In this compelling and meticulously researched chronicle using the first hand accounts of the men who were there Ralph May describes the background to the 1st and 6th (service) Battalions The Border Regiment from 1907 to 1914 in Gibraltar, India and Burma, followed by their fortunes throughout the Gallipoli Campaign. The conditions under which the soldiers lived and fought are graphically described with extracts from diaries, letters and official documents. They suffered terrible casualties, were never out of range of the Turkish guns and endured the extremes of heat and cold and the unsanitary conditions of the front line. Yet morale and discipline were maintained throughout.
Gallipoli was a tragedy on a classical scale, but this no way takes away the glory that was due to the soldiers who fought in appalling conditions, carrying out the orders of Generals with no imagination, suffering horrifying casualties, and sticking it out to the end. Gallipoli was a proud campaign in the history of the Border Regiment.
“… The men would like cigarettes in large quantities, Woodbines and others of the American sort. We mostly want things to eat in a portable form for our Battalion Headquarters Mess… Get anything you can in that line regardless of cost; I am spending no money at all out here, and will pay for everything… Also will you try and interest the wealthy people of Westmorland in the widows and orphans of my men; we have it a lot and 60 per cent of my men are married. ..’ Lt Col Broadrick writing to his mother 14 August 1914