Correspondence from Henry Miller Lanser to his family, 1914-1916

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Accession Number AWM2018.19.19
Collection number PR00394
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 13
Object type Letter
Physical description 30 Image/s captured
Maker Lanser, Henry Miller
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Egypt: Cairo, Egypt: Helouan, France
Date made 1914-1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Attached digital images and content are protected by copyright. They are reproduced here for research and study only by permission of the family. If you wish to use or quote from these images, you must contact the Memorial’s Research Centre via info@awm.gov.au or 02 6243 4315.
Description

Correspondence relating to the First World War service of 712 Second Lieutenant Henry Miller Lanser, 1st Australian Infantry Battalion, 20 August 1914 - 16 June 1916.

In this collection of correspondence from Henry Miller Lanser to members of his family, the author writes about domestic matters and periods of active service in Egypt, Turkey and France. Whilst in Egypt, Lanser describes training at Mena Camp, his approach to the challenges of camp life, and the growing discontent amongst troops after months of training. He remarks on the positive impression made by Indian soldiers, and briefly comments on the activities of Turkish and Arab troops in the region. Lanser also mentions preparing for his confirmation at Serapeum on the Suez Canal by the Bishop of Jerusalem, and notes visits to the Pyramids, the Sphinx and Cairo.

Whilst convalescing in Egypt from wounds suffered at Gallipoli, Lanser critically comments on the standard of his medical care, and recalls his experiences of the first landing at Anzac Cove. He notes the apprehension amongst troops aboard the S.S. Minnewaska just prior to the first landing, including the reluctance of some soldiers to disembark. Lanser subsequently describes the impracticality of landing and immediately charging Turkish positions whilst scaling steep cliffs and wading through mud with packs amidst heavy gun fire. He also descriptively notes how Turkish snipers effectively targeted Australian officers, and recounts an incident when a sniper's bullet cut his own bayonet in two.

Several letters written by Lanser whilst in France briefly refer to his activities at a Lewis Machine Gun School of Instruction and his impressions of the war, but are primarily devoted to enquiries about family members, reflections on domestic life, and his desire to return home.

This file contains:

Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his mother and father, Emungerie, New South Wales, 20 August 1914 [includes envelope];
Australian Imperial Force Christmas card from Henry Miller Lanser to his mother and father, [Egypt], Christmas 1914;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his sister, Edie, [Edith Lanser], Mena Camp, Egypt, 1 January 1915;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his brother, Basil [Edward] Lanser, Mena Camp, Egypt, 1 January 1915;
Telegram from Henry Miller Lanser to his mother, Cairo, Egypt, 7 March 1915;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his sister, Ethel Lanser, Cairo, Egypt, 28 March 1915;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his brother and sister, [Basil and Edith Lanser], Helouan, Egypt, 16 May 1915 [includes envelope];
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his father, Egypt, [22 July 1915] [includes envelope];
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his father, [Egypt], 3 March 1916;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his father, [Egypt], 7 March 1916;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his sister, Edith Lanser, [Outtersteen, France], 30 April 1916;
Letter from Henry Miller Lanser to his brother, Basil Lanser, [Outtersteen, France], 30 April 1916; and
Envelope addressed to Mrs. E.N. [Bertha] Lanser containing pressed flora, [France], [16 June 1916].