Letters from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his family, 1918

Place Europe: France, Paris
Accession Number AWM2016.30.55
Collection number 1DRL/0288
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 25
Object type Letters
Physical description 205 Image/s captured
Maker Fischer, Frank Reinhardt
Place made Belgium, France
Date made 1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

Letters relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Frank Reinhardt Fischer, 6th Battalion. These letters were written by Fischer to his brother and sister over the period 10 January to 29 July 1918. The letters begin by detailing life on the Western Front. Fischer describes the horrid conditions and the struggle to keep warm amongst the rain, mud and cold. He writes of the devastation of the French countryside and the villages destroyed by shell fire. The results of the 1917 conscription referendum disappoint Fischer, who writes of his admiration for the toughness and resilience of the Australian soldiers, and dislike for those men he considers to be shirking their duty by refusing to enlist. In February, Fischer takes leave to Paris and writes in detail about the city and its people. In March he finds himself in charge of large fatigue parties and notes on one particular occasion how while woodcutting their axes were being blunted by the shrapnel and bullets embedded in the trees. After his promotion to the rank of lieutenant, Fischer writes his views on how promotions work and the usefulness of having his own batman. With the launch of the German Spring Offensive in late March, he describes offensive, including the fleeing French, the low British morale, and the Australian role in checking the German advance. He also writes of his experiences while patrolling no man’s land at night. As 1918 progresses, Fischer writes of the increasing number of German prisoners being taken, noting that many of them are just boys. Throughout his letters he records the deaths of those he knows or serves with, including Lieutenant Colonel Clarence Wells Didier Daly who was killed near him in April, and Captain Harold Burke. Fischer’s letters also detail life away from the front, including his singing in concerts and participating in sporting competitions. He consistently responds to news from family, such as the birth of a nephew named after their brother Harold who was killed at Gallipoli. The letter of 29 July 1918, in which Fischer writes “well dear ones cheer up and keep smiling, we can do this” is his last. Lieutenant Frank Reinhardt Fischer was killed in action on 10 August 1918 near Lihons during the Battle of Amiens.
This file contains:
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, “Somewhere in France”, 10-11 January 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, “Somewhere in France”, 20 January 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 1 February 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, Belgium, 8 February 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, Belgium, 21 February 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 2-3 March 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 10 March 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 18 March 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 24 March 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 1 April 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 7 April 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 17 April 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 27 April 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 5 April [May] 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France 10 May 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer [to his brother and sister], France, 21 May 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 22-28 May 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 2 June 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, “In the trenches”, 11 June 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 19 June 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 2 July 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 7 July 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 14 July 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 21 July 1918;
Letter from Frank Reinhardt Fischer to his brother and sister, France, 29 July 1918.