Gallipoli Letters 2
Richard Bassett served with the 8th Battalion at Gallipoli. He was born in Colac, Victoria in 1887. He enlisted in 1914 and wrote many letters home from Gallipoli. These were posted in the Colac Reformer. These are some of the extracts.
“I have been having a good time up to the present. You will know all about what we have been doing by now. We have had some very warm work to do, and things are pretty brisk as I write. A few minutes ago a shell burst on the bank of our dug-out, about three feet away, and partially buried me as I was writing. Had to stop and clean the earth out before continuing. I just heard that poor Johnny Hetz had been shot; also that Alec Sitlington had been wounded, but not seriously. (Both were shot during the attack against Krithia). It is going on all the time, and one has to take the chances, and you never know when it will be your own turn. We are having a ‘ rest’ just now, but not out of the danger zone by any means. “
“Somehow or other (though it is only natural, I suppose), Australian papers have confined themselves almost solely to accounts of Australian heroism when writing of Gallipoli. For this reason, the wonderful work of the British and French troops at Cape Hellos has been almost ignored by the people of Australia. I was down at Cape Hellos, and saw the position that the British troops have to take, and I say that of the two I fancy ours was the easier job. They had some awful nerve-racking experiences to go through, and in the course of conversation with one of the men who was in the landing party, I was enabled to glean a few particulars, and I can assure you that the way in which many of these men went to certain death is a story in itself………..the Australians were not the only men who did magnificent work that day of the landing.”
(Published in the Colac Reformer 24th June 1915)