Diary of Percy George Rupert Parkes, 1915-1916

Accession Number AWM2018.785.24
Collection number PR85/195
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 99 Image/s captured
Maker Parkes, Percy George Rupert
Place made At sea, Egypt, France, Ottoman Empire: Turkey
Date made 1915-1916
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Digital format and content protected by copyright.
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Diary relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Percy George Rupert Parkes, 23rd Infantry Battalion, May 1915 - May 1916

In the first of three diaries written by Percy George Rupert Parkes, the author commences to document his active service after embarking from Melbourne on 8 May 1915. He describes his own duties as well as general routines and observations aboard HMAT Euripides during the voyage to Egypt. After disembarking at Alexandria, he describes his impressions of camp life near Cairo including the challenges of training in oppressive conditions, a stay in hospital due to heat-stroke and attending a school of instruction for officers at Zeitoun Camp.

Parkes records his journey to the Gallipoli Peninsula, and outlines his initiation to the 400 Plateau area as a platoon commander tasked with trench duty at Lone Pine. He describes the day-to-day experiences of manning trenches and engaging Turkish troops, and notes incidents of heavy shelling and sniping as well as increasing Australian casualties resulting from illness. Towards the end of October 1915 Parkes proceeds to comment on his own ill-health and subsequent evacuation to Alexandria, where he elaborates on his convalescence from paratyphoid and enteritis.

After reporting for duty in early January 1916, Parkes records his activities at various camps in Egypt including joining a detachment tasked with the protection of the Suez Canal. He subsequently outlines his return to the 23rd Infantry Battalion and training troops at Tel el Kebir before embarking for France with his unit on 20 March 1916. The remaining diary entries record his journey to northern France, and detail his first two months of active service on the Western Front.

Please note that Parkes begins this diary on 8 May 1915, and reverts to the beginning of the diary for entries commencing in January 1916.