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The Rock-itt : July 2011
defence as wave after wave of screaming Turks bore down upon the defenders trenches. By daylight the numbers of Turks dead and wounded were beginning to pile up in front of the Diggers’ positions. After 6 hours, the Turks had suffered over 10,000 dead and wounded with 3,000 lying out in No Man’s Land, which is where they were to stay for days to come. On 20 May, several Australians sought to rescue Turkish wounded from No Man's Land, the narrow strip of ground between the opposing forces, which was becoming littered with dead bodies. An informal truce was called while both sides collected their dead and wounded. On 24 May, an eight-hour formal break in fighting was agreed for both sides to again collect their dead and wounded. The cease-fire was honoured by both sides. It was during this period that both sides conducted a study of each other’s trench systems. Amongst the ANZAC dead was John Simpson Kirkpatrick [pictured below] who attained fam e within the early days of the landings by assisting wounded Diggers by carrying them back on a mule he had commandeered. Regardless of his own safety he allegedly brought back over 300 men to Anzac Cove where proper medical attention could be delivered. It was in the course of his duties that he was hit in the back by a stray machine gun bullet and subsequently died of his wounds. Sadly although recomm ended for a posthumous Victoria Cross, the paperwork was incorrectly completed and despite vigorous efforts by generations of people, he still remains unrewarded for his selfless acts in 24 days of the Gallipoli campaign. The ANZACs during this battle lost 160 dead and 468 wounded in comparison to the mighty numbers of Turkish casualties. This fact alone should have provided the strategists within Allied High Command critical evidence; evidenc e demonstrating without doubt that to mount an attack against a strongly defended position with sufficient machine gun emplacements was sheer murder. Simpson and his donkey – a statue to commemorate his heroics can be seen outside the War Memorial in Melbourne