Friday, 4 July 2014

Clive Condor Weston part 2

In Discovering Anzacs, the file of records relating to Clive Condor Weston shows that when was injured at Gallipoli in August 1915 a series of of official letters was written about his condition in reply to enquiries from his family who had been trying to contact him.
The above telegram was sent to Clive's sister who lived in Parkes, Mary Balcombe, who had been listed as his next of kin and bore the stamp - Parkes 27 August. It read: 'Regret reported Brother Private CC Weston wounded August 7th gunshot wound head severe disembarked Malta from Dunluce Castle Aug 12th will advise upon receipt further particulars will cable free receipt you request   Sec'y Defence'
Mary immediately wrote to the Secretary of the Defence Department in Melbourne requesting that a wire with enclosed message should be sent to her brother. A note written in pencil at the bottom of the letter states 'Cable sent 5/9/15
Note on bottom of the message to be cabled to Clive says, '2/9/15'.
A letter in reply to Mary's letter, dated 4 September, was sent from the Officer, Base Records. The letter noted the receipt of Mary's letter and informing her that' a cable message has been dispatched requesting progress of your brother, No. 536 Private C. C. Weston, 1st Light Horse Regiment, and upon receipt of reply it will be immediately transmitted. It is regretted personal messages cannot be included, but should you desire to send a private message the following is suggested as the address:-
536 Weston
Wounded, First Australian Horse
The cost of a week end letter cable is 10¼d per word and 3/5 per word, ordinary rate, for the reply when received.'
A postal address was also provided.
The next letter from Melbourne Base Records was dated 19th September to advise Mary of a new postal address for Clive as he had been transferred to a hospital in London.

Two days earlier, Mary had written to the Melbourne Base records requesting information as she had heard no further information about her brother and explaining how distressed she was not knowing his condition.
The Melbourne Base Office replied on 26th September to say they had sent another cable to London concerning her brother and would keep her informed when they had information.

The next message from Melbourne Base Records was dated 8th October advising Mary that 'now reported that Brother Sergeant C. C. Weston injury finger progressing Second London General Hospital will promptly advise if anything further received.'

Another letter was sent on 19th October 1915 confirming the information that Mary had already received.

The series of correspondence in the file of Clive Condor Weston illustrates the difficulties families in Australia faced in receiving information about family members wounded overseas.

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