‘Nothing happened’

It is a very curious thing, but in none of the sources that I have used for understanding the full military context of George’s life on Gallipoli does the date 29 May feature. Nor did he write a letter to Kittie on this day. So is it one of those black holes in his biography that I have referred to before, and which all biographers know so well? On this day, 29 May 1915 (a Saturday), did ‘nothing happen’?

On the contrary. ‘Everything’ happened, in the sense that ‘everything went on’. At Anzac and Helles soldiers continued to dig, the air still smelt of corpses, snipers still killed. Bakers baked in the enormous bakeries. Cooks cooked. The latrines heaved with flies. With the departure of the battleships, the Turkish artillery on the Asian shore became more active against the beaches and the ‘plain’ on which George was camped. Troops and munitions arrived. On board his command ship, the Arcadian, Sir Ian Hamilton agonised over whether he had enough of both to ‘push on’ as Kitchener urged him to.

Next entry: 30 May 1915


About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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