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.5. – THE TURK ENTRENCHED POSITIONS.
Here we have the typical Gallipoli landscape – a maze of ravines – lying immediately in front of the fore trenches. It will be noticed how the Turkish guns could be placed on the dominating ridges, and the depth of the ravines afforded such splendid cover that the Australians who held this part of the line rarely saw anything of the enemy except when some mule train passed at the points marked Mule Gully and Mule Valley.
Mortar Ridge and the positions, upon which are marked Big Guns, Three Guns, etc., were all held by the Turk and speak for themselves. German Officers’ Trench got its name from the fact that it was immensely strong, with overhead cover, and a network of communication trenches. It ran from here almost the whole length of the line to Quinn’s, off the picture on the left.
The white track in the distance is the road to Maidos, and the High Peaks are in Asia on the other side of the Narrows. On the extreme left of the picture we get an idea of the positions attacked on August 7th at The Nek, and Baby 700 by the 2nd Australian Brigade.
On the right is Johnston’s Jolly, and, beyond, the strong position of Lone Pine. This is how, officially, the epic of Lone Pine is set down by Sir Ian Hamilton: –
‘During the 4th, 5th and 6th of August the works on the enemy’s left and centre were subjected to a slow bombardment, and, on the afternoon of the 6th August, an assault was made upon the formidable Lone Pine entrenchment.
The entrenchment was evidently very strong; it was entangled with wire and provided with overhead cover, and it was connected by numerous communication trenches with another point d’appui known as Johnston’s Jolly on the north, as well as with two other works on the east and south. The frontage for attack amounted at most to some 220 yards, and the approaches lay open to heavy enfilade fire.
The detailed scheme of attack was worked out with care and forethought by Major-General H.B. Walker, Commanding 1st Australian Division, and his thoroughness contributed, I consider, largely to the success of the enterprise.
The action commenced at 4.30p.m. with a continuous and heavy bombardment of the Lone :ine and adjacent trenches, H.M.S. Bacchante assisting by searching the valleys to the north-east and east, and the Monitors by shelling the enemy’s batteries south of Gaba Tepe. The assault had been entrusted to the 1st Australian Brigade (Brigadier-General N.M. Smyth), and punctually at 5.30p.m. it was carried out by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Australian Battalions, the 1st Battalion forming the Brigade reserve. Two lines left their trenches simultaneously, and where closely followed by a third. The rush across the open was a regular race against death, which came in the shape of a hail of shell and rifle bullets from front and from either flank. But the Australians had firmly resolved to reach the enemy’s trenches, and in this determination they became for a moment invincible. The barded wire entanglement was reached and was surmounted. Then came a terrible moment, when it seemed as though it would be physically impossible to penetrate into the trenches. The overhead cover of stout pine beams resisted all individual efforts to move it, and the loopholes continued to spit fire. Groups of our men then bodily lifted up the beams and individual soldiers leaped down into the semi-darkened galleries amongst the Turks. By 5.47 p.m. the 3rd and 4th Battalions were well into the enemy’s vitals, and a few minutes later the reserves of 2nd Battalion advanced over their parados, and driving out, killing or capturing the occupants, made good the whole of the trenches. The reserve companies of the 3rd and 4th Battalions followed, and at 6.20 p.m. the 1st Battalion (in reserve) was launched to consolidate the position.
The Turks made a determined counter-attack and heavy casualties were suffered by the Australians. Twelve hours later another effort was made by the enemy, and at an early period of this last counterattack the 4th Battalion were forced by bombs to relinquish portion of a trench, but later on, led by their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel McNaghten, they killed every Turk who had got in.
Fighting continued, with terrible fierceness at times, until the 12th August.
Thus was Lone Pine taken and held. The Turks were in great forces and very full of fight, yet one weak Australian brigade, numbering at the outset by 2,000 rifles, and supported only by two weak battalions, carried the work under the eyes of a whole enemy division, and maintained their grip upon it like a vice during six days’ successive counter attacks. High praise is due to brigadier-General N.M. Smyth and to his battalion commanders. The irresistible dash and daring of officers and men in the initial charge were a glory to Australia. The stout-heartedness with which they clung to the captured ground in spite of fatigue, severe losses, and continual strain of shell fire and bomb attacks may seem less striking to the civilian; it is even more admirable to the soldier. From start to finish the artillery support was untiring and vigilant. Owing to the rapid, accurate fire of the 2nd New Zealand Battery, under Major Sykes, several of the Turkish onslaughts were altogether defeated in their attempts to get to grips with the Australians. Not a chance was lost by these gunners, although time and again the enemy’s artillery made direct hits on their shields.’
It is a heroic tale amid many heroic tales, and although in its essence only a ‘diversion to draw the enemy’s attention, yet in itself Lone Pine was a distinct step on the way across to Maidos’.
Sapper H. Moore-Jones
Taken from Sketches made at ANZAC, 1916