22 May 1915

HELLES - Meanwhile at Helles life was settling down as the British and French pondered their next move. Lieutenant Patrick Duff of the Royal Artillery wrote home recounting his day - 22nd May 1915: "Weather here is simply perfect: which makes all the difference in the world. One can't help being more or less contented in such sunshine - don't know what it will be like in winter and we hall be here then I expect."

"I was in the observing station yesterday evening with Guy Bailey. We peered through our glasses for ages and could see nothing, until at last little puffs of smoke came out of one of the Turkish trenches signifying that the Ottoman was making his tea. This was more than we could stand, so we telephoned down to the Battery, "Action!" and gave various angles and elevations, with the result that Turkish trench was heavily shelled, causing, as we hoped, "AAD!" which means "Alarm and Despondency!" It is rumoured that the above condition prevails in the English press regarding this expedition: not surprised. I went and bathed today on a beach facing Imbros and Samothrace, in beautiful clear water. On the cliff-edges were little wooden crosses signifying where men of the landing parties had fallen at the first assault. It seems a funny thing to be bathing and enjoying oneself in the midst of all this, but one just takes things as they come and when one can enjoy oneself, one does! I had a lot of luck this morning, as there were lots of shells about and the people in front of me, some Indian crowd, lost some horses - and also the people behind: nothing of mine was touched. We have any amount to eat here, which is a great comfort: it consists of bully beef, biscuit and jam. They say we are going to have bread shortly but if there is not butter, I would rather eat biscuit. Weather here is simply perfect: which makes all the difference in the world. One can't help being more or less contented in such sunshine - don't know what it will be like in winter and we hall be here then I expect." (Lieutenant Patrick Duff, 460th Battery, 147th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery)

It is evident that the men were beginning to realise that this would be a long job.

SOURCE:
IWM DOCS