Three Australian officers at Gallipoli, identified from left to right: Lieutenant Roy Kernot of the 1st Division Engineers; Lieutenant Edward Stanley Whitehead of the 3rd Field Company Engineers and Lieutenant Louis Willyama Avery (later MM) of the 1st Division Engineers. The three friends were all associated with the Silverton Tramway Company in Broken Hill and survived the war. image courtesy Australian War Memorial P00244.001
Avery, Louis Willyama – January 1916
Have sufficiently recovered to sit up for a while in bed. One of the Sisters told me that if I had not led a steady life I would not have pulled through. Asked how she knew about leading a steady life she replied that had it not been so I would have been wrapped in the Union Jack long ago. Enteric was cleared up in November, but the recent relapse is due to Malaria.
There has been bitter criticism in Australia regarding the running of this hospital & the administration of the Red Cross. This is all rot. I cannot speak too highly of the attention shown by Doctors & nurses, but the medical orderlies are mostly Base heroes & a lot of cold footed B’s. As for the women who volunteered to carry out Red Cross Work, they are doing an excellent job visiting & providing everything that can be obtained to meet the numerous demands. Pipes, tobacco, cigarettes, matches, shaving soap, soap, brushes, sweets, chocolate, biscuits jelly writing material. These are only a few of the gifts.
My temperatures are well below normal & causing some concern. The pulse is too rapid & preventing me from getting up. They are giving me a mixture the colour of brandy, but with a far different taste. It is quinine & arsenic. I asked the Sister why my temperature was so low. She told me I was a lucky boy to have any temperature at all. I inquired why. She replied that to have three relapses after enteric it is a wonder you are not under the ground. It is marvellous how you found the spirit to fight each relapse. Today is the first time the food has been bad. I had chicken? But it must have been from the time of building the Pyramids …I was given an egg for tea & it was all colours from black to pink. Also I put some bread in the milk (buffalo) & it curdled. As a rule the food is good.
Pulse is still far too rapid & am not allowed to get up yet. The least exertion & up it goes. Oh horrors. It is so very disappointing but is due to extreme weakness I want to get strong enough to go home. The sooner the better. If I stay here much longer I will start singing “I wouldn’t leave my little feather for you”.
Now we are progressing. Was allowed to sit up in a chair for one hour only. Glad to get back to bed. Hope there will not be any more relapses.