Robert Joseph Stewart

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First name: Robert

Middle name: Joseph

Last name: Stewart

Personal information:

On the outbreak of World War I, Stewart is reputed to have been the first volunteer from Parkes to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force. He embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A23 Suffolk on 18 October 1914 at the age of 20. He was appointed Second Lieutenant in 'B' Company, 2nd Battalion and promoted to First Lieutenant en route to the Middle East. Following further training in Egypt, he served in the Gallipoli campaign wherein he was wounded. He was evacuated to Alexandria and then sent to convalesce back home. In February 1916 he passed fit to return to active service, was promoted Captain and appointed Second-in-Command of A Company, 34th Battalion on the Western Front.

Ward diary, 6 October 1914 - 28 July 1915
Diary of Eric Harford Ward

More than just this dairy (which is incredibly moving), it's the stories you piece together by reading other material in our collection. While on duty, Eric Ward wrote several letters to his home town paper The Bathurst TimesYou can even get a small glimpse of his life after the war with mention of a wedding. These documents are like pieces of a puzzle that together show a picture of a man who went to war and, thankfully, returned home.

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Fax: +61 2 9273 1255

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