About the Diaries

Born in Hobart in 1887 William Edward Lodewyck Hamilton Crowther was a proud fourth-generation Tasmanian, and like his great-grandfather, grandfather and father he was a medical practitioner. During World War 1, he served with distinction as an army medical officer at Gallipoli and the Western Front. In 1918 he received a Distinguished Service Order which he credited to the men under his command.

In 1964, Dr Crowther donated his substantial collection of books, manuscripts, pictures and objects to the State Library of Tasmania. Among the family papers he donated was extensive material relating to his military service, including the diaries he kept throughout the war.

As a keen collector Dr Crowther’s diaries are filled with found items including poems, newspaper cuttings, postcards and hand-drawn maps. These rich resources help us to explore the experience of the Australian Imperial Force during World War 1. We learn of his experiences in war from a medical perspective, from hospitals behind the scenes to the front line, looking at the emotional and physical toll of a long war.

The diaries, journals and photographs from World War 1 can be viewed in full at http://www.linc.tas.gov.au/ww1/