[Jerry Duffull recalls Gallipoli].

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Jerry Duffull of Hamilton, [also known as Allan George Duffull], recalls World War I and being wounded at Gallipoli.

Duffull: We were on water fatigue, all the water had to be carried up these hills. I think it would be about six or seven o'clock in the morning when we went down to get this water and while we were climbing back up the hills, they opened up with this gun, artillery gun, Anafarta they called it. Come from way over in the hills. They'd been giving us a pretty good plaster getting up this hill and we were running and dodging and getting behind banks etc. and we got practically up to the top and there was a bank there, about five or six foot high, and I says to my mates "I'm going to have a spell." We were just about winded carrying these tins of water, running.
So we just squatted down on our tins of water and they sent over shell that landed about 50 or 60 yards away and burst and we were quite safe from that. Then another one come over and that was a dud. We were still sitting there talking about things, when they sent another one over, but they'd switched the gun around a bit and it just burst on top of this bank. It just picked me up like a piece of paper and rolled me away. Nobody else got hit, which is a strange thing to say. We were all in a heap. I got thirteen smacks and nobody else got hit and they all screamed out with the shock and that. One cobber said "Get up you silly old fool, your water's all running out." The tin had been perforated all over with bullets. By this time they could see I was knocked and started to gather me up a bit. They didn't send any more shells over that morning, thank goodness. They got me to the doctor, who patched me up a bit. Then they got me to another dressing station, a bit more advanced and they give me another overhauling. Two little short Tommies there, stretcher bearers in the R.A.M.C., they picked me up to cart me down to the head dressing station which would be the best part of a mile, I'm guessing now.
Any how they picked me up and got underway and a gun opened up again. It was Beachy Bill, they called this fellow. These two Tommies suprised me a bit. I got a terrible surprise, and just dropped me like a bag of spuds and dived in under a sandbank. I was very rude about this and didn't help things at all. I said "You're a great pair of bastards, you are." I said "My mates wouldn't do that. Drop and man and run and hide." All you could see were their backsides sticking out of this sandbank. Any how they picked me up and they got me there alright, after a lot of moaning. I was in very bad odour with them for going crook at them. Any how they got me down where they give me a good overhauling. They carried me out and laid me on the beach and I laid there all day, and not only me. I was the first one out there that morning but by evening they were laying out as far along as you could see. Luckily there was a boat filling up, a hospital ship and they carted us aboard that evening, which was a great relief to get into a decent bed and clean linen and clean pyjamas. I might say we hadn't had a decent wash since we landed, water was at a premium. I thoroughly enjoyed being there, although I was terrible sore.
Any how they took us over to Malta. Went down to Valetta hospital there. I don't know how long I was there at Malta. I got pretty crook, all the wounds went septic and i was in a pretty bad way.

[break in recording]

It's a hell of a country and I think we all remarked the same when we got there, "Fancy coming to fight for a place like this." Terrible place, but of course that wasn't the argument was it? What we were there for was to keep the Turkish Army there. Gallipoli - you were either in the front line trenches or you was digging trenches. If you were lucky enough to get on duty in the front line, well that was the best possie of the lot because you had to be a navvy otherwise digging trenches and roads and what-have-you. Anyway this day, we were widening a road and a mate of mine said "What's the time?" I was the only one in the party had a watch and I said "Five o'clock" Oh, he says, "Knock-off time." I says "Knock-off time? I don't know how that's going to go."
He says "I never worked after five in me life, I'm not going to start now."
So he put his tunic on and says "Come on, knock-off" and I said " I don't think that's going to work" and just then an officer come along, our own officer he was, and he says "What's wrong with you, Lauer? Why have you got your coat on?"
"Knock off sir. It's five o'clock"
He says "That's not going to get you anywhere. You're not working for the county now, you know." And he says "If it's any news to you, you'll still be here at five o'clock in the morning", which we were, we had to work all night.
Interviewer: Could you describe for me just a day, what would happen from the time you woke up while you were in the trenches?
Duffull: Time you woke up? You never slept. That was what I reckon was the hardest part of the war, was lack of sleep. There, particularly, we were very short of men, didn't have half enough men, and the only sleep you got was in the front line trenches. If it was quiet you lay down in the bottom of the trench and had a bit of a sleep, a bit of a a cat nap, until somebody came along and trod on you. That was, I found, the toughest part of the lot. Just once, only once did I take me boots and socks off to have a sleep. We was promised this night off and then things turned out different and we had to go down and drag these artillery guns up these hills, mountains. I found that was the toughest part of the war, while I was there. Lack of tucker, of course, you only got biscuits and bully beef, but you seemed to get used to that a bit, but you couldn't get used to lack of sleep, you had to get some of it. I've honestly seen men standing up, just leaning against a bank, sound asleep, absolutely knocked.

[break in recording]

Duffull: ..took him over there, tour of inspection I think, don't know what they were heading for. This mate of mine, he was a bit of a wag and he says "My God, did you see those couple of jokers today? Nice, pink skins and rosy cheeks and right from New Zealand, full of bloody butterfat. [laughs]

[break in recording]

Unidentified man:
This is our hymn of hate, 'God strafe the flies'
Sing it early, sing it late, 'God strafe the flies'
Where they come from we can't tell
But they surely give us hell
We can only sit and yell 'God strafe the flies'

Transcript by Sound Archives/Ngā Taonga Kōrero

Favourite item:

Request information

Year 1960

Reference number 245789

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Interviews (Sound recordings)
Sound recordings

Credits RNZ Collection
Duffull, Jerry (b.1891, d.1971), Interviewee
New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (estab. 1962, closed 1975), Broadcaster

Duration 00:09:46

Date 1960s

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