Daily Digger: Narrating the First World War

14 January 2015 by Theresa Cronk

We all wished everybody the best of luck in the New Year particularly those at home.

The above words were penned on 1 January 1915 by Captain Charles Albert Barnes in a letter that he had started to write to his mother on Christmas Day 1914. The letter was continually added to on a daily basis, along the lines of a diary, until the last addition on 17 January 1915. This letter has been digitised as part of the Memorial’s major centenary digitisation project, Anzac Connections, and is now available online here.

Charles Albert Barnes.jpgExtract from letter from Charles Albert Barnes to his mother, 25 December 1914 (1DRL/0091)


The above words were also selected as the first quote to feature in Daily Digger – a Memorial initiative to narrate the events of 1915 through the words of those who were there. To share some of these stories and personal insights into the days of the First World War, the Memorial is pleased to announce the launch of Daily Digger.

All of the collections that have been digitised as part of Anzac Connections contain thoughts and insights into the activities and experiences of Australian men and women who were on active service during the First World War. Sometimes, there is also extensive commentary on the situation back home in Australia.

P02282_013.jpgCaptain Walter Ormond Stevenson, 1st Divisional Train, Australian Army Service Corps (AASC), sits and writes a note or letter in his dugout at Anzac.


Reading through these letters to see what was happening each day for an individual as well as the wider collective experience reveals a rich narrative of a range of different experiences, personalities, language and the private thoughts of those who were putting pen to paper back in 1915.

Daily Digger will provide a featured quote selected from one of the diaries or letters digitised as part of Anzac Connections for every day of 1915. The quote will be uploaded to Twitter on the corresponding date in 2015 and can be viewed here.