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Remembered Today:

A.I.F Diary


trenchtrotter

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I have a diary compiled by an Austrailian serving with the 1st Austrailian Divisional Ammunition Column attached to a heavy trench mortar battery. The diary is relatively brief but informative and covers his service on the Somme late 1916 / early 1917. In line with the history in a box threads, would members be interested in me posting the contents over the next few days. I think it would be of interest to those with an interest in the AIF and contains some stuff!

Let me know

TT

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My hand is up :D

And a BIG THANKYOU :D

Bright Blessings

Sandra

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Grandfather was Gunner George Gray 25th F. Arty. Bde.

Would be great to read this diary

regards

Noel

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Hi TT

I'm in agreeance with all my mates here. We're like a bunch of little sponges - just waiting to soak it all in as quick as you can type it! :lol:

I'm actually researching 3 men that were in the 1st DAC - so will be paying particular attention.

Thank you so much for your generous offer.

Looking forward in anticipation, Frev.

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1st installment tonight then folks...gotta go to work now. Thanks for all the replies. I look forward to sharing this with you all.

TT

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OK, here we go,

I obtained the diary about three years or so ago. It had been in the private collection of a military book dealer and has not appeared on the market for a number of years if ever at all prior to my purchasing it.

The diary is in the form of scribbled notes in a small note book and was contained in a folding green leather wallet.

I shall not tell you the name of the individual soldier until the end of the thread so as to prevent you making your own research enquiries. I feel you will appreciate the story better this way.

For the purpose of this thread for the time being we will refer to the author by his first name only as Allan.

The first few pages are a list of names and addresses in both the UK, France and Austrailia.

THE DIARY

18th Nov

Moved from Fricourt to Pommiers Redoubt, terrible conditions. Guard same night, wet through with liquid mud.

21

Detailed to ammunition dump.Passed throughMeaulte and (Martin Court?) (french) campedovernight at very good camp. We are here 10 of us for piquet purposes..illegible.

22nd

Had bath, shave and washed only shirt-the first clean up for six days. Laid in bed till 8am and no work at all...paradise!!

23rd

Tried unsuccesfully to obtain a hot bath-walked through Corbie.

24th

No entry but a contact recorded with the date

Geoge Leiuaime, Escadrille F. 215, Morlancourt.

25th

We are still at Morlancourt acting as guard to artillery staging camp. We are very fortunate to have been detailed to this job. Bombadier Benjamen killed at (dump / dusk / front?) Henuthie? also reported killed. 2nd Lieut Richardson in charge of us.

Note some of the spelling hard to decipher and so names may not be accurate.

More to follow..........

TT

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Thanks TT

Found one of the soldiers mentioned on the AWM site

Roll of Honour

Stanley Octavius Benjamin

Rank Bombardier [bmdr]

Service Number 3959

Unit 1 Div Ammunition Col Australian Field Artillery

Service Army

Conflict 1914-1918

Date of Death 23 November 1916

Cause of Death Died of wounds

Cemetery or Memorial Details FRANCE 397 Datzig Alley British Cemetery Mametz

Place Of Enlistment Sydney, NSW

Native place Melbourne VIC

War Grave Register Notes BENJAMIN, Bmdr. Stanley Octavius, 3959. 1st Div. Ammunition Col. Australian Field Artillery. Died of wounds 23rd Nov., 1916. Age 36. Son of the late Sir Benjamin Benjamin and Lady Fanny Benjamin. Native of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. IX. P. 8.

Source AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

Location on the Roll of Honour

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Andrew good stuff re Benjamin! Thanks. More tonight after work. It gets more interesting and other names are given.

Until the next episode.

TT

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More...

28th Nov

With Bombadier Card or Carol visited Amien, called in Pierre Prevest and was introduced to his sisters and sister in law,- arrived back in camp 10pm-left in morning 7am

1st Dec.

Real cold weather has set in- we all feel it especially with only two blankets

no entries till 14th

14th

Recieved parcel from Mater- everything appreciated especially socks.

15th

Moved to camp. Art 1st Div. Fatiigues. Lieut Doughety

19th

Erecting tents and digging trenches for Art Supply camp. Very cold weather, snow and frost.

21st

4section came out of action, stayed at Art Staging camp.

25th Xmas Day

Very miserable day, usual fare excepting additional 2 ozs Xmas pudding-reduced to cardigan jacket as have thrown away only shirt owing to unconquerable number of lice discovered therein.

Jan 1st 1917

Met Bob Curry in Buire now in 55th Battalion. Recieved parcel from Sophie

2nd

Most important event took place- marched off to Brigade baths at Buire-the first authorised bath since coming into and out of action, about three months!!!!

16th

Our mob left to rejoin unit. Am detailed for leave after difficult opposition.....not away yet. 10pm (10 days). Completely reequipped at 1ADDS

16th

Left Albert which was heavily shelled.

17th At Albert 2am-severe snow storm all day. Arrived Rouen 4pm, arrived Leharve 11pm. Marched to dock rest camp recieved check for dinner breakfast and tea. Went to bed on cobble straw mattress being exhausted. Rain displaces snow in theis region.

18th

Left Laharve 1130pm

19th

Arrived Southampton 9.30 Waterloo midday. Hastings 6pm Withdrew £15 from commonwealth bank

More to follow

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Thanks TT - keep it coming.

Just a small query - you have 2 entries for the 16th Jan - is this right?

Cheers, Frev

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frev,

Yes both dates in diary are for 16th. Two entries the same day. More to come. It gets a bit more interesting, not that any of the previous is boring.

Hope you are all enjoying it and rest assured further names will come to the fore allowing research.

Will post soon.

TT

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frev,

Yes both dates in diary are for 16th. Two entries the same day. More to come. It gets a bit more interesting, not that any of the previous is boring.

Hope you are all enjoying it and rest assured further names will come to the fore allowing research.

Will post soon.

TT

You really know how to get folks interest up!

Great Work. I'm sure there are some working hard on research even now. :rolleyes:

Chris.

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Soz,

Sunday...been to a Christening...tomorrow will see next instalment.

Thanks so far for all replies.

TT

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Sorry re delay, here we go again.

20th

Accidently met Elsie V. Saw "The Old County" at Gaiety Theatre. Nasty shock from ? Nothing doing Sunday.

29th Jan

Left Waterloo for Southampton. Embarked and arrived Havre 30th

30th

March to camp,4 miles. Very cold weather. Awful conditions.

Jan31st

Still in camp at Havre

4th

Left Havre

5th

Arrive Amien 2pm. Albert 3pm

6th

Rejoin unit at Fricourt Farm. Good quarters.

7th

Detailed to trench mortar HQ at Meaulte

8th

Left Meaulte for Div trench mortar hq at Bazentin. Same afternoon left for (Vichurrd?) dump and took up ammunition to mortars.

9th

8pm to 10 took shells up to heavy trench mortars. Heavily shelled by Fritz. No casualties. Heavy work. Arrived home 1130pm.

11th

Detailed to D sector. Fritz sent one very near our dug out during evening.

12th

Thaw commenced.

15th and 16th

Heavy bombardments. Ammunition dump blown up. Just returned.

17th

Under cover of mist took ammunition up to dump

18th

Under cover of mist took ammunition up to L dump. Fritzy shelled around camp and one burst just outside dug out extinguishing lights and putting a stop to our game of 800 up (anyone know what that game is?)

25th

Bad news. 5 men hit at our gun. Gunner Wallace, Mcdermott, Cpl Pendlebury wounded Gilles missing. This is hard luck for we have to take over tomorrow. Afternoon buried Wallace. Missing man found, identified as Gilles - killed.

24th (late entry?)

Night attack. Took maize 3000yards of German trenches Found fritzy had evacuated. One prussian was taken whose duty had him firing flares!!

26th

Went to Factory corner where our mortars are and bought wounded and killed mens kit down. Germans appear to have withdrawn considerably. Tremendous barrage and fire from him nevertheless.

Local Names

Factory corner, the maze, the cough drop, swifts trench? bottom wood pioneer trench. Army slang digger cobber come a gutser, stunt, compre wallie dez? stopped one, dwelling on you, dont i call then, shorten 50 degrees,

27th

Walked to Meaulte for a bath. No change fifth week of shirt! 10 miles!!!

March next entry.

Post soon

TT

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Great Stuff TT

Much appreciated

cheers

Noel

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Thanks TT

In reference to Gillies;

William Gillies

Rank Gunner [Gnr]

Service Number 10042

Unit 1 Div Trench Mortar Bty Australian Field Artillery

Service Army

Conflict 1914-1918

Date of Death 25 February 1917

Cause of Death Died of wounds

Cemetery or Memorial Details FRANCE 388 Bazentin-Le-Petit Military Cemetery

Place Of Enlistment Leichhardt, NSW

Native place Dreghorn Ayrshire Scotland

War Grave Register Notes GILLIES, Gnr. William, 10042. 1st Div. Trench Mortar Bty. Australian Field Artillery. Died of wounds 25th Feb., 1917. Age 28. Son of Robert and Agnes Gillies, of 22, Sunnyside Rd., Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. Native of Dreghorn, Ayrshire, Scotland. G. 21.

Source AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

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For Wallace

William Charles Wallace

Rank Gunner [Gnr]

Service Number 4881

Unit 1 Div Heavy TM Bty Australian Field Artillery

Service Army

Conflict 1914-1918

Date of Death 24 February 1917

Cause of Death Killed in action

Cemetery or Memorial Details FRANCE 453 Flatiron Copse Cemetery Mametz

Place Of Enlistment Lockwood, VIC

War Grave Register Notes WALLACE, Gnr. William Charles, 4881. 1st Heavy T.M. Bty. Australian Field Artillery. Killed in action 24th Feb., 1917. Age 20. Son of Colin and Catherine Wallace, of Lockwood, Victoria, Australia. II. I. 5.

Source AWM145 Roll of Honour cards, 1914-1918 War, Army

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