Topic: Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition: Phoebe Nicholson

Topic type:

Phoebe Nicholson's entry in the Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition (2015). Phoebe is from Tauranga Girls' College.

Diary - Third - Phoebe Nicholson - 25 to 26 April 1915In the event of an accident will the finder of this diary please send it to C. Fairweather, Edgecumbe Road, Tauranga, New Zealand.

Horace Edward Truman
Age: 20 years, 11 months
Height: 6 feet, 2 inches
Weight: 165lbs
Complexion: healthy
Colour of eyes: green
Colour of hair: light brown
Religion: Methodis
Address: 7 Edgecumbe Road, Tauranga, New Zealand.
Son of Edward and Jeanne (deceased) Truman

Dearest Contance: I hate writing when I know that all I say will be read by my own Officer. Blow the Censor. I do not like the idea of him seeing all that I have to say. Besides, there are hundreds of things one would like to talk about which would surely interest you but there is a curtain behind which none but soldiers must look. Hence, I write this diary in the hope that if I shan't return, you shall have a true recount of the events that ultimately led to the loss of your love. I love you Connie, Your sweetheart, Horace. 

20 April 1915

Very windy today. Reville at 0530 hours. The usual drills and duties followed. Everybody lugged sacks down to the launderette for laundry day but, alas, I was too late! I retrieved my Condy's Crystals and headed off to do my own. The only comfor was knowing that my uniform wouldn't rip like poor old Reginold's as mother taught me to wash and mend before passing. In the evening, last night concert party put on a show aboard the 'Seang Choon', in return for the splendid hynotist show last night. Excellent program and very well received by all in attendance.

21 April 1915

Raiing heavily in Lemnos today. Inspection parade at 0900 hours of troops in going order for the planned landing. After lunch, a lecture was received from Captain Ker on food, health and sanitation. It was rather interesting and I learnt lots. Dinner was beans, rice and apricots. I hope to turn in early tonight as I suffered from fatigue for an hour earlier today.

22 April 1915

A parcel from father arrived today. It contained socks, biscuits and a card for my 21st birthday which will be on Sunday. I shan't imagine that there shall be time to celebrate, however.  A memo was issued by General Sir Ian Hamilton, commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, to 'Soldiers of France and the King' reminding us that "Once you set foot in Gallipoli, you must fight to a finish." Tomorrow I am to row out and fetch the mail. It should be an interesting excursion.

23 April 1915

Took a crew in the lifeboat to retrieve the mail from HMS 'Goslar'. A good load, 26 bags, was collected but return trip was difficult due to strong wind. Still standing by but greater activity in Lemnos Harbour is indicative of an early move. At 1600 hours a number of transports and warships proceeded to outer harbaour for dispatch. Two of the largeest ships in the splendid fleet are Curard Liners - Aionian and Leuconia - have over 3,000 Tommies onboard. Bacon, rice and apricots for dinner. Iron and ammunition rationed. Rifle exercises and water bottle inspections. Prepared for action tomorrow.

24 April 1915

Daybreak brought further ship movement to the outer harbour. I expect the great array comprises transport for General Hamilton's Mediterrean Expeditionary Force. The fleet under Vice Admiral de Roebuck is thelargest and most powerful ever assembled for active service and, to think, I am involved in such a significant event! As we departed, the followign message was transmitted by General Hamilton from His Majesty: "The King wishes you and your army every success and you will be constantly in his prayers and thoughts." What balderdash!

25 April 1915

Today is my 21st birthday. Church parade - 0400 hours. Fancy, the Sabbath Day and we're heading out to kill. Transports left Lemnos at 0600. Heard guns firing at Dardanelles 40 miles away meaning others had begun. T'was a glorious morning - perfectly calm sea. Everyone on board eagerly awaited coming events. High spirits all round. As we approached the cove, wounded men lay dying on the beach, bullets raining down from the surrounding hills. I advised my superior that we stay aboard. My opinion was dismissed. With heavy hearts, we braced ourselves and rowed to shore.

26 April 1915

Today's entry bears an additional mark of interest - a hole where shrapnel passed through it while the trenches were being dug. I loathe Mondays. Last one brought a long route march and diarrhoea. Mother and cousin John both passed on a Monday and now I am here, with bullets and shrapnel raining down upon me, trying to avoid death on a Mon...

Discuss This Topic

There are 0 comments in this discussion.

join this discussion

Tauranga and Districts WW100 Diary Competition: Phoebe Nicholson