The 1916 war diary of 2nd Lieut. Dick Willis Fleming


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This page contains a single entry by Dick published on May 26, 1916 11:59 PM.

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26 May 1916

Posted by Dick on May 26, 1916
I had to get into communication with the battery at 3:30 am and also with the camp, and warned all to stand by till 6 am. We've got to stand by at the guns from dawn (about 3:30) till six every morning as that is the Turks' favourite hour for attack. There was a glorious sunrise this morning, a lovely sight over the sea at the back of the sand dunes. I was relieved about eight o'clock and came down to breakfast.

We spent most of the morning improving the gun emplacements with sandbags and making ammunition dugouts. We stretched nets over the gun emplacements and covered them with scrub to hide them from aircraft, as it is of greatest importance that the Turks shan't know there are guns here, and so with luck will walk into the trap.

Headquarters told the major this morning that we wouldn't move our camp closer to the guns. They also said that water is too scarce for any horses to be kept up here, but as they must be able to make us mobile, all the horses will come up here from seven o'clock every evening and go back to Romani at six every morning. As the Turks aren't likely to try anything on in the daytime, it won't matter the horses being at Romani then, but we've got to have them here at night. They are rather afraid, too, that Railhead may be attacked at night and if all our horses were there and got scuppered, it would be a nice look out.

General Koe, who is in command of the forces, told the major that the Turks are in a position to attack us here with a force nearly double our own at anytime within five hours from where they have their base, as they have got thousands of trotting camels to bring their infantry up. But we are making this place pretty strong here.

Badcock and I had a heavenly bathe this afternoon, it really is lovely surf for bathing. After tea we went out with the major and chose another O.Pip for the right section alone, having a good field of view of the inundation and the beach. The right section is to be responsible for that zone alone. Then we went and looked out a much better position for the left section, which will be responsible for the zone at Railhead, Blair's Post, and the right section's extreme right switch at the edge of the inundation. We also chose a good O.Pip for the left section at the infantry trenches, and it may be necessary to have an F.O.O.

Badcock is sleeping at the left section's O.Pip tonight and I am going out before dawn tomorrow to lay out a telephone line from the right section to the new O.Pip we chose for it, and stand by with that section till six o'clock.

Elliott and Kenning came up with the horses this evening and go back with them again tomorrow morning.

Franklyn is a bit rough tonight, but I think it is only 'tummy' trouble and will soon blow over. The rest of us are feeling awfully fit, the sea air is topping. The intelligence report came in tonight with some very interesting information about the enemy - he doesn't seem to be being idle.

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