24 December 1915

HELLES - The shelling at Helles began to steadily increases as more Turkish batteries began to arrive from Suvla and Anzac, their gunners determined to make their presence felt . Lieutenant Douglas Jerrold of the Hawke Battalion remembered their contribution ot the run up to Christmas.

"On Christmas Eve the Turks put up the heaviest bombardment on our section that I had experienced and inflicted, despite the dug-outs, very severe casualties. The disadvantage of deep dug-outs is the extreme unpleasantness of leaving them. It is relatively easy to be conscientiously brave when you have no alternative, but excuses for remaining under cover where cover exists are damnably easy to find. Fortunately I was robbed of mine because the telephone to the front line from battalion headquarters was seventy yards away from our Headquarters mess, and it had to be answered. I know nothing more unpleasant than walking along a trench which is being shelled by howitzers. The bullet which kills you is inaudible, so they say, but the howitzer which kills you is unmistakable. You can hear it coming down for some seconds and you know whether it is going to be close or not, and no parapet or trench can save you, so you just wait or walk on, feeling extremely curious as to what is going to happen. One's curiosity, I found, is strangely mundane. Curiosity about the next world is rare. And yet perhaps the most interesting thing of all is that no one has any sense of grievance against the enemy for trying to kill him, as he tried so very hard, on that unpleasant Christmas Eve, to kill us. And after it is all over, one has much the same feeling of exhilaration as after a cold bath." (Lieutenant Douglas Jerrold, Hawke Battalion, 1st Brigade, RND)

D. Jerrold, "Georgian Adventure: The Autobiography of Douglas Jerrold" (London: Right Book Club, 1938), p.153.