28 May 1915

HELLES - The period leading up to the planned attack on 4 June was taken up with preparations. It had been decided that the trenches must be pushed forward as far as possible to reduce the distance of No Man's Land that the troops would have to cross. This could be a risky operation. Private Horace Bruckshaw found on this the early morning of 28 May.

"After dark our supports made an advance through our line and carried on a distance of 200 yards in front of us. Arrived there, they immediately dug them- selves in. I do not think the Turks realized that an advance had been made until the chaps were in comparative safety. The 5th Manchesters who were on our left made an advance at the same time, but owing to some misunderstanding they only advanced 100 yards. This left a big gap between the two Battalions with a very dangerous ravine in the space. Our company, being now in supports had to make our way up the ravine and dig a trench to connect up the two units. The Turks had now tumbled to the game and we had a devil of a warm time. It simply rained bullets and we dug until we got fairly exhausted. We had a fair number of casualties over the job. As soon as we had finished we got our heads down. I slept on until I2 o'clock noon. The enemy have started shelling us this morning. We spent the afternoon improving the trenches and dodging snipers which are always bothering us. At 11pm the 5th Manchesters made another advance of 100 yards to make the line straight. The Turks however were not to be caught napping again and the advance was made under heavy fire. They still left a gap of about 50 yards between us, so we had to go and sap a trench between us. We got back to our own trench at daybreak fairly tired out." (Private Horace Bruckshaw, Plymouth Battalion, Royal Marine Brigade RND).


H. Bruckshaw, edited by M. Middlebrook, The Diaries of Private Horace Bruckshaw Royal Marine Light Infantry, 1915-1916, (London, Scolar Press, 1979), pp.46-47