13 October 1915

SUVLA - Captain John Gillam, Army Service Corps, 29th Divisional Supply Train - At Suvla on 13 October life went on much as usual - or at least in the manner that had become accepted at Gallipoli.

A fine day, but a very strong, cold wind blowing down the Peninsula. We have now a black cat in our establishment. It walked in, and we do not know where it came from. Probably off one of the boats. We were shelled with the 5.9" at eight this morning, and had about six casualties in this valley. They were, however, very quiet for the rest of the morning. Just as Way, Cox, Baxter, and I were leaving for Brigade, they started to shell, and we were glad to get off the open space of the beaches. Now they have three guns firing 5.9" shrapnel at us, and they come over in threes, usually bagging somebody. The Turks seem to be getting very cocky lately. They actually cleared away all the barbed wire that one of our battalions in the 88th had put in front of our trenches, only fifteen yards in front. Also their bombing parties are getting very daring, creeping up each night to within throwing distance of our trenches. .Barbed-wire lines and trenches are now being constructed further back towards the coast in case! As we are up at Brigade H.Q., we notice one of our aeroplanes swoop down on to the Salt Lake, obviously having to make a forced landing. A short pause, during which we notice the pilot and observer climb out, when suddenly shrapnel bursts over the machine and very near. It is quickly followed by another and another, and later high explosive shells, when the pilot and the observer scurry away pretty quickly. They are wise, for the Turkish artillery are now well on to the machine, which is rapidly becoming a helpless wreck. I should think they put a hundred shells on that machine before they stopped.

Drawing by Norman Wilkinson, "The Dardanelles", (London, Longmans, Green & Co, 1915) p.87.

SOURCE:
J. Gillam, "Gallipoli Diary", (Stevenage, The Strong Oak Press, 1989), pp.245-246.