Weeks, Maurice Arthur (Private, b.1884 - d.1977)

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number AWM2016.699.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1914
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Description

Collection relating to the First World War Service of 577 Private Maurice Arthur Weeks, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Gallipoli.

Collection consists of a handwritten diary on small, fragile, loose note paper (42 pages); a typed and annotated transcript completed in 1974 while the Weeks was still alive and was able to remember names, dates, and places; and an updated transcript completed by family in 2016.

The diary spans the period 9 May 1915 to 26 August 1915 - beginning just prior to the Weeks' arrival at Gallipoli. The diary contains a mixture of brief and very detailed entries. Entries cover:
- Names of members of the 2nd Light Horse that were killed and wounded around the author.
- Times for shifts in different trenches, details of shelling both sustained and witnessed, hitting Turkish trenches.
- Details of artillery used both for and against.
- Descriptions of injuries sustained by Allied soldiers.
- Detailed numbers and types of casualties sustained and those suspected of the enemy.
- Piles of the dead.
- Sights and smells.
- Soldier morale.
- Food and water situations.
- Personal hygiene.
- A description of a Turkish charge on 30 June.
- An advance on 6 August and mentions of other units’ advances.
- A truce called on 24 August for both sides to bury the dead. The author states that the Turks came over to speak with them, and seemed 'well fed and… fit'.
- Witnessing the torpedo attack leading to the sinking of HMS Triumph.
- Descriptions of areas such as Pope’s Hill trenches, Cape Sulva, Aka Baba, Cape Helles, Courtney’s Post, and Quinn’s Post.
- Aircraft activity, noting Allied, German and Turkish aeroplanes.
- One hand-drawn map of the front line, Turkish positions, the hills below and ships immediately adjacent to the beach.