|Object type||Black & white - Print silver gelatin|
|Place made||Ottoman Empire: Turkey|
|Date made||July 1917 - August 1918|
First World War, 1914-1918
Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain
This item is in the Public Domain
Outdoor portrait of four Australian Prisoners of War (POW) in Turkey. Identified left to right; ...
Outdoor portrait of four Australian Prisoners of War (POW) in Turkey. Identified left to right; Lieutenant (Lt) Claude Henry Vautin, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), from Yuin, Western Australia, Lt Stanley Rubert Jordan, 9th Battalion, from Lismore, N.S.W., Captain (Capt) Thomas Walter White, AFC from Melbourne, Victoria, and Lt Leslie Henry Luscombe, 14th Battalion from Geelong, Victoria. Lt Vautin enlisted on 6 February 1914 and embarked for overseas on 8 February 1915 aboard HMAT Mashobra. He was captured at Beit Hanun on 8 July 1917 and held as a POW in Turkey. Lt Vautin was repatriated to Cairo on 28 November 1918, a month later arrived in England and returned to Australia on 9 August 1920. Lt Jordan enlisted on 22 August 1914 and embarked for overseas on 24 September 1914 aboard HMAT Omrah. He was captured at Gallipoli on 26 June 1915 following the landing at Cape Helles and held as a POW in Turkey. Lt Jordan wrote from "Somewhere in Asia Minor" on 15 July 1915 as follows: "I am writing this note in anticipation of its reaching you six weeks hence. By the time six more will be on their way. I am in the Turkish internment camp, 'Somewhere in Asia Minor'. I am quite well and my wound is almost better. I am with a lot of other officers. There are some from the Submarine U15 and also some of the Australian Submarine AE2. They are all nice chaps. We also have French and Russians here with us, and we form a lively entente. I am learning French and Turkish languages. A submarine officer teaches me Turkish and a French officer teaches me French. Having no books I have to be continually writing. I am living real well, but it is a darned lazy life. I study most of the day and play bridge or chess at night. It was darned hard luck being captured within seven weeks of getting a commission as it did not give me a chance, but I did my bit and now I am tied up till the end of the war. Never mind the Turkish officials are exceedingly kind and courteous. Most of the time I was at their headquarters, and in Constantinople I was treated more like a guest than a prisoner." He was repatriated to Alexandria, Egypt in November 1918 and the following month arrived in England. Lt Jordan resigned in March 1919 to study at Cambridge. Capt White enlisted on 1 April 1915 and embarked for overseas on 20 April 1915 aboard RMS Morea. He was captured outside Baghdad when he landed his plane in order to destroy a telegraph line and was held as a POW in Turkey until he escaped to Russia in August 1918. Capt White was repatriated to Port Said, Egypt in November 1918, arrived in England in December 1918 and arrived back in Australia in January 1920. Lt Luscombe embarked for overseas on 17 April 1915 aboard HMAT Hororata. He was originally reported killed in action but it was later confirmed that he had been wounded and taken prisoner after leading his men in a charge near Hill 971 between Chocolate Hill (Suvla Bay), Anzac, Gallipoli. He was held as a POW in Turkey until he was repatriated to Alexandria, Egypt in November 1918. Lt Luscombe arrived in England in December 1918 and arrived back in Australia on 25 May 1919. One of a series of over 400 photographs sent by Australian POWs in German camps to Miss M. E. Chomley, Secretary, Prisoners Department, Australian-British Red Cross Society, London. Original album housed in AWM Research Centre at RC00864, Album image number 92.