Smyth, Walter (Private, b.1875 - d.1921)

Accession Number PR00927
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1cm
Object type Diary
Maker Smyth, Walter
Date made 1997
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition

Typed transcript of a diary kept by 4228 Private Walter Smyth, 17 Battalion, relating to his service from October 1915 to discharge in March 1919. Smyth was aged 40 on enlistment and the diary contains vivid, detailed and perceptive descriptions of his service from leaving Australia, voyage to Alexandria on HMAT Star of England (A15), England and the Western Front. Descriptions include Colombo, Egypt, England, Perham Downs Camp, Etaples, Ypres, Armentieres, Villers Bretonneux, Maple Leaf House, leave, the Young Mens Christian Association (YMCA), morale, the conscription vote, Western Front, medical services, illness, training camp, Ethel Campbell (the 'Durban Signaller') and return to Australia. He especially notes the behaviour of Australian troops including stealing from each other, morale, expectations of officers, pay riots and perceived deficiencies in Army administration while he was in training camps and hospital. Also included is a copy of a photograph of Smyth in uniform.