Letters and Stories

Read the stories of the brave men and women who went to war

and their connection to the region.

At the fork

‘Men passing the fork in Monash Valley used to glance at the place (as one of them said) as a man looks at a haunted house.’ – Charles Bean.

March 1918 - German Offensive

March 1918 German offensive Russia withdraws from war with 15.8 million casualties on the Eastern Front.

Disastrous August offensive

Locked into entrenched stalemates with occasional costly but inconsequential forays, the Gallipoli campaign.

I never expected to get out of this place

‘… there is nothing but shell holes in this part …’

A glimpse of the sea

‘… a glimpse of the sea – we knew perfectly well that this hill was the key to victory or defeat.’

The Evacuation

Evacuation: a successful strategy at last – but soaked in blood and wreathed in the ghosts of sacrificed comrades.

On the loss of your son James

Dernancourt, a village on the River Ancre in France, was the scene of desperate fighting during the German offensive.

The British at Cape Helles

French troops engaged in a diversionary landing on the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles.

A catastrophe Pompey Elliot predicted

200 metres of open ground was twice the distance recommended for a frontal charge at defences.

Sooner to be back at old Pialba

‘ … would sooner be … at old Pialba with the tent and fishing line … catching whiting.’

Germans sweep through Belgium

Germany’s invasion of neutral Belgium to attack France prompted Britain to declare war on Germany.

A bleak winter looms

After the heat, hundreds freeze to death in trenches. ‘It has been snowing all day and my hands are like blocks of wood

Lone Pine lives on in legends

Would the real Lone Pine please stand up?

Periscopes and Rifles

The periscope rifle devised by Lance Corporal William Beech after five of his comrades were killed in the Turkish May offensive.

The Middle East

‘Throughout history, mounted troops have been known as the elite men of arms and the Australian Light Horse is a part of that legendary tradition.’