Entering the Gully

Entering the Gully

Entering the Gully

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Photo below: A last look back at Murray’s Well and the sea before setting off up the gully

So, you are ready to walk the gully!

It is worth walking very slowly and reflectively north east from Murray’s Well for a few metres, approaching the first bend in the gully proper, because at some point here you will share an experience that many soldiers in 1915 remarked on. If there is any breeze (and there usually is) it will be cut off almost instantly and somewhat spookily as one moves into the brooding shelter of the headland.  It is a strange and for some unsettling experience.

The path northwards was reassuring, in the sense that from here onwards the walls of the ravine offered a little protection from shells and stray bullets, but it was also oppressive due to the lack of wind, the heat, and the sense of moving up and closer to the front line. The Gully was quickly dubbed ‘the valley of death’ by many who used it. Isolated graves and small cemeteries sprang up along its length, and as the campaign developed, a constant progression of wagons passed down to the beach carrying the dead and wounded.

A leap of imagination is needed. The undergrowth here and further into the gully is rampant, but in 1915, after a few weeks of occupation, almost all the trees and bushes had gone and the gully looked very different then.

If you intend to walk the length of the gully from here, then you may like to take a last look at the sea. It will not be seen or heard again for several hours.

 

Photo below, the first bend of Gully Ravine.

 

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