Anzac Day - Allan Nash's Gallipoli diary

Allan Nash's Gallipoli diary

Allan William Nash was a teacher in Gympie when he joined the 2nd Australian Light Horse regiment in 1914. He was initially a Captain in the B Squadron, and at Gallipoli was promoted to Major in command of C Squadron.

Nash's diaries begin in 1909, recording his daily life as a teacher and work on the farm. They also record his enlistment and training with the 2nd Australian Light Horse, and their departure from Brisbane and landing in Egypt in 1914. 

 

Allan Nash's diary from 1915

Some 1915 diary entries include:

Monday, 10 May 1915
Kingstonian left Alexandria at 10:30 a.m. Lovely cool breeze all day. Everyone on board very sociable. 38 officers on board but only accommodation for 20.

Wednesday 12 May 1915:
A wonderfully fine day. Sea as smooth as glass. Arrived off Dardanelles about 6:30, dusk. Heavy bombardment started. Watch flash of ship's guns and flash of shells until 11 p.m. Tremendous rattle of machine guns and rifle fire. British attacking Turks position. No particulars available.

Thursday, 13 May 1915
Woke up to the sound of guns. Bomb killed Bahr. Our ship is anchored off Cape Helles. Many warships in view also transports and 2 hospital ships. Watching position of Turks through telescope. Moved on to Kaba Tepe. Landed with 19 men. Left 22 men to look after the horses on board the
Kingstonian. Many bullets (spent ones) flying over the boat as we were landing. Landed at 1 a.m.

Friday, 14 May 1915
Got up to trenches through Monash Gorge at 9 a.m. 1st & 2nd in trenches 3rd in reserve. Snipers firing down the gorge. 3rd lost 1 killed 7 wounded: 22 wounded in 2nd: C. Sqn made a night attack. Took the Turks trenches but failed to fill them in; lost 25 killed 25 wounded. Dougie Graham killed.

Thursday, 20 May 1915
Turks attacked again at 2 a.m. and continued till 10 a.m. They were repulsed everywhere, our casualties were only about 200. We did not leave our trenches. Turks lost 7000. Many dead Turks lying in front of trenches.

Tuesday, 25 May 1915
An armistice asked for by Turks to bury their dead. Granted from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. I was detailed with 100 men to bury all dead on our line of delimitation. A vile job. Many of the dead were in a very advanced stage of decomposition. Very few of our dead there, about 3000 Turks were buried during the day. They seem a fine body of men physically. Burial party extra rum & swim.

Thursday, 10 June 1915
A very quiet morning. Went for a swim with a party of 40. The water was very cold. Took 40 men to Viney's road for 3 hours, 2-5. Got first issue of fresh bread. A rowdy night. Our firing line rattled off 5 or 6 rounds a man to frighten the Turks but they are getting too cunning now to waste their ammunition.

 

Major Nash was killed in action on 29 June 1915. George Herbert Bourne in The history of the 2nd Light Horse Regiment Australian Imperial Force August 1914-April 1919 wrote 'Major Allan Nash was one of the most efficient, conscientious and respected officers in the Regiment and his loss was a serious one.' He left a wife and two sons.

 

An unidentified Australian soldier stands to attention by the grave of Major (Maj) Allan William Nash, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, who was killed in action on 29 June 1915

Elizabeth Alvey, Darren Williams - Fryer Library

 

Last updated:
24 April 2018