Gallipoli Diary

Read by Sue Anderson

(4.5 stars; 79 reviews)

Major John Graham Gillam, British Supply Officer, wrote in his World War I Gallipoli Diary that when he sailed from England for the Dardanelles in March, 1915, he had visions of “trekking up the Gallipoli Peninsula with the Navy bombarding a way for us up the Straits and along the coast-line of the Sea of Marmora, until after a brief campaign we entered triumphantly Constantinople, there to meet the Russian Army, which would link up with ourselves to form part of a great chain encircling and throttling the Central Empires. . . We little appreciated the difficulties of the task,” he continues, in potent understatement.

Gillam’s charge was shepherding supplies--food and munitions--from beach depots to the trenches for a brigade of 4000 men. Since it was his first experience with “real war,” he decided to keep a diary, which he did from the day he landed at Gallipoli (April 25, 1915) until he was evacuated at the end of the campaign in January 1916. He aptly states in the preface to the published version of his diary: “those who desire to survey the whole amazing Gallipoli campaign in perspective must look elsewhere than in these pages. Their sole object was to record the personal impressions, feeling, and doings from day to day of one supply officer to a Division whose gallantry in that campaign well earned for it the epithet “Immortal.”

As the campaign intensifies, Gillam’s entries mature. Early on (May 30), a sample entry: “This afternoon I ride . . . to Morto Bay, and on the way have a delightful cross-country canter. I have difficulty, though, in making my mare jump trenches. She jumped hurdles at Warwick race-course like a bird.” A month later, on June 30, “The smell of dead bodies is at times almost unbearable in the trenches, and chloride of lime is thrown over them. I know of no more sickly smell than chloride of lime with the smell of a dead body blended in.” Another month, and respect for the Turks, and also for the rugged terrain of the peninsula is evident (August 29): “Behind me, purple Turkish hills, every point of which is held by the enemy. Then in between our line and the hills the scrubby low-lying country. . . I look at it hopelessly--for I know now, as we all do, that the conquest of the Peninsula is more than we can hope for. All that is left to us is to hang on day by day. . . Death in various forms walks with us always . . .”

Today, the Turkish Government maintains a war memorial and cemeteries at the Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park. Memories are very much alive there. Preserved trenches and the sad graves of many, many soldiers from both sides of the conflict are made especially poignant by the beauty of the setting-- the sea and high hills beyond.

(Summary by Sue Anderson) (12 hr 26 min)


Preface and Introduction 13:32 Read by Sue Anderson
Climate of the Dardanelles 11:12 Read by Sue Anderson
Prologue (March 1915) and April 1-24, 1915 16:41 Read by Sue Anderson
April 25, 1915 29:56 Read by Sue Anderson
April 26-28, 1915 40:25 Read by Sue Anderson
April 29-May 3, 1915 32:43 Read by Sue Anderson
May 4-13, 1915 33:58 Read by Sue Anderson
May 14-23, 1915 34:19 Read by Sue Anderson
May 24-June 1, 1915 35:02 Read by Sue Anderson
June 2-14, 1915 35:11 Read by Sue Anderson
June 15-26, 1915 36:29 Read by Sue Anderson
June 27-July 3, 1915 33:15 Read by Sue Anderson
July 4-27, 1915 31:58 Read by Sue Anderson
July 28-August 7, 1915 32:34 Read by Sue Anderson
August 8-20, 1915 33:01 Read by Sue Anderson
August 21-29, 1915 36:44 Read by Sue Anderson
August 30-September 17, 1915 29:27 Read by Sue Anderson
September 18-October 10, 1915 31:58 Read by Sue Anderson
October 11-31, 1915 28:53 Read by Sue Anderson
November 1-25, 1915 35:15 Read by Sue Anderson
November 26-30, 1915 28:36 Read by Sue Anderson
December 1-16, 1915 33:26 Read by Sue Anderson
December 17-31, 1915 35:32 Read by Sue Anderson
January 1-15, 1916 and Epilogue 36:11 Read by Sue Anderson


(5 stars)

This is my all time favourite. Sue Anderson is a wonderful reader. She chooses such interesting books and reads beautifully. John Graham Gillam’s diary keeps your imagination working on the terrible situation jr find himself in and yet describes perfectly the beautiful vistas he witnesses. I’ve listened many times and I am actually disappointed when I know the book is coming to an end.

Great diary

(5 stars)

Very details recount of supply officer.

(5 stars)

Riveting first-hand account of the invasion of Gallipoli by British and French forces in WWI. Narrative is on a very human scale not relying on dry statistics but on personal observations by the author

hunter bunter

(4 stars)

The 29th Division fought on the Somme and flanders as well. With a fighting strength of 16000, the div took 96000 casualties during WW1 = 600% loss !!!

(5 stars)

A very poignant memory of a difficult period in British and commonwealth history. Churchill did not get it right in this xase

Horror in war

(5 stars)

What did those poor men suffer! How absolutely sad and wasteful is war! Super reading. Thanks so much!

(4.5 stars)

100 years ago and still a worthwhile read. Thank you for this well read book

makes you wonder why we went in the first place. great tale

(5 stars)