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123 corrections, most recently by GJReid-B.Sc.M.Mgmt. - Show corrections



The "Cairo Evening Mail" publishes the following graphic account of the wonderful work of an Australian marks-

man on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the story being written by Private Frank Reed, another Australian :—  

Trooper W. E. Sing may well be termed Australia's champion rifle shot, for during the time he was on Galli- poli he accounted for over 200 Turks. Of course, during enemy attacks he probably shot many more, but as a sniper he knows that over 200 fell owing to his excellent marksmanship.

Sing's sniping methods are somewhat similar to those of the Turk. He play- ed them at their own game, and beat them badly. His "posy" was so close to the Turkish trenches that their artillery rarely troubled him. He had three distinct targets that his mates by tacit consent left to him. One was an enemy trench 350 yards away, an- other was a communication sap 500 yards off, and the third was a track in a gully 1,000 yards distant. Com- fortably ensconced in his nest, Sing lay with a couple of telescopes focussed on likely places. An officer lay near by with another telescope. So afraid were the Turks of these unlucky spots that the patient sniper often lay a whole day without getting a glimpse of the enemy. On other days, the Turks (new troops probably) looked for trouble. They walked boldly into view at a bare 500 yards, and Sing, as he toppled them over, exclaimed, "It's too easy to be called sport."


Every time Billy Sing felt sorry for the poor Turks, he remembered how their snipers picked off the Australian officers in the early days of the land- ing, and he hardened his heart. But he never fired at a stretcher-bearer or any of the soldiers who were trying to rescue wounded Turks. At first the enemy had not the slightest idea whence the death-dealing bullets came. Often Sing would bag a Turk, and the enemy would blaze furiously at some of our loopholes a hundred yards away. But after a time they located him, and the sandbags and bushes around his ''posy" were riddled with bullets. On one occasion a bullet found its way through the loophole, badly wounding a sergeant who was observing, and   slightly wounding Sing. Another ser- geant took the telescope, and Sing, after having his wound dressed, resum- ed his sniping.  

At times the Turks adopted bluffing  

methods by dodging, but Sing just smiled. He knew that he would get them in time. One day a Turk who knew the danger spot bobbed up his   head for an instant, and then disap- peared. The imperturbable Sing never moved—just kept his rifle focussed on to where he knew the Turk must show up. A couple of minutes later a head   appeared in the sap, then, the shoul- ders, then the chest. There was a sharp crack of the rifle. The Turk threw up his arms and collapsed in an ugly heap. The marker notched an- other to Billy Sing.


One day a well-known general crawl-   ed up into Sing's "posy" to observe for him. Sing was in a bad mood, for it was blowing hard, and he had missed a man—actually missed a man at 300 yards. "I'll have to start and learn   shooting again," he said, disgustedly. Just then a hat showed on a parapet     500 yards off. Once more Sing sight- ed and waited. Soon a head appear- ed, and Sing pulled the trigger. As he fired two things happened. A gust of wind blew strongly across the val-   ley, and the keen-eyed Australian knew that it would deflect his bullet at least a foot to the right, but as he fired   another Turk poked up his head right next to the first one, and received the bullet fair in the face. "I say, Gen- eral," said Sing, "I'm awfully sorry for     that poor old Turk. I never meant to hit him. I wanted the other chap. I don't think I'll count him."

During recent months our snipers put such a wholesome fear into the Turks that none of them would show up for an instant. So Sing changed his tactics. He changed his "posy,"

and the Turks wasted ammunition on

his old sniping post for days after- wards. He built a new "posy" right opposite the nearest Turkish trench.   By the aid of a strong telescope, he could not only pick out the loopholes in the enemy's firing line, but whether there was a face behind or not. Care- fully adjusting the sight of his rifle, he could nearly always score a bull's eye. It takes keen eyesight and clever marksmanship to do this, and Sing was not the only Australian who could   do it. But it made the Turks fear the Kangaroos all the more. At first they feared our bayonets, and called us "the mad white Gurkhas.'' Later

on they feared our bullets, and called

us other nasty names. But we didn't

mind, and Billy Sing didn't mind.

[Private Sing's name appears in to- day's cablegrams, giving the details of the acts for which the Distinguished Conduct Medal has been awarded.]