February 1915

Submitted by Thomas Louch

Meanwhile one brigade of the Australians was moved closer to the entrance of the Dardanelles, the narrow straits between Europe and Asia. After the Ottoman empire joined the war, the Royal Navy had commenced operations intended to force the straits and knock the Turks out of the war. It was felt that some supporting troops would be required to occupy the ruins of the forts defending the straits. Among the Australians despatched to the area was Corporal Thomas Louch of the 11th (Western Australia) Battalion.

"On 28 February we gathered together all our belongings, and marched to the Kasr-el Nil Barracks in Cairo where we piled our rifles in the square and sat about until it was dark. Then we marched to the station and entrained for Alexandria. There I posted a card to say that we had embarked on SS Suffolk – a rotten old tub, not nearly as good as the Ascanius – but no doubt we shall survive! It was to be our home for the next eight weeks.

We sailed with three other ships carrying the rest of the 3rd Brigade and arrived some days later at Mudros, on the island of Lemnos. There we found a large harbour, with a narrow entrance; a suitable assembly place for a large fleet. But when we arrived it was empty, except for one or two small naval vessels."

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February 1915
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February 1915
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