Lachlan, Eileen, and Hugh McLeod, Dunedin. South Island.

 

‘As time went by and our troops made progress towards the hilltops, I needed to go further afield to deliver and receive messages, orders, and information on the progress and direction of the forward units. I adopted a sprint that, in slow motion, would have looked as though I were dragging a heavy weight as my head bobbed up and down. I streaked along those trenches like a mechanical toy until the moment a Turkish sniper took

half my face away. By luck or by design, it mattered not.

‘One moment I'd been going flat out, running smoothly like the wind. There may have been cheering, as there sometimes was, but I had my head down as I drove towards my target platoon. Suddenly, my head was wrenched around, and I thought my neck had been broken.

‘The last thing I remember was tumbling down the hill like a dropped bundle of sticks. When I stopped skidding and falling end over end, I lay for a moment to catch my breath and take stock of what had happened. Then there was nothingness.’