Idriess, Ion Llewellyn (Trooper, b.1889 - d.1979)

Accession Number 1DRL/0373
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 2 wallets: 4 cms
Object type Diary
Maker Idriess, Ion Llewellyn
Place made At sea, Egypt, Ottoman Empire: Palestine, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1915-1918
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM93 12/5/193
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Collection relating to service of 358 Trooper Ion Llewellyn Idriess, 5 Light Horse Regiment, AIF, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, 1915-1918. The collection consists of eight original, handwritten diaries covering almost the entire length of Idriess's service with the 5th Light Horse Regiment.

History / Summary

This collection of diaries, compiled by the highly successful Australian author Ion 'Jack' Idriess, gives a remarkable insight into the day-to-day existence of the ordinary Light Horse trooper on active service in Egypt and Palestine. Idriess employs a lively, immediate, narrative style throughout the diaries, often describing minor incidents in vivid detail. The diaries reveal Idriess to have been a practical, adventurous, brave man, keen to see action and bored by military routine. He often expresses his love for Australia, particularly the bush, and his pride in Australia's war efforts. He is often strident in his criticism of officers in general, and British officers in particular, and his diaries contain many angry references to what he saw as the ill-treatment of the ordinary soldier, both Australian and British, and the privileges accorded to higher ranks. He expresses a loathing of petty rules and regulations, and the tedium of military life as he experienced it. Evident throughout the diaries is his compassion for the horses of the regiment, and other animals used for war work. A feature of the diaries is the many original and inventive ideas Idriess outlines for new weaponry, and improvements to existing weapons.

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