Adelaide's 27th Battalion Clock
'After withstanding the storms, rain, and sun of the Mitcham Camp, the clock went in the steamer to Port Suez, and later was erected at the camp at the Aerodrome, Heliopolis. It was again dismantled and taken to the Polygon Camp at Abhassia, whence it was conveyed to Cairo and Alexandria and Lemnos Island.
Finally it went with the Battalion to Anzac. A mule conveyed it to Taylor's Gully, where it was transferred to another four footed transport, and found a final resting place on 'Chester Ridge.' I have now got the clock hanging from the shaft of a bayonet driven well into the ground in the sap lending to our trenches. It is keeping splendid time, in spite of its rough usage.'
The fate of the clock was reported in an interview with Lieutenant-Colonel Dollman entitled "The Wanderings of a Clock" in The Advertiser on Thursday 1 February 1917:
"Visitors came and gazed in wonder that such a mark of civilised life should have been set up at such a place, and some war correspondents photographed it and published it in an English newspaper and called it the 'Big Ben of the Peninsula.'...
Then came the evacuation, and the clock was taken off too, although our movements were hurried and sudden. In the dead of night, with the constant fire of the enemy and of our own guns, we silently crept to the landing-place, and were taken on barges to where a ship lay waiting for us to board. We embarked, and with us our scanty stores, but in one of the cases was our beloved Big Ben, and by the time the dawn light flushed the Eastern sky the shores of Gallipoli lay far behind and those of Lemnos hove in sight.
The clock next showed its face to the people of La Belle France, this time at the village of Morbecque, when we were for the first time accommodated in billets, and the clock erected by the side of a cobblestone roadway.
Next at Armentieres, where the horse and transport lines were established in rear of our trenches, and later in Belgium, the clock showed its face: but when the first instruction came for us to prepare to take part in the battle of the Somme; our dear old friend was tenderly packed away and dispatched with surplus regimental stores to Etaples, while the Battalion went on its way to cover itself with glory.
I look back upon the clock's association with the Battalion with sincere appreciation, and every time I read the truth in its face, I recalled the face of the man who had been good enough to present it. He is an old and valued friend, a comrade of my earlier military days, and the fine spirit of patriotism he has shown for many years stumps him as an ardent Imperialist and a citizen of high repute."