Transcript of the diaries and letters of Charles Herbert Taylor, 1916-1918

Accession Number AWM2016.30.49
Collection number PR03112
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Diary, Letters
Physical description 33 Image/s captured
Maker Taylor, Charles Herbert
Place made At sea, Australia, France, United Kingdom
Date made 1916-1918; 2002
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
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Transcript of diaries and letters relating to the First World War service of 908 Private Charles Herbert Taylor, 34th Battalion. Compiled by his son-in-law, this transcript contains typescript copies of Taylor’s letters and diaries, as well as copies of photographs. Together, the diaries and letters create a picture of his service from 1916 to 1918, with a particular focus on the events of 1918.

Taylor writes of his voyage to England after enlisting, joining the 34th Battalion on the Western Front in November 1916. He writes of life in the trenches and describes the ruins of war-torn France. Taylor was also a drummer with the battalion band, and writes of their routine and his fellow members. He records his disappointment at the failure of the conscription referenda, considering it his duty to have volunteered, but is also adamant that his brother Walter not enlist. Taylor regularly enquires of his father and of Maitland, his home town. He records particular battles, such as the fighting at Hangard Wood on 30 March 1918 where he lost three comrades, and the fighting on 4 April 1918 where the 34th Battalion helped to defeat a major German drive towards Villers-Bretonneux. Wounded at the latter and sent to England, Taylor records his treatment and recovery and writes of his convalescence there until his eventual return to Australia in December 1918, recording the journey home aboard HMAT Sardinia.