Sounds of Gallipoli in diary entry from April 25, 1915

George Roscoe holds the treasured family memento in his hands for the first time since it was donated to the WA Museum.
George Roscoe holds the treasured family memento in his hands for the first time since it was donated to the WA Museum.

TODAY, on Remembrance Day, George Roscoe, of Mandurah, will be thinking of his father, William Fenwick Roscoe, who landed just as dawn broke at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915.

The bugler for the WA C Section 3rd Field Ambulance, the first medical unit to land, William Roscoe always maintained his bugle was the first ashore.

His diary entry for April 25 reads: “Pulled for shore under heavy fire.

“Jumped out of boat neck deep in water, thought my last hour was at hand.

“Eventually waded ashore.

“Our boat, 14 wounded, three killed.”

Roscoe and his bugle survived the war, the bugle and its many dents giving hints of four long years of duty and he played it at Anzac Day services every year until his death shortly before the 50th Anniversary of the landing.

One hundred years after his father nearly drowned as he struggled ashore at Gallipoli, George Roscoe held the treasured family memento in his hands for the first time since the family donated it to the WA Museum after William Roscoe’s death.

George was reunited with the bugle, one of WA’s most important WWI artefacts, when he visited the Beyond the Battlefields exhibition at the Royal WA Historical Society in Nedlands.

The exhibition explores the Great War’s impact on the people of WA.

The story of William Roscoe and C Section 3rd Field Ambulance stretcher bearers, who suffered the same heavy losses as the fighting men they cared for, is one of the poignant stories featured in the exhibition.

Simpson, “the man with the donkey”, was a member of C Section and of the originally 50-strong unit only 14 men were not wounded or killed by the end of the Gallipoli campaign.

Beyond the Battlefields curator Wendy Lugg will present a talk at the exhibition, on Sunday, November 15 at 2pm, sharing the powerful stories behind the humble objects on display.

The special Sunday opening from 1-4pm is the last opportunity to visit the exhibition outside weekday opening hours.

The exhibition runs until December 21, Monday to Friday, from 9.30am-5pm.