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Western Mail, Thursday 18 May 1933, page 2


On board H.M.A.S. A7," lying at Mudros Bay on April 24, was the 26th Indian Mountain Battery; commanded by Major Bruce. To pass away the time till 11.30 p.m., which was the hour fixed for proceeding to Gallipoli, the fourth officer and purser of the ship collected a number of those small tin buttons on which were printed flags of various nations, and which Diggers will remember were placed in each packet of Capstans. Tying small pieces of coloured ribbon to each, they lined up a number of Indian troops and called out the name of one, who immediately stepped forward.

Mentioning some act of great bravery which (in his imagination) the Indian had performed, the fourth officer said: "I have much pleasure in decorating you with this honour on behalf of the King," and pinned it to hie tunic. He then shook hands and saluted, while the Indian soldier fell back into the ranks. About thirty of the men were thus decorated, and it certainly appeared that they thought it all "dinkum."

Aussies will remember the wonderful assistance this mountain battery was when, at daybreak on that memorable day, they assisted to consolidate the position won during the previous hour by the infantry.

As they were still wearing their bogus decorations, I have often wondered if any were captured, what conclusions the Fritz leaders arrived at, as to the trickery of those British to their native subjects in decorating them with cigarette coupons.

"Crosspens," Perth.