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Iron Rations
Iron Rations 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 16 November 1933, page 2

Iron Rations.

The effect of "Iron Rations" collected at Russell's Top, Gallipoli, on December 8, 1915, I will carry to the "inevitable halt!” It was our last post, and my job that morning was to shift camp from Happy Valley, with mules, assisted by other lads of our platoon.

Having completed the job, and "shelloed" the Indian convoy back to Mule Gully, we partook of late dinner at the deserted 27th Battalion headquarters, where we located several water drums containing sufficient moisture to wash down cold bacon and biscuits which Frank Pengelly had gathered, the surplus being delivered to me. My cobbers had sent their packs along per mules, but I had to recover mine from Eagle's Nest.

Taking advantage of a narrow sap leading direct to our destination, we came upon the remainder of the platoon anchored in Broadway, between the quarter master's dugout and our howitzer battery. Proceeding to the battery end I took off my equipment, filling my pipe. All the while Jacko was plonking gratuities of all calibres.

Then Jack Green said he was hungry, so I returned to the other end to whack out the residue of our feast. Just as I was going back, Bill Bateman inquired the time. “Half-past three" was my answer. Then, as I was about to continue, "We want a word from you, brother! What are we doing here?"

"Waiting till we're blown out!" I retorted, jestingly. "I've no time" to talk to boys! Smoko!"

Turning my head from the wind, I struck a match - a black shadow appeared. There was a terrific explosion, during which I fancied myself spinning skyward at the rate of miles per second; then biff, an attempt to rise, and temporary oblivion.

Casualties: Killed, Lance-Corporal Bateman; wounded, Corporal Gleeson, Privates Collins, Costello, Baesjou, and - "398," Wagin.