1st Battalion War Diary Ben and His Mates Book


Ben and His Mates Edited by P Ferguson
The War Diaries, Letters and Photographs of Lieutenant Ben Champion 1st AIF, 1915-1920 : hard cover dust jacket new book

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Ben Champion was raised in Wahroonga in New South Wales. When the news of the Anzac landing at Galipoli in 1915 came through to Sydney with the huge A.I.F. casualty list which soon followed, Ben Champion's Father reluctantly gave his permission for 18 year old Ben to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). He joined the 7th Reinforcements of the 1st Battalion AIF and embarked for Gallipoli.

Ben began his letters and diaries as soon as he enlisted, writing of so many of his mates throughout the years 1915 - 1920 as he served at Gallipoli and in France, and rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant.  He had photos of many who did not return.

He loved history and appreciated what he saw around him. Ben writes of the seasons, flowers, crops and trees. He writes of the songs they were singing and the books he was reading in the trenches. He wrote too of the changing perceptions he had of the enemy, how homesick he was, of his family and friends back home and how desperate he was for their letters. 

On 1 April 1918, in France, Ben was hit in the leg by an exploding shell and his leg was amputated. Ben returned to Australian in August 1918. 

Ben studied dentistry and eventually was one of the earliest members of the International College of Dentists. He wrote a History of Newcastle Hospital and many articles about the people and estates of Newcastle and environs for the Australian Society of Genealogists and the Newcastle Historical Society.

Penny Ferguson, Ben Champion's granddaughter, has presented a large book of some 800pages included are Ben's letters, diaries and photographs. Importantly the book, paints a landscape, of the life and times of being a young Officer within the Australian 1st Battalion during World War One. This book would be of immense interest to anyone with relations who served in the First Battalion AIF NSW.

Penny includes over 250 photographs, some never before published, and records over 200 officers and soldiers in Ben's story. She has presented short biographies of many of these men - an exhaustive work no doubt!

Data sheet

Book Condition:
Outer Cover on Book:
Hard Boards with Dust Jacket
Total Pages:
Publication Date:
Dimensions in mm :
160 x 240 x 57

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