Written by Mark Clayton, Senior Curator, Social History, Queensland Museum.
This hand-drawn map of Quinn’s Post, Gallipoli, documents – in great detail – the disposition of Australian forces including the location of mines, trenches, tunnels, and winzes. The right-hand table also chronicles the forty-seven mine explosions that occurred there during the eight month campaign.
This remarkable document, drawn a month after the Australian evacuation in December 1915, is part of the McInnis collection of the Queensland Museum Network’s Lands, Surveying and Mapping Museum, which has donated the original to the Australian War Memorial.
The map was compiled by Sapper Ronald Allison McInnis of the 5th Field Company, Australian Engineers who had worked as a surveyor in Mackay (Queensland), prior to his enlistment in May 1915. Like so many other personal accounts McInnis’s diary, held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra (AWM PR00917), charts his inevitable physical and emotional decline, beginning with his arrival at Gallipoli on 16th September 1915:
We have reached our destination – Gallipoli –safely. I am in good health, the weather is lovely, we are well fed considering the conditions and our dug-out is assuming comfortable proportions.
We had another visitation of Turkish shells this morning, just at breakfast time, and one poor fellow… was blown to pieces (20th September 2015).
We wonder if we shall ever get away from this… foolish deadlock (4th December 2015).
Gallipoli is like a bad dream… I was very thin and ill when I left (30th December 2015)
McInnis was fortunate though, surviving the horrors of both Gallipoli and the Western Front. Following the war he established himself as one of Queensland’s leading surveyors, serving variously as President of the Queensland Institute of Surveyors, and Brisbane City Town Planner. His progressive views on town planning were particularly well received in Tasmania where he finally worked, and retired.
Discover more Queensland Stories, explore our WW1 collection online.