Herbert Kemble, member of the New Zealand Expeditionery Force on Gallipoli, 1915 and later the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in France, 1916-1918.

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Accession Number S00427
Collection type Sound
Measurement 1 hr 19 min
Object type Oral history
Physical description 1/4 inch sound tape reel; BASF LP 35; 3 3/4 ips/9.5 cm.s; half track mono; 5 inch
Maker Kemble, Herbert F
Pedersen, Peter Andreas
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Bilgola Plateau
Date made 28 December 1985
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

Herbert F Kemble, (SERN 6272) also known as Herbert Allen, member of the New Zealand Expeditionery Force on Gallipoli, 1915 and later the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in France as a Corporal with 17 Battalion, 1916-1918, interviewed by Dr Peter Pedersen.

Long Caption: Herbert F. Kemble (SERN 6272) was born in New Zealand and joined the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1914/15 not just for patriotism but to get away from an unhappy domestic situation. He describes the conditions aboard the ship which took him to Egypt and relations with the Egyptians in Cairo. He describes the training that he underwent in Egypt and the sobering realisation that the New Zealanders underwent when they embarked for Turkey. He talks about their landing, some hours after the initial landing at ANZAC and recalls seeing Birdwood once on the beach at ANZAC.

Kemble came to Sydney in 1920, and from 1941 worked as a newspaper and magazine illustrator. His paintings were exhibited in the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Blake Prize Exhibitions.
He was wounded in the leg during the attack at Cape Helles in May 1915 and coalesced at a temporary military hospital in Malta. He returned to terrible conditions at ANZAC for a week but fell ill and was repatriated to New Zealand and discharged. The New Zealand troops were told that the Turks were ruthless fighters and they were to kill Turkish wounded as they were not to be trusted. Nevertheless, during armistice periods when both sides were collecting their dead the relations between them was quite friendly.

While visiting a friend in Australia he enlisted with the AIF, going with the 19th Battlaion to Pozieres where he saw many comrades killed or injured. Herbert did not question high command. At Bullecourt he heavy casualty rate caused him to appreciate the value of comrades and 'how wonderful human beings can be' in adversity. Other topics discussed include: The joining of tanks to allied forces; the sense of Australian troops being used unfairly; mutiny of Australian battalions; observations of American troops; reflections on the war and its affect on him; hospilisation; being removed from a share cabin on the ship home as the higher ranking officer didn't want to be acommodated with a private; post war treatment of returned AIF members including housing loans.

Biographical note: Kemble came to Sydney in 1920 and from 1941 worked as a newspaper and magazine illustrator. His paintings were exhibitied in the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Blake prize exhibitions.