This candid and colourful memoir describes the experiences of Bombardier Norman Hassell during his time during Active Service in the New Zealand Field Artillery. It describes a range of topics including descriptions of the enlistment process, the sea voyage, the wonders of Egypt (and the women found there), the food, Gallipoli and the Western Front. A number of photographs are included in the work.
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"Edmund was wounded 3 or 4 days ago..."
"They have in 2 months fired 3 mines, we - 28!..."
"We the last 3 nights have been expecting a massed attack by the Turks..."
"Back to Quinn's Post on Tuesday morning..."
Lieutenant-Colonel Malone made one long journal entry covering events from the 9th of June 1915 until the 24th of July 1915. I have taken excerpts from it to cover this time period.
"...Imbros, or Mulberry Island, as I think of it, owing to that being the only fruit in season. Huge trees, by the wayside, smothered with luscious fruit-common property. It will not "carry", and is not picked except by the children and probably a few jam makers. The Island is very hilly, but there are considerable areas of flat land, well cultivated - Grapes, figs, walnuts, pears, plums etc. The people, blue eyed Greeks, lead the simple life, self contained, growing everything almost that they want..."
To read the rest of this journal entry, see No Better Death: The Great War Diaries and Letters of William G Malone (pages 236 to 241) edited by John Crawford and published by Exisle Publishing. Available in the Palmerston North City Library and from Exisle Publishing.
"Oh, you are the man that turned the Turks down at Quinn's Post. You deserve a rest..."
"After 5 continuous weeks work by me, the Brigadier said he would like me to take a rest..."
"I can now say I have actually shed blood!..."
"Good on the Wellington Battalion, my gallant men..."
"The Post has become absolutely the best in the Defence and the safest..."
"Above all the men are inspired with the conviction that they have superiority over the Turks and are getting a fair run for their lives..."
"We soon got the upper hand of the Turk riflemen and bomb throwers..."
"Last night's sortie from Quinns by Canterbury Battalion men, was a failure..."
"Details taking over Quinns Post settled..."
"Saw Col Chauvel, as to requirements for post..."
"Just received a copy of secret intelligence report..."
"At 11 pm the ball commenced..."
"1st visit to the beach since 2nd landing..."
"I am writing this 9 pm, to accompaniment of continuous rifle fire - "Smack", "whine", "whiz", "sheet" go the bullets overhead - the valley echoes some of the sound and so adds to the clatter. Still we are used to it..."