Edwards, Clive Eric (Lieutenant, b.1917 - d.2005)
Collection relating to the Second World War service of SX3032 Lieutenant Clive Eric Edwards, 2/27 Australian Infantry Battalion, Australia, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, New Guinea, and Indonesia, 1940-1946.
Collection consists of 13 wallets containing 716 pieces of written communication between Lt Edwards, and his girlfriend 'Col' (later wife) and other family in Australia. These written items are predominantly handwritten letters, with other items including telegrams and a few miscellaneous written communication formats.
The letters and telegrams cover many topics. Key topics covered are:
- Training at Woodside, South Australia;
- Travel to Palestine via Perth (where he meets his future wife, and recipient of many of these letters, Col), and Bombay;
- Training in Palestine;
- Defensive action seen at Mersa Metruh;
- Syrian campaign;
- Return to Australia and further training;
- Ramu Valley campaign;
- Getting married; and
- Training at the Officer Cadets Training Unit (OCTU).
A summary of each individual item can be found in box 3.
These are loosely broken down as follows:
46 x items dated from October 1940 – July 1941.
54 x items dated from August 1941 – May 1942.
52 x items dated from June – December 1942.
48 x items dated from January - April 1943.
54 x items dated from May – June 1943.
80 x items dated from July – December 1943.
Letter 139, dated 25 December 1943, written to Lt Edwards’ family references an official photograph taken of him, which is held in the Memorial’s collection as accession number 057619.
69 x items dated from January – May 1944.
Letter 147, dated 16 January 1944, written to Lt Edwards’ family also references photograph 057619.
46 x items dated from June – July 1944.
72 x items dated from August – November 1943.
64 x items dated from December 1944 – April 1945.
47 x items dated from May – June 1945.
56 x items dated from July – September 1945.
28 x items dated from October – December 1945 and miscellaneous communications dating from 1941-1945.
Also contained in box 3 is:
1 x 68-page handwritten diary summarising Lt Edwards’ war experience fighting the Ramu Valley campaign in New Guinea, from c.23 September 1943 to c.7 January 1943. The diary discusses, in detail, the harsh jungle terrain, the capture of the ‘Pimple’, the difficulties faced with poor weather, action seen against Japanese forces, and other everyday issues such as food and bathing.
4 x diaries, collectively spanning the period 20 May 1940 to 25 July 1941. The diaries cover everyday items including: troop movements; food; training; engagement with Axis forces; time spent of leave; passing time; casualties; and time spent in hospital following a gunshot wound in Palestine.
Diary 1: a black, faux-leather covered diary spanning the period 20 May 1940 to 18 October 1940. This diary largely covers training within Australia, and contains extensive training-related notes.
Diary 2: a maroon, two-toned notebook with spine missing and covers the period spanning 19 October 1940 to March 1941. This diary cover time predominantly spent in the Middle East, particularly Palestine.
Diary 3: a tan-coloured notebook, spanning the period 24 April to 25 July 1941. This diary begins with time spent in Mersa Matruh, including action seen in June at the same in order to repel Axis forces from taking Cairo. The diary then goes on to discuss the Syrian campaign against Vichy French forces.
Diary 4: a tan-coloured notebook, spanning the period 2 August to 23 November 1941. The diary covers the period spent in Palestine, Syria, and the Middle East.
1 x Palestinian 10 mils coin dated 1927;
1 x red felt-covered pay book spanning the period 20 May 1940 to 20 November 1942;
1 x yellow felt-covered pay book spanning the period 14 August 1943 to 9 January 1946;
1 x facsimile of an account of key events from the Second World War service of Lt Edwards;
1 x facsimile of a short biography, with focus on war service, of Lt Edwards, dated 12 March 1990;
1 x facsimile of a typed piece written by Lt Edwards entitled ‘My Syrian Campaign 8-15 June 1941;
1 x hand-written piece entitled ‘The Recollections of a Sergeant Who Left the 2/27 Battalion to Become an Officer – A Tale of Misery and Woe’, written by Lt Edwards in the 3rd person, discussing his experience on the OCTU;
1 x letter addressed generally to ‘Whom It May Concern’ advising that Lt Edwards marched out to Seymour to attend the OCTU course, dated 26 December 1944;
1 x certificate of discharge dated 9 January 1946;
2 x lists of people of unknown importance; and
1 x facsimile of accounts written by Lt Edwards about his time spent in New Guinea, spanning the period 1 September 1942 to 7 January 1943, and a handwritten account of time spent in the OCTU.
1 x commission, promoting Lt Edwards to the rank of Lieutenant, dated 27 September 1945.