24 June 1915

HELLES - In the ever increasing heat of June life continued fairly uneventfully for most as the days passed quietly, although rarely peaceful. Dr William Ewing MC CF, attached 4th Battalion Royal Scots, 52nd (Lowland) Division, a chaplain to the forces, described a little incident that in his words may do something to soften the asperities of war.

"In the little gully running up from the beach, or rather on the eastern side of it, is an old Turkish cemetery. Apparently, it has not been used since some time last cemetery. But Moslems are very sensitive over any seeming disrespect shown to their dead - as, indeed, most people are. This little "God's acre" was quite unprotected, and, without ill intent, foot passengers and cart traffic were beginning to find their way over it, so that the wonderfully well-prepared tombstones were in danger. After conference with Major Blackburn, DA and QMG, Advanced Base, I had it fenced round with strong wooden posts and barbed wire, an act that received approval in high places. A Turkish officer lost his way and strayed into our lines. He was brought down to the base, quite smart in his attire, and manly in bearing. The Quartermaster-General told me in the evening that he had taken him out for walking exercise in the afternoon. They went by way of the little cemetery, "and," quoth the QMG, "although nothing was said, I took jolly good care that he saw what had been done." The Turk made no effort to conceal his satisfaction. Such little amenities may do something to soften the asperities of war."

SOURCE:
"From Gallipoli To Baghdad" by Dr William Ewing MC CF (Hodder and Stoughton, London 1917). pp.81-82