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Anzac letters

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Letters from Gallipoli soldiers to their Australian families

 

Anzac letters

GALLIPOLI LETTERS:

Hugh Anderson
Frank Boyes
William Britt
H. Gordon Craig
Roy Denning (written from Malta)
William Harvey

Bert and Vern Smythe (written from Gallipoli and from a hospital ship)
Edgar Worrall (written from France)

OTHER LETTERS BY ANZACS:

Letter from Frank Clark (NZ) read during video

New Zealand Gallipoli letters: book review, plus video with author

More letters
EGYPT - Wilfred and Gresley Harper
FRANCE - Bill Lyall
FRANCE - Francis Mack

MORE...

GALLIPOLI LETTERS:

 

Anderson, Hugh

Hugh Anderson, Gallipoli soldierHugh Anderson's Letters Bring the Horrors of War to Life (australiansatwar.gov.au)
Hugh writes letters to tell his mother of conditions at Gallipoli, but she would never see him again.

See also "Extracts from a letter written by Hugh Anderson about the Battle of Lone Pine" in Australians at War: Secondary Schools Education Resource Part 2 [pdf, 4.3MB] page 41.
 

Boyes, Frank

Second Lieutenant Frank BoyesNaked Diggers Seek Relief from Bugs (australiansatwar.gov.au)
Second Lieutenant Frank Boyes tells of the need to wash clothes in the sea and and battle against parasites.

See also "Extracts from a letter written by Lt Boyes about conditions at Gallipoli" in Australians at War: Secondary Schools Education Resource Part 2 [pdf, 4.3MB] page 43. (Teacher discretion.)
 

Britt, William

Lieutenant William Britt Lt Britt Describes the First Day on Gallipoli (australiansatwar.gov.au)
An injured William Britt wrote a letter to his mother, describing the action on landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. "We knew what we were there for - the attack on the Dardenelles..."

See also "Extracts from a letter written by Lt William Britt about the landing at Gallipoli" in Australians at War: Secondary Schools Education Resource Part 2 [pdf, 4.3MB] pages 38-39.
 

Craig, Harold Gordon

Private Harold CraigPrivate Craig's View of Gallipoli Landing (australiansatwar.gov.au)
Private H. Gordon Craig was eventually injured after landing at Gallipoli. He wrote a letter to his brother, Ken.

See also "Extracts from a letter written by Harold Craig about the landing at Gallipoli" in Australians at War: Secondary Schools Education Resource Part 2 [pdf, 4.3MB] page 40.
 

Denning, Roy

Private Roy DenningRoy Denning: Gallipoli and a country town - Yass (anzacsite.gov.au)
Read Private Roy Howard Denning's letter to his mother about his time at Gallipoli. After he was wounded at Gallipoli on 16 June 1915, he was evacuated to Malta from where he wrote the letter on 23 July 1915.
 


From the website www.anzacsite.gov.au where the image is reproduced with the permission of Lorna Lancaster

 

Harvey, William

William HarveyWilliam Harvey: Anzac Hero, Police Legend (anzacheropolicelegend.com)
Read about the injuries suffered at Gallipoli by Will Harvey's mates.
See also the summary of Will's life story.

See also William Harvey on the biographies page.

From a photograph on the website
anzacheropolicelegend.com

 

Smythe, Bert and Vern

Bert and Vern SmytheLetters from Bert and Vern Smythe (smythe.id.au)
These letters by brothers Bert Smythe and Vern Smythe, from the Smythe Family Website, include time they spent at Gallipoli. The letters are listed by date in the column at the left of the web page:
- At the Dardanelles
- 3 May, Hospital Ship
-
9 May

Note that Bert mentions further Gallipoli details in letters written immediately after his time there.

From a photograph on the website www.smythe.id.au

  Worrall, Edgar

 

From a photograph on the diggerhistory.info website

Edgar Worrall on the evacuation (From diggerhistory.info, archived by the NLA's Pandora Archive on 6 Mar 2010. See also our "Where is Digger History?" page.)
Corporal Edgar Worrall writes to his father about the evacuation of Anzac troops from Gallipoli. He wrote the letter from France. Corporal Worrall says he "probably fired the last shot at Lone Pine".

(For alternative archived sources, try this Internet Archive version or copy the original url http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww1/anzac/evacuation.htm and paste it into the Wayback Machine of the Internet Archive. For help, see our "Where is Digger History?" page.)

 

 

Videos: Frank Clark Frank ClarkLetter from Gallipoli: Frank Clark (youtube.com)
A letter from Gallipoli written in 1915 by New Zealand trooper Frank Clark is read while the video shows photographs of Gallipoli soldiers. Produced for the Auckland War Museum. Information about Frank Clark is available in his Cenotaph Record.

From a photograph in the
Auckland War Museum
Cenotaph Database

 

More Gallipoli letters Extracts from letters in Australians at War: Secondary Schools Education Resource Part 2 [pdf, 4.3MB]:
Extracts from Gallipoli soldiers are referred to under the names of individual soldiers above. The publication contains more letters from World War 1, written by soldiers on the Western Front, as well as letters written by soldiers in later wars.

The nurses' experience of Gallipoli from their letters (anzacsite.gov.au)
Although women did not land at Gallipoli, these extracts from letters sent home by women nurses based nearby give us an insight into the conditions at Gallipoli.
● For more information about women in war see our
Women in wartime page

● See also information about the Gallipoli letter under Depatches from Gallipoli on the Reports page.
 
New Zealand Gallipoli letters Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home (stuff.co.nz/southlandtimes)
Review of a book by Glyn Harper containing a collection of letters by New Zealand Gallipoli soldiers.
- Also available is a YouTube video in which Professor Glyn Harper talks about his book.
 

More letters

EGYPT - Wilfred and Gresley Harper
FRANCE - Bill Lyall
FRANCE - Francis Mack
 

Harper, Wilfred and Gresley

Wilfred HarperWilfred and Gresley Harper [pdf] (valuingheritage.com.au)
Letters from brothers Wilfred Harper and Gresley Harper, stationed in Egypt, to their mother, followed by letters from others about their deaths.
See also The Harpers, the Anzacs, Lest we Forget.

Wilfred Harper

  Lyall, Bill Letters from an Anzac Gunner From diggerhistory.info, archived by the NLA's Pandora Archive on 6 Mar 2010. See also our "Where is Digger History?" page.)
Nine short extracts from letters by Bill Lyall, in France during World War 1, to his father, K.M. Lyall.
 
 

Mack, Francis

Corporal Francis James MackMack, Francis James
Anzac Memories: The Letters of Francis James Mack (worldwar1.com)
Corporal Francis James Mack died in France in 1918, aged 20 years.
 

From an image on www.worldwar1.com/sfanzac1.htm, contributed by Francis Mack's nephew

MORE...

See also:
Australia and World War One: Documents (http://home.exetel.com.au/eduweb/AusWW1/Documents.html)
CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE.

A variety of documents from and about World War 1.

Some other sources:

Anzac diaries

Anzac biographies

Anzac reports

Anzac interviews

Gallipoli Campaign

Early books reproduced

Memorials and rolls

Background to Anzac Day - significance, spirit, tradition, legend

 

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