An idea of the weather experienced at Suvla Bay, where so many Luton lads were fighting, may be gathered from a letter written by Sgt E. A. Spinks, of the East Anglian Field Ambulance.
"Towards night," says the Sergeant's letter, "we could see vivid flashes of lightning away over the sea and very dark clouds. Suddenly a terrific wind was blowing, sand and rain flying in clouds. The sea, which had been a pond all day, was driven up into great waves which soon covered out small stretch of beach, flooding the tents nearest the sea.
"The wind fanned the ashes of our cookhouse to life and carried the sparks right through our camp. Nine of our big tents out of 12 were blown down. No one was injured fortunately.
"Our carefully prepared dug-outs were smothered by sand and soaked with rain, and required reconstructing later, for which purpose we found the wreckage washed up after the storm very useful.
"Whilst the storm was on we had to go round the hospital and do what we could for the patients, which was very little, as you may imagine. At daybreak the sight was enough to break anyone's heart. There were sick men lying all over the place, tents in heaps, wreckage all along the beach, our own men wet, weary and sad. In fact it was absolutely a scene of desolation.
"Our operating and dispensing tents were flooded. In fact, six men and myself were compelled to rescue the medical instruments and stores during the storm. I have never experienced anything like it before, even in Africa. If it had not rained our camp would undoubtedly have been set on fire by the sparks from the cookhouse."
[Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph: November 27th, 1915]