By Peter Stanley
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Extra info for Quinn's Post: Anzac, Gallipoli
Unaware of Harold Jacobs’s men on the next bump of the ridge, Forsythe’s men held the centre against a series of uncoordinated but still fierce Turkish attacks, while all the while machine-gun and sniper fire came from their rear from the slopes of the Chessboard and Baby 700 to the north. The first days made heavy demands on those trying to control the battle as well as those fighting it. The scrappy, staccato entries in Carl Jess’s diary suggest the pressure the brigade staff faced: ‘Just about tired out.
M. on 27 April the first of 237 ‘standtos’ occurred, when weary men were roused in readiness for a dawn attack. Still, hundreds of men continued to simply make off to the beach (the 16th Battalion complained of ‘a continuous stream . . going to the beach’ on the 29th). Seeking to stem what New Zealand brigadier Earl Johnston called the ‘vast amount of shirking and straggling going on’, picquets were sent to ‘sweep up batches of men who have established themselves in holes in the gullies’. Staff officers slowly imposed a sort of domestic routine.
Unsure where they were or what they should do, the two groups drew apart and conferred separately. Sixty-three years later he remembered, ‘the Aussies had a talk and we had a talk’. A corporal suggested that it was better to stay where they were rather than try to retreat through the shelling and the New Zealanders began to scratch out rifle pits. ’, for three weeks before members of both groups had been in the Wazza that Good Friday evening. ’ The shallow scrapes the men were digging with their entrenching tools were the beginning of what came to be named Quinn’s Post.