You’re on the edge of Courtney’s Post, which runs along the seaward side of the road. Where you’re standing is similar to Quinn’s Post in that there is a little gully, which they terraced, where the men lived. You’re standing in what were the frontline trenches. If you go into the bush to your left, you can see some of those trenches. But be careful: you’ll find that about 10–15 metres in there, there’s a sheer drop down into Monash Gully.
Courtney’s Post was critically important because the machine guns that were here were sighted to fire in front of Quinn’s Post, preventing any attempt by the Ottomans to attack it from the east. Quinn’s was also protected by machine guns at Pope’s Hill and Russell’s Top.
New Zealand and Australian machine guns were set up here by Captain John Rose of the New Zealand Staff Corps, along with Captain Jesse Wallingford, who was the New Zealand Infantry Brigade machine gun officer. They worked out a system of interlocking machine gun arcs so that any enemy attempt to charge on Quinn’s Post would be mown down by these machine guns.
Steele’s Post protected this post on the southern side. All along the front line, Australians and New Zealanders protected each other. Courtney’s and Steele’s posts were very important because they were the only part of the Anzac line that overlooked the Ottoman trenches, but at the same time they were overlooked from the high ground to the north.
These posts protected the top of Monash Valley. If the Ottomans controlled that valley, it would be the end of the entire Anzac perimeter.
Turkish machine-gun fire could sweep down over where we’re standing. Anyone who popped their head up here would be killed. The best way to fight in the trench here was to use a periscope rifle, which was a contraption that you could fire from the safety of a trench.
By taking mirrors stolen from the ships offshore, the Anzacs could fire accurately up to 300 metres, without raising their heads above the trench. By using periscopes and periscope rifles, the Anzac troops managed to keep the Ottomans at bay.