Right beside me, within a space of fifteen feet, I can count fourteen of our boys stone dead. Ah! It is a piteous sight.Men and boys who yesterday were full of joy and life, now lying there, cold – cold – dead – their eyes glassy, their faces sallow and covered with dust – soulless – gone – somebody’s son, somebody’s boy – now merely a thing. Thank god that their loved ones cannot see them now – dead, with the blood congealed or oozing out . Lance Corporal Cyril Lawrence, 2nd Field Company Engineers
One of the most famous assaults of the Gallipoli campaign took place over four bloody days in August 1915 across an area no bigger than a football field.
On a small plateau in Gallipoli known as Lone Pine — named for the lonesome pine that stood there — this fierce battle was fought. In the late afternoon of 6 August 1915, the Australians orchestrated an attack aimed at breaking the Turkish stronghold on Lone Pine. The fighting on both sides during these attacks and counter-attacks involved throwing bombs over hastily erected barriers, mad dashes through the trenches, firing off a few shots at close range, hand-to-hand combat, tripping over the dead and avoiding the dying and wounded.
Four days of intense fighting and close combat resulted in the loss of thousands of lives on both sides. In this short period of time, seven of Australia’s nine Gallipoli VCs were earned — a powerful tribute to the courage and sacrifice of the soldiers involved.
Simon Cameron’s painstakingly researched account, Lonesome Pine, allows us to now gain a greater understanding of the sacrifice of so many in such a short period of time. This book describes the days leading up to the attack and the horror of the battle in gripping detail, as well as giving an insight into the lives of the men who fought, died in and survived the Battle of Lone Pine.