Topic: AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
1st Australian Signal Troop, AIF
Below is a transcription from a manuscript submitted by by Major R. Smith called 1st Australian Signal Troop. This is Page 4.
History of the Wireless Sections after being detached from 1st Signal Troop.
It did not take the Detachment long to become proficient and on the 8th both sections went on board the H.M.T. Andania and every morning landing practice was carried out by means of rowing ashore and erecting stations, making it more interesting through being competitive tests between No.’s 1 and 2 Detachments, on one occasion both "Dets" tied at erecting from the rowing boats in 4 min 20 secs., easily a record.
On the evening of the 24th both "Dets", were attached to the 29th Inf. Divn. (English) and everyone was exited for we learned the landing was to take place the following day.
That night we steamed out everybody cheering, bands playing, dozens of Transports and Warships were slowly moving out, making in all truly a soul stirring sight. We were advised to take advantage of a full nights rest as we would be at it early in the morning.
The sound of a terrific bombardment awakened everybody, who dressed hurriedly and went on deck, it was still dark and. one could see the Men-O-War by the light of their own salvoes.
Dawn revealed to us a most fantastic sight, there stood Achi Baba wreathed in mist and smoke, every few seconds it seemingly caught alight, while the foreshores were defined by the sea ending in smoke, dust and flame, it seemed impossible that human beings could live in such an inferno.
Rowing boats were being towed shorewards by naval pinnaces and would discharge their human cargo and return for more.
At 0500 the Andania anchored off "X" Beach and we saw one Batt. of Royal Fusiliers land and make good the cliffs.
Our Wireless Detachments then followed next with the G.O.C. of 87 Inf. Bde and Staff.
Landed O.K. but was exposed to a bit of sniping.
At 0645 the No.2 Detachment had erected and was carrying on directing the fire of H.M.S. Implacable who was very and doing splendid work.
Rest was impossible during the day also far into the night and we were feeling the strain, when the Turks counter heavily. Every available man was ordered to line the ridge above and we took up our position on top minus two men i.e. Operator on duty and the Engine Driver.
The Andania lowered her boats in readiness to take us on board if necessary.
There seemed to be no likelihood of our party having to hold the Cliff so it was decided to carry up ammunition to the support line, this was made very hard by the drizzling rain making the steep cliffs very slippery and two boxes of ammunition did not allow one the freedom of ones hands to take advantage of the bushes growing there and which were stout enough for one to pull up by.
The attack was repulsed by 01.30 and at dawn all was fairly quiet, during the day our Troops gained ground.
Our main job was directing the fire of various men-o-war receiving the corrections from the aeroplanes and transmitting them on to the Fleet, this kept the Dets, very busy indeed however, we were rewarded for our work by seeing the effect of the redirected fire and the Troops gaining ground and lastly through being complimented on our work by the G.O.C. and the Naval Wireless Officer.
Citation: 1st Australian Signal Troop, Page 4