Three Australian officers at Gallipoli, identified from left to right: Lieutenant Roy Kernot of the 1st Division Engineers; Lieutenant Edward Stanley Whitehead of the 3rd Field Company Engineers and Lieutenant Louis Willyama Avery (later MM) of the 1st Division Engineers. The three friends were all associated with the Silverton Tramway Company in Broken Hill and survived the war. image courtesy Australian War Memorial P00244.001
Avery, Louis Willyama – July 1915
Due to diarrhoea am losing condition. Practically all of us are the same.
As night was approaching I was standing half exposed above the sap [tunnel] we were digging, when a sniper had a shot at me. I fell back into the sap after being hit across the chest, the bullet passing through my tunic. Only caused a black welt. Tried to locate the poor shot to teach him a lesson, but he had moved to another position, & it was too dark to crawl far away from our position.
Went out in front of the line with my section officer to tape out a new position. It was not a pleasant pastime being shot at from across the valley. Fortunately the area was covered by a low scrub & it was necessary to crawl out & while placing the tape in position. Am feeling almost too weak to walk over the ridges now.
A covering party out in front of one of my saps was attacked by a Turkish patrol. 2 of our men were killed & 3 wounded. The Turks have discovered our new trenches & have started to shell them. They are 250 yards in front of our main line of trenches.
Received our first pay since leaving Egypt. ?1. (sovereign) What the hell do they think we can spend it on here. Perhaps to save up for Constantinople. We can’t even buy Turkish Coffee or Turkish Delight.
Up at 2 a.m. & boarded a trawler. Taken to the Island of Imbros for 4 days rest. Am feeling very ill now, a great effort to walk.
Reported sick. Change of food & rest may improve condition.
Slept on the stoney beach all night & caught the trawler back to Anzac Cove & the Company at 6.30 a.m. Am feeling better after the rest. There are only 19 men left of our section of 36 men. For the 3 months our Company’s casualties have been 13 killed 61 wounded & 31 sick. Total strength of the Company was 135 men at landing.
O. called for 8 volunteers to go out with the 11th Battalion in a charge tomorrow night. Having offered myself I was delighted when my section officer informed me that I have been selected as one of the party. Am feeling much better now my diarrhoea has ended. We have mined under the Turks front line trench in 4 places.
Spent the day preparing for the charge tonight which will take place as the moon rises. About 11 p.m. Our jumping off place will be from Tasmania Post. 100 Infantry will advance when the mines are exploded. They will be followed closely by 80 Infantry with picks & shovels, 20 bombers & 8 Engineers.