Mast-top view of the Dardanelles


Mr Winch, of 73 Althorp Road, Luton, has just received an interesting letter from the Dardanelles written by his brother Harry, who is in the Royal Marines Light Infantry and serving on board HMS Vengeance.

He writes: "We have plenty to do, but the weather being much finer makes things lots better. It is quite hot, and we have been allowed to bathe when it is convenient and safe.

"I can tell you that the Australian troops are just beginning to feel their feet ashore, and they are giving the Turks just a little of what they have got to come. I can hear rifle fire all day and night, and sometimes artillery duels. Of course, we assist greatly by dropping a few large shells on some strong position the Turks are holding, and we have heard that our fire has caused heavy casualties amongst them.

"Of course, the forts reply by firing at us, but luck seems to be part of this ship as our damage is simply insignificant and we have had no casualties. The first thing one shell struck on arrival was a bag of potatoes lying near the funnel.

"I can see everything there is to see going on because my station is at the top of the mast in a little house-like place called the control top, where the firing is directed and the fall of shells spotted. There are some Turkish guns on ----- which open fire at almost regular times, and our gunnery lieutenant will say, 'Watch Whistling Rufus and Aunt Sally now, men, as it is about their time'.

"You see they have disappearing guns which are difficult to hit, but they can be and are silenced. We have seen some big fires caused by our gun fire."

[The Luton News, July 8th, 1915]