Friday, 20 November 2015

Meanwhile, back on the Peninsula

The 8th Battalion, with many Ballarat and district men in its ranks, has been resting on Lemnos Island, away from Anzac since early September.  Now it is time for the men to return to "have another shot at 'Joe Turk'". First the men were marched out and embarked on the Abbassia, but as the piers at Anzac Cove had been damaged in a storm, and there was nowhere to land them, they disembarked and returned to camp - which had been struck, on their departure. The entire battalion camped overnight in the YMCA hut.

On the evening of 21st November, the battalion boarded the Princess Ena, and departed for Anzac Cove, where they were sent up to Bolton's Ridge, and occupied support trenches just vacated by the 10th Battalion.

Now the 8th Battalion worked at sapping tasks, but the change of weather from July to November could not have been more extreme.  On 24th November a blizzard left half a metre of snow on the ground, followed by severe frost.  The weather conditions provided further justification for an evacuation of Gallipoli, but the men themselves were unaware of this possibility.
A snow covered gun position of the 9th Battery in November 1915. [AWM P00046.040]

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