Ross & Cromarty War Memorials

A Brief History
of the Ross Mountain Battery

Ammunition Column

 

Bringing up the Ammunition

A Dingwall driver in the Ammunition Column, an old academy boy, whose knowledge of horses before the war extended no further perhaps than that gained in an occasional ride in the "Dingwall cab", sends the following interesting story of how the Ammunition Column of Ross Mountain Battery took up heavy supplies from the base to the guns just before the great Gully Ravine battle on 28th June 1915, in the Gallipoli Campaign (25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916).

Saturday 26th of June (1915).
I will try to interest you with an account of our first trip up to our Batteries, which are situated pretty close to the trenches, and doing excellent work. The Batteries require a pretty large supply of ammunition at once, so our four teams had to go up. The journey was practically impossible through the day, as the Turks could easily spot us from their positions on this hill they have stubbornly held on to for so long, and before we could get very far we would be greeted with a storm of shrapnel and shells. We got the order to harness up, and within a quarter of an hour our four teams were ready for the road and keen to be off. Each waggon had a fairly heavy load, and at some stages of the way, where the ground was extra steep, I found myself wondering if our team had just a little more than they could manage. Our road run from the Base, past the Headquarters of the Division, and passed some of the watering places. Further along we pass, on the left, one of the Red Cross camps, and on the right the Rest Camp. So far the road is fairly practicable, although quite bad enough to make any road surveyor scratch his head in despair.

Then came the ups and downs. Every now and again our mules would stumble over holes caused by the bursting of shells. On several occasions my pair all but lost their balance, and almost pitched me out of the saddle. We also had some nasty turns to make. A sharp turn on a narrow road with ditches sometimes about ten feet on either side is not a simple thing to accomplish in the dark. At each of these turns we fully expected to land with waggon and mules in the ditch.

 

A' Toirt a' Chonnaidh-làmhaich Suas

Dhràibhear a' Inbhir Pheofharain a bha ann an Colbh a Chonnaidh-làmhaich, fear a chaidh dhan Acadamaidh, agus aig nach robh de dheolas air eich ron Chogadh ach na fhuair e bho bhith falbh ann an cab Inbhir Pheofharain an-dràsta is a-rithist. Tha e ag innse mu mar a tharraing Colbh Connadh-làmhaich Bataraidh Beinne Rois stuthan troma bhon ionad-stòraidh aca gu na gunnaichean dìreach mus do thòisich am blàr mòr aig Gully Ravine air 28 Ògmhios 1915, mar phàirt den iomairt-chogaidh aig Gallipoli (25 Giblean 1915 gu 9 Faoilleach 1916).

Disathairne 26 Ògmhios (1915).
Feuchaidh mi ri cunntas inntinneach a thoirt dhut air a chiad turas againn gu na Bataraidhean againn, a tha suidhichte faisg air na trainnsichean, agus tha iad ri obair ionmholta. Tha na Bataraidhean feumach air luchd mhòr de shligean gach turas, mar sin b'fheudar dha na ceithir sgiobaidhean againn a dhol suas. Bha e cha mhòr do-dhèanta an turas a dhèanamh tron latha, thoradh chitheadh na Turcaich sinn gu furasta bhon àite aca air a™' chnoc a tha iad air a bhith dì€on gu diongmhalta airson ùine fhada. Bhiomaid air ar frasadh le sligean is sprùilleach bho na spreadhaidhean mus deigheamaid ro fhada. Fhuair sinn òrdan gus na cairtean fhaighinn deiseil, agus taobh a-staigh cairteal na h-uarach bha na ceithir sgiobaidhean againn deiseil agus ro dheònach falbh. Bha luchd caran trom anns gach cairt, agus uaireannan air an t-slighe ann an àiteachan gu math cas, bha mi a' smaoineachadh, saoil a bheil cus againn airson ar sgioba de mhuileidean. Bha an rathad a' dol bhon ionad- stòraidh againn, seachad air Pròmh-ionad na Roinne-cogaidh, agus seachad air àiteachan airson uisge fhaighinn. Nas fhaide air adhart, tha aon de na campaichean aig a' Chrois Dheirg air ar laimh chli, agus air an taobh dheas tha an Campa Foise. Thuige seo tha an rathad math gu leòr, ach nam faiceadh neach-tomhais rathaidean e, cha dèanadh e ach a cheann a chrathadh.

An uair sin, thòisich e a fàs nas miosa. An-dràsta 's a-rithist bhiodh aon de na muileidean a tuisleachadh sna tuill a dh'fhà€g na sligean nuair a spreadh iad. Cha mhòr nach do thuit am paidhir agamsa grunn thursan, agus theab mi tuiteam far na dìollaid. Cuideachd, bha againn ri tionndadh ann an àiteachan gu math doirbh. Chan e rud furasta a tha ann tionndadh gu cas air rathad cumhang san dorchadas le dì€gean air gach taobh a tha mu dheich troighean tarsainn. Gach turas a bha sinn a tionndadh mar sin, bha làn dùil againn gun tuiteamaid fhìn, na cairtean agus na muileidean dhan dìg.

 

 

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