By JOL Admin | 1 June 2015
On this day in 1915, the Brisbane Courier published a letter from a Sydney doctor, writing to his mother from Gezirah Palace, Cairo on 1 May. Dr. Colin Chisholm Ross stated: "You cannot conceive how busy we have been here. We had only one and a half days to get ready to receive 250 patients, without a thing in the place, and have not had a moment, day or night. The poor wounded chaps have simply been arriving in thousands, and there are about 2500 in Cairo at present. I have left Mena to come here and fix them up. I have only one other medical officer to help me. It has been a ghastly week. So many friends have gone, and one will be frightened to look at the official lists when they come out".
Queenslanders were by now acutely aware of the rate at which young men were being killed or wounded on the Peninsula.
On 29 May, the Brisbane Courier had also published an update of Gallipoli casualties. Captain J. M. Lean, officer in charge of base records at the Defence Department in Melbourne had reported that, including the names in the 26th casualty list, the total number of Australian casualties in Gallipoli was 4539, comprising the following:
Died or killed in action – Officers 108, other ranks, 439
Wounded – Officers, 230, other ranks, 3670.
Missing – Officers, 15.
Suffering from illness – Officers, 7 ; other ranks, 70.
In his letter to his mother, Dr. Ross went on to say: "We are at present working like mad, and patients are everywhere, all over the floors, and in every conceivable corner and place that can be utilised. They are easily managed though and my admiration for them goes up by leaps and bounds. They bear their wounds like men and never growl. They seem more anxious to get back to the firing line than anything else. The loss of officers, too, has been very large".
Robyn Hamilton - QANZAC100 Content Curator, State Library of Queensland
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