02 August 1915

ANZAC - Major Cecil Allanson, 1/6th Gurkha Rifles, 29th Indian Brigade, 13th Division - When the orders were issued for the breakout from Anzac for the offensive on the night of 6 August 1915, some of the officers were deeply sceptical - particularly as to whether it was physically possible to carry out the planned flanking march at night in the dreadful country north of Anzac. One such was Major Cecil Allanson of the 1/6th Gurkha Rifles who confided his thoughts to his diary on 2 August.

"When the method of attack was disclosed to me confidentially that afternoon I gasped. It is to be remembered that Anzac is completely invested by the enemy; that no one has been able to reconnoitre the ground outside and that no one can absolutely guarantee the map. There are no villages and no inhabitants to help one, and the whole country seemed to be stiff, with very sharp rocky cliffs, covered with thick scrub. I have a few ideas about night marches, their great difficulty and the need of careful reconnaissance; but when I was told that we were to break through the opposing outpost line at 10 pm on the 6th, march along the sea coast for three miles then turn at right angles and attempt to get under this big ridge about two miles inland, by dawn, and covered from the sea by innumerable small hills and nullahs, I felt, “What one would have done to a subaltern at a promotion examination who made any such proposition?” The more the plan was detailed as the time got nearer, the less I liked it, especially as in my own regiment there were four officers out of seven who had never done a night march in their lives. The one hope was that the scheme was so bold it might be successful.

SOURCE:
IWM C. Allanson, Typescript diary, 2/8/1915