TROOPS: Henry Lobb (left) often wrote about his mates and experience during World War I.
TROOPS: Henry Lobb (left) often wrote about his mates and experience during World War I. Contributed

Postcards reveal the story of a digger at Gallipoli

THE story of Henry Harry Lobb, number 3366 in the Australian Imperial Force, was a closely guarded one for years.

He married an Ipswich girl, Mary Alice Richardson, before enlisting for the Great War in 1916.

According to the Australian War Memorial Records, Private Lobb was a member of the 41st Australian Infantry Battalion.

Postcards and letters sent to Australia by Private Lobb and now held by great-grandson Glen Caloon reveal the digger's disbelief of the carnage caused by war.

The letters, written more than 100 years ago, reflect a sombre but excited Private Lobb writing about his great adventure with mates.

He travelled through France - stunned at the devastation and describing the once green fields as unrecognisable.

The soldier later revealed to his grand-daughter he was involved in the second wave of soldiers who landed at Gallipoli.

Private Lobb survived the devastation on the Turkish beaches before being discharged on September 25, 1919.

Mr Caloon noted the attitude of the men in the ageing images

"They had their chin up the whole way through," he said.

Private Lobb never spoke in great detail about the war.

"I know more about what he's done via the cards and letters than what he's told my mother," Mr Caloon said.

"They never talked a great deal about it."

Postcards revealed Private Lobb was shot before being patched up and sent back to the front line.

For Mr Caloon, this Anzac Day will again be a time of reflection on the service of thousands of Australians.

"It's about remembering family and what they did, how they served our country," he said. "I don't emphasise on the Gallipoli thing because all the guys who went, to Gallipoli France or Belgium, they all deserve to be recognised the same."

Mr Caloon pledged to pass Private Lobb's letters to his own children.

"It really gets you, you well up I suppose and it's quite moving really to read them," he said.

Private Lobb, who died in 1972 aged 90, is remembered as a distinguished man.

Mr Caloon's grandfather also died after contracting malaria in Papua New Guinea during World War II.



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