"Arrived at foot of the ridge - found General Walker, and heard a roar for reinforcements coming down the hill, irresponsible men, Australian privates passing the word for "Reinforcements on the double!!" General Walker told me to at once send a company up - packs to the left at the bottom. I enquired "what were they to do?, where to go and what the position was?" I was told they would be met at the top and put right. So away they went. No sooner gone than more yells of the same sort from the Australians. Another Coy of mine ordered to follow the 1st one. The Coys were (1st) Wellington West Coast, (2nd) Hawkes Bay, some 450 of the best soldier men in the world: They were being sent to chaos and slaughter nay murder. 

....

I took [it] upon myself to stop the yells and say no more reinforcements should go up in that irresponsible way. I went up myself to find out the position - a long climb along and up a ridge. I struck a sort of natural fort along it. Entrenched and occupied by about 40 Australians and 2 M [machine] guns, one Major a fat chap. I asked him what he was doing there sending down yell for reinforcements. He said he was passing the yells on. I asked him why he didn't go himself and take his men with him. He said he has orders to stay. I went on passing scores of Australian unwounded lying all along the track. Finally I got to a Col Braund who said he was in command of the show. Asked for some explanation of the position and why he had left his men when down the ridge and called from reinforcements from the New Zealanders. He didn't know and knew nothing. Had no defensive position, no plan, nothing but a murderous notion, that the nice thing to do was to plunge troops out of the neck of the ridge and into the jungle beyond...."

To read the rest of this journal entry, see No Better Death: The Great War Diaries and Letters of William G Malone (page 164), edited by John Crawford and published by Exisle Publishing. Available in the Palmerston North City Library and from Exisle Publishing.

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