The Diary of Trooper Jack Shepherd
4th Waikato Mounted Rifles - NZMR
Gallipoli Diary part 2 Transcribed from long hand diaries by Margaret Shepherd and Steve Butler 2008
Thursday 1 July
In rest camp. Had an easy day. Down swimming. G.O.C. approved of an issue of rum. Good news from cape. Our troops making good progress.
Friday 2 July
Relieved Light Horse from firing line at 12 noon. Rained in afternoon in fire trench. Posted letter to Mother.
Saturday 3 July In firing line. Had light showers in morning. Maori Contingent arrived and took up position in No.1 Outpost. NZ mail arrived. Recd letters from Mother, photos, & 1 Dot, 1 Thelma & Aunty 6, 1 J Sutton 1 Tiny.
Sunday 4 July
In fire trench until 3 pm. Were then relieved by 11th Squad. Went out to rest dugouts for 48 hours. A party of 8 of 4 Troop including myself went on outpost duty on Nicholas Point for 24 hrs. Got leave and went for a swim in aft. Rained during night.
Monday 5 July
On support at Nicholas Point until 3 pm. After we were relieved went down for a swim. Fine day.
Tuesday 6 July
Relieved 11th Squad from fire trench at 3pm. Went for swim in morn.
Wrote letters Father and Jim. Fine day.
Mr. Abbott 3rd Troop and E Williams 1st Troop 4th Sqd wounded with shrapnel.
Wednesday 7 July
In fire trench until 3 pm. We were then posted to No.1 secret sap for 24 hours.
Thursday 8 July
In secret sap until 2.30 pm. Were then relieved by 11th Squad. Came out to rest trenches for 48 hours spell. Went for swim in afternoon.
Pt Hutton 4th Squad hit with bullet.
Friday 9 July
In rest dugouts. Had an easy day. Went for swim in afternoon. Wrote letter to Mother and PC to GD
Saturday 10 July
Out in rest dugouts until 2.30. We then relieved 11th Squad in fire trench. Maoris came up to trenches in evening to put in night. Went to sea in morning.
Sunday 11 July
In fire trench all day. Battleship came up and bombarded Turkish sniper’s nest doing good deal of damage. Recd. big NZ mail. Letter from Mother and JB, George, AR, JR, M.W. [indistinct]. A packet of Waikato papers. 1 parcel from Mother with clothes which were just lovely and Dot’s photo and photos taken by Johnstone.
Monday 12 July
In fire trench until 2.20. Were then relieved by 11th Squad. Gave demonstration in morn. The Turks’ 75 gun did a good deal of damage, wounding several and killing one. The battleships heavily bombarded Ache Baba nearly all day. Rumour afloat that hill has been captured. Went to depot with unclaimed letters and papers in aft and had swim. R Bluett 4th wounded by 75 gun. Splendid weather only a bit hot.
Tuesday 13 July
On ammunition guard all day. Heavy bombardment took place at Cape all day. Good news from Cape. Allies advancing rapidly. Received mail from NZ. Mother’s letter and 3 JB, 3 George, 2 Dot, 1 Nan, 1 Jack Johnstone, 1 G Darke. In rest dugouts.
Wednesday 14 July
In fire trench. Put night in No 1 secret sap. Very hot all day and a good deal of sniping. Posted PC to Dot S.
Thursday 15 July
In fire trench until 3 pm. Then went to No 1 secret sap for 24 hours. Heavy bombardment at Cape. Got inoculated against cholera. Two 4th men wounded by shrapnel.
Friday 16 July In secret sap until 2 pm. Then relieved by 9th Australian Light Horse. Came down to rest camp in Reserve Gully.
Saturday 17 July
In rest camp. Went on fatigue at No 4 depot to tank to top of Walker’s Ridge. Went for swim. Very dry and hot. German Taube aeroplane flew over base and dropped bombs. No damage done.
Sunday 18 July
On inlying picquet in rest camp for 24 hours. A party of 26 of us went to the top of Walker’s Ridge for the night. Went for a couple of swims during the day. Very dry and hot. Ours and enemy’s guns active all day. Posted letter to Mother.
Monday 19 July
In rest camp in Sphinx Gully. Came back from Walker’s Ridge at 8 am. Went around to base for water in aft. HMS Minotaur bombarded Turkish trenches. Three aeroplanes flew over Turks’ trenches and maneuvered around about inland.
Tuesday 20 July
In rest camp. Went for wood and water. Had couple of swims. Went up to trenches sapping at 8.45 pm for 8 hours. Sampson of machine gun shot. Went around to No2 outpost to see Maoris. Very dry and hot.
Wednesday 21 July
On inlying picquet in rest camp for 24 hours. Came back from sapping about 8.30 am. Were issued with infantry packs. Went for a swim.
Thursday 22 July
In rest camp. Went around to depot for water. Were nearly shelled by guns from Ana Fata. Rumours about that the Turks are sending 100 thousand reinforcements against us. Everything prepared for an attack. Wrote 1 letter JB 1 GD 1 PC T Sutton 1PC Miss J Rollinson.
Friday 23 July
In rest camp. Standing to arms during night in case of an attack. Went to base for water and swim. Very dry and hot. Heavy bombardment took place at Cape Hellas and Achi Baba.
Saturday 24 July
Left rest camp and went up to Russels Top on Walkers Ridge, on inlying picquet. Our troop went into firing line where we stayed 24 hours. Were heavily bombarded by 75 mm guns. Had a very narrow escape from being wounded. A shell burst right above my head. One piece struck me on the back but only tore my trousers. Were expecting an attack which never came off.
Sunday 25 July
Came back from inlying picquet about 8 am. Had an easy day went to base for water and had a swim. Wrote PC Mother. Very dry and hot. Out in orders.
O. S. Jones of machine gun section 4th Waikato died of wounds.
Monday 26 July
In rest camp. Had easy day. Got nail stuck in my foot. Excused duties. Went for a swim. The enemy heavily bombarded depot and along beach, good many men killed and wounded. Posted PC George and H Story.
Tuesday 27 July
In rest camp, off all duties owing to having a sore foot. On inlying picquet a party of 4th went to Russell’s Top. Very hot and dry.
Wednesday 28 July
In rest camp still off duty. Went for a swim in afternoon and evening. Very dry and hot. One 4th man wounded at base by shell.
Thursday 29 July
In rest camp. Duty squadron for the day. Went for a swim on beach. Enemy snipers were shooting at beach a good deal.
Friday 30 July
In rest camp. Had good news. Received word of a great victory over the Turks by the British in Asia minor. Went for several swims. Very dry and hot.
Saturday 31 July
In rest camp. Went around to base for water and had a swim. Had an easy day. Very dry and hot.
Sunday 1 August
In rest camp. Had church parade in morning. Had an easy day. Went to beach for a swim. Posted letter toMother, Father and Grandma.
Monday 2 August
Left Sphinx Gully for Russell’s Top at 7.00am for 24 hours inlying picquet. Stayed on Wellington Terrace all day and then went to Mountain Batteries in evening to act as guard over guns.
Tuesday 3 August
In rest camp all day. Went to support for water. Had couple of swims. Rumours about advancing.
Wednesday 4 August
Went up to Russell’s Top for 8 hours sapping. Went for couple of swims.
Thursday 5 August
Got orders to shift from Sphinx Gully to outpost. We are supposed to be going to advance in a day or two. Everybody in high spirits at the idea of a scrap. Shifted from Gully and went to No2 outpost about 8.30 pm. Stopped at outpost all night.
Friday 6 August
At outpost all day. Large number of reinforcements landed during night. Got orders about the advance. The AMR were told our part of the advance was to take our old No3 outpost that was captured from the Wellington MR. We started out from No2 outpost about 9 pm and went up the gully and charged and took the outpost with the bayonet. Several of our men were killed and wounded.
Saturday 7 August
Occupied our new position all day. In evening we shifted down on to the flat. Our forces by this time were well up into the hills. The AMR camped in an olive grove about of a mile from the firing line on Saturday night, acting as support. A large number of our men were wounded by snipers and spent bullets from firing line. We stayed in olive grove until about 2 am on Sunday morn. We were then called to arms and informed we were to advance.
Sunday 8 August
Daylight broke as we reached the top of a high ridge a short way from the firing line. After forming up in lines of 8 we charged across about 100 yards of open ground swept by machine guns and a good many of our chaps fell shot in the rush. After crossing the hill top we came to a small hollow where we lay in the scrub at the mercy of the snipers and shrapnel. Men were continually getting hit. Shrapnel killed a good many. Major Chapman got hit and died shortly afterwards. After lying in the scrub all day without water and the sun scorching us. In the afternoon we crossed to the firing line where most of our troops were either shot or wounded. There were no trenches to go into. We had to stand up in the open and were mown down by machine guns and shrapnel. What was left of the AMR retired from the firing line about midnight. None of our officers were left and only a few men were alive.
Jack is seen kneeling second from left in this 1914 photograph taken before the men boarded the "Star of India" and the "Waimana" to leave Auckland for the Great War. Jack gave this photograph to his Grandmother, writing on the reverse. " To Grandma from Jack - J. Fothingham. H. Holt. F. Marsh. J. Fox. G. Garland. O. L. Farrelly.
C. Gillanders. E. W. [Jack] Shepherd. E. J. Williams. V. Gillanders.
4th Waikato Mounted Rifles. Epsom Military Camp - September 11th 1914."
Standing fifth from the left is Grev Garland - we have his story and letters home on the Troopers Histories page. And on reading the newspaper cutting placed on that page, it would seem that both Grev Garland and the man standing next to him, O.L. Farrelly were mentioned in dispatches during attacks at Gallipoli between the dates of May 6th and June 23rd 1915. The report goes on to say that O.F. Farrelly had since been killed in action. (Initials O.F. is a misprint in the newspaper clip - the Cenotaph data base records Trooper 13/334 O.L. [Oliver Lawrence] Farrelly was KIA on the 8th August 1915.)
Also recorded is that Trooper 13/389 Fredrick George Marsh was also killed during the same attack of the 8th.
Twenty days later, 13/335 Trooper James Fotheringham was killed in action.
Monday 9 August
What was left of the AMR came down to No2 outpost for a bit of a rest. All of us were completely worn out from want of sleep and strain. Only a few of the old 4th Waikato came out whole. We had a good sleep and some food. In the afternoon we shifted around below the outpost we captured on Friday night. Hundreds of wounded were coming out all day. The Red Cross workers worked like heroes dressing wounded and taking them to the boats to be transferred to the hospital ships. Thousands of reinforcements arrived all day and went to the firing line.
Tuesday 10 August
Had an easy day. Went to dressing station to look for some of our wounded. Saw T Phillips, Middleton and F Gibson. In bivouacks round at olive grove.
Wednesday 11 August
Still bivouacked at olive grove. Thousands of wounded arriving from firing line all day. Fatigue parties were told off to search the hills around Table Top and No3 outpost for Turkish rifles and equipment. Found about 200 rifles and about 5000 rounds of small arms ammunition. Came up on guard for No3 outpost for night.
Thursday 12 August
The whole regiment shifted to No3 outpost. Started digging places to sleep in and improving trenches generally. Went to No2 outpost for provisions and water.
Friday 13 August
At No3 outpost making bivouacks and doing improvements. Was on guard at night. Went to Anzac Cove and had swim. One of our men got sniped, A Collins through the leg.
Saturday 14 August
Still at outpost improving trenches and making bivies. Went for water and had swim. Fine day and very hot. Our post was shelled by 6in howitzer but no damage was done.
Sunday 15 August
Had easy day. Went for water and swim. Was on guard in evening.
Monday 16 August
On outpost. Doing nothing. Went around for swim to No4 Depot. Everything fairly quiet. Still advancing on left flank. Very warm and dry.
Tuesday 17 August
Went around to No4 Depot with R Aldrich to get some provisions. Had fair easy day.
Wednesday 18 August
Went around for swim with J Wilson Took some bombs to bomb fish with. Got one fish. Some reinforcements arrived, F Clarke among them, also T Farrelly.
Thursday 19 August
Still on outpost. Was on observation post all day watching movement of enemy etc.
Friday 20 August
Still on outpost. Stopped on hill all day suffering from sore throat and cold, Had showers of rain during night.
Saturday 21 August
Went around to Anzac Cove for swim and trying to bomb fish but had no luck. Heavy bombardment took place on left flank in aft. Our troops seem to be making an attack as a great deal of shooting is going on.
Sunday 22 August
Still on old No3. P Goodwin, J Watson and myself went to No2 outpost to load mules and fetch up stores for regiment. Big advances on left flank, our troops occupy W Hill and havecaptured a number of wells. A great many wounded are being brought down from firma line all day. A party of 50 of our regiment under CaptainMackesy - Went to W hills on left flank was on guard during night. More reinforcements arrived, about 70 for Regiment 24 for 4th Squad.
Monday 23 August
Got orders to move out on to left flank to W hills to join up with the rest of the Brigade. Went up to firing line for 24 hours duty, relieved men of our own squad. 3 Squad had several casualties. Turks used a good many bombs on us during night.
Tuesday 24 August
Was in firing line all day. Were heavily shelled by shrapnel and 75 mm gun but only one man was killed. Were relieved from firing line at 4pm by own squad.
Wednesday 25 August
Up in bivouacks all day. Was sent down to No2 outpost by Doctor, with dysentery. Brought down F Sperry with a wound in his shoulder by shrapnel.
Thursday 26 August
down at No2 outpost with dysentery. Received 4 letters from home, 1 Mother, 1 Jubee, 1 Tiny, 1 Dot.
Friday 27 August
Down at No2 outpost with dysentery. Our Brigade made an attack and captured several lines of trenches. Our losses were considerable.
Saturday 28 August
Still at No2 with dysentery. Turks made several counter-attacks. Our losses were very heavy. The machine gun section was just about cut out.
Sunday 29 August
Left Gallipoli Peninsula and came on to the hospital ship Gloucester Castle, where I stayed the night and was then transferred to Fleet sweeper and conveyed to the island of Embros where we were again transshipped to another hospital ship.
Hospital Ship "GLOUCESTER CASTLE" torpedeoed in the English Channel earlier in March 1915
The GLOUCESTER CASTLE was a 7,989 gross ton ship built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Co., Glasgow in 1911 for the Union Castle Mail Steamship Co. She had one funnel, two masts and a speed of 13 knots. There was accommodation for 400 passengers. Used on the London - South and East Africa Intermediate service. Taken over in 1914 and used as a hospital ship, she was torpedoed on 31st Mar.1915, but towed to Southampton and repaired.
Returned to owners after WWI but years later
posted missing in July 1942, it was not until the end of the WWII that it was known that she had been sunk on 16th July at approx. 08.00S 01.00E by the German surface raider MICHEL. [information from "The Cape Run" by W.H.Mitchell and L.A.Sawyer]
Monday 30 August
Left Embros on Fleet sweeper in morning and got aboard hospital ship and came to Lemnos where we stayed all day.
Tuesday 31 August
Still at Lemnos on hospital boat S.S.Valdeva waiting for orders. It seems quite strange to be away from the whistling bullets and shells.
Wednesday 1 September
Still on H B [Hospital Boat] Valdeva waiting for orders to see what they are to do with us, take us back to Alexandria or put us on Lemnos.
Hospital Ship "VALDIVIA"
The VALDIVIA was a French passenger ship, built 1911 by Chantiers & Ateliers de Provence, Port de Bouc for Societe Generale de Transports Maritimes a Vapeur, Marseilles. She was 7,137 gross tons, length 463ft x beam 54.4ft, two funnels, two masts, twin screw, speed 15½ knots and used on their South America service to Buenos Aires. In 1915 she was lent to the British Admiralty for use as a hospital ship, managed by Union-Castle Mail S.S. Co. 1919 returned to owners and 1933 scrapped at Savona.
Thursday 2 September
Shifted from Valdivia about 2 pm, went on to S.S.Hutsend a big boat that was captured from the Germans at Malta at the beginning of the war. She has been fitted up as a hospital boat and serves the purpose well.
Friday 3rd September 1915
Friday 3 September
Lay at anchor in Lemnos all day and shifted out of harbour in evening.
Saturday 4 September
At sea supposed to be bound for Malta.
Sunday 5 September
At sea. Passed battleship in evening.
Monday 6 September
Arrived at Malta about 9am and came into harbour where we anchored and are awaiting orders.
Tuesday 7 September
In Quarantine Harbour at Malta. A lot of Tommies, NZers and Australian patients went ashore for treatment at Malta. Rest of us are supposed to be going to England, can’t imagine my luck somehow.
Wednesday 8 September
Still at Malta, lot of convalescent cases came on board to go to England. Getting engines and boilers repaired by German engineers, supposed to be sailing soon.
Thursday 9 September
Left Malta about 6am bound for England. 3 bodies of men died on trip and while waiting at Malta were passed over the side about 11.30am. Are supposed to be due in England on 19th.
Friday 10 September
On our way to Gibraltar. Passed Italian prison settlement in afternoon.
Saturday 11 September
Bound for Gibraltar. Fairly smooth trip. Passed a good many sailing and steam ships during day. Passed Tunis and North Coast of Africa and Morocco in afternoon.
Sunday 12 September
Still on our way to Gibraltar supposed to be due some time today. Something went wrong with engines during night and boat had to stop. Arrived at Gibraltar about 5 pm. The Rock looked a great sight, bristling with guns and covered with barracks. Went alongside pier for water and provisions.
Monday 13 September
Stayed alongside pier until about 5 pm. We were then pulled out into the stream by tugs and steamed out of the harbour bound for England.
Tuesday 14 September
On our way to England. Had a pretty smooth passage all day. Passed several steamers and sailing vessels.
Saturday 18 September
Arrived at Plymouth. Went up to docks in afternoon and went alongside wharf in evening.
Sunday 19 September
Still alongside wharf. Got off boat and on to hospital train about 3pm and arrived in Birmingham about 12pm on Sat.
Monday 20 September
In hospital at Dudley Road, Birmingham.
Photograph sent home by Jack: Image shows members of the NZMR Haymaking for local farmers after recovering from the hospital bed.
Thursday 21 October
Left hospital and went on furlough. Arrived in London about 1 pm and went to Records Office in Victoria St and got paid and got extension of 4 days. Went to stay at the Union Jack Club.
Friday 22 October
In London. Met V Gillanders. Went to theatre in evening.
Saturday 23 October
In London. Went to see Zoological Gardens and National Picture
Gallery. Rained nearly all day.
Sunday 24 October
In London writing letters nearly all day. Rained all day.
Monday 25 October
In London knocking about town all day. Caught the 8 pm train at King’s Cross for Aberdeen.
Tuesday 26 October
Arrived at Aberdeen at 7.30 am and went to stay at Aston Hotel. Went to see the Dee and Duthie Park in afternoon. Went to Palace Theatre in evening.
Wednesday 27 October
Went around to see Aunt Isabella and spent afternoon and evening there.
She gave me a good reception.
Thursday 28 October
Spent nearly all day around at Aunt “Is”. Came back to hotel in evening and went to pictures.
Friday 29 October
Put in all day around at Aunt Isabella’s. Blowing and raining nearly all day.
Saturday 30 October
Went around to Aunt Isabella’s in morning. We both went to see Mr. Mackinnon. Afterwards we went to the Marischall College, the Mitchell Hall, the King’s College and the Old Machar Cathedral.
Sunday 31 October
Aunt Isabella & I both went to the Rubislaw Parish Church in the morning. Had quiet afternoon.
Monday 1 November
Said goodbye to Aunt Isabella in afternoon.
Tuesday 2 November
Left Aberdeen by 7.20 train for London.
Wednesday 3 November
Arrived in London at 8am. Went to 13 Victoria St and got extension of furlough, 4 days.
Thursday 4 November
Went around to see Uncle Alfred at Streatham and met Adeline. They say I must come and stay with them.
Friday 5 November
At Streatham Hill having a good time. Had fairly quiet day.
Saturday 6 November
Adeline and I went to see St Paul’s Cathedral and went for a stroll around the Serpentine and through Hyde Park.
Sunday 7 November
Uncle and I went for a walk through the Common.
Monday 8 November
Staying with Blyths at Streatham Hill.
Tuesday 9 November
In London having good time.
Wednesday, Thursday 10,11 November
At Streatham Hill
Friday, Saturday 12,13 November
Sunday, Monday 14,15 November
At Blyth’s in Streatham. Having good time.
Tuesday 16 — Tuesday 23 November
Wednesday 24 November
Went Records Office to try for extension of leave but had no luck.
Thursday 25 November
Caught the 4.45 pm train at Waterloo Station for Weymouth Camp.
Arrived at camp about 10 pm and got allotted hut.
Friday 26 November
Paraded in morn before doctor and was classed as temporary unfit. Very cold and windy.
Saturday 28 November
At Weymouth in afternoon and evening.
Sunday 28 November
Went to Weymouth and Westham in aft. Began to rain in evening.
Monday 29 November
In camp. Raining heavy and very cold. Went to Weymouth in evening.
Tuesday 30 November
Rained heavy nearly all day. Was on inlying picquet near Weymouth in evening.
Wednesday 1 December
Laid up with bad cold. Very cold, wet and windy.
Thursday 2 December
Laid up with cold. Temp 102. Still blowing and raining.
Friday 3 December
Still in hut with cold. Weather a bit better.
Saturday 4 December
Weather very bad. Raining and very cold and windy.
Sunday 5 December
Weather improved. Got pass and went to Weymouth in aft. Received letter from A.
Monday 6 December
On parade. Not so much in morning but got worse in afternoon. Went marking on rifle range.
Tuesday 7 December
Raining too heavy to go marking on rifle range so stayed in camp.
Wed - 8th -Tue 21st
Wednesday 8 December — Tuesday 21 December
At Westham camp
Wednesday 22 December
Left Weymouth by the 10.30 am train for London for Xmas leave and arrived at Paddington about 3.30 pm and went to Streatham Hill.
Thursday 23 December
At Streatham Hill. Very crook with cold. Stayed indoors most of day.
Chris and some of family were down in evening.
Friday 24 December
At Streatham. Went to Brixton in evening with Chris and Uncle. Very cold and stormy.
Saturday 25 December
Spent day at Uncle Alfred’s. Chris and May and family were down to dinner. We spent a very pleasant time although it was very cold and frosty. Quite a change from a NZ Christmas. In evening went to Aunt Sarah’s where we had a very pleasant time.
Sunday 26 December
At Aunt’s all day. Had musical day and very good time. Spent night in billet on floor. Six of us camped in the dining room as there were no beds vacant.
Monday 27 December
Spent most of day at Aunt’s place, and in evening went back to Uncle and spent the night. An awful gale raged nearly all night.
Tuesday 28 December
Left Waterloo for Weymouth by the 5 pm train, arrived at camp about
10 pm and returned to camp at Westham.
Wednesday 29 December
At Westham camp. A big draft of Australians and New Zealanders left for the front, about 1000 altogether. Word received that we are to go to London to camp.
Thursday 30 December
Still at Westham. Nothing very exciting doing. Preparing to shift camp.
Friday 31 December
Bit of decent weather. We stayed up until after 12 to see the old year out and the New Year in.
I have come to the close of one of the most interesting years of my life. What with the life in Egypt, the fighting on Gallipoli and my illness in the hospital in England and to finish up with a good furlough in England and Scotland.