I have written a full story (click here), of Andy's war service. (warning it is very long - 29 pages).
This is just a brief summary of ANZAC day, when Andy, in the 3rd Light Horse Brigade faced death at Gallipoli.
Charles E W Bean an Australian WWI war correspondent and historian records the action at Gallipoli:
‘The first line was to seize the Turkish trenches on ‘The Nek’; the second was to pass over them and take the nearer saps [short trenches] on ‘Baby 700’ [hill]”.
The 3rd LHB attempted against all odds to cross ‘The Nek’, led by the 8th LHR. Four waves attacked with 150 men each, they had no chance and were slaughtered. Andy was in the second wave following over the top just two minutes after the first.
From an Alexandria Military hospital Andy’s letter describes to his sister:
“The crackle was deafening and the smoke of the bombs terrific… We were only a minute or two behind the first line, and when we got up to them there wasn’t a man left standing, so we lay down and took as much cover as we could…I crawled forward a few yards and had a look at the Turks’ trenches. The 10th Regiment formed the 3rd and 4th lines and they came out soon after us. We got up and tried to rush forward with them, but it was no use. I got hit on my thigh as soon as I started to get up and was rolled right over.
My left leg was stiffened a bit with the hit, but I crawled on a bit further. I got right amongst the dead, and it was there I got the one in the back and several grazes on my back and one on my head. These I did not feel. All of the bullets that hit me came from the left flank and I am thankful to say that they went right through. After I was hit I wriggled back as far as I could undercover and lay there for some time. After a while, I heard the regiment was retiring”.
Andy was one lucky soldier when two men took his equipment off him and started to drag him in. Two others - Trumpeter Les Lawry, an 18-year-old carpenter’s apprentice from Geelong and trooper Albert Williams a 19-year-old farmer from Broadmeadows carried him to safety.
Link to Heritage Citation Report for 'Woodlands', the Crawford original home atToolamba West.