Hickman, Keith Morton (Sergeant, b.1895 - d.1966)

Description

Collection relating to the First World War service of 20170 Sergeant Keith Morton Hickman. Collection consists of a handwritten memoir written soon after the end of the war, covering the period from his enlistment in 1916 to his return home in 1919. He describes his enlistment, embarkation, training in England, transfers and promotions, as well as his experiences in Belgium and France. He makes mention of influenza, scabbies, the bitterly cold winter, gun shock, being heavily shelled, losing his false teeth while swimming in the Somme, and encountering large numbers of refugees. It contains good descriptions of trench mortar activities and details of his participation in the preparations for Messines offensive and later involvement in the Third Battle of Ypres. He chooses not to elaborate on the ghastly horrors of war which he thinks will stay with him until his last days.

The diary concludes with Hickman’s account of Armistice Day in Paris, a short sightseeing trip, and his return to Australia. The end pages of the notebook contain a betting ledger.