Ernest Edward Herrod (1885-1966), was born on 21 June 1885 at Redfern, Sydney. On 29 August 1914 he married Kathleen Elizabeth Regan, a milliner, from Wentworth Street Parramatta. Herrod enrolled as a trooper in the local 1 Australian Light Horse Regiment in 1905 and in August 1914, soon after the declaration of war, he was one of the first to enlist in the 2nd Battalion, Australian Imperial Force.
Ernest landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 as the battalion signals officer and was promoted lieutenant that day. He served at Lone Pine, was appointed officer commanding ‘A’ Company in August and was promoted to Captain in September. From May to August he worked as a signaller, an intelligence officer and the battalion’s assistant adjutant. Herrod was evacuated sick from Anzac, suffering from jaundice and colitis, on 8 December and rejoined his unit in Egypt on 6 March 1916. 
In a letter dated 10 May 1915, published in the Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate he wrote of the days leading up to the 25 April landing and the days following.
“Just Before Dawn”
The Desperate Landing of the Australians No Sleep for Four Days A Parramatta Fighter’s Vivid Story.
Lieut K. E. Herrod tells a moving story in a letter to his wife, who resides in Wentworth Street, Parramatta. 10/5/’15
Since leaving Mena on the evening of Easter Saturday, things have happened. Owing to a lull in the fighting and also to the fact that our ranks have been sadly depleted, I am now acting in addition to signal, Regimental Censor. Arrived in Cairo, midnight Easter Saturday, and left by train immediately for Alexandria and embarked on ‘A 10____, ‘ n captured German N.D.L. liner. Left Alexandria on Easter Monday, and after a couple of days voyage anchored in Mudros Bay in the Island of Lemnos. Remained there for nearly three weeks, during which time the harbor filled with all sorts of warships, transports, and supply ships, not to mention submarines, a balloon ship, and an aeroplane ship carrying four aeroplanes. We went ashore twice while there, but merely to practice disembarking. It is a decidedly pretty and quiet little island, inhabited by Greeks, and the green hills were a lovely contrast to the awful sand at Mena. The island seemed covered with quaint old windmills (used for grinding grain) of one of which I took a snapshot. We enjoyed our three weeks on the____, it being a very fine boat. We had two battalions on board, 2nd and 3rd. The officers’ cabins were almost luxurious, two berths in each (I shared with Pain). The luxury of a hot bath each day was just glorious after being mobilised for eight months. Quite a number of the men were wondering (and not a few growling about it too) whether we would over be given an opportunity to prove ourselves even after Sir Ian Hamiliton telling us at Mena that we would have all the fight and perhaps more than we were bargaining for; some of them still wondered as the weeks went by, whether we would ever be under fire; some of them knew with what fierceness and suddenness it would come, or I don’t think they would have growled at such long inaction. The fleet moved out of Mudros Bay on Friday and anchored behind an island near the Gallipoli Peninsula out of sight of the Turks.
On Sunday, April 25th, it will be IMPOSSIBLE FOR ANY OF US TO FORGET THAT DAY, just before dawn, the whole fleet crept out from the shelter of the island and moved in towards the mainland. With a suddenness that was awful our war commenced. Boom-crash spoke the big guns from the Turkish forts and land batteries, to be immediately answered by our warships (the Queen Elizabeth, dreadnought) built since the outbreak of the war and carrying eight 15 inch and sixteen 6 inch guns, being amongst them.) The Third Brigade landed first, the First and Second following immediately afterwards. The landing, which should have been impossible, was effected and the whole of third infantry brigade were ashore before 9 a.m. Shrapnel poured on us like rain. I will not attempt to describe the horrors of the landing. We left the transports by rope ladders into torpedo, boat destroyers out of range of the guns, came close into shore and then clambered from the destroyers into ships boats and rowed ashore jumping out waist deep and wading ashore under an appalling shrapnel fire. Had we hesitated or even wavered for a second on getting a footing, not one of us would have lived, as it would have been impossible to get back to the ships. All our baggage was left on the transports and as soon as we got ashore we threw off our packs, fixed bayonets and went for them. There was hardly a shot fired from our rifles during the first hour or so, and that in my opinion gave us the position so quickly. The men advanced, clambered up the steep hills carrying everything in front of them by the bayonet. How they did fight! The Australian as a soldier will do me.
The Turks call us ‘THE-BIG WHITE WILD GHURKAS’ and are positively afraid to surrender. The few wounded, the few that have fallen into our ‘hands’ say that thousand’s would have surrendered in the first few days but that they were afraid we would kill them. During the early days of this battle the enemy, so mutilated what wounded fell into their hands, and we had lost so many men that our lads, I am afraid, did not feel disposed to take any risks. Besides that the enemy are using such a lot of German ruses that it is impossible to trust them. We had one instance of a party of stretcher bearers bringing in wounded. Strange to say thebody on the stretcher had a blanket thrown over it. It being dusk made it not too easy to distinguish objects for certain, and as this party approached they called out “Don’t shoot, we are bringing in wounded.” When they got nearer they suddenly droppod the stretcher and the body on the stretcher was a machine gun, and the bearers were Turks dressed in our uniforms; fortunately they were shot down before they were able to open fire. They adopt all sorts of ruses and are a cunning as it is possible to imagine. But they can’t fight like our boys, and they wiil not stand up against our bayonets, although they are brave and go to certain death to try to got through our line. [ … Just to note that this was a commonly expressed sentiment in the very early days of the conflict, almost all of which in fact proved to be the result of false rumours. As the conflict wore on the mutual respect for the fairness and respect took its place … Geoff Barker, Research and Collections Services Coordinator, Parramatta City Council Heritage Centre] To return to my narrative — After landing, half our battalion under Major Scobio was sent to the centre, and the other half’- under Colonel Braund to the extreme left flank — the separation was for over for a lot of them. I went with the Colonel to the left. Had extreme difficulty in keeping up communication with headquarters; this was a pure fight for position, manoeuvring was of course impossible. The scheme was to capture a ridge running in a semi-circle in order to give us enough ground to form a base and to make the position safe until such time as we could bring our guns, baggage, and transport ashore. Have since found that they gave us a fortnight to do it. Need I say anything to extol this army corps (for the New Zealand division joined us on Monday) when I tell you that we took the position in three days?
I never want to experience another such three days. WE DID NOT CLOSE AN EYE from the time we left the boat until Wednesday. The left flank suffered terribly and after getting the ridge we were beaten back on account of the terrible loss amongst our officers and senior non-com, officers. We regained the position on Tuesday afternoon. The men became hopelessly mixed on the Tuesday. Tuesday night I held a sector of the position with 50 men under me and they were made up of men from about 16 different battalions, about half of them being New Zealanders. You can imagine, after three days fighting and digging without a wink of sleep, and holding a very precarious position with a mixed body of men and only one, non-com officer, whom I knew, what a night it was. We were attacked repeatedly, fortunately by only handfuls of men; but it was pitch dark and impossible to know that till morning. The ground is covered with low, thick scrub and some of the enemy crawled right up to our trench and threw hand grenades at us, which fortunately fell short. We were relieved in the morning by a brigade of New Zealanders and our brigade retired to the beach for four days rest. WHAT AN AWFUL ROLL CALL WE HAD: Killed: Major Gordon, Captain Concannon, Lieutenants Heugh, Solling, Kelly, Dawson. Wounded: Major Scobie, Major Burke, Captains Richardson, Watson, Lieutenants Tarrant, Fourdrinier, Smith, Stewart, Cook, R. T. Brown; 15 out of 30. We mustered 480 out of 1000. The Colonel made a name for himself and proved himself an absolute ‘brick’ under fire. He was shot dead the second day, after moving up after our four days rest. We now find ourselves on Monday, 10/5/ ’15, nearing the end of a very hard fought battle, so strongly entrenched that it would take at least eight times our strength to beat us out. Simultaneously with our landing an army corps of British troops landed further south (on the extreme south of the peninsula of Cape Hellad ) and troops were also landed further north. We know nothing of them. We landed between Capes Sulva and Kaba Tepo. We have had an extremely hard time and the A.I.F. has made a name for itself and Australia (I think — I have no idea of what the newspapers have published). General Birdwood personally visited us while we were resting and thanked and congratulated the Colonel, Captain Stevens, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Pain, and myself. We all understood that we were going to be mentioned in despatches. The worst is now over.
HOW ANY OF US CAME THROUGH is hard to understand. Shrapnel is awful, machine guns are deadly. I have seen men struck, by a machine, gun bullet and before they had time, to fall receive an other half dozen. Solling was shot through the top of the heart, and one of my men tried to carry him back to a doctor, but he died on Stephenson’s back a very few minutes after being hit. I will try to find his grave and get a photo of it, in case Vera would like it. I feel extremely sorry for her, and hope she is bearing up well. As I said before, the worst is over now. We are now entrenched, living under the ground like so many rabbits. When we are in our ‘dug outs’ we can laugh at the shrapnel, for it cannot reach us. Have not had my clothes off since we landed and did not have a wash or shave for four days. We are fairly comfortable now (certainly a bit itchy). Food is plentiful and good, bully (tinned corned) beef, biscuits, cheese, jam, tea, sugar, with an occasional piece of bacon forms a good basis for a fair menu, and Duffy turns out some rather good dishes. But how frightfully dirty everything is. Water is scarce. It is mostly condensed sea water we are using.
ADMIRATION FOR OFFICERS. I hope you received my cable, and that you will receive this letter. The men are all in execllent health, so far, and it is to be hoped they will continue so. I am quite well myself, feeling fit for any job that comes along. Now that we have established ourselves, I am in a good deep dug out, well sheltered from the shrapnel and have the orderly room on one side, and my signal office on the other; am doing all my work by telephone, so most of my men are having an easy time just now, and my work will remain easy till we start to advance; it will then be hard, but I do not think very risky. Colonel Brown, our new C.O., is a very fine fellow. He was Major in the 3rd Battalion, and was slightly wounded on three different occasions during the three days. Captain Wallack, our new second in command, was our adjutant at Kensington, a very fine fellow. Captain Stevens (adjutant) was wounded today and Mr. Harrison is acting adjutant. Mr. Pain has charge of B Company and his Sergt. Major has charge of the Mail Gun section; Wootoen, M. Gun. 1st Battalion, is O.K.; Tinkler, sig., 1st Batt, O.K; Goldring, sig., 3rd Bat, wounded; Smith, sig., 4th Bat., killed.
A BOY’S DEATH. The Goulburn boy Leeson, whom I had for orderly before Duffy, was killed the first day. My Sergt. Major was left at Mena in hospital with pneumonia. We left all our baggage on the boat and have not yet received it, so my valise is still there and my diary in it. Of course there is no certainty that I will be able to get this away; writing it in case an oppor tunity occurs, and as we have quietened the Turks for a while, I find myself with a little spare time. Have taken a few interesting photos, but during the three days, although I had the camera in my pocket, I positively did not think of it; we did so much and saw so much during that three days that it would be useless even were it possible to describe it. It would have been impossible to have kept up: as it was one officer went mad and several had to be sent away- — nervous breakdowns. Men here who have served in other wars say that we went through in three days what they had previously experienced during a campaign of from two to three years. Our Quarter Master C. A. Whyte (you remember him, he lives at Granville), served through S. Africa, with the Black Watch. His regiment had the heaviest casualty list for that campaign, 2.5 years, and yet they lost a few less during that time than we did in three days. However, that is all over now and things look bright and cheerful. In a few days the people further south will come up and we will no doubt join forces and push on. Do not expect any letters. The most I can send is a field service card occasionally, but no news in this case is good news. Heaps of love and good wishes to everyone.
 R. E. Cowley, ‘Herrod, Ernest Edward (1885–1966)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/herrod-ernest-edward-6652/text11463, published first in hardcopy 1983, accessed online 18 March 2015.
“Just Before Dawn.”. (1915, July 7). The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW : 1888 – 1950), p. 2. Retrieved February 17, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86096204