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25 April 1915
Jammed further north than intended, the 9th, 10th, and 11th Battalions of the 3rd Brigade became mixed up as they landed on the beach and headed up the hills. The official time Duncan Chapman stepped on to the beach was 4.28 am but timepieces had not been synchronised, so report varies.
Digging bayonets into the cliffs to help them climb and dodging snipers, thousands of Australians made the hard ascent to what would be known as Plugge’s Plateau to be greeted by the sight of steep gullies and ridges stretching through scrub to the highest points on the peninsula.
Their targets lay on the highest ground on the third ridge: Chunuk Bair, Hill Q, Hill 971, and ultimately Maltepe, the heights that dominated the shoreline – and the forts – of the Dardanelles leading to the Narrows.
Allan Nicol Robinson: We landed and threw our packs, loaded our rifles, fixed bayonets, and then up the hill we went. Half a mile lower there were wire entanglements, four rows thick, but we landed where they did not expect us under a cliff and went up a very steep hill. Our orders were ‘Proceed one mile inland, entrench and hold that position at all costs.’ Well, we went in some places as far as 3 miles but fell back to the top of a ridge and there dug in. M.C., Maryborough WBB Historical Society, Letters from the Front Line.
Frederick William Neal: We landed under heavy fire. The Turks were waiting for us in great strength but we dropped our packs on the beach and chased them. We lost a good few to snipers, of whom many were Germans, but our lads stopped at nothing. We were facing big odds and had not yet sufficient men landed and no artillery to back us up. When daylight broke the sea-planes came over and directed fire for our cruisers, which rendered us good help, especially Queen Elizabeth and her 15-inch shells. She shakes the whole land, and for myself, I can feel the trilling in my ears yet. I saw some fierce fighting and many heart-rending sights.
My mates, I have seen none of them since about 8 am Sunday. It was rough country and the enemy had the advantage of knowing the ranges, thus we were somewhat cut up, but proud of the Australians as I am, they meant to fight to the last man. We did what was wanted – forced a landing and the British troops shall now win the day it is certain. I was wounded by shrapnel … I am lucky to be alive but I will have another go at them. M.C., Maryborough WBB Historical Society, Letters from the Front Line.
Waves of Anzacs due to follow the landing force ashore were delayed as returning boats were needed to ferry the wounded to the hospital ships.