Papers of Gilbert Vernon Kimber

Accession Number MSS1869
Collection type Manuscript
Measurement 1 wallet: 1cm
Object type Memoir
Maker Kimber, Gilbert Vernon
Date made c 1985
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying is permitted for the purposes of research and study, subject to physical condition

15 page typed manuscript titled 'War as a teenager', written c1985 by 3189 Private Gilbert Vernon Kimber as a memoir of his First World War military experience in England and France, serving with the 50th Battalion. The memoir starts in 1914 prior to his enlistment in the AIF in 1916 at the age of 17 years, and finishes when he returns to Adelaide in 1919 only to suffer the disappointment of having no family members to welcome him home. He recounts the troopship voyage on the SS Berrima, the military training camp at Codford, England, and attending a British Army training school of Signallers at Salisbury Plains when he had to remain in England whilst the rest of his battalion went to France, as it was found he was still under the age of 19. Once he rejoined the 50th Battalion near Ypres in 1917, he describes his duties at the front line, conditions faced in the trenches and the strong feeling of mateship within the troops. Comments are also offered on the Battle of Cambrai, the Battle of Hamel, the experience of Australians serving in Villers-Bretonneaux in 1918, as well as the declaration of peace. The last page is a chronological history of significant dates in the history of the 50th Battalion AIF in France.