Fluke discovery of World War I officer’s diary under the floorboards during a Manly house renovation
Thursday, 4th Sep 2014

Ripping up floorboards in old houses usually yields nothing more historic than rot and rats. But the State Library of NSW is the richer for what Glen Butler found while renovating his Manly home.

It was a WWI diary penned by Sydney-born military officer Geoffrey Gaden while fighting the Germans in the trenches of France in 1916. The almost pristine diary was secreted under the floorboards of an upstairs bedroom and evidently forgotten before Mr Butler bought the house about three years ago.

Library curator Elise Edmonds — whose exhibition of Australian war diaries to commemorate the centenary of WWI recently opened — was ecstatic when she learned about the diary. “It’s the kind of phone call you might dream about as a curator,” Ms Edmonds said. “I was speechless to hear it.”

Read the full story

Featured
Military parade, Macquarie Street, Sydney
A birthday treat(y) signals a short-lived period of world peace

Being an ardent pacifist I was delighted to discover that the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June – my birthday!  An examination of the souvenir programme, Victory Celebrations (Signing of Peace), revealed a route  that was to pass in front of the original Mitchell Library.  Further searching of the Library’s collections revealed this magnificent photo of the event.

world.war.I@sl.nsw.gov.au
Ph: +61 2 9273 1414
Fax: +61 2 9273 1255

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street,
Sydney NSW 2000,
Australia

Media Enquiries
media.library@sl.nsw.gov.au