Letters and Postcards of Walter Oswald Watt, 1914-1915

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Accession Number AWM2019.22.266
Collection number 3DRL/5018
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 23
Object type Letter
Physical description 80 Image/s captured
Maker Watt, Walter Oswald
Place made France
Date made 1914-1915
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.
Description

Letters and postcards relating to the First World War service of Captain Walter Oswald “Toby” Watt, French Foreign Legion, Military Aviation Division.

Watt undertook flying training in England and obtained his Royal Aero Club certificate in 1911, the first Australian to do so. He was in France when war was declared on Germany, and immediately offered his flying services and plane to the war effort. He served with the French Foreign Legion.

In his letters dated between 22 June 1914 and 4 December 1915, Watt shared with his friends and family his experiences of serving as a pilot on the Western Front. One of the experiences Watt relates is an incident in which Watt’s aircraft engine failed and he crash landed in No Man’s Land, between German and French lines. He and his observer had to run through German artillery fire to get to French trenches, but neither were injured and they were able to transmit valuable information to the Allies. Watt’s letters also record experiences such as thoroughly enjoying flying, being hit by shrapnel while in the air, Australians being well regarded in France, receiving letters, being awarded a Croix du Guerre, involvement in strategic bombing of German infrastructure, and taking aerial photographs.
Watt transferred to the new Australian Flying Corps in mid-1916, and went on to command No. 2 Squadron.

This file contains:
Letter from [Walter Oswald Watt] to "Auntie", Paris, 22 June [1914]
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, Versailles, 18 August 1914
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 20 September 1914
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 27 September 1914
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, Paris, 26 October 1914
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 27 January 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to [unknown], France, 10 February 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 13 February 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 3 March 1915 [letter in two parts]
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, postmarked 7 April 1915
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 17 April 1915
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 19 April 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 24 May 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 28 May 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 5 June [1915]
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 14 July 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 8 August 1915
Postcard from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, France, 21 August 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 4 September 1915
Letter from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, 4 December 1915
Photograph of biplane being inspected by several men, [date unknown]
Envelope from Walter Oswald Watt to Mrs. Sydney Jamieson, [date unknown]
Envelope with notes regarding collection of Walter Oswald Watt, [date unknown]