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Sergeant Thomas Arthur Dykes
by Elva Cunningham
With respect to those that were killed or injured, Anzac day was not only "the landing" it continued as below:
My father Sgt. Thomas Arthur DYKES Reg number 334 23rd battalion B company joined the Australian forces on 22.02.1915. He was issued DCM medal for distinguished conduct and bravery.
In his diaries he also wrote:
Wed Aug 4,1915 Anniversary of England declaring war on Germany.
First B company military funeral held today.
Issued with cork helmets ( much cooler than felt hats).
Aug 8,1915 Broke my false teeth today.
Aug 10,1915 Night manoeuvres. Outposts and relieving of outposts and sentries.
Aug 28,1915 Tents struck and ready to leave at any moment.
Aug 29.1915 Entrained for Alexandria, travelled all night, arrived/boarded Southland" 4.30am.
Aug 30,1915 Left Alexandria 6pm for "the front". Ship kept zig zagging to dodge submarines. All portholes closed as no lights shown at night.
01 Sept,1915 Innoculated against Cholera.
02 Sept,1915 "Southland" torpedoed 9.45am this morning. Hole is 26ft by 9ft in No 3 hold. All taken to lifeboats.Stood to post till last then got away on raft with 50 persons overloaded, picked up one more man , then it overturned and we clung to bottom. 2 drowned. Picked up by troopship "Haverford" after 2 hrs in water. Taken to Lemnos harbour and trf to "Transvalamer" 17000 tons. Our brigadier General Linton drowned.
03 Sept,1915 Submarine supply ship captured today. Prisoners brought on board here. "Southland" only sank 12 feet and was beached here so we got our salt flavoured equipment back. Fred Sargent was killed in an explosion today.
06 Sept,1915 B company lost 11 men, killed and drowned.
07 Sept,1915 Leaving for the Dardanelles today, should land tonight.
08 Sept,1915 Arrived Gallipoli 1.30 am. Expect to go straight into trenches with shells flying overhead and rifles cracking over crest of hills
09 Sept,1915 In firing line at Lone Pine (Lonesome pine) with Turks 20 yards in front. Using periscope. Dead bodies lying in front of trenches but too dangerous to bury them. Stench terrible. Flies troublesome.
10 Sept,1915 Relieved after 48 hrs in firing line, no drinking water or tucker and no sleep. Issued with 6 packs cigarettes and rum.
Close friend had hand blown off at my dugout door. Too many others killed and buried in Browns dip. 06 Oct, 1915 Back into firing line today. Issued with 4 biscuits and 2 dried figs -- Kitcheners surprise.
I have the original nine pocket size diaries from Melbourne to Egypt to Turkey to France, The Somme, Villers Bretoneaux, Ypres , England and fortunately back home, as I was born in 1942. A very proud daughter... Elva Cunningham