War Memoir of Robert Ellwood

Ellwood: I was only a small ant in a big anthill. But a lot of it is very very interesting. It brings back a lot of memories and it explains a few things – a lot of things it leaves out, it doesn’t say anything about how the machine gun unit was destroyed at German Officers Trench and quite a number of things. But go ahead Doc its interesting. I can’t say I’m enjoying it.

Turnbull: Well if I could just ask you one question what happened to the Machine Gun Unit at German Officers Trench?

Ellwood: Well the Emden was locked up in Constantinople. The Emden was a German battle ship. She had twelve inch? I think she had twelve inch guns and what you call naval guns haven’t the same trajectory as a howitzer would have and with the result that the Emden used to shell us very very occasionally because the trajectory was that flat it used to skim over the top. You could see the whole thing coming a big 8 inch shell, 12 inch shell sorry. The 15 inch shell the Elizabeth had she must have had a 12 inch I think. You could see it skimming over the top of the Turkish trenches like that before it hit somewhere which meant it wasn’t very effective but it had a demoralising effect. And it was one of those that hit German Officers trench and blew the machine gun there up in the air with the people in charge of it. And I can remember seeing the machine gun and the crew as high in the air as that ceiling with it blown up.

And I can remember them coming down through our trenches, those that survived, just like chattering Monkeys, their nerves were so destroyed. And there they were and that’s anyhow, they were just like chattering monkeys the poor beggars. From the shock of this being blown up and the effects of the explosion. And that is how German Officers Trench was put out of existence.