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 – June 1916
Paraded before the S.M.O. for a thorough medical inspection. He is satisfied with my condition … Am now ready to be discharged once again.
Left Alex. at noon by train …. It is scorching hot in the desert & a fiery wind is blowing. The camp is practically deserted now.
Soon back to work. Cpl. In charge of the camp guard from 6 a.m. for 24 hours.
Nothing to do except eat since coming off guard. Was medically examined today & classified fit. This looks like the preparation of a boat list. Hope so.
… entrained for Alexandria. The carriages were packed full to overflowing.
… embarking on the “Aragon”, which was the Hd. Qrs. Ship at the Dardanelles. She was then reputed to be kept afloat by beer bottles… All we received today was fresh air & water, not so fresh. There were 2,300 troops on board this smallish ship including the 3rd We call them the Eggs-a-cooked, from the oval shape of their colour patch. This is the Division who have been training in Australia for so long & have now come to show us how to win the blinking war. Little do they know what is in store for them. The ship is hopelessly overcrowded there being 700 in excess of its full compliment.
Sailed at 9 a.m… Many Hun submarine are operating in the Mediterranean. … We are to have life boat drill & submarine alarms daily… All night all lights are out & no smoking is allowed.
On submarine guard all day midnight to midnight… Feel certain we are bound for Blighty.
Called at Gibraltar for one hour. The Rock is just magnificent…
Arrived at Plymouth … Disembarked & entrained at 3 p.m. for Salisbury Plains. The people of Devon gave us a most wonderful reception. At Exeter the Mayoress provided us with refreshments. What a treat. To me this was one of the most impressive & beautiful train journeys I have ever had. After being so long in the Middle East we can fully appreciate this glorious Devon…
Arrived at 2 a.m. & marched to Park house Camp 4 miles away. This camp consists of long huts, & every comfort is provided. Had the first hot bath today since leaving Hobart in 1914… I cannot forget the cheering of the English people & the way they waved flags all along the lane yesterday. We are the first Australians many of the people have seen. They seem most grateful that we have come to help them in their battles. I am feeling more my old self now & am putting on weight. Have written to my relations in Scotland, Manchester & Bristol advising them of my arrival in England. What a surprise they will get. It is 16 years since I last saw them.