10 December 1915

ANZAC - Sergeant Cyril Lawrence, 2nd Field Company, Australian Engineers, AIF - News began to seep out at Anzac that they were shortly to evacuate. Many of the men were dumbfounded as can be seen by Sergeant Cyril Lawrence's remarks in his diary for 10 December.

"There is great consternation and indignation on Anzac. It has been rumoured that we are going to evacuate the Peninsula. It must be a rumour only, because no one considers it possible, and work is going on just as usual—and we are working on jobs that will take weeks to finish. If it were true! God! I believe that murder and riots would break loose amongst our boys. Much as we hate and detest the place there’s something of an indescribable feeling that comes over one when he thinks of leaving it. Oh, it couldn’t be; how could we leave this place now after the months of toil and slavery that have gone to the making of it? And after the blood of brothers and fathers that has been shed in making it OURS. How could we leave those comrades who have paid the price and now lie sleeping under the sod in the cemeteries tucked away in the valleys? Are their lives to be given for nothing and all our striving to go for naught'? No! No! l cannot believe it. Why the boys would go mad with rage. God help the fellow that has to put it to them. How can they leave this place? Ours, because it is ours and ours alone: we fought for it and won it and, even leaving that out of the account, just think of all it means, the leaving of this place. It has grown upon one; we took it, and tamed it and somehow its very wildness and ruggedness grips you. We just can’t leave it."

SOURCE:
C. Lawrence (edited by R. East) "The Gallipoli Diary of Sergeant Lawrence of the Australian Engineers, 1st AIF, 1915", (Melbourne, Melbourne University Press1981), pp.126-127