Sweeney, James Joseph Augustus (Trooper, b.1899 - d.1928)

Accession Number PR04772
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1cm
Object type Letters
Maker Sweeney, James Joseph Augustus
Place made At sea, Egypt, Ottoman Empire: Palestine
Date made 1918-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Letters relating to the First World War service of 57353 Trooper James Joseph Augustus Sweeney 1 Light Horse. The letters date from 22/08/1918 to 14/01/1919 and were written to Private Sweeney's parents, his grandmother, and his sister Bess.
[items 1-3] These letters cover Sweeney's troopship voyage travelling via Colombo, his arrival at Port Suez followed by a train journey to Moascar. He mentions having his photograph taken on board.
[item 4] Letter, 11/10/1918, Sweeney describes Riding School in Moascar, which he found tough going. There is already talk that the war will soon be over. He refers to local Kogarah boy 1454 Pte Edward Joseph 'Ned' O'Meara 1 Light Horse, having left Moascar just before Sweeney arrived.
[item 5] Letter, 18/10/1918, he talks about a recurrence of tonsillitis and being sent to No. 2 Stationary Hospital. He expresses his hope that he will be able to join 1 Light Horse, after he has attended Base Details camp.
[item 6] Letter 2/12/1918, Sweeney has transferred to 1 Australian Light Horse. Now camped in Palestine, he writes that his unit could either be sent to another Front, or could be ready to go home by June 1919. He has seen 'Ned' O'Meara who had just been discharged from hospital, having had fever. Sweeney mentions hearing of the 'Spanish flu', and requests some tins of dark Kiwi boot polish as it was selling for 2 shillings, almost as much as his daily wage. He wishes to darken his boots and leggings which are almost 'white'.
[item 7] Letter, 14/1/1919, Sweeney talks about his unit's long march from Rishon to Rafa, followed by a Mediterranean boat trip where they could see British mine sweepers at work. Writing from a demobilisation camp in Egypt, he says they are waiting to hand over their horses to the Indian Army. He talks about some Turkish souvenirs he will bring home for the family.

History / Summary

James Joseph Augustus Sweeney was born in Sydney on 1 July 1899. He became a clerk by profession, and he enlisted on 20 April 1918. Sweeney embarked on the 'Port Sydney' from Sydney on 17 August 1918, arriving at Moascar in September. On 14 November, the same year, he transferred to 1 Light Horse Regiment. Turkey had surrendered on 30 October 1918, and thus Trooper Sweeney joined in the troop preparations for the return home. He embarked on 'Ulimaroa' in April 1919, and was discharged in Australia on 14 May 1919.