29 June 1915

ANZAC - The Turks occasionally could not resist testing out the Anzac defences. The Nek was a particular focus of their interest as if they could just push forward a mere 300 yards they would burst through to Russell’s Top and crack open the whole ANZAC Corps position.

Photograph of Ted Henty taken from J. Hamilton, Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You: The fatal Charge of the Light Horse, Gallipoli, August 7th 1915, (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2004), opp, p. 178

The arrival of the 18th Regiment that was attached to Kemal's 19th Division gave him the chance to try his luck with another night attack on 29 June. A thunderstorm added to the febrile atmosphere and both sides were nervy. The Anzacs noticed the stealthy final preparations for the Turkish attack and were full prepared when the Turks charged across The Nek in the darkness of the night at 00.15 on 30 June. The result was a dreadful slaughter as Trooper Ernie Mack of the 8th (Victoria) Light Horse could testify:-

"They attacked by getting out of their trenches and trying to charge us with the bayonet. You ought to hear the roar of rifles during an attack it is something tremendous and you can hardly realise how anything can live through the hail of bullets, as for the machine guns it is something wonderful to hear them when a few get going properly. Our men sat right up on the parapets of our trenches and when not firing were all the time calling out for the Turks to come along and hooting and barracking them. In fact most of our chaps took the whole attack as a real good joke. As soon as they stopped the first rush they jumped out of the fire trench and sat up on the parapets and yelled and cursed at the top of their voices calling out to the Turks to come on they would finish them."

War had never seemed more pleasurable than it did to the men like Lieutenant Ted Henty, 8th (Victoria) Light Horse, as they shot down the attacking Turks that night.

"It was much more satisfactory than the infernal pot-shooting through loopholes though this is fair sport now as we are only about 60 yards apart at the widest and in some places much less than that. To drop so many in that narrow space is not bad is it and speaks rather well for the alertness of everyone concerned as it was a night attack."

When they had finished enjoying themselves there were some 260 Turkish corpses lying in the narrow strip of No Man's Land. The Light Horse would be back at The Nek in early August. 

SOURCE:
E. Mack combined quotes from J. Hamilton, Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You: The fatal Charge of the Light Horse, Gallipoli, August 7th 1915, (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2004), pp.236 & 237, T. Henty quoted by J. Hamilton, Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You: The fatal Charge of the Light Horse, Gallipoli, August 7th 1915, (Sydney: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2004), p.237