One of the last undiscovered personal accounts of an Australian soldier fighting to survive WWI.
Philip Owen Ayton was born near Melbourne in 1889. At the outbreak of the Great War, he enlisted in Sydney. He was twenty-five. After the war he married his sweetheart, Nellie Clarke, and they had two sons and two daughters. Ayton died in Melbourne in 1946, aged fifty-seven.
`There is no shortage of diaries and memoirs recording the day-to-day experience of soldiers in World War I...[But] Ayton's diary is an outstanding example, distinguished both by the vividness of its descriptive writing and by its artless candour...With the story of Gallipoli increasingly veiled in patriotic mythology, it is all the more valuable to be able to see the controversial campaign afresh through the eyes of an Australian soldier who was there.' * Australian *