Sunday April 25th off Anzac Cove
“6 a.m. Enemy commenced firing on ships. Some shell fell within 150 yds of Minnewaska. Launches & boats returned bringing some dead & wounded. Watching shell falling on our men ashore. We have not landed at the place where it was intended but to the north of it.”
“Conference of Gen. Birdwood, Gen. Bridges & staff as to whether we shall clear out or try & hang on. The position is extremely serious. I could not from where I was sitting help hearing the discussion. I think they would decide to clear out but the Navy can’t do it (take us off) so they have decided to stay if we can hold on.”
April 28th. Wednesday
“The stream of wounded at Beach Hospital continues. Some have most ghastly wounds but heard no moaning no complaint.”
These extracts are taken from the first volume of Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs’ personal diaries which were kindly donated to the State Library by his descendants. The five volumes cover the period from April 1915 through to July 1919 and have recently been digitised and made available online.
Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs is well known and respected in Western Australia as both an architect and soldier. At the outbreak of World War One he was given command of the artillery of the 1st Division of the Australian Imperial Force and went to Gallipoli. Later he served in France, commanding the 5th Division. In 1918 he was largely responsible for the recapture of Villers-Bretonneux.
After the war he took a keen interest in the commemoration of war dead through memorials and, sadly, he died at sea while en route to Villers-Bretonneux for the unveiling of the war memorial there in 1938.