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Capt. B.E Bardwell - a short Biography
(Below) L-Cpl. B.E. BARDWELL,10 Jan 1915
Cheops Pyramid photo ID# 590
Beresford (Berry) Everett BARDWELL enlisted early in Geraldton, and on arrival at Blackboy Hill in August 1914 he joined the 11th Battalion A.I.F., took service number 752 and was allocated to G Company. It was then just a matter of two weeks before his previous military service saw him promoted to Lance Corporal.
He rose through the ranks to 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th Battalion, and was later appointed Captain whilst serving with the 51st Battalion on the Western Front.
Post the 1914-1918 war he settled in Broome, became a pearler and merchant before being appointed as harbour master. He married in 1921 and had 2 children. He died in 1961 at the age of 71 years.
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Part 1 - Capt. B.E. Bardwell Diary Transcription - April 1915
Mudros & the Gallipoli Landing
Sunday 11th The harbour is again becoming full of transports this being at the present time some 25 troopships inside, besides outside + in another harbour. Had an easy day as B.G. Cpl attending sick parade + also distribution of meals.
During the afternoon we had a perfect view of a sea-plane which was hovering over the harbour for some time. Twice it passed some hundreds of feet directly over us. It is wonderful the perfection they have reached, its equilibrium was perfect not the slightest wobbling or swaying noticeable. It reminded one of a huge wasp, what with the buzzing of its engine + its long narrow build. I suppose we will soon be quite used to the sight of them, but of course the first time causes great interest. We also saw it alight + skim along the surface of the harbour. There is also a small dirigible aboard one of the ships here.
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Part 2 - Capt. B.E. Bardwell Diary Transcription - May 1915
Sunday 2nd Thursday and Friday camped on steep slopes running down to shore where everyone had to burrow in to shelter from bursting shell. Men kept dribbling in but our casualties are very heavy for B’gde. Heard on Friday there were 176 killed 900 odd wounded + 700 odd missing of whom many will yet turn up + remainder may be put down as dead or prisoners.
Our Coy have only two officers left. Major Denton, Captain Croly. Lieutenant Walker wounded. Lieutenant Reed (sic Reid) missing, of Batn. Captain Annear + Barnes dead + Lieut. Cook (sic Cooke) dead. Sergeants Allen and Thompson + Pte. Whittle all of Geraldton are dead + several others are wounded.
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Sweet relief - new supplies and a swim
Thursday 3rd Talking to young Mathews (sic. Matthews) of Geraldton, brother to one in our Coy. who is in 16th Batn. 16th Batn. was at Quinns Post a rather hot corner, he said out of original Batn. + 4 reinforcement, in all about 1400, there were only 180 left.
God knows how many were killed. In one place Turks trench
was only 6 foot from them others 6 yards.
Most of casualties caused through hand grenades. Other day when Turks exploded their sap, they occupied sap and hole caused by explosion but were soon driven out, then mass of Turks charged but were demolished by M.Gun + rifle fire. They also fired on some of their own men in dark, mistaking them for our chaps. They left behind them between 150-200 casualties.
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Part 4 - Capt. B.E. Bardwell Diary Transcription - July 1915
Friday 2nd Have not written up notes last few days as mislaid notebook. Last Sunday I believe a hell of a bombardment began down South, some thousands reinforcements were landed + big movement was on. We could see bursting shrapnel + clouds of dust raised by percussion shells from here.
Word came along about midday (we found out later) to cause a demonstration here so as to prevent reinforcements from going South to Turks help.
Parts of our Coys were ordered to hop over parapets + advance some distance out in front. Parts of most of our Brigade + 8th Light
Horse also went to extreme right + there took some trenches. Turks massed to counter attack but were dispersed with help of our torpedo boat guns. Our fellows had no need to hold trenches so later in day retired in good order back to their own trenches.
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Part 5 - Capt. B.E. Bardwell Diary Transcription - August 1915
Tuesday 2nd This is very intricate piece of trench work having several firing lines, some of them concealed, also underground communication trenches. The actual firing line is a detached post about a 100 odd
yards out in front partly across a wheat field. Some 50 yards in front just on the brow of the hill is a Turkish trench, practically all of which is invisible from here.
Well tunnels have been run out to nearly under the Turkish trench + on Saturday night at about 11pm these were blown up, the most heavily charged not going off as electric wire had been broken.
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Part 6 - Capt. B.E. Bardwell Diary Transcription - September 1915
Wednesday 9th Still here + will be really sorry to leave as it has been a real home during past weeks. My room mate Cpl. Banks left this morning + has gone to Helonian. He still carries bullet in forehead, doctors seem afraid to operate. I should have been turned out long ago but they have kept me on while I have been waiting for some official notification of my commission from Cairo. Still got limp but leg is getting stronger every day + now there is only small scar to show old wound.
Nurses are all very good + have looked after me excellently.
Louch came over to see me about a week ago + I told him news of commission.