Correspondence between Field Marshal Lord William Birdwood and Lady Janetta Birdwood, 1915 - Part 16

First World War, 1914–18
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Meeee M ee eee a shevs Australian ivisions &amy toring them. Cwhill to Teti eve tety old one which I am foing to sead off to demhos Sor Imbros for a comflete months rest where I hope they way beable to Get into Cents- have a daity brash with ont eae offbeine s thet & Shepe gets Ge look in at. a canteen which is Lestapes what them want. Ass much, as anyth So many of them have got so weak that they realtiare bscleson except to stard belindser wall & shoost. It see astreadnar that great strove men should aelt rong down insuch a manner lest I have got to do is to bi them to pick up & before the winter. as o therwire the cold & dam here will lind them out tremsullonsly stal of them will go down with phemmonic Seent from hant the oltt doye telling we tthey had me Wor &d Wance Sole Rimer Bgo - Gon beves told me. Idont suplose cot ohe& liklets to bhe seeing amy thing of them again f ust yet ans hile Dascter in hem could rememter to sta Rythe bee. me later on a Leths Indliam & Coloniae. Rough Divire No. 35- firhend neer in d stall not of- coure. wants it till B llas, so there is no sont of being about it Ontatson might make a hote of it Also what. I do want is one bater towel - not a hure big one like to ose lovely on
on o lf tope 217 e fn unan for Thas but A Reaitle t. Gelones &out. Ceant Cake o So much roow, those I have here are getting tom to pieces. Akso doo think goo rous goth me. a sfair o stiphers. I enclose the measarement of my forst & elineg I think shorld do to goby - I want comething fairly Sufstantral & not so big th at ove Cambut walk about Compitatey with thom coming off. I walk dowin to the beach formi deite swoom in them alwang's say prssent Iair is about wan out. While am on the subfect of sending things out. Are t in sendin me roin cepfies of the times, when done with at the Cua ofthe Wels adlan o ftem ad as a hate of pert see to Relea hece but sometunes do. not si as le qutar soppere wuuld be cnce though of comre sut out anythiing if on ever mar be fre seoding them Wasut that as fine Punch sar toon of Chirsha& the Cmmperon n st hill go down with the one of Letting dour the Pilost Ihad one i ore boggist fight & stnce our big advance Ar taking a hill on lim left during which we had yearly Lore castalti es - Corks om flet to emel Wets of offecst beteeen o ane 5o to the Curkrs. I am alman leping that these. heavy losses. may do Something to weaken them oppsition, Cupest prssent they dou it heewe to do so & Goolises o tens when ttey o t bort. ting. It wom aible of 1othat. hat te
v Me Me Mu my keen on hot having. a wintr Campargu here - but thet thee tay not be able to arorid. I have just heard the ad bonk was after all hilled - ohe hever knows wht to believe. Set Little mane davice 19th Bny Heate say who told ave this - he is now with the Gemanery & is Ingt the tells me ged officration fore celord. ce rother baste wound &a sellet thrugh the shrentae & chest. Derasay he may but be back here. af all events not for to long time. Lance humself he lath here (with Btued Bsyngs fore about 3 weeks & was lolking very well he is sme though to be with sores, he atrays to have, not cotest letter of 5th & 16th The latter about a day beavre the former. The one of the 5th had I see. been ferosdes, by the bish ffice to the officerd to toligt Retin sestrome f orstnstralie vo theefor s in stenice & ead waiked oo the back of ot. ported tunded & but & wlle performing dutres 9 5-- 5.1500 Rather unnrecessai eliot Choth e 5th om wite about Monks son. Got mnight bot hee knon the I frenat came aleaether toar lale ofo me to he able to do mmyyting & brr it. H blam
7. 4 fo ty Ld litey tgo seciied te treafghy- Start hm fear therre are many & thens. I wined haturally take just though from his report he seems to be. an excellent boy. I have recently had. Angekey away sick, & have to send Churnside away to Egypt - also sick - butt there reallyis. very little for an H..C. to Adhere & Aegakay is hom back fon have been brackking out in the Femmius line. Goring out of Gou deptth, but even with Chis there I dout think it ts very safe, so douit lem tre suck larks- Again little one! I. kuns to say Shareficed secems a tho st cherting liteblace & rather like what one would like to down in when we retine. I. Such places with the teal omet little house are however asboundingly difficult to there in alway's some patal drawback of sorts. the homse the drans for want of themy t distances from a station atte 1s Revel going to stay on with hom Father after the wa when he is maiied 2. up not hoom sather certainly ought to take on my little Steward who is suct an excellent fellin Dam store would do bim real well. A teato the - alive most willing & had working o. fance wined thm his hamd to mmything & posbey leari to dine. a mstor in no time I dout Knin how mese foe he toued be trugh in o ther outside work.- Cut by the Cnd of this war otes An lave Reos Rotreutiy abbout hakes.
Me Ma e ee Wehee mrey e eche yow are seeing sometting ofthemen in the ospitales aw save they with Appeciate ths- they are meet real Svit fellows & so seldous have any complaints. Allo the first loth though one fearfully dove now & for the time being practically uiscless, So I am treing to st them Allawary for ablecnst a moithe- rast - toone of there Havis where the climate- may not be different- but where as the eay they will atall events be able to strap in comfert withoo the Contant chances of shells & bullets - of the to mer & d lardly remember one colming in at night since piv Onslow was killed though of course we have lots all day - The Turks hawever bever seem to tire of rifle fire & same nights, & hear bullets- coming over at any & even om water diam awaike - Trresfective of course of attack of draws which me often camy out smake them wade bossands of rounds for nothing. We men theronighl emetas & Salways make an old Reft shor evene new lotwhit ait means, as o therwise & new troops are Gable Aberatained wher they near bactine gone & pondreds of rifles teing away jlost a few enches over their heads, as hard as they can got dtomakes al choss in the takle aptelling don especially the Minstoland te content between. My men o the Cerilenaks of Kis Are is seather awful. mry th amost able to two atheme &
M o tm he ee fam et ate Wi ee think a bists &it Ever Aira Mt at mhal mhake the Mlastrapils to te that to se the all the Britat Am Cam prodnice & that they are so much- better tham them I am glad to sav that - so far then get on teether most Cepitally & area the bert of piats hore have the & 54th Caritaras Division Csose, Ieepetd onter the. Ae well as cel 3own Divisions - which &hould mean. About 50,000 men - but aas all are ss weak that me are very far short o that Chaitie Chitty's sor has come as a Cenctori al Sbelter i but I tavent hets seei him. Harcoust Butter has suddenty later to wrehas. we most afecten ste Nalline letes wich. Wellly make one bele very lice of him. Buit saw wot thank when he strould. fance be goes to Binmne asvla in. Aetoher & wiite laton his way back to Mudig as heis to beais Stmmle firo bot hore. that lovety places besn seem to have Roind s sarefield, & it is sertainly very nice & for Nance tavi Wents like the. Sted daeis & Wen tenons, to gor foom times to Cines for ted. etc.. Chirs boom davs save envyss his eathe sitgs nice of Mr. Goodlake t have allined him to lise hes grounds Can quite undane . parland being rether ot
n Merecc it with &r chuen, she well werd be some having to took afternan lot like that & wheg it. Must te worse sthan An. Arviy Corps .. Iave withom about Pinche Pessees & uth let tol hoas soin tes wer fom fes swalle I hame so ors bedge of the eume regulation- about suc things les murh ball mryg, love teee Fabre att Gunebers tovines teed Whd OOrree Arceres 154 126 2t Sath [1]
imee eomecel uecee noy acece cpeed cera ecce oreleee ce Me Saily force. 19 Sept 15. Vy awn deating Jorniyng gone I have had a to. to do the Cerpen days settling up tings at Anzac before coming over here to Rephalo - on the Island of Imbros to stay for the days with Sir Ian - and must say it is very nice feeling one harnt to think of anything & cambe in at erolute peace for the time being. when I say in at evhite peace though. I am hrong:, as the recently started all their an ship sheds etc. Ctose to where Sir Ian has his. H.Q. This the Turks have just found out & consegpently are to ging to bomk & dests on our ith eretimes etc. pust before. I arived they made a said & drepped & touks which bounded 5. men & thei last night just as were going to drner we heard a seves of bango quite close &found two. Turkish pllanes right ever us & very low down. They sun though againdafled & bants, but did no party. was bright tovonight it was impossible to see them Maless Very hap tioned to get right between not the lne then of course yon headd them garring one & then seemedtibe wit over the tents from thei horse. They dre On Sely bad shots though &it with be bad buck if tth 5d. Caftef Com coefly s hill. Blter tewen.
Mmi M he l a e ffl 1 is tere th. Farge of oun. at nafte. some of which were at orce sent off to retaliate by an attack on the Turkis sheds &though they came back saying they had stashed thage thre. S rather doubt it. Mtel, I fet Carst Id have bad a new servation the of all went up in er smell anrship which they have recently got hae just feew about round the peece to 16 thmutes a so. atas beight of about 700 ft. St. mas. qiter nice though there was a strong wind sste kefit diving her hose down & then tringing it up again. do soop as me. lot back I heard a tremendous lot heavy gun fire going on At Anzare, wihichors only about 12 untro off ours it might have been a Turkil attack I thought I might as well to over there so fith an aeroplane & iff we went I was pito tea a Capt. Samson, R.N. whom & on May have leard of - carlie to the mar he did some rather omon's plights in France ir & fency, enbery forst man & the Actiral Star tingef in d thint the most alartning past of it3s. A on Cass - along the ground at about Do miles an houn before getting into the anr- dueetly yong ove in the an it is all right and one feats nothing atall cut. to 2 io the way of being alarined & tolm bhost is not. highenough.
Ai re toee teehehe e ne f Armtse unt we mmmesh es omes in howr Sean son Sand wve thust have beendoing walk 100- on part of the way back. af the same time yon doul have any feeling of going at an awful pece. though of camrse there is the Cerible Tush of anr past goe the Chole giing &it whightes & howts though the sails- which combined with the roar of theen gines & propellon wathes it impossible near anything. It gots cold too- I wwas ginen speeial clotes W ed to wall tomid in framte toifel calls t Comblete airtight thick trather Suit lined with theck Wost.- Cet Hell conflite & ten then it was pletty cold. Flying right over tthe Jernsula, it all looked so extrandmanily t8th. Chdank Eay afth seemed quite imfosable to becheve th get over those few miles as of course it all looks so Sugtts & flet. But with right over a looking domon aar position. Gon sew all the Lnge hetook off Muhish trench stetaling all over the hills & going aight tock for Miles The bombardment had practically. ceased. wher. I got over see Brtone could still see shelts felling in diffecent to claces - ven moring. I colldnt see attall. After cuctine over the turned round & came back again- Larding seens quite diffcntt but S. Must day Sams on trought ho. down beartefully Iat and Beathwaite, bo ths seem very well be m Pollely tonlo to hins. bee.

a new Australian Division & am using them entirely to 
relieve my old one which I am going to send off to Lemnos 
or Imbros for a complete month's rest where I hope they 
may be able to get into tents - have a daily wash with out 
fear of being shot & I hope get a look in at a canteen 
which is perhaps what they want as much as anything.
So many of them have got so weak that they really are
useless except to stand behind a wall & shoot. It seems
extraordinary that great strong men should get run
down in such a manner. What I have got to do, is to try
& get them to pick up before the winter as otherwise the
cold & damp here will find them out horrendously & half
of them will go down with pneumonia.
I heard from Maud the other day, telling me they had met  
you & Nancy some time ago - you never told me. I don't 
suppose you are likely to be seeing anything of them 
again just yet awhile. 
By the bye I wonder if you could remember to send  
me later on a Lett's Indian & Colonial Rough Diary 
No. 35 for next year.  I shall not of course want it 
till Xmas, so there is no sort of hurry about it, 
but you might make a note of it. 
Also what I do want is one bath towel - not 
a huge big one like those lovely ones your Father


2) has , but a moderate sized one that doesn't take up 
so much room.  Those I have here are getting torn to  
pieces. Also do you think you can get me a pair of 
slippers. I enclose the measurements of my foot: which 
I think should do to go by. I want something fairly substantial 
& not so big that one cannot walk about comfortably without 
them coming off! I walk down to the beach for my daily swim 
in them always & my present pair is about worn out. While I 
am on the subject of sending things out. Are you sending 
me your copies of the "Times" when done with at the end of the  
week? I very often do as a matter of fact see them regularly 
here, but sometimes do not, so a regular supply would
be nice, though of course cut out anything you ever want
before sending them. Wasn't that a fine Punch cartoon 
of Christ & the Emperor? It will go down with the one of  
"Letting down the Pilot". 
I had one more biggish fight since our big advance, in 
taking a hill on my left, during which we had nearly 
2000 casualties, but I am glad to say caused losses of 
at least between 4 and 5000 to the Turks. I am always 
hoping that these heavy losses may do something to 
weaken their opposition, And at present they don't 
seem to do so & goodness knows when they will. There  
is one thing I am sure of, that is that they are fearfully


keen on not having a winter Campaign here - but that  
they may not be able to avoid! I have just heard that  
Millbank was after all killed - one never knows what 
to believe. I met little Major Lance (19th Bn) yesterday 
who told me this - he is now with the Yeomanry & is 
officiating for Colonel Cole who he tells me got a  
rather nasty wound - a bullet through the shoulder 
& chest, so I daresay he may not be back here- at 
all events not for a long time- Lance himself has  
been here (with Bingo Byng's force) about 3 weeks & was 
looking very well. he is sure though to be hit soon- he 
always is!
I have just got your letters of 5th & 16th - The latter 
about a day before the former! The one of the 5th had 
I see been forwarded by the War Office to the office of  
the High Commissioner for Australia in the first  
instance & had marked on the back of it "Reported 
wounded but still performing duties 15-5-15". !! 
Rather un-necessary eh? On the 5th you wrote 
about Monk's son - you might let her know that 
I fear it came altogether too late for me to 
be able to do anything about it, for as you know I


3) had long ago seemed de Crespigny -& failing him 
I fear there are many others I would naturally take 
first though from his report he seems to be an excellent 
 boy.  I have recently had Angelsey away sick, & have to  
send Chirnside away to Egypt - also sick - but there really is 
very little for an A.D.C to do here & Angelsey is now back. 
You have been breaking out in the swimming line, going out 
of your depth, but even with Chris there I don't think it 
is very safe, so don't you try such larks again little 
one!  I must say Harefield seems a most charming  
little place & rather like what one would like to settle  
down in when we retire? Such places with the ideal  
little house are however astoundingly difficult to come by  
& there is always some fatal drawback of sorts - the house- 
the drains (or want of them) - distance from a station etc.  
Is Revel going to stay on with your father after the war 
when he is married?  If not your father certainly ought 
to take on my little Steward who is such an excellent fellow 
& I am sure would do him real well- a teetotaller -  always  
most willing & hard working, I fancy would turn his hand  
to anything & probably, learn to drive a motor in no time.  
I don't know how useful he would be though in other  
outside work. but by the end of this war, he should  
have learnt something about ponies- I am so glad 


you are seeing something of the men in the hospital & 
I am sure they will appreciate this - they are such real 
good fellows & so seldom have any complaints. All of  
the first lot though are fearfully close now & for the time 
being practically useless, so I am trying to get them 
all away for at least a month's rest to one of those Islands 
where the climate may not be different but where as they  
say they will at all events be able to sleep in comfort 
without the constant chances of shells & bullets - of the 
former I hardly remember one coming in at night since 
poor Onslow was killed, though of course we have lots all 
day.  The Turks however never seem to tire of rifle fire 
& some nights I hear bullets coming over at any & every 
hour when I am awake - irrespective of course of attacks 
or " draws" which we often carry out & make them 
waste thousands of rounds for nothing. The men thoroughly 
enjoy this & I always make an old Regt show every  
new lot what it means as otherwise new troops are 
liable to be alarmed when they hear machine guns & 
hundreds of rifles firing away just a few inches over 
their heads as hard as they can go- it makes an 
appalling din, especially the echoes in the valleys 
The contrast between my men & the newly landed  
Territorials  & this army is rather awful - my men seem 
almost able to eat two of them and it makes one 


4) think a bit- I am only afraid that it may make 
the Australians think that these are all this British Army 
can produce & that they are so much better than them 
I am glad to say that so far they get on together most 
capitally & are the best of pals. I now have the 54th  
Territorial Division (Genl Inglefield) with me, as well as my 
3 own Divisions - which should mean about 50,000 men - but  
alas all are so weak that we are very far short of that. 
Charlie Chitty's son has come as a Territorial Subaltern 
but haven't yet seen him 
Harcourt Butter has suddenly taken to writing the most 
affectionate & flattering letters, which nearly make one blush - 
very nice of him, but I cannot think why he should. 
 I fancy he got to Burma as LG in October & wrote 
last on his way back to India, as he is to be in Suvla 
for a bit now. 
What lovely places you seem to have found you at 
Harefield & it is certainly very nice for Nancy having 
friends like the Steddalls  & Harlands to go to 
from time to time for tea etc, Chris too I am sure 
enjoys his Bathe & it is nice of Mrs Goodlake 
to have allowed them to use her grounds. 
I can quite imagine Mrs Harland being rather alarming


but with 22 children, she will need be! Fancy 
having to look after a lot like that - why it must 
be worse than an Army Corps. 
I have written about [[?]] pension & will let you 
know as soon as I get a reply, for personally I have 
no knowledge of the [[?]] regulations about such  
Goodbye little lamb & all my love to you 
Ever your ever loving old 

3rd series (15)


Med Expedit Force
19 Sept 15.
My own darling Jenny Jane..
I have had a lot to do the last few days settling up
things at Anzac before coming over here to Kephalo - on the
Island of Imbros to stay for ten days with Sir Ian - and I
must say it is very nice feeling one hasn't to think of
anything & can be in at absolute peace for the time being-
when I say in absolute peace though. I am wary, as they
recently started all their air ship sheds etc. close to where
Sir Ian has his. H.Q. This the Turks have just found out
& consequently are trying to bomb & destroy our machines
etc. Just before I arrived they made a raid &  dropped 8  bombs
which wounded 5 men & there last night just as were going to
dinner we heard a series of bangs quite close & found  
two Turkish planes right over us & very low down. They  
again dropped 8 bombs but did no harm. Even though it 
was bright moonlight it was impossible to see them unless  
they happened to get right between you & moon, though  
of course you heard them passing over & they seemed to be  
only just over the tents from the noise. They are  
jolly bad shots though & it will be bad luck if they do  
much harm - Capt. (now Col) Sykes who was in Suvla 


is here in charge of our air craft, some of which were 
at once sent off to retaliate by an attack on the Turkish  
sheds & though they came back saying they had smashed 
up things there, I rather doubt it. 
And I have had a new sensation on my first fly! I first  
of all went up in a small air ship which they have 
recently got, & we just flew about round this place for 
10 minutes or so at a height of about 700 ft . It was  
quite nice though there was a strong wind & she kept 
diving her nose down & then bringing it up again. 
As soon as we got back I heard a tremendous lot of 
heavy gun fire going on at Anzac which is only 
about 12 miles off & as it might have been a Turkish 
attack I thought I might as well go over there, so I  
got on an aeroplane and off we went! I was piloted by  
a Capt Samson R.N whom you may have heard of - earlier  
in the war he did some rather famous flights in France  
& is I fancy a very good man. The actual starting off  
is I think the most alarming part of it # as  
you taxi along the ground at about 60 miles an  
hour before getting into the air - directly you are in  
the air it is all right and one feels nothing at all  
in the way of being alarmed. We went up to 7000  
ft & even that is not high enough to be safe from 


2) enemy's shells- we went over at about 70 miles an  
hour & Samson said we might have been doing nearly 
100 on part of the way back - At the same time you don't 
have any feeling of going at an awful pace, though 
of  course there is the terrible rush of air past you the  
whole time & it whistles & howls through the sails- which combined  
with the roar of the engines & propeller makes it impossible 
to hear anything. It gets very cold too. I was given special clothes 
in which you would think it was impossible to feel cold. A 
Complete airtight thick leather suit lined with thick 
wool. Cap & all complete & even then it was pretty cold 
Flying right over the peninsula it all looked so extraordinarily
easy and it seemed quite impossible to believe that we couldn't 
get over those few miles as of course it all looks so 
smooth & flat.  But when right over and looking down on 
our positions you saw all the huge network of Turkish trenches
stretching all over the hills and going right back for miles.
The bombardment had practically ceased when I got over 
there, but one could still see shells falling in different  
places - men moving I couldn't see at all. After circling 
over we turned round & came back again. Landing 
seems quite difficult but I must say Samson brought 
us down beautifully. 
Sir Ian and Braithwaite both seem very well as does 
Pollen who is always so very nice to me and Winston

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