Wednesday 11th August 1915- Diary of HV Reynolds
Please note: Care has been taken to transcribe these entries without alteration to preserve the original language of Herbert Vincent Reynolds.
‘Reported in sick parade this morning and was put off duty and instructed to remain in bed and take only milk diet. Things seem to have been very quiet today, though it may have been forced inactivity that gave me that impression, it has certainly been quiet for me, quite unnatural sort of experience after the past few months which have been the most exciting and strenuous in my life, perhaps that is what is telling on me. I do feel somewhat useless and worn out now though I cannot say that I noticed it or felt it till yesterday. What a day it has been, what a budget of experiences, if only I could put all my thoughts and recollections of the past four months on paper. The experiences and dangers have taken on a greater significance today, somewhat unsettling. Things not noticed when one is actively engaged in carrying out some definite duty, become rather un-conscious of the disabilities of other while he himself is not suffering any of them, and it has come home to me today, through my own experiences, that we are here facing something at the present, very much more dangerous and powerful than the enemy in his trenches opposite, that is sickness and disease, it is astounding that this situation did not give me any great concern before, as it has been very much in evidence during the past few weeks, for great numbers of our men have been drifting away to the hospitals as a result of it, and what is more concerning though is the fact that as this is going on so also is the physical endurance of those left being reduced daily though they do not seem to realize it, and there one feels rather in doubt about our own Australian losses are continually greater than the number of reinforcements who come along to replace them. One thing amounting to a positive certainty helps one to cast aside some of the uneasiness these thoughts bring when he knows and realizes that the average Australian will stand up to his job and see it through or go down in the attempt and it is humanly impossible to do more. It is an inevitable thing to be found wanting by your mates when they require your help and this unwritten law among our troops is responsible for them standing up to the job so well, it certainly inspires them to do things that nothing else could, but this sickness proves to a man his limitations and how puny his physical powers, when all things are considered.’