06 December 1915

SUVLA - Lieutenant Owen Steele, Newfoundland Regiment, 88th Brigade, 29th Division - After days of poor weather, the Gallipoli trenches had resembled those on the Western Front. Ice cold water had filled them that not only made conditions atrocious, but it also had brought on 'trench foot', which up until now was unheard of on the Peninsula.

Photograph illustrating a severe case of trench feet

"About mid-day (acting) Lt. Col. A.L. Hadow came to take command if the Battalion. Captain Alexander went back to 'B' Company though he is laid up with the malady which is affecting the majority here namely, 'trench-feet'. The affliction is that the feet have a burning sensation, are very sore and much swollen. It is the result of standing in water which is ice cold and thro’ being unable to get a change, keeping them [socks and boots] on all day and night. And the feet being ice cold all the time, it being practically impossible to keep, or even get, them warm. Mine have not troubled me, for I have worked hard to keep mine warm and have changed my socks every night having a spare pair with me. The wet ones I dried around my waist, by each succeeding night. The main work of the Battalion was the improving and lengthening a drain which is to drain the trenches during the next Flood."

SOURCE: O. W. Steele (edited by D. R. Facey-Crowther)), "Lieutenant Owen WIlliam Steele of the Newfoundland Regiment: Diary and Letters Montreal", McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002), p.103


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