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ID number 1DRL/0241
Title Devlin, Errol Cappie Nepean (Private)
Record type Collection
Item count 16
Collection Private Record
Object type Papers
Maker Devlin, Errol Cappie Nepean (Maker)
Places made
  • France: Western Front (France)
  • New Guinea
  • Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1914-1916
Measurement 1 wallet: 1cm.
Note Open

Description

Collection relating to the First World War service of 1166 Private Errol Cappie Nepean Devlin, 18 Battalion, Gallipoli, 1915. Collection consists of letters and postcards written by Devlin, home to his family in Sydney; a letter written to Devlin by a boy of seven, Jim Brown; a handwritten transcript (in Pidgin) of a proclamation on the annexation of German possessions in the Pacific, November, 1914; a New Testament; and a souvenir Union Flag.

Summary

This collection is noteworthy for its early (1926) offer by the donor, in advance of the circularising by the next of kin; the variety of material in the collection (Rabaul postcards; prayer card; Pidgin proclamation; urgently annotated New Testament); the breadth of service of the soldier (even though his time in France before his death was not long), and the quirkiness of other items. The letter from the seven-year old boy is a rare example of a letter written from an Australian child to an unknown soldier. The passing reference to a Turkish female sniper requires further research. Devlin also occasionally comments on the mood of the men. Devlin's letter of 27 November 1914, mentions the eagerness of those who went to Rabaul to be away. Later Devlin comments frankly from the Dardanelles (2 September 1915) "They are lucky that get away from here wounded...A lot of the chaps have gone away broken down mentally and physically. I have stood the strain so far but I think a shell would do me no harm."


Biographical note: Private, 1st Bn, AN&MEF and: 18th Bn, AIF d: 1916. First went to German New Guinea with the 1Battalion, AN&MEF and after his discharge from that force in 1915, enlisted in the AIF being posted to 18 Battalion. Killed 30 May 1916 in the Fleurbaix-Armentieres Sector.

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