27 June 1915

HELLES - After the success of the French attack on 21 June, Hamilton had planned a similar full scale attack on the left flank along Gully Ravine. If success could be achieved, this would position the allies favourably for one last assault on Krithia and hopefully the final capture of Achi Baba, the camel hump hill that had eluded the allies since the landing. There was no lack of preparation for this attack, and in one area a special task had been selected for the 1st Border Regiment.

The previous day, both the senior NCOs and officers of battalion were taken up to view a position which they needed to capture in the forthcoming attack. Known as the 'Boomerang Redoubt' it had long been a source of trouble to earlier attacked in the area.

Sergeant Sydney Evans, 1st Battalion, Border Regiment, 29th Division, only landed as a draft on 10 June, this was going to be his first action:

"It has already been attacked three times but owing to its strong defences and the heavy wiring around it the attacks have all failed with heavy losses. Arrived in our front line we view the redoubt through our periscopes and certainly it looks formidable enough, surrounded with a triple depth of, barbed wire. The Commanding Officer informs us that a general attack on a three mile front is to be made on Monday at 11 am and that before the big advance starts this redoubt must be taken and in our hands. The General Commanding the division has entrusted this attack to our regiment and failure to succeed will hold up the rest of the days advance. We are then shown the various points from which our companies will make the attack and full instructions are given to every officer and platoon Sgt. 'B' Company (my own Company) will attack the Boomerang whilst 'A' Company will rush an adjoining trench known as 'The Turkey Trot' when, if both are successful, we are to join forces and hold the position at all cost till the main advance has commenced. The remaining two companies will remain in support."

During 27 June the battalion left Gully Beach to march up to the assembly positions. Evans, wrote:

"The following day was Sunday and was spent mainly in preparation for our journey to the trenches that afternoon when we shall take up our positions for Mondays work. At 4.30 pm we dress in full marching order and set off up the Gully once again. The day is intensely heat, the hottest we have experienced so far and before we have gone far the perspiration is running off us like water. The heat and dust together with the heavy weight of our equipment is trying to the most seasoned veterans and we are glad when we get a halt half way up. During the halt our chaplain conducts a brief service and provides us with an incident which impressed all. Brief though the service is it brings home keenly to all the possibilities that the morrow holds and no church congregation could have been more reverent in its manner than this collection of rough manhood that made up our little Army. At the conclusion, led by the chaplain, the whole Brigade broke into that fine old Hymn 'Abide with Me' and at the concluding lines, 'In life, in death, O Lord abide with me' one felt that never before had any of us sung it with such real earnestness. And so we passed on up the Gully and eventually reached our positions. All is quite so once more we have a cautious peep at the terrible redoubt. It is not re-assuring but as we are to have artillery support to help break the wire it may be easier than we think."

"The sun which had blazed all day slowly sets over the nearby island of Imbros. From our position we can see the broad red path of light which it sheds across the sea turning it into a deep blood red colour. It might be an omen for the morrow for aught we know. There is now nothing to do but post the necessary look outs and wait. The night wears on uneventfully but tired though we are, excitement keeps most of us from sleeping much."


The Gallipolian, No.45, Autumn 1984.