Powell, Thomas Henry Norman (Lieutenant, b.1894 - d.1917)

Accession Number 2DRL/0623
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement Extent: 1 cm; Wallet/s: 1
Object type Diary, Object
Maker Powell, Thomas Henry Norman
Place made Egypt, Greece: Aegean Islands, Lemnos, Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli
Date made 1915
Access Open
Related File This file can be copied or viewed via the Memorial’s Reading Room. AWM93 12/11/5018
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

Collection relating to the First World War service of 255 Private (later Lieutenant) Thomas Henry Norman Powell, 2nd Field Ambulance AAMC. Collection consists of a typescript narrative of Powell's service during the Gallipoli campaign covering the period 4 April to 23 June 1915. The entries begin with Powell’s unit camped at Mean in Egypt, through to his arrival at Gaba Tepe on the Gallipoli Peninsula via Alexandria and small islands in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The main part of the narrative comprises Powell’s vivid descriptions of various conditions and experiences of the first few months of the Gallipoli campaign, from the perspective of a member of medical personnel supporting the fighting troops. These descriptions include: makeshift hospital facilities on a beach, life in trenches on the hillsides, types of injuries and illness affecting Australian troops, artillery and sniper fire from nearby Turkish positions, hospital ships being targeted by torpedoes, daily swims for troops on the beach – and the related risks of attracting enemy fire, some 'closest call of death' incidents for Powell himself, and short troopship trips for transporting wounded troops to larger medical facilities on nearby small islands such as Lemnos and Imbros that were out of range of enemy guns on the peninsula.

Powell’s final entries, in late May and June 1915, include references to numerous military burials at sea, and transport of more wounded troops from Gallipoli to Alexandria, where they were transferred to ambulances for transport to hospitals.

The collection also contains a small broken mirror in a leather pouch. There is no clear indication whether this was Powell’s property or not.

Powell was discharged from the Army in March 1917 to take up a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in an aircraft accident on 24 April 1917 and buried in England.