Diary of Arthur Thomas, 1916-1918


Diary relating to the First World War service of 3470 Corporal Arthur Thomas, 6th Battalion. This diary was written by Thomas between 20 July 1916 and 5 June 1918 and it covers: building fortifications and digging trenches un protected in front of the Allied line out at night under direct German shell fire whilst soaking wet, tired, malnourished and often suffering from frostbite or trench foot; the Battle of Pozieres in July and August 1916 including the events in which his company lost over half its men; the battle at Mouquet Farm in August; the fighting towards Bapaume in November; his supervision of new reinforcements in early 1917; his time in England to where he was instructing the Australian reinforcements; his return to the Western Front in April 1918 and discover that in his absence most of his friends had died; fighting against Prussian guards. His last entries outlines how he found it "nerve wracking" to be continually under fire and how he was tired of the war. Arthur Thomas was killed in action by an artillery shell near Strazeele in France on 8 June 1918.