Make your own free website on
Desert Column Forum Pix
Desert Column Forum Pix

Uploaded pix which appear on the Desert Column Forum.

eXTReMe Tracker

Western Mail, Thursday 2 November 1933, page 2


A comic opera stunt I cursed my way through occurred during the blizzards at Reserve Gully, Gallipoli. Having finished drawing rations, my cobber and I found our bivvy full of water and our blankets floating after the deluge of November 28. My kit on a ledge contained a dry shirt, puttees, greatcoat, and a pair of shorts, issued in Egypt. Being drenched, I took off my khakis, and dressed in everything I had, including my greatcoat, which I turned end for end and inserted my legs in the sleeves. The wet clothing I put out to dry.

Before daylight we were snowed in, and my clothes were so stiff and hard that putting them on was impracticable. Consequently I had to face the elements in fancy dress - bare knees, torture, and a barrage of chaff from my cobbers, who thought I was cracking hardy!

In desperation, I approached the corporal - at the clothing dump - for an issue of pants!

"No chance of an issue," be said, "but it's a poor old thing that can't pinch a pair here." And he turned away.

Immediately I clapped on a pair over puttees and shorts. There they remained until remoyed on the hospital ship Grantully Castle

"398," Wagin.

Those in the story:

Narrator 398 = 398 Private Euliseus St. Ives BILSTON, a 43 year old Farmer from Doodlakine, Western Australia enlisted in the AIF on 7 January 1915 and was allotted to the 28th Battalion, C Company and embarked at Fremantle, Western Australia, on HMAT A11, 'Ascanius', on 29 June 1915. During the Great War he Returned to Australia, 24 June 1916.