The Great War Part 114, October 21st 1916

[Official photograph. A U ST R A L IA N C H E E R S A N D SM ILE S F O R T H E K IN G IN F R A N C E . On one of his visits to France in 1916 the K ing had a full-hearted greeting from some Australian tYoops. The men were lined up by the roadside and cheered him enthusiastically, to the evident pleasure of his Majesty. are liab le to be so h ig h ly tried. N o t o n ly w as there n o t th e slightest confusion on th e p a rt of th e troops, w ho q u ietly fe ll in and prep ared to m eet w h ate ve r fa te m igh t be in store, b u t later, w h en there w as a prospect of th e S o u th lan d being able to m ake w a y under her ow n steam and stokers w ere called for, th e m en a t once cam e forw ard and successfu lly helped in gettin g th e S ou thlan d in to p ort. The supreme courage displayed by the 21st in the face of imminent danger was shared by the whole Anzac force— a statement warranted by the behaviour of the men when the risky business of the evacuation had to be faced. The steps by which the decision was Quarrel of the taken to evacuate Gallipoli, and the “ Diehards ” success attending that remarkable opera­ tion, have been detailed at length in Chapter CVII. The most delicate part of the whole scheme had to be entrusted to the Anzacs, for they held the extreme outposts of the British area on the Peninsula. One little mistake would have involved the men who held these advanced posts to the last in a rearguard action, in which they would probably have been called upon to sacrifice themselves to ensure the safety of the scheme. The men selected for this danger were known at Anzac as the “ Diehards,” and there was a great deal of heartburning there, because only a limited number might aspire to the honour. Men who had landed on the first day, and who were still at the post of duty after eight months of continuous danger, went to their commanding officers with tears in their eyes, to urge their claims to this distinction. The men quarrelled about it as they had never quarrelled before ; for every Anzac wished to be a “ Diehard.” The sacrifice they offered was not called for; for it is now a matter of history that the miraculous evacuation was accomplished without any loss of life whatever. So the Anzacs turned their back upon the place where they had won so much glory, as well as a title which will abide with them for all time. If they had any regret in leaving a place where they had endured so much to such little direct purpose, it was centred in the lonely plot of ground which held the mortal remains of their gallant d ead ; but they took comfort in the thought that the graveyard on the rugged Gallipoli hillside would be respected by a foe of whose chivalry and honour they had formed the highest opinion. Among the many great services rendered by Australia and New Zealand to the Empire during the Great War, none will do more to strengthen the warm sentiment that 366 unites the scattered Dominions than the forbearance from criticism or complaint in this moment of trial. Through no fault of theirs, the first great warlike enterprise in which they were intimately concerned had ended in ghastly failure, and the sacrifices they had made had come to naught. The total number of Australians and New Zealanders lost on Gallipoli may give some measure of the extent of that sacrifice. The figures a re : A u s t r a l i a : K ille d ..................... Officers 350 R a n k s 6,750 — 7,100 P riso n ers .... „ 6 ,, 52 — 58 S ick and W o u n d ed „ — .. — 30,000 T o ta l A u stra lia n C a s u a l t i e s ...................... 37,158 37,158 N e w Z e a l a n d : K illed . . . . O fficers 1 16 R a n k s 2,625 — 2,741 Prison ers .... „ — ,, 22 — 22 S ick and W ou nd ed , 210 „ 4,691 — 4 ,9 °i T o ta l N e w Z ealan d C a su a lties..................... 7.664 7,664 G ran d T o ta l o f A n z a c C a su alties . . . . 44,822 The Empire waited for Australasian comment upon the evacuation, and thrilled to the unanimous voice of both Dominions. “ It is a blow, but it will only serve to nerve us to greater efforts.” W hatever criticism may have been hurled at the conception of the Dardanelles adventure, and whatever comment may have been passed upon its execution, no word of the kind was heard in the Antipodes. Later, when the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand were invited to sit upon the Commission of Inquiry into the operations in the Dar­ danelles, there were voices raised in protest from Austral­ asia. The people of “ Down Under ” did not wish to appear as questioning in any way the Imperial authorities, to whom they entrusted their share of the direction of the war with supreme confidence. The debt of the Empire to Australia The genius of was augmented by the war services Mr. Hughes rendered by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth, the Rt. Hon. William Morris Hughes, P.C., during a visit paid to Great Britain in the spring of 1916. The mission which brought Mr. Hughes to London was of vital Imperial importance. He came, in the first place, to represent the feeling prevailing in all the Dominions Overseas that, just as they had borne
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