On this day, 98 years ago, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed at Gallipoli to defend the principles of democracy and freedom. How poignant then to be reading some original letters written by an Australian soldier and his personal account of serving in the First World War. Private Gordon James Alford of the 10th
Battalion (A.I.F) died on Friday May 7th
1915, at Gallipoli Peninsular, but left behind a rich collection of letters that really demonstrate the tradition of selfless service and devotion to duty that the ANZAC soldiers were all about. Sent all the way from Down Under
Forces War Records have been lucky enough to have been sent these letters, as well as photos, telegrams and scroll, from Gordon James Alford’s great niece, all the way from South Australia. And with permission, this fantastic war diary has now been digitalised by Forces War Records, bringing this intriguing personal account and the ANZAC plight to light for future generations to learn from. The snippet below from Private Gordon James Alford’s war diary particularly caught my attention because it really sums up the ANZAC spirit, which is what should be celebrated today.
“You can depend on our boys playing the game wherever they go, and we will do credit to Australia...”
For lots more gems from this very personal account – read ‘War Dairy and Account of Pt. Gordon James Alford 10th Battalion A.I.F’
via the Forces War records database, under Historic Documents
. Forces War Records also have a chapter from ‘World War 1914-18 A Pictured History’
dedicated to the Gallipoli Campaign.