01 July 1915

HELLES - Lieutenant Charles Lister, Hood Battalion, 2nd Naval Brigade, RND, had recovered from his wounds suffered in the Second Battle of Krithia and returned to Helles at the end of June. He wrote several letters on 1 July describing how things had changed in his absence. A month was a long time at Helles.

"I have found the battalion in a rest camp-some miles from the firing line living comfortably enough and sleeping in pyjamas, except when we are standing by, which is rather our usual. condition, especially if an attack is in contemplation. I have been in fine health since landing, except for slight mal-de-mer caused by an excess of rum last night. I look forward to the rum nights with all the zeal of an old sea-dog. It is a glorious liquor. We have really got on well since I left, and while there may have been unnecessary losses, there is no ground for pessimism. The French are fighting splendidly, especially when they are on their own, and their bombardment of trenches is a masterpiece - marvellous rapidity of fire and accuracy. We are well round the Turkish flank on the Krithia side, thanks t0 a°f1ne attack by the 29th Division, who have done marvels. It was well prepared for by artillery, and there were practically no Turks in the trenches, bar wounded and dead, when the men came up. If only the same had been done when we attacked on June 4th. I went up into the fire trenches yesterday, and they gave me a great feeling of confidence. The Engineers are getting water right up to the firing line by means of pipes. The trenches are for the most part bone dry, but they haven't always been so. Patrick is in great form. I, of course, did not see any of his activities in the Held, but all say he is an excellent officer, very cool-headed and active. I am glad he gives me a bonne presse." ... "Gallipoli has lost much of its charm of scenery since I got back. The place where we are camped has been changed from a smiling olive grove to a dust-heap."

SOURCE:
C. Lister quoted by Lord Ribblesdale, Charles Lister: Letters and Recollections (London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd, 1917), p198-200