Anetts, Anthony Joseph (Colonel, b.1964)

Accession Number PR00286
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 6 cm; Wallet/s: 3
Object type Diary, Letter, Poem
Maker Anetts, Anthony Joseph (Tony)
Anetts, Bernadette Mary
Place made Australia, Somalia
Date made 1993
Access restricted
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM371 93/0492
Conflict Somalia, 1992-1995
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 Operation Solace service of Captain (later Colonel) Anthony Joseph (Tony) Anetts, 3 Brigade Administrative Support Battalion (3 BASB), Somalia, 1993.

The collection consists of a diary, poems, and correspondence with family while Anetts was serving with the Base Administrative Support Group during Operation Solace in Somalia. He discusses home news, army support to families, his duties, the situation in Baidoa and Mogadishu, counter-intelligence patrols, soccer matches, the attitude of Somali people, and the accidental death of an Australian soldier.

Wallet 1 of 3 - Consists of a diary and copies of 23 poems Anetts wrote while deployed to Somalia. The diary contains intermittent entries between 3 February and 18 April 1993. Anetts describes his arrival in Somalia with the advance party of the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Battalion Group, his early work and settling in at Baidoa, and the first patrols conducted by the Australians. He also writes of his boredom, his relations and interactions with other officers, the media and senior non-commissioned personnel, matters of discipline, playing cricket and soccer, Somali and Australian casualties, his visit to HMAS Tobruk (1980-2015), his frustrations with United States Army personnel, and the death of Lance Corporal Shannon McAliney. The diary is also filled with poems Anetts wrote in Somalia, transcribed copies of which are in the wallet. The poems cover topics such as Somalia, military operations, his family, boredom, bathroom habits, home, soldiering, and McAliney.

Wallet 2 of 3 - Consists of 14 letters Anetts wrote to his wife Bernadette between 13 January and 18 April 1993. Anetts discusses his work and routine, the weather, their two young children, his perceptions of Baidoa, the 1993 Federal election, frustrations with and the lack of communication from 3 BASB headquarters in Australia, his boredom, and ponders his future in the Australian Army. He also writes of McAliney's death, of his living conditions, correspondence with extended family and friends, and of miscommunication regarding the return home.

Wallet 3 of 3 - Consists of 13 letters and a Valentines Day card Anetts received from his wife Bernadette and one letter from Anetts' friend Bruce Anderson. Bernadette Anetts writes of news from home, the Christening of their son Andrew, the quality of the mail system, the weather, of how much she misses Anetts, and rumours of the battalion's return to Townsville. Three of the letters also include newspaper clippings of news from Townsville, sporting results, and an article on Anetts' departure from Australia. Anderson writes of his wedding and honeymoon, news from home, and sporting results.