Diary of Keith Morton Hickman, 1916-1919
War Diary relating to the service of 20170 Sergeant Keith Morton Hickman, V.3.A. Heavy Trench Mortar Battery. The collection consists of a black notebook containing the handwritten war diary of Hickman. The diary is an account of Hickman’s service, and covers the period between January 1916 and May 1919. In it, Hickman chronicles his enlistment, embarkation, training, leave in London, and volunteering for the V3A Heavy Trench Mortar Battery. He then tells of his experiences fighting in French Flanders and Flanders in the areas of Neippe, Armentieres, Ploegsteert, Neuve-Eglise, Messines, Menin Road, Ypres, and Passendale. After Flanders, Hickman was required to go to the Somme, and relates his experiences in Amiens, Villers Bretteneaux, and Hamel. Throughout his diary, Hickman also includes details of many occurrences including influenza, scabbies, the bitterly cold winter, gunshock, being heavily shelled, losing his false teeth while swimming in the Somme, and encountering large numbers of refugees. The diary concludes with Hickman’s account of Armistice Day in Paris, a short sightseeing trip, his journey home, and his return to Australia. Also contained in the notebook is a betting ledger on the end pages.