10 July 1915

ANZAC - Midshipman Henry Denham, HMS Agamemnon - On 10 July Denham was back in action aboard the Agamemnon bombarding Turkish positions at Gaba Tepe. The submarine precautions were now greatly increased but there is no doubt that everyone was kept on edge during the operation.

Photograph: 9.2 guns of Agamemnon: firing on Sedd el Bahr on 4 March 1915

..."We are to make a sortie to Gaba Tepe to bombard enemy positions. Before sailing we saw Aquitania arrive with 6,000 of Kitchener's army. At 10am, having furled nets, we weighed anchor and proceeded out of harbour at 15 knots escorted by two destroyers. We passed east of Imbros and at Kephalo we were met by eight destroyers and a dozen drifters, latter carrying a big, mesh wire net which they laid the seaward side of us when we got in position off Anzac, about 1.5 miles from us. Six destroyers then patrolled the shoreward side of us while the others kept a look-out for submarines to seaward with the drifters. An aeroplane went up to look out for submarines, but had to come down again owing to engine trouble. Manica's balloon could not spot for us on account of the wind. At 2.50pm we dropped a mark-buoy and sounded off Action: 1 had not even got inside the after turret when they fired a 6-inch at us 200 yards short in line with our stern, but 1 could not hear it richochet over us. We opened fire with the fore turret, firing one gun at a time at regular intervals. They continued firing at us with 5.9-inch and 14-inch shell and shrapnel. Foretop was too dangerous and was therefore abandoned, so firing was carried out in local control. Their firing was pretty accurate, at least shots were close to the ship, but as we were stationary they should have had more hits. At 3.30 the after turret opened fire range 10,000 yards and S3 later, local control. We could easily feel the bumps as they hit us, about ten times in all, four on armour. Worst hit was at 3.10 when 5.9-inch shell went through wardroom skylight hatch (a good ΒΌ-inch steel) and burst in wardroom making four holes in the deck and even punctured deck in gunroom, besides wrecking wardroom again. Of the other hits, three were on the fore bridge and two in the ship's side forward. At 4.30pm ceased firing, having fired ninety-six l2-inch full charge, fifty 9.2-inch full charge. We observed ten hits very close to the right gun, which obviously must be knocked out, and five very close to left gun which must at any rate be temporarily knocked out. These are very likely two of Goeben's 5.9-inch guns. At 4.20 we proceeded at 15 knots again, and zig-zagging, were escorted by six destroyers as far as Kephalo, when we steadied on Mudros, escorted by two destroyers. At 6.00 we suddenly sighted and object making a wake like a submarine on the port bow about three cables off. Hat old Fluter up on the bridge at the run and was just going to alter course when it turned out to be the wash of a drifter's buoy. We arrived at Mudros at 8.15 p.m. and came to anchor, getting out our nets. Following signals were exchanged. To Agamemnon: 'Many thanks and congratulations for excellent shelling on Saturday. I am sure you did much material and moral damage which all here much appreciate. Birdwood. ' Reply from Capt. Fyler, Agamemnon: 'Your kind message is much appreciated. We are all very pleased to know we have been of service to you and your army, and hope we shall be given another opportunity of repeating it."

H. M. Denham, Dardanelles: A Midshipman's Diary, 1915-1916 (London: John Murray, 1981), pp.128-130