A diary from Gallipoli

Pictured here is an extract from the dairy of 494 Sergeant Joseph Cecil Thompson of the 9th Battalion AIF. He was the band leader for the 9th Battalion, and as Sergeant, was in charge of the stretcher bearers at Gallipoli. His first entry in the diary starts on the 25th April, with the landing at Gallipoli, and he writes until the start of July, over which time he notes down the names of his comrades as they die around him. Pages 10 and 11 to the left read:

"Monday 28th June
Attack made on Turks trenches by 9th. 11th & 5th L.H.B. & C. Cops [companies?] from the attacking party of 9th. Instruction was to hold Turkish reinforcements from going to Cape Helles. Lost many killed & wounded & poor George Gray was amongst them. Can’t get his body in & Turks have stripped dead of their clothing. Can see them from our trenches.

July 1st
Bodys[sic] still outside and can’t be got inside. S[tretcher] Bearer Scoomes was also badly wounded, and died from his wounds the same night. Buried in Shrapnel Gully."

Images of the diary were contributed to the archive by Ellen Thompson of Queensland, Australia, Joseph's granddaughter.


From cowboy to soldier

This photo was submitted by David Flam, from Arizona, who found it amongst his grandmother's collection. He writes "Her uncle went off to France to fight and died of influenza in 1918. This photo shows an American soldier (recruiter?) with his collection of men, all of them about to leave on a train. Most seem like cowboys. They have identification tags pinned to their clothes, and some are holding American flags."


Saved by a tea tin

Sapper E. Grantham of the 156th Field Company, Royal Engineers, was awarded a bravery certificate for fixing a bombing post in a tunneling trench whilst under heavy fire at Bullecort in November 1917. He escaped unharmed after a tea tin in his haversack, pictured here, deflected a bullet. This item, along with a number of others that tell the story of Sapper Graham, were submitted to the Great War Archive by Angela Sanderson, York.


Photographs with bullet hole

Robert Johnson brought an incredible artifact in to the the submission day held at Edinburgh Central Library on the 4th June. During the First World War his father's sister gave birth to her first child, and just a week later her husband was sent to the front line. Whilst he was in the trenches, his wife sent him photographs of his new family. Unfortunately it wasn't long before he was killed in action. When his belongings were returned home, the wallet and the photographs inside bore a hole made by the bullet that killed him.

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