/- (3
shillings), also some chocolate & on return found the eggs were verging
on “poultry” so…”
"... an obsolete 4.7 naval gun was landed and it was placed in position
just over the ridge in front of our number two gun. Five to six hundred
men were used to pull this gun up and it took about three days to do the
job ... The wheels were not properly chocked or something went wrong
rained a little in the afternoon & a terrific thunder & lightning storm
passed over at tea time. Still neutral, fooling Abdul who thinks we are
clearing out & leaving him to it. Turkish artillery shelling us on all
sides all day but
"... the Huns ‘broke through’ at Lagnecourt and we came in for our share
of trouble on that fatal morning — losing Major Pybus and Lieut E. J.
Clark both killed and nine wounded out of a crew of roughly 50 at the
pits — in addition
we had the five guns in position disabled — two very much so and over
3000 rounds of 18 lb ammunition destroyed. This happened before…”
"... I would have gladly deserted for her - did suggest missing the
train but she ..."
“ … Very cold & bleak, went to Palace hotel –
Criterium for dinner& then to Playhouse to see ”The Misleading Lady”,
Gladys Cooper Leading actress & very lovely.…”
"... & found body of Lieut O’Reilly who had been killed the evening
before and whose work I had been sent to take over. A very unhealthy
“…new position with party working. Gothas
overhead in evening bombing. I went to see o/c 40th Bty.
R.Fl. about relief & had just left them at their dugout about 10.30
Bombs killed two officers & wounded three others & also wounded 5
gunners. I was only 150 yards away &…”