Scandrett, Robert Rae (Private, b.1892 - d.1954)

Accession Number AWM2016.59.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary
Maker Scandrett, Robert Rae
Place made At sea, Australia, Belgium, France, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1915-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copyright restrictions apply. Only personal, non-commercial, research and study use permitted. Permission of copyright holder required for any commercial use and/or reproduction.

Collection relating to the First World War service of 13354 Private Robert Rae Scandrett, 4th Sanitary Section and 12th Field Ambulance, Egypt, France, Belgium, 1915-1919. Collection consists of three handwritten diaries covering the period from 13 September 1915 to 16 April 1919.

Diary one is a small red covered notebook with original pencil attached in side sleeve. The diary spans 13 September 1915 to 5 March 1917 and commences with Private Scandrett's enlistment. Entries include those related to training in Australia, his journey to Egypt including events such as the crossing the Equator ceremony, a short stopover in Colombo, and arrival in Egypt. It continues with action in France and Belgium describing different battlefield in the Somme area, the evacuation of wounded from Allied trenches at Pozieres, Becourt Wood and comments on the state of German trenches after capture. It concludes with him being evacuated to Ford House Hospital in Devonport due to illness. Many entries describe different church services that Scandrett attended of varying Christian sects. Also included are several hand-drawn maps and diagrams.

Diary two is a small dark blue-green, canvas covered notebook with original pencil attached in side sleeve. The diary spans 8 March 1917 to 23 January 1918. It discusses action seen at Armentieres, but largely focuses on the displacement of families, German bombing of the surrounding area and the slow intake of wounded into the hospital where the Scandrett is based.

Diary three is a small black covered notebook. The diary spans 7 March 1918 to 16 April 1919. This diary contains some information about shelling at Blangy-Tronville, but largely discusses books that the author has read, demobilisation in Britain and very brief details of the return trip to Australia.

Private Scandrett was a theology student and devout Congregationalist at time of enlistment. His diaries have a strong emphasis upon religion and religious practices of towns in and around France and Belgium. Private Scandrett expresses many personal opinions on what he sees as unsatisfactory behaviour of Australian soldiers, as well as the then current political situation in Australia.