Transcript of diary of Laurie John Smee, 1915-1917

Accession Number RCDIG0001342
Collection number PR04710
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 85 Image/s captured
Maker Smee, Laurie John
Place made At sea, Egypt, Greece: Aegean Islands, Imbros, Greece: Aegean Islands, Lemnos, India, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1915-1917; 2011
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use, permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use

Transcript of diary relating to the First World War service of Able Seaman Driver Laurie John Smee, Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT). The entries in this diary span the period 19 June 1915 to 1 July 1917. Smee documents his time with the RANBT, which saw service at Gallipoli and in the Sinai during 1915-1917 under the command of Lieutenant Commander Leighton Seymour Bracegirdle. He details the journey from Australia to Egypt and the subsequent deployment of the RANBT to the Gallipoli peninsula. Smee writes of the landing at Suvla Bay in August 1915 and the variety of logistical roles the RANBT performed once there, including the assembly and maintenance of wharves and piers. He also documents life in the unit at Suvla, working under constant artillery fire with a constant lack of cover. In December 1915 the RANBT was evacuated to Mudros and Smee writes of the strike that took place due to the fact the men had not been paid for a long time. After moving to Egypt in January 1916, the RANBT served along the Suez Canal and was eventually disbanded in March 1917 with its members given the option of joining the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) or returning home for discharge. After choosing to return home to Australia, Smee writes of the journey home and his arrival back in Australia in July 1917. The diary includes several sketches made by Smee of locations and equipment used. Also included with this transcript are copies of service papers relating to his service with the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy. The transcript was compiled by Smee's grandson and completed in 2011.