UTS Library

Cecil Anthony McAnulty, KIA Battle of Lone Pine, Gallipoli 8-10 August 1915

Cecil McAnulty was a Private in the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Brigade of the Australian Imperial Force. Originally a clerk from Ballarat, he had enlisted aged 27 in February of 1915. His Brigade launched the attack on The Lone Pine on 6 August 1915 against formidable entrenched Turkish positions, sections of which were securely roofed over with pine logs. For the Australian forces, this battle saw some of the fiercest fighting of the entire Gallipoli campaign.

Cecil recorded his experience in a diary and that has been digitised and transcribed for access via the Australian War Memorial website here: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/1DRL/0422/

Bill Gammage uses quotes from Cecil’s diary to illustrate the hell that was that battle at Lone Pine in his book The Broken Years (see my previous post). On the Friday, 6 August, while waiting for orders to charge the Turkish trenches Cecil writes:

Their artillery are replying now and shells are beginning to rain down on us. They are getting the range now, shelling the support trenches, men are beginning to drop. Howitzer shells are dropping about 30 yards from us digging great holes where they land. The fumes are suffocating, the shrapnel is pouring all round us getting chaps everywhere. This is hell waiting here.

The first rush has been made and our chaps have got into the Turkish trenches. The wounded are beginning to come back. Some awful wounds. Word given to get ready to charge. Must finish, hope to get through alright.

Cecil doesn’t write again until Sunday, 8 August and this is his last entry. It is possible that he died writing that last unfinished sentence:

I’ve pulled through alright so far, just got a few minutes to spare now. I’m all out, can hardly stand up.

On Friday when we got the word to charge, Frank and I were on the extreme left of the charging party. There was a clear space of about 100 yards to cross without a patch of cover. I can’t realise how I got across it, I seemed to be in a sort of a trance, the rifle and machine gun fire was hellish. I remember dropping down when we reached their trenches, looked around and saw Frank and three more men alongside me. There was a big gap between us and the rest of our men … [who] were  behind the shelter of the Turkish parapet … We were right out in the open .. I yelled out to the other 4 chaps ‘This is suicide boys. I’m going to make a jump for it.’ I thought they said alright we’ll follow. I sprang to my feet in one jump …

Cecil is buried at Lone Pine Cemetery.