By Ronald James Austin
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Additional info for Cobbers In Khaki - The History of the 8th Battalion, 1914-1918
The prime aim of Hamilton's Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) was to assist the navy and garrison Constantinople after its capture. General Hamilton, as commander of the MEF, now found himself in an unenviable position. As the navy would not attempt to sail up the Dardanelles until the coastal forts had been subdued, Hamilton reluctantly agreed to the MEF undertaking a military operation on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Hamilton then devised a plan which entailed a series of simultaneous landings to be made on or near the southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsula, by British, French, Australian and New Zealand troops.
L made a resolution that if I get the chance, I will come hack to this little peaceful corner of the world. Colonel Bolton had been on a reconnaissance of the Gallipoli Peninsula coastline on board the Queen Elizabeth on 12th March, and he later spoke to the battalion, -38- mE SANDS OF EGYPT and warned them that they were likely to get a lively time when they landed. Bolton correctly predicted the the Turki h artil lery consisted of well trained men, but also suggested that the Turkish infantlY was heavily laden and were poor shots.
The situation within 2nd Brigade became serious just before Christmas, when it was found that in one battalion 900 men were AWOL. This problem was not resolved UnLil leave was granted to the battalions on a weekly basis. In a letter to his cousin Edidl, four days before Christmas, Charlie TraiU wrote of the general feeling among the Australians at being forced to bypass the fighting in France: We are of course all bitterly disappointed that we were not sent on to France, but we are playing the game quite as much by our being here in the capacity that we are ...