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World War I diarists

World War I diarists

Did you know that many Australian servicemen and women kept a diary during World War I?

Here at the Library we are digitising our collection of over 1,100 diaries and letter collections by 500 individuals.

Library staff have also created a list in Wikipedia of over 1,100 diarists. Many of these diaries are held at the Australian War Memorial, which also holds the official war diaries kept by military units.

The youngest diarists on the list (Private Granville Bennett, Keith Harris and Private Edwin Walter Phelps) were just 15 years old when they enlisted for service.

Many diarists took part in the Gallipoli campaign. Some, including T. D. Drane, Lieutenant James George Tedder and Captain Walther Bernhardt Hermann, took part in the first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, while others including Private James Baillie served at Gallipoli from the first landing until troops were evacuated in December 1915.