Jim Anderson's wallet, above, was crammed with his notebook, letters and photographs when it slowed the entry of a bomb fragment on its way to send him to oblivion. The fragment passed through his folded up tunic, wallet and contents and still fractured Jim's jaw and cut a blood vessel, in July 1918. Evacuated to England, his recovery was long enough to prevent him re-entering the war, and he returned to Australia on Special Leave for 1914 men in December 1918.
”[Jim] received his wound whilst
asleep early in the morning. A bomb dropped from an aircraft exploded
near his tent. A piece of metal cut through his wallet which in his
tunic pocket was acting as a pillow. The wallet and contents
– photos, cards, letters etc was nearly 2 inches thick and it was
pierced right through slowing the metal, stopping it in his neck.
He stood up – had lost his hearing and put his hand to his neck to
discover blood squirting out.“
Jim carried a recent photo of his wife Elsie and daughter Margaret in his wallet - Elsie received a wound to the chest!
You can see more of the contents of Jim's wallet on the Empire Called website. Jim served with 10 ASC and later 31 ASC, landing at Gallipoli, and later in France.
I have created a number of local history projects for which you will find links on this blog. I am a community historian (ie, not paid) living in Essendon. The content of my Empire Called database (see the link to the PBWorks website) is the result of nearly 25 years' research. I began collecting material for the database of local WW1 volunteers in the early 1990s, beginning with hand transcriptions of Honour Boards in local schools, churches, clubs and so on. It was after this that the National Archives of Australia began making digitised service records available online, followed by the Australian War Memorial uploading Embarkation Rolls of the Australian Imperial Force. The Empire Called blog is a companion for the PBWorks website of the same name.
Time Travellers in Essendon and Flemington is set up in the same way, with a website and a blog to report additions to the website. The website is a vehicle to publish longer pieces of research that are too long for newsletters. It also includes various indexes I have worked on for many years, plus photos from various sources which I date and describe in greater detail. You may find something of use for your research.