Sloan, Hannibal (Major, b.1871 - d.1945)

Accession Number PR05385
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 2 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Letter
Maker Sloan, Hannibal
Place made Egypt, France, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1915-1917
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

Collection relating to the First World War service of Major Hannibal Sloan, 30th Infantry Battalion, Egypt, France, England, 1915-1917.

Collection consists of 63 letters written by Major Sloan, home to his family during 1915-1917. Sloan arrived in Egypt in late 1916 and these early letters describe the sights of Egypt and their preparations building roads and railways. The battalion left for France in mid 1917 and headed for the Western Front, where their first major battle was at Fromelles on 19 July 1916. Initially tasked with carrying parties for supplies and ammunition, the Battalion was soon drawn into the battle and was involved in vicious fighting. After that battle, the Battalion was rotated in and out of the front line, but was not involved in any major offensives for the rest of the year. The letters from France describe his work as adjutant, preparations, shelling by the Germans, his needs for the coming winter, fighting around Fromelles, billets, his promotion to Major, and upcoming leave. A couple of the letters from England describe the scenery and sights. The letters on his return to France describe the Somme, billets, the weather, training at a school of Instruction, conscription, time in hospital, and his transfer to 8th Training Battalion in Hurdcott, England following his second bout of illness. From training in England, his letters provide a little more detail of his time in France, the conditions of the Germans, the progress of the war, the arrival of spring in England, and his experiences in Hurdcott and rural areas.

The end of 1916 and beginning of 1917 saw Sloan twice admitted to hospital with illness. He was struck off strength and returned to Australia later that year, and subsequently found unfit for further service and his appointment was terminated in April 1918.

A typed transcript of the letters has been included in the collection for ease of reading.

In 1938, Sloan published a book, “The Purple and Gold: a history of the 30th Battalion, compiled by H. Sloan”, held in the Memorial's collection at Call No 940.41294 P985. He passed away in August 1945.