Abbott, Francis Arthur (Sergeant, b.1893 - d.1918)

Accession Number AWM2016.26.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 30 cm; Wallet/s: 14; Oversize: 1
Object type Letter, Diary, Certificate, Postcard, Photograph, Souvenir, Object
Maker Abbott, Francis Arthur
Place made Australia, France, United Kingdom, United Kingdom: Channel Islands, Guernsey, West Africa: Sierra Leone
Date made 1910-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Collection relating to the First World War service of 3170 Sergeant Francis Arthur Abbott, 33rd Infantry Battalion, France.

Wallet 1:
Miscellaneous papers relating the Sgt Abbott collection. Some of these papers belonged to the Sgt Abbott’s family but are not directly related to Sgt Abbott; others are blank stationary. These include: five blank pieces of writing paper, one with 'Military Camp Bathurst' letterhead; five unused envelopes, two of which feature YMCA insignia; one blank luggage tag; one note on paper dated 19 June 1979; one wedding invitation dated August 1912 addressed to Miss May Abbott with envelope; one photo-postcard addressed to 'Mr and Mrs Abbott with love from Lil' (Sgt Abbott’s sweetheart); a telegram address to a John Beatty; one letter addressed to Miss A Abbott dated 15 February 1917 with the author (illegible) thanking her for socks and introducing himself; a doctor’s receipt dated 19 March 1925; and one letter dated 27 September 1924 from an LFA Allen agreeing to lease a property from Miss Abbott. (15 items)

Wallet 2:
Two silk embroidered postcards addressed from Frank (Sgt Abbott) to 'Mother + all at home' both dated 1917; one postcard addressed to 'Annie', from 'Frank' with envelope and leaf with 'A souvenir from Cape Town 21.6.17' written in ink; three souvenir albums of images (two coloured) sent by Sgt Abbott to his sister and mother, one is views of Fremantle Western Australia, one is of Salisbury United Kingdom (black and white), and the other is of Cape Town; ten field service postcards sent to Sgt Abbott’s mother advising that he is 'quite well'; and three Christmas cards dated 1914-1918 to various friends and family of Sgt Abbott. (19 items)

Wallet 3:
Sixteen loose postcards, some addressed, some blank, containing images from Guernsey, Salisbury, sites in Northern France, Freetown (Sierra Leone) and printed text postcards including a 'soldiers life and hymnal', a poem entitled 'Remembrance to mother', and 'Sweetheart'; thirty-seven postcards with ten envelopes in which they were sent, with subjects including Sydney, Le Havre, Britain, Guernsey, Aldershot, London, Sierra Leone, Salisbury, a photo-postcard of 6955 Pte Arthur Gervin Byrne, Armentieres, and a poem about Tidworth. Included are several postcards produced by the famous Lehnert and Landrock printing house. (63 items)

Wallet 4:
A selection of thirty empty envelopes addressed both by and from Sgt Abbott, from Australia, France, South Africa and the United Kingdom. (30 items)

Wallet 5:
A miscellaneous selection of documents relating to the service of Sgt Abbott consisting of: a memorial notice commemorating the death of Sgt Abbott sent by his family and returned to sender; two cablegrams and one telegram sent to Australia by Sgt Abbott; a red crudely made shoulder epaulette; a sample for a memorial card engraving and associated advertisement; four pages of technical design drawings for items such as a key label and a broom holder; two copies of the St Stephen’s Penrith Parish Messenger (the family’s parish church) dated September 1914 and July 1919; one bayonet training guide dated 1916; one receipt for a uniform; one blank target practice register form; a certificate admitting Sgt Abbott to the Masons ‘United Grand Lodge of New South Wales’; a list of routine orders for AIF Base Bathurst dated 11 September 1916; one judging distance register; one practicing distance instruction guide; miscellaneous notes and lists relating to service; and five pages relating to training drills at Military Camp Bathurst. (13 items)

Wallet 6:
A miscellaneous selection of documents relating to the service of Sgt Abbott consisting of: one Masons gathering signature book for Masons aboard ‘HMAT Benalla’ dated 26 June 1917 with signature of attendees; one booklet for a religious service aboard HMAT Anchises for ‘Masonic Brethren’; sheet music for a musical accompaniment to the Lord’s Prayer on paper headed ‘Church of England, Auburn, NSW'; two life insurance certificates with NSW duty stamps for TA Abbott and FA Abbott dated 19 May 1918; report and map from the Southern Command School of Instruction dated 5-17 November 1917 commenting on Sgt Abbott’s achievements in the course; letter informing Sgt Abbott of his admittance to the Mason Brethren, with receipt for a year’s membership and one free month; letter from the AIF Base Records Office addressed to Sgt Abbot’s father informing him Sgt Abbott was suffering from trench fever; blue leather book cover entitled ‘Tennyson’; two black notebooks with training notes with two additional relating loose sheets and a cinema ticket; and an unknown boat crew list. (10 items)

Wallet 7:
One black leather notebook pouch with gold embossed lettering FAA (Sgt Abbott’s initials) and its contents, including: one certificate of discharge from the CMF dated 15 February 1917; red faux-leather diary with short miscellaneous notes relating to people Sgt Abbott met and where he was, dated May to September 1917; two leave passes; one pocket-size physical training guide; one miscellaneous receipt; collection of pressed and dried flowers and leaves including one sprig of wattle with a tricolour red, white and blue ribbon attached; collection of various visiting cards, bus and train tickets and unused French stamps; one Masons introductory letter dated 5 March 1917; and two certificates relating to the AIF Bayonet School. (10 items)

Wallet 8:
Two notebooks, one with a black faux-leather cover, the other with a red and blue marbled cover containing training notes. (2 items)

Wallet 9:
Twenty-nine letters sent from Sgt Abbott to his mother and 'all at home' dated 1917 and 1918, discussing various topics including leave in London and Guernsey, the YMCA, prostitution in London, trench fever, gas warfare, trench warfare, and the ethics of conscription. Included is one pressed flower and one postcard sent with attached letter. (29 items)

Wallet 10:
Twenty-nine letters sent from Sgt Abbott to his mother and 'all at home' dated 1917 and 1918, discussing various topics including leave in London and Guernsey, the YMCA, prostitution in London, trench fever, trench warfare, and the ethics of conscription. (29 items)

Wallet 11:
Five letters sent to Sgt Abbott from his parents dated 1917 and 1918. All very general in nature discussing affairs at home and wishing Sgt Abbott well. (5 items)

Wallet 12:
Twenty-one letters sent between Sgt Abbott and other family members dated 1917 and 1918. Included are two pressed flowers. Subjects are very general in nature, wishing each other well, and discussing issues such as the food situation, and leave visits to London and Guernsey. (21 items)

Wallet 13:
Seven letters sent between Sgt Abbott and his sweetheart, Lil. Letters are very general in nature, largely expressing how much they miss each other. Letters to Sgt Abbott discuss the general health and day-to-day activities of Lil, including her regular visits to his family in Sydney. Letters to Lil talk largely about staying with her relatives in Guernsey while Sgt Abbott was on leave. (7 items)

Wallet 14:
Seven letters written either to or about Sgt Abbott dated 1917 and 1918. Several letters convey condolences to Sgt Abbott’s family and other are very general in subject matter, largely wishing him well and thanking him for favours that he did for them. Three letters are from his sweetheart Lil’s relatives on Guernsey, one from a priest in France, one from a member of the Mother’s Union, one from a friend ‘JA Meade’, and one from a ‘Phillis’. (7 items)

Wallet 15:
Two certificates for violin playing awarded to Sgt Abbott in 1910 and 1911 from the London College of Music. (2 items)

Also see 1DRL/0001; The letters in 1DRL/0001 were donated by one of the sisters of Frank Abbott, Annie. These additional letters were kept by another sister, Ivy.