Artwork Description / Detail
Moore-Jones enlisted in the British section of the NZEF (New Zealand Expeditionary Force) in 1914, aged 47, and served as a Sapper in the 1st Company NZ Engineers at Gallipoli. There, he worked for Lieutenant-General Sir William Birdwood’s Anzac Corps Headquarters as a topographical draughtsman. He also worked on a large series of watercolours and drawings of the Anzac landscape, some of which were later completed in England. He was wounded in 1915.
Moore-Jones exhibited his artworks in London, including a private showing to the Royal Family. A portfolio of his prints was published in 1916, and an exhibition of his works toured New Zealand in 1917 to raise funds for the RSA. The New Zealand Government turned down the opportunity to purchase this collection, which was later purchased by Australia for the Australian War Memorial.
Moore-Jones died of burns received while rescuing people from the Hamilton Hotel fire in 1922.
Plate No.4 – THE HISTORIC POSITIONS.
Sketch No.4 is from without the inner line of trenches, on Plugge’s Plateau, looking south-east across the famous Shrapnel Gully to the heights where the Turks had been chased in retreat on the glorious 25th. Here is Dead Man’s Ridge and Posts of Pope, Quinn and Courtney. There was little standing room for reserves, and right in front near the edge was the Turk. Revetments (terraces) had to be cut to give standing room for the reserves waiting to relieve in the trenches. Road tracks and steps had to be made and revetted; communication trenches dug to save the men from the fire. This is a further illustration of the gigantic work of the engineers, who were faced by almost insurmountable difficulties. Dead Man’s Ridge is seen to the left of and opposite Quinn’s; it received its gruesome name because so many dead lay upon it beyond reach before an armistic was granted.
As Sir Ian Hamilton says: ‘Here our force trenches are mere ledges on the brink of sheers precipices, falling hundreds of feet into the valley below. The enemy’s trenches are only a few feet distant.’
Anzac’s description in ‘On the Anzac Trail’ (Heinemann) gives a graphic word picture of this. “Our position as finally formed extended along a very crest or rim of the cliff for a distance of about two miles, or rather better. Here and there deep gullies, or canons, ran into and cut the line, or caused the line itself to bulge considerably towards the enemy positions. Such was ‘Shrapnel Gully’, at the head of which lay ‘Quinn’s Post’, where our trenches had to be pushed perilously forward owing to the configuration of the ground. ‘Quinn’s post’, in fact, formed the key to the whole position; it lay right in the centre of the line, and had it been carried the whole bag of tricks would, in my opinion, have crumpled up badly, and a big disaster might have occurred. When your centre is pierced it’s no picnic. To the left of ‘Quinn’s was ‘Dead Man’s ridge’, held by the Turks, and from which they were able to snipe right down ‘Shrapnel Gully’, and, incidentally, our camps and dug-outs. It was from ‘Dead Man’s Ridge’, that General Bridges was shot as he was directing operations in the ‘Gully’.”
Sapper H. Moore-Jones
Taken from Sketches Made at Anzac, 1916