John Robertson Hawke : World War I letters and artifacts
John Robertson Hawke was born in Burnbank, Scotland on 17 May 1890, the son of Richard and Grace Hawke. The family emigrated to Australia in about 1908 and settled at Balmain, Sydney. John worked as a warehouseman prior to his enlistment in the army at the Victoria barracks on 21 June 1915. He commenced basic training at Liverpool Camp on 29 June 1915. Following a course of instruction at the Melbourne Signal School, he returned to Liverpool was posted to the 10th Reinforcements, 1st Brigade of the AIF. On 8th October 1915 the battalion left Sydney on the troop ship Warilda for Egypt and subsequently served in Egypt, France, Belgium and England. During 1917, Hawke served with the 61st and 62nd Battalions AIF in England. He rejoined the 1st Battalion at Ypres, Belgium in October 1917 and served with that battalion throughout the remainder of the war. John Robertson Hawke died in Australia in 1965. This collection comprises some 200 letters written by Hawke to his parents and family during WWI. The subjects of the letters include comments on army life and the effect of the war on civilian life in Europe and Britain. The letters also contain references to family matters and acquaintances.
The 1st Bulletin left Alexandria on 23 March 1916 aboard the converted Cunard liner, Invernia for Europe. The Invernia reached Marsalas on 29 March. The troops arrived in Hazebrouck (Flanders) on 2 April 1916.