HELLES - Rupert Brooke had died of severe blood poisoning on Friday, 23 April and had been buried by a grieving party of his friends in an olive grove high on the side of the Island of Skyros. They never forgot Brooke. One close friend was the brilliant musician Denis Browne, who had been putting some of Brookes poems to music. As Browne passed the Island of Skyros en route back to Gallipoli on 2 June, he wrote a rather sad little note.
"We passed Rupert's island at sunset. The sea and sky in the east were grey and misty, but it stood out in the west, black and immense, with a crimson glowing halo round it. Every colour had come into the sea and sky to do him honour, and it seemed that the island must ever be shining with this glory that we buried him there." (Sub-Lieutenant Denis Browne, Hood Battalion, 2nd Naval Brigade, RND)
Poor Denis Browne would himself be killed just two days later in a hopeless attack on the Turkish lines. Few of that uniquely talented 'Band of Brothers' from the RND would survive Gallipoli.
HELLES - The night of 2 June was Lieutenant Lockwood's first experience of the trenches as the Hawke Battalion moved up from rest camp to take over a section of the front line. He would clearly not forget it.
"I shall always remember my first night in the trenches in Gallipoli. The trenches were not by any means scientifically constructed, though they were good enough for cover. Trench boards were non-existent in those days, and sandbags hard to procure. However, considering that there was an absolute lack of, or, at any rate, great shortage of, all timber, sandbags, etc., the trenches were not to be despised as such. As soon as the outgoing troops had left us, we immediately started to look round and find good fire steps etc., for every man. Whilst I was busy doing this a message was passed down to stand to, and that the Turks were advancing against us. This was somewhat thrilling, as we had had no time to find out who our neighbours were or, indeed, our way about the line at all. We got the men standing to on the fire steps and throw up a Very light. I swore then, and still adhere to it, that some distance away I saw a line of men lying down facing us. Two or three of our officers and several of the men swore it also; but on another light being thrown up there was nothing In see. Being in the line, for the first time in an utterly unknown position, it was quite an exciting five minutes. One welcomes an attack when one knows exactly where everybody is, but I didn't even know where company headquarters was. To me it was, therefore, a distinct relief that it was a case of imagination." (Lieutenant E. M. Lockwood, Hawke Battalion, 1st Naval Brigade, RND).
D. Browne quoted by M. R. Brooke, The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke: With a Memoir (London: Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd, 1929), p.159, W. Ker quoted by D. Jerrold, The Hawke Battalion: Some Personal Records of Four Years, 1914-1918, (London, Ernest Benn Ltd, 1925), pp.55-56