Gallipoli - Letters from the Troops - Wounded on a Boat 1915

Sydney Morning Herald, June 12, 1915

The following extracts are from a letter sent by Private Cowham, who was wounded at Gallipoli, to his father, Corporal Cowham, at the Veterans' Home, La Perouse -

Sunday has played a big part in the past   with us, as you will see by the following instances: We left Broadmeadows for embarkation on Sunday, arrived at Albany on Sunday, left the following Sunday, arrived at Colombo on Sunday, arrived at Alexandria on Sunday,  left Mena Camp for the front on Sunday and landed on Turkish soil on a Sunday.

On our troopship were two battalions, the 6th and 7th. The 7th were told to man the boats, B Company, my company, being given the post of honour, the first landing party.  

The enemy were strongly entrenched in their positions, and there were about 80,000 Turks waiting for us. The enemy's guns were trained on the troopships, but their firing was bad and the only damage they did was to knock the funnel off one of the boars.

Whilst we were forming up before getting into the boats, the shrapnel was falling a few yards away. Our boys stood it well. They were as cool as cucumbers and laughed and joked when shells came near to the boat. Of course the Allied battleships were assisting and I was watching the effects of their fire.

When we got to the shore I realised that we were in for a hot time. The enemy opened fire with machine guns and rifles and the bullets came as thick as hailstones. I got one bullet clean through me and I collapsed on the bottom of the boat. I was taken to the hospital ship and I lost a lot of blood in the meanwhile.

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