Blog: Personal Stories
In the Norman countryside raged a tank battle. The air was filled with noise, explosions, screeching tracks, collapsing buildings and the smell of cordite. Captain Leslie George Coleman had been in a building on the first floor directing radio traffic between the battalion and brigade HQs. Later moving from his position, a projectile hit the wall above Coleman and in the ensuing maelstrom he was wounded in his shoulder. He was at the tip of the Allied advance in Normandy with the 4th County of London Yeomanry (4CLY), the date 13 June 1944, the location, Villers-Bocage.
Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty was barely able to stand. Exhausted from the intense fighting of the previous two days, he used a brief period of respite to pen his experiences of the past few days to paper. Cecil had written in his diary every day since he had left Australia. When he had completely filled his first diary he began a second, writing on whatever scraps of paper he could find and often using the backs of envelopes sent from home. For many soldiers writing helped them make sense of what was happening.
Bringing historic documents from the Australian War Memorial’s archive to all Australians
The first 150 collections of private records related to individuals who served in the First World War are now online and hold a wealth of stories. In the centenary year of the First World War, the Memorial has launched one of its major commemorative projects to make available the rare historic personal records of Australians who served.
Friday 11 April 2014 by Stephanie Boyle. No comments.
Collection Highlights, News, Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Afghanistan, Uruzgan, ADF, cinematography, film commission, patrol, Taliban, IED, ANA
.. We’ve had seven contacts, and 29 cache finds in the last three to four months.. we’ve killed three insurgents.. so it’s a quite active area.
Day 27: Under her wings
Our one hour flight from Bahrain to Dubai turned into an 11 hour endurance test. After spending most of the night in the air waiting for a freak cyclone to ease and in the Bahrain transit lounge, we finally made it back to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) safely.
Rain is rare in the Middle East, but it has rained in every place we have visited. We seem to be taking it with us. I wonder if it will be raining in Canberra when we finally get home.
Day 28: Decompression
My room mate said to me at 9pm last night: "I feel like I should be doing something, that I should be working! I'm all fidgety and I can't sit still". She keeps checking her right hip for her pistol and her left hip for her military ID that she had to carry at all times on base. She has just returned to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) after spending six busy months working on logistics in Kabul. She worked 12 hour days that were punctuated by eating, sleeping and going to the gym. This is not "normal" life!
Day 29: homecoming rituals
Today was our final day in the MEAO (Middle East Area of Operations) - tomorrow we start the trek home on a chartered A340.
One of the homecoming rituals is sorting through your kit and cleaning off the dust of Afghanistan. The laundry whirs as people wash and scrub everything so that it will pass the quarantine inspection. Some boots are too down-trodden to be taken home.