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Diary - Sergeant G.P. Mulcahy, France & Journey Home, Vol 4, World War I, 19 Jul 1918-30 Apr 1919 Document Reg. No: ST 037407

Summary:
Volume four of the diary of Sergeant Major Gilbert Payne Mulcahy/ G.P. Mulcahy, 6th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters. The diary covers the period 19 July 1918 to 30 April 1919.

The diary has been written, largely in ink, in a small red-leather covered diary which had been bought in a stationery shop in Rouen, France. A smaller diary covering the period 28 March 1919 to 30 April 1919, when he was discharged, is inserted in the pages of the notebook. An additional sheet is folded within the diary advising on the cessation of hostilities at 11am on 11 November, issued by General Foch.

Sergeant Gilbert Payne Mulcahy was in the 6th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters staff. He enlisted on 15 February 1915, was awarded a meritorious service medal in October 1916, and returned to Australia on 9 March1919.

The diary includes descriptions of the great Allied 'push' in northern France in August 1918. The diary opens on 17 July 1918: 'Very good news from the big push. French have counter-attacked and have pushed the Huns back on line Soissons to Chateau Theirry* and advanced 8 kilos on 45 kilo front taking 27,000 prisoners & 200 guns.'

'We moved into the line again today in relief of 9th Bde (on right of our old pozzie). We are in touch with the French on our left & [?] international posts.'

Later in the diary on the 6 August 1918, Mulcahy records: 'Fine and wet in turns. Two massive 12" guns came in during the night and are set up on either side of our "posi" so that we can anticipate some noise coming and going. Had a stroke of bad luck today. About 3.30pm Fritzy strafed our home around the Chateau and Victor and Leo Silver were leaving the building to go to the basement when a shell landed - instantaneous fuge - a piece of it went through Victor's stomach and came out his back, a terrible wound. He was taken to the aid-post nearby and was conscious for some time. The doctor gives him three hours, poor chap, he has just returned from leave. While with Victor a Canadian was brought in with both legs off and the thigh shattered, truly an awful sight. He still lives poor chap and talks. Another Canadian lies dead outside and an officer and two or three other chaps wounded.'
Description:
Red leather diary embossed with gold, hand-written, within which sits a smaller notebook, stapled but without covers. Includes on separate off-white sheet typed in purple ink, headed 'WAR NEWS (OFFICIAL)':
Acquisition Information:
Donation & Subsequent Transfer from Returned Servicemen's League of Australia Limited (RSL) Victorian Branch, 1987
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 120 mm (Height), 72 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Thickness (depth) measured with additional diary and note within main diary.

More information

Tagged with: militaria australian, wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918
Themes this item is part of: Arms Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, Sergeant Gilbert Payne Mulcahy, AIF (1893-1979)
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Personal Effects
Tertiary Classification: diaries
Inscriptions: Separate sheet: 'WAR NEWS (OFFICIAL) / 'HOSTILITIES WILL CEASE ON WHOLE FRONT ON / 11TH NOVEMBER AT 11 O'CLOCK FRENCH TIME. / THE ALLIED TROOPS WILL NOT CROSS UNTIL FURTHER / ORDERS THE LINE REACHED ON THAT DATE AT THAT / TIME. / (Sgd), FOCH - 6.30 A.M. / (From GENERAL FOCH TO COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF).'
Author: Sergeant Major Gilbert Mulcahy, France, 19 Jul 1918-30 Apr 1919

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