Diary of Lieutenant KS ANDERSON

Date of enlistment 2nd February 1915
Age at enlistment 22
Profession Accountant
Town Portland
Status Single
Rank at enlistment Corporal
Company D Company, 22nd Battalion
Significant events while with the AIF Served from Gallipoli until the end of the War

Wounded in Action twice – including Broodseinde, 9th October 1917

Hospitalised sick in Egypt

military-cross-george-v-300x300Awarded the Military Cross – Beaurevoir, 3rd October 1918

Mentioned in Despatches on three occasions in France

Promoted to Lieutenant

Officers - E02585.JPGPhotograph of 22nd Battalion Officers taken at Querrieu, 27th June 1918 – Lieut. Anderson standing far right, middle row

Lieutenant Anderson’s full WW1 service record can be located in the National Archives of Australia. Full details are available online, NAA Series B2455

The following extracts are taken from the diary of Lieutenant Anderson predominately while serving in Gallipoli. The original, along with his scrap book, are stored in the Australian War Memorial research centre in Canberra, and acknowledgement goes to the family of Lieutenant Anderson and the AWM enabling the subsequent publishing within this commemorative project.

Egypt

29th August 1915: After two or three days of great preparation we marched from our Camp at 5pm on Sunday 29th August and entrained for Alexandria at 10pm. Before leaving Heliopolis all tents were struck; no man carried anything except for the bare necessities and a few private possessions; everything else was packed in his black kit bag and left at base. We must have presented a queer sight as we departed – each man, officers and men alike, carrying full equipment and every necessary article he possessed

At Sea

2nd September 1915: Arrived at Lemnos at 10am: beautiful land locked harbour, evidently very deep. The harbour is full of shipping of all tonnage mostly British; to reach our anchorage we passed a double line of battleships and Cruisers, British on our port and French on our starboard; the entrance to the harbour is also securely mined and no shipping is allowed to enter or leave port.

Gallipoli

5th September 1915: We landed about 1am and formed up on the beach at the foot of a very steep hill or cliff which seemed to run almost into the sea, there being practically no beach. We were completely fatigued by the time, 2am, we reached our camping ground, many men falling out on the way up the gullies from the beach. Although weary from fatigue it was well on to morning before I could settle down to sleep; the continual ping ping of the rifles seemed to be very close, many bullets striking the opposite side of our gully.

6th September 1915: to reach our portion of the trenches we had to climb up ‘Bridges Road’ with full kit: never again do I wish to make that climb under the same conditions; we had to rest three times before reaching the top, how this ridge of hills was ever captured is beyond my imagination

13th September 1915: first death in the Company. Private Hotham shot through the head on No 2 post. He had just gone on duty, the bullet passing through a sand bag first.

4th October 1915: During the night the Turks had connected the gap in the barb wire entanglements and had made improvements on their left. The official instruction not to fire, as a number of Turks wish to come in and surrender; it was however only a ruse on the part of the Turks to silence our fire while they strengthened their entanglements. Our respect for the Turk as a soldier greatly increased.

1st December 1915: The Turks are dropping very heavy metal a little to our right front – you can hear them coming through the air – they are very close and are going into the Pine where the 23rd, 24th and Light Horse are. After two hours of continual shelling our trenches are strewn with pieces of shell and shrapnel. The 23rd, 24th and LH were changing over when the bombardment commenced, they have suffered severely and have roughly two hundred casualties. The greater number of casualties occurred through the blowing in of an underground communication trench, one platoon was practically wiped out; we wonder why the Turks did not follow up with an attack.

18th December 1915: 6pm evacuation. We left the trenches with half Company at 6pm. Every man had his feet wrapped in blankets and the trenches and footways had been sprinkled with loose earth so that the movement of troops would be a silent as possible. From Bridges Road we turned left into Shrapnel Gully, passing one of our own cemeteries on our way; it cut everyone to the heart to leave these Gullies and Hills that had taken so much of our blood to capture and then to hold, and, although our Battalion had not crossed no-man’s land, still we had buried a great number of our men in that cemetery.

From Shrapnel Gully we turned to our right into Anzac Cove where thousands of troops were waiting to be taken off.

19th December 1915: 2am, embarked in small cutters at pier. The embarkation was carried out in perfect order and from the pier we were conveyed in cutters to trawlers; during this short trip a man was hit in our boat by a stray bullet. We were conveyed by trawler – after transferring our casualty to the Hospital Ship – to Imbros reaching our Camp after an hours march at 4am.

Egypt

28th December 1915: Arrive Tel-el-Kebir 7am. There is every sign of preparation for concentrating all or most of our forces in Egypt at this Camp. We arrive at our allotted ground but there are no available tents and we are forced to camp in the open.

France (6th Infantry Brigade battle orders from notebook)

8th August 1918: 2nd Division attacking; 7th Bgde on right, 5th Bgde on left, 6th Bgde in support; 2nd Canadian on right flank, 3rd AIF on left; 5th AIF will carry on after 2nd Div. has carried the green line. Tanks – low flying aeroplanes will cover their movement. 6th Bgde responsible for the collection of prisoners – also stop any battle stragglers and to send them back immediately to the firing line. Lists of all such men to be forwarded to Bgde HQ

3rd October 1918: The 22nd and 23rd Battalions will attack under a barrage at 6am on 4th October and capture line. The 22nd Battalion attacks on the left; 23rd on the right; British troops attack on the left of the 22nd and will take Ponchaux and Beaurevoir. D & C Coys will jump off from their present frontage. A Coy will jump off behind D Coy and leap frog through to final objectives. Dress – battle Order – Greatcoat rolled into WP Sheet and attached to belt – 2 bombs, 220 rounds of SAA – 2 water bottles filled, 24 hours ration, plus 24 hours iron rations.

17th November 1918: Advance to the Rhine: the 6th Bgde will be prepared to move by train to Le Cateau area on or after the 19th Nov.

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