22 December 1915

You who have not yet gone to the succour of your comrades who have fallen in the trenches, think hard at this Yuletide, and ask yourselves the question are you acting honestly in staying at home? Do you think that you are playing the game by tripping to Sydney, and revelling in the gaieties of life, while the red blood is dropping from your mates in order to keep your mothers and sisters safe from the despoiling and contaminating touch of the ghoulish Hun.

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21 December 1915

Sir William Robertson, 1915. Image courtesy Bain News Service.

Sir William Robertson, 1915. Image courtesy Bain News Service.

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20 December 1915

Stores burning at Suvla during the early hours of 20 December 1915. Image courtesy Gallipoli Association.

Stores burning at Suvla during the early hours of 20 December 1915. Image courtesy Gallipoli Association.

There is little to add to the history – Brig. General Johnston (Chief of our artillery) has just landed from on board a destroyer to direct Naval fire in case we had been attacked. He relates that at 9 o’clock this morning and again at 12 noon the Turks opened a furious bombardment on our empty trenches, particularly at Lone Pine, The Apex, and Hill 60 (the last two being the ends of my portion of the line) so up till then they had not discovered our departure even though our destroyers had amused themselves all the morning shelling our beaches and hospitals (which have been left standing) with incendiary shells, so as to burn up the debris of wreckage which we had created, and deprive the Turks of anything of possible value to them.

This is the end of the story of Gallipoli, so far as the Army Corps is concerned, and now we turn our energies to gathering up our details from all over the Island, to sorting out Units, forming camps, refitting and standing by the next orders. What they will be no one knows. May be Helles or Salonika, or France or Cairo or the Canal.

To the Public of Orange.
OWING to a mistaken idea as to our nationality, we now take the opportunity to inform our kind customers and the public of Orange, that we are Italians, and we have the honor and are proud to hoist the Allies’ flags. Thanking you for your kind support, and wishing all a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
Yours faithfully,
LAMARO BROS.,
Summer St., Orange.

Image courtesy Leader

Image courtesy Leader

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19 December 1915

A view of Anzac on the last day of occupation, 19 December 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

A view of Anzac on the last day of occupation, 19 December 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

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18 December 1915

Australian soldiers stage a mock battle for photographic purposes prior to leaving Gallipoli, 18 December 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Australian soldiers stage a mock battle for photographic purposes prior to leaving Gallipoli, 18 December 1915. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

In their last weeks on the peninsula the Allies employ a variety of ruses to convince the Turks that they are still present in force. Random periods of silence are observed until the curious enemy ventures forth, only to be fired upon. Empty tents are left standing; rifles are rigged to fire spontaneously, activated by water dripping into a pan attached to the trigger. Ammunition dumps on the shore are mined and later detonated, creating huge explosions and fires.

The evacuation of ANZAC troops proves to be the most successful operation of the entire Gallipoli campaign. Australian casualties at Gallipoli numbered 26,111, with 8,141 killed. Other Allied casualties – killed and wounded – included: 7,571 New Zealanders, 120,000 British and 27,000 French.

At least 70 men from the Orange district fought at Gallipoli, 29 of whom died. They were:

Herbert Maurice Robertshaw
Eric Martin Solling
Charles Herbert Cane
Mathew Aloysius Stackpool
William Robert Clive Beasley
Oswald Cecil Jeffrey Baylis
Harold William Corkett
William Henry O’Bree
William Daniel McCarthy
Joseph McCullough
William John Goode
Henry George
William Arthur Whittle
Albert Edward Varcoe
Cecil Reginald John Lidster
Edgar Roy Stanford
George William Lawson Cooper
Bernard Patrick Dawson
Joseph George Thew
Henry George Eardley Rotton
Edric Albert Davies
John Michael Paul Woodbridge
Edwin Hercules Fardell
Henry Hodder
James Joseph Kelaher
Dennis Edward William Gaynor
Norman Ernest Davis
William Holland
Thomas Murphy

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17 December 1915

Australia wants 50,000 more men. Now is your chance, boys. Be in at the final scrap. This 50,000 has the best prospect of getting into Berlin. Now then, girls, if your sweetheart is 21 or over, break with him if he won’t get into khaki. The recruiting office is situated at the Court House, and there Mr. H. J. Leary awaits you.

Image courtesy Leader

Image courtesy Leader

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16 December 1915

The day passed quite uneventfully. We managed to get some baggage off today, as the wind has dropped and the sea is calmer. The total strength at Anzac has in the last four days been reduced from 45,500 to 20,000 and we still continue to hold the line against at least 170,000 Turks (10 Divisions) until the second last day, and on the very last day we shall have only 10,000. Everything is working out, so far, most smoothly. It has been tentatively arranged to carry out the two final stages on the 18th and 19th, but a final decision will depend upon the weather prospects. I have now hopes that I shall be able to get away my most valuable belongings. Today for the first time I took my Staff and Commanding Officers into my confidence and explained to them the outlines of the general scheme, and particular role each would have to play. The rest of the day I spent in preparing a complete draft of my final orders.

   Cutlack, FM 1934, War Letters of General Monash, Angus & Robertson Ltd, Sydney, NSW, pp.96-97.

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15 December 1915

Image courtesy Leader.

Image courtesy Leader.

Dear Sir,
The present state of war imperatively demands that the exercise of the full strength of the Empire and its Allies should be put forth. In this way only can speedy victory be achieved and lasting peace secured.

If those rights and privileges for which Australian democracy has struggled so long, and values dearer than life itself, are to be preserved Prussian military despotism must be crushed once and for all.

The resources of the Allies are more than adequate for this task, but they must be marshalled. To wage this war with less than our full strength is to commit national suicide by slowly bleeding to death. Our soldiers have done great things in this war. They have carved for Australia a niche in the temple of the immortals. Those who have fallen fell gloriously. But had the number of our forces been doubled many brave lives would have been spared. The Australian armies would long ago have been camping in Constantinople and the world war would have been practically over.

We must put forth all our strength. The more Australia sends to the front the less the danger will be to each man. Not only victory, but safety belongs to the big battalions.

Australia turns to you for help. We want more men. Fifty thousand (50,000) additional troops are to be raised to form the new units of the expeditionary forces. Sixteen thousand (16,000) men are required each month for reinforcements at the front.

This Australia of ours, the freest and best country on God’s earth, calls to her sons for aid. Destiny has given to you a great opportunity. Now is the hour when you can strike a blow on her behalf. If you love your country, or you love freedom, then take your place alongside your fellow Australians at the front and help them to achieve a speedy and glorious victory.

On behalf of the Commonwealth Government, and in the name of the people of Australia, I ask you to answer “Yes” to this appeal, and do your part in this greatest war of all time.

Yours truly,
W.M. Hughes,
Prime Minister of Australia.

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14 December 1915

This afternoon a large parcel of mail arrived. Xmas mail. It’s a jolly shame they did not keep it, because half the boys have gone. Puddings, cakes, sweets, tobacco, chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, pipes, handkerchiefs, sox in dozens. Such a food supply has never been seen here before.

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13 December 1915

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