Friday, April 21, 2017

The Reluctant Soldier

Samuel Gaudie and the 5th Infantry Battalion landed at Gallipoli on day one. Gaudie remained there until he returned to Lemnos in October 1915 though the reason is not clear from the records.  The troops were quite debilitated by exposure and disease by that time, and many were evacuated for a rest, or to recover from disease.  Sam seems to have decided he liked it on Lemnos, and disappeared.  He may have found someone to shelter him in the Greek village of Castro on the island, which would have been delightfully human after the horrors of Gallipoli.  He probably just didn't want to return.  It set a pattern for the next few years.   You can read the story of Sam's misadventures, as told by Rod Martin.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Photos of Instructional Staff - SSM Latchford

 Ern Latchford as a member of the 6th Australian Infantry Regiment, aged 18, seen in the back row, second from the left.  His friend Rupert Holden is in the back row far right. Taken at Lancefield Junction, 1907. 

Officers of the Area 58B (Ascot Vale) Instructional Staff, taken early in 1914  at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Ern is in the back row, second from the right. Compare this with a very similar photo on this page.  

In 1907 Ernest Latchford was an enthusiastic member of the Volunteer militia camped at Lancefield Junction with the 6th Australian Infantry Regiment.  In 1910 he applied for a position with the Instructional Staff whose role it was to train the thousands of new Senior Cadets produced under the new system of compulsory military training for boys.  By 1914 Ern had arrived at the Area 58B Ascot Vale Senior Cadets as Staff Sergeant Major Ernest Latchford.  At that link you will find a series of photos showing Ern's progress from the age of 18 to 28, when he was permitted to join the AIF, and later as a Commissioned as an officer with the 38 Inf Battalion.  The photos come to use courtesy of Mark Latchford.

Other collections of photos and postcards can be seen here.