Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin October 2015 Contents 39
MY ANZAC DAY
Gallipoli Trip 2015 -- Part 3
This is the final article on my trip to Gallipoli earlier this year. As
mentioned in Part 2 -- the other significant action in the August
1915 offensive was that of the Australian Light Horse at the Nek.
The Nek was a narrow section of land that stretched across
Russell's Top towards Baby 700 along the top of what is now
called Monash Valley.
This episode of the Anzac's Gallipoli history came about as
particular sections of the 8th Light Horse Regiment (Victoria) and
10th Light Horse (West Australia) charged dismounted across an
area no larger than two tennis courts, to almost certain death, at
virtually point blank range. This was indeed a bloody massacre.
It was meant to be another 'demonstration' or 'feint' attack aimed
at diverting attention away from the New Zealand, British and
Indian attacks on Chunuk Bair. But the reality was the cream of
Victoria's and West Australia's dismounted light infantry soldiers
were cut to pieces by Turkish rifle and machine gun fire. This
took place just over a kilometre directly to the north of Lone Pine,
on the morning after the initial 1st Australian Infantry Brigade's
assault at Lone Pine. What a debacle this was.
During our recent visit to the Nek Cemetery, we heard many
anecdotes about the light horsemen, many of whom had been
used as reinforcements to Australian infantry troops at Gallipoli.
One of the better stories was that of a Western Australian 10th
Light Horseman, as told to us by his great nephew, Mr Kim Rose
His name was Sergeant Reginald J Moore and his story resonated.
This man epitomised the spirit that existed with so many of the
young diggers who went away to fight in WW1.
Reginald Moore was farming with his two brothers in Dongara,
Western Australia which is 350 km north of Perth when he heard
the call to arms. As told by his great nephew, it wasn't for any
sense of loyalty to king and country that he felt the urge to go
and fight, but rather a sense of adventure. The Australia of the
early twentieth century was a far cry from our modern times as
it truly was an isolated place. Communications were draconian
and the tyranny of distance isolated people. This resulted in the
development of a truly unique character, whose traits of great
horsemanship, initiative and stamina were seen firstly on the
battlefields of Gallipoli and then on horseback in the great desert
campaigns of Palestine and beyond. Can you imagine being a
farmer in Western Australia and propositioned with the lure of
visiting such far flung places as Cairo or Paris? No wonder so many
of these young men jumped at the opportunity to see a world that
they had only read about in books.
The remaining reserve trench line through which the 8th and
10th Australian Light Horse moved to attack the Nek early in the
morning of 7 August 1915. The Nek is only 10 m to the right of
this photograph. Suvla Bay is in the background where the ill-
fated British attack had come ashore but they stopped too early
to wait for artillery support -- unfortunately for the Anzacs.
Reg Moore was 35 years old and unmarried when he joined A
Squadron of the 10th Light Horse. Enlisted as Number 138, Reg
embarked for Egypt, with his trusted Waler as his mount. The
Walers were the preferred horse for members of the Light Horse.
They had been often bred on the outback stations so stockman
were used to riding them. They had the reputation for being
durable and could handle heavy weights as well going without
water for a considerable amount of time. The name reflects they
were generally bred from crossing NSW draught and stock horses
with thoroughbreds, Arabians and perhaps Timor Ponies.
The charge at the Nek commenced at 4.30 am from 7 August
1915; the allotted time for its commencement. However, the
artillery bombardment of the very close Turkish trenches had
finished at 4.23 am -- some seven minutes early. Seven minutes
is an eternity when the Turks are readying themselves for the
Sergeant Reg Moore was in the third wave of the 10th Light
Horse. Reg was mown down and was one of 82 fatalities of a
total of 138 casualties that the 10th Light Horse suffered that
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