Diary of Gerard Henderson Cowan, November 1916 - January 1917

Accession Number AWM2019.22.255
Collection number 3DRL/3660
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type Item
Item count 1
Object type Diary
Physical description 95 Image/s captured
Maker Cowan, Gerard Henderson
Place made At sea, South Africa, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1916-1917
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Diary relating to the First World War service of 6733 Private Gerard Henderson Cowan, 11 Australian Infantry Battalion.

This diary, written by Cowan between 29 November 1916 and 11 January 1917, contains details of his voyage to England aboard the HMAS Argyleshire. Cowan records experiences such as going ashore at Cape Town, South Africa, doing physical training, learning Morse code and French, attending YMCA services, seeing interesting marine life, doing laundry, attending concerts and sports events, fatigue duties, landing at Sierra Leone and his impressions of Freetown, encounters with other ships, being on submarine guard, rations becoming poorer in quality, encounters with rats, and disembarkation at Plymouth, England.

This diary also contains a section of notes on Morse code and French language. Gerard Henderson Cowan joined the Australian Flying Corps and became a pilot in 1918, but died of illness on 22 February 1919.