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 3.
Formation of Troop in Australia, training in Egypt and work on Gallipoli at Anzac and Helles.
It was not unusual for bombs (thrown from a catapult) to land and explode on the roof of the Sig. office, also at the sides but they seldom had any effect owing; to the thickness of sandbags of which the office was built.
The general health of the personnel was good, however great demand for Keatings Powder.
By the end of June a complete new system of lines had been laid and wherever exposed, ladder systems and circuitous routes were adopted then the old and defective wire removed, all lines were labelled and little difficulty was experienced in keeping up communication or tracing any lines which were faulty.
The phones used to give a good deal of trouble being the old MK 2 pattern and the buzzers were continually working out of adjustments and it was imperative that buzzers should be used as much as possible both for reason of speed in transmission and secrecy.
The work between Bde and Divn who were on the beach was carried out by sounder and at our end by N.Z. Operators which took all the Divn work for the No.3 Sector off our hands.
May 21st 1915.
N. Z. Sig. Troop took over our Sector and from this onward it was worked week about which allowed everybody a decent rest, plenty of time for washing clothes etc. The office instruments were not changed at all but those of the N.Z. Troop were kept at hand so that an exchange could be made if any instrument want wrong also wire and other signal gear, was kept at hand in case of emergency.
May 23rd 1915.
Saps Burrell, Wills and Ward were relieved on the Indian Battery Station and rejoined 1st Signal Troop. Saps Aspinal, Smith and Power detached to 21st Indian Battery.
May 24th 1915.
Capt. Downing returned from Cape Helles and resumed command of the 1st Signal Troop. Lt. J. Bell rejoined B.H.Q.
HISTORY OF THE WIRELESS SECTIONS AFTER BEING DETACHED FROM 1st SIGNAL TROOP.
Entrained at Cairo and proceeded to Alexandria arriving there that afternoon and proceeded to camp at Gabbari.
The following morning instructions were given for all Members to hold themselves in readiness to embark for Lemnos where preparatory training would be carried out for the participation in the lending on Gallipoli, we were ordered to embark the same day on the Paros (6,000) which had been owned by a German Coy before the war.
We left the same evening and sailed at 8 knots per hour which seemed quite restful after the rush and bustle we had previously experienced.
It took 9 days to do the trip, the first 3 days of which was very rough. About noon on the 11th April we arrived at Lemnos Harbor, slowed down, exchanged signals with a minute French Torp Boat and then proceeded through the Torpedo nets which stretched across the harbor, eventually anchoring near Mudros West.
Here we went ashore and made camp about 1/2 mile from the Town. Training in Naval procedure was commenced immediately under the tuition of W/O Button of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Citation: 1st Australian Signal Troop, Page 3