Page 76 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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EGYPT-GALLIPOLI-THE LANDING-1St KRITHIA
59
other ranks wounded. Lance-Corporal H. Schofield was awarded
the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
I t was thus that the opportunity of taking Krithia was lost; the
Turks soon found that the attack was at a standstill, and as re–
inforcements arrived they came back and so strengthened their
position that Krithia was never again in danger.
The next two days were spent in perfunctory work in the front
line, and no reconnaissance was made. This might have led to very
grave consequences had not Lieutenant P. W. D. Conran, who was
acting as adjutant in place of Captain
C.
Bromley, noticed a
dangerous gap on the right of the battalion where the front was
intersected by a nullah almost at right angles. Certain troops were
placed in local reserve, and the 29th Indian Brigade also formed a
general reserve.
On the night of 1st May, at about 10 p.m., 2nd Lieutenant
P. D. W. Dunn reported that " the Turks were coming on in
thousands." Indeed, the Turks, stimulated by their mullahs, could
be plainly heard. Wild firing broke out all along the line, except in
the battalion sector where the strictest fire discipline was maintained
and no fire was to be opened till the enemy was at least discernible.
Apart from one short burst of machine-gun fire , the battalion only
fired five rounds during the hours of darkness. The silence in front
of them was apparently too much for the waves of the attackers,
although they included a certain number of German naval officers,
and they could not be induced by their leaders to leave the shelter
of a small parallel nullah about one hundred yards in front. After a
harassing night , for there were no reports from the flanks in response
to messages, the false dawn gradually allowed the position in front
to be seen. Then, indeed, snap-shooting began, an art in which the
Turk was no mean performer.
It
appeared that the enemy was
trying to move across our front into the deep transverse nullah ,
but at the least exposure the British marksmen showed their skill.
At one point heavy losses were inflicted on the Turks ; but they also,
firing from a flank , killed some of the battalion's best men. At this
point Captain Willis, sensing that the Turks had " had enough,"
persuaded some of them by means of a megaphone and a few Turkish
phrases to throw down their arms and surrender. Here, then, the
battalion took its first considerable party of prisoners, including at
least one German officer. The battalion came off lightly, apart from
the men killed from a flank while sniping.
Thus ended what may be called the "Open Warfare" phase of the
operations.