Archie Barwick

Archie Albert Barwick was a farmer when he enlisted at the age of 24 in August 1914.

Barwick embarked for the Dardenelles on 4 April 1915 and fought in the Gallipoli campaign. From 1916 to 1918 he served in France and Belgium. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre in July 1918 before returning home to Australia in December 1918.

Barwick describes his war experiences in vivid detail, and with a great sense of courage and honesty, in 16 pocket-sized diaries. Acquired by the State Library of NSW in 1922, the diaries offer a compelling and often gripping narrative, penned by a natural storyteller whose distinctly Australian voice can be heard with each entry.

Archie's remarkable story was published by Harper Collins in 2013. 'In Great Spirits: The WWI Diary of Archie Barwick' is available from The Library Shop.

Below, first pages of Archie Barwick diary, 26 March 1917-10 September 1917. See collection

Judy Hassall recounts her father bringing her in the late 1940s into the Mitchell Library to see his diaries. Judy reflects on how this changed her understanding of her father.

Judy Hassall remembers her father and his experience in the War. Judy shows a prayer book which Archie kept with him throughout the war. It's a very precious memento that is still kept by the family.

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.

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State Library of NSW
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Sydney NSW 2000,

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