MAU Harry Emil

Date of Enlistment 26/04/1915
Birthplace  
Occupation Engineer
Age on Enlistment 40
Rank  
Unit 16th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
Fate RTA
Date of Fate Event 11/12/1918
Returned to Broome post WWI Yes
Other Information Was allowed early termination due to the death of his wife – as he needed to provide care for his three daughters

 

Letter from Mau: I received a bullet wound in the head in the charge which we made on August 6 and was in the British hospital on this island for four weeks, but have quite recovered and am with my battalion again. We have been cut up terribly and are now resting; when in form, and our numbers increase, I suppose we will go back to the front. I’ have been promised a transfer to the engineers. Kindly remember me to anyone enquiring.’North West Echo, 4th December 1915
Fitter H. E. Mau. 47th battery, A.F.A.., writes to us from Perth :— I left Broome early in April, 1915, for Blackboy, and after eight weeks training left for Egypt with the 6th reinforcements of the I6th battalion, The voyage to the Suez was uneventful, and we entrained for Zeitoun, where we stayed nine days, and then embarked for Gallipoli, arriving exactly five weeks , after leaving Fremantle. The first stunt I took part in was the push made on the left in connection with the Suvia Bay landing on the night of August 6. By daybreak next morning, by some mistake, we were sent in between the Ghurkas and New Zealanders. The error was discovered and most of the men withdrawn but about 60 of us were not recalled, and when we reached the top of the hill in front of 971 we found ourselves isolated on what was afterward known as Curlewis’ Post. Here we had a lot of casualties. I was wounded. A Turk jumped up from behind a bush about 50 yards off, and he got in two shots before we could get him. It was some hours before I could get away and have my wound dressed. Then on to the hospital ship and Lemnos. We had about 1, 100 wounded aboard and as 160 walking cases were to get off at Mudros, I and two comrades from the 16th disembarked there. We were sent to the 13th British hospital where things pretty rough — no nurses, and only a few orderlies, no beds, and food much of. We slept in bell tents. As there were plenty of vineyards and the grapes just ripening, we had plenty of fruit to make up for other shortages. I saw a good deal of Lemnos, visiting many villages, the outstanding feature of each being a fine church (Orthodox Catholic). Ploughing here is done with primitive wooden ploughs, drawn by oxen. After five weeks I rejoined the battalion, and soon after (as our strength had been reduced to 200) we went to Lemnos to reorganise.Back to Gallipoli the end of October, where our company (b) occupied Franklin’s Post, some distance from the rest of the battalion. 1 then went on the permanent patrol in November we all suffered severely from the cold. On the 30th I was again wounded, a sniper shooting me through the left upper arm. The wound turned septic and I was ten weeks in hospital, first at Alexandria and then at Heliopolis, I was then sent to overseas detail on the banks of the Nile. After visiting the numerous places of interest, I rejoined.my battalion, and a few weeks, afterwards the 112th howitzer battery as fitter. A few weeks’ training then to the Suez, where we waited for the Turk who did not come. Early in June, after ten days at sea, we arrived in France at the best time of the year, and thoroughly enjoyed its beauty alter our long spell in the desert. (Continued in our next.)North West Echo, 4th May 1918
(Continued from last issue.) The journey by train to Le Harve occupied 48 hours and was exceeding enjoyable, the days being exceptionally long — about 18 hours daylight. We stayed at Le Harve three days, exchanging our horses for mules. Thence into the lines on the right of Armaentieres for five weeks, thence to Fleur Baux, where we covered the 6th division infantry in their first action. We then went for a spell for three weeks, near St Omer, and, as we were the first Australians there, had a good time. Here volunteered to help gather the crop, but had to go to Ypres instead. We went into action with three guns at Eloi and one in Scottish wood. There I had charge of 10 men for seven weeks, building 5-9 shell proof gun pits of steel and concrete. Here we lived well on walnuts, hazelnuts blackberries, moorhens, pheasants and partridges. Early in December we went to the Somme and into action at Flers, with our wagon lines near Melville wood. A. couple of days before Xmas we pulled out for a spell neat Amiens, where we stayed until Jan 10. I received my leave pass for England. On the trip over I contracted dengue fever, and was sent to St George’s hospital at Westminster for two weeks. It was my last experience of Hospitals. I have received nothing but the best of care end attention from the various doctors and nurses during my three years’ service. I went to Birmingham and returned to London by motor, getting a good view of the country. Arriving back in Albert, 1 found our battery bad been made mobile. Later I transferred to 47th battery, and about the middle of May went into line for the Messines stunt. We had a pretty bad time with gas and h.e. for a couple of weeks before the push. We went to Houplines for a week, but did not shoot after the first night, for the Germans retired. We pulled out to the shops to repair our guns. We then went to Nieuport, near the coast. It was impossible to make gun pits as the water level was only 2ft below the surface, so our guns ware behind currant and gooseberry hedges with camouflage over the top. One day Fritz dropped 230 5-9 shells on our battery in three hours, but most of us got away to a flank and there were only a few casualties Another spell of a week and we went into action again at Ypres, where some of the batteries had a very bad time. Again into workshops, and then for my second trip to Blighty, and on to Dublin. Returning to Fraune I joined my battery near Tpres, but shortly afterwards went into a reserve camp. We then took over a position near Messines where our other fitter died of wounds; here I spent my third Xmas, amidst snow-clad surroundings. The weather was mild until February 1, when my pass for Australia came. Off to London, Manchester, Birmingham, Weymouth, and Plymouth, on board a boat to Sierra Leonne (staying 8 days), then on to Cape Town for four days. 1 am going on to Victoria to see my children, from whom 1 have been parted so long, and thence to Broome. I shall always look back with pleasure to the three years I spent in the service of my country, and, although it would be idle to deny that there are plenty of hardships and irritating restrictions imposed upon us, still there are many pleasures which help to compensate one. The man who stays at home for selfish reasons instead of doing his duty to his country will be very sorry for it in years to come. I have made many life long friends in various places, and have seen countries and peoples I would not have seen had I not unlisted. I hope the foregoing will help to convince some people that a soldier’s life is not all hardships.North West Echo, 11th May 1918

 

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