31 May 1915

ANZAC - On the morning of 31 May the Canterbury Battalion made their way up to Quinn's Post. Private Cecil Malthus described the still hazardous journey.

Modern photograph of the route to Quinn's Post from the Internet Source: http://user.online.be/~snelders/roadbook/rbquinn1.htm

"We went to Quinn's Post by a safe and easy route, round by Anzac Cove and up Shrapnel Gully. In passing up several open valleys we gained a much better knowledge of our new position. Quinn's Post was the most advanced corner of our line and the furthest from the sea - much nearer the sea on the left than on the right. From the beach at Anzac Cove the way lay through deep and winding communication trenches which had cost the Australians weeks of incredible work. Then came the comparatively safe stretches of Shrapnel Gully, where the track was not overlooked by the enemy, except at a few points where sentries were always posted to warn the passers-by. These places were crossed at the double, however weary or loaded a man might be. Even so, they provided good shooting for the Turkish snipers, as the movement of traffic, though spasmodic, was almost continual. From there another deep sap emerged in Monash Gully, which was really the head of the mile-long valley traversing our territory and forming the main avenue of traffic. Monash Gully too was badly exposed to Turkish snipers, who had almost a clear line of fire from Dead Man's Ridge, back between Pope's and Quinn's. Up the hill to the left of Monash Gully was Russell's Top, straight at the head of the gully was Pope's Hill, with deep ravines on either side of it, and on the right, just clinging to the summit of a steep cliff, was Quinn's Post. Next on the right was Courtney's, also held at times by New Zealanders, but the rest of the line from Courtney's down to the sea was - and remained throughout the campaign - exclusively Australian. Quinn's Post was reached by a long straight staircase made, in the absence of timber, out of faggots of brushwood. This staircase was of course too steep for mules, and all the stores had to be carried up by hand. To men stricken with dysentery the daily water and stores fatigue was a cruel task. Quinn's Post itself was subdivided into six little garrisons or separate commands, requiring each about twenty men to hold them, with a good many more in supports. Nos. 3 and 4, at the head of the staircase, were perhaps the scene of the strangest and most terrible struggle in all history. The Turkish trenches were only 7 yards away, and at one point in No. 4. we had a listening post just 6 feet from their line. One could step out through a gap in the sandbags and touch the Turkish parapet (but one was much better advised not to). Nos. 1 and 2 joined up with Courtney's Post on the right. They were 20 or 30 yards distant from the enemy and had the great advantage, very rare with us on Gallipoli, of being on slightly higher ground than the opposing Turkish trenches. Nos. 5 and 6 were literally cut out of the face of the cliff, and No. 6 ended abruptly on the brim of a deep gully commanded by Turkish trenches at the head of it, on Dead Man's Ridge, 50 yards away. The gully caused a break in our line, but over at Pope's Hill an oblique spur, strongly entrenched, partly enfiladed it. No. 6 could only be reinforced by men passing right along the trench from No. 5 and was thus a perilously weak position. If the Turks could have captured it and built up protection from enfilading fire, they would have dominated the whole valley and all our communications. They had only to gain a few yards and hurl our men into the gully." (Private Cecil Malthus, Canterbury Battalion, New Zealand Brigade, NZ&A Division, NZEF).

C. Malthus, Anzac: A Retrospect (Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1965), pp.68-71