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Jack Ernest Bridgman, SX3874 Listings

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1 Jack Ernest Bridgman, SX3874 1940 - 1942 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT ARCHIVE OF LETTERS AND EPHEMERA BY AN AUSTRALIAN SIGNALMAN WHO FOUGHT FOR THE LIBERATION OF GREECE AND HIS RECOVERY OF WOUNDS SUFFERED IN SYRIA
ATHENS GREECE DAMASCUS SYRIA 1940 Good+ 
On offer is an interesting, modest archive of three [3] manuscript letters plus additional ephemera from an Australian signaller with the 1st Australian Corps Signals serving in Greece, Syria, and Lebanon between 1940 to 1942 to his sweetheart in Melbourne. Jack Ernest Bridgman, SX3874, who went on to become a sergeant in the AIF by the end of the war writes in the first dated 4 May (1940) is three pages in length, Jack makes apologies to Lois for not writing as he was one of the boys in Greece and he 'had a very busy time what with the mud, snow, bombs and bullets", "and there was even very little time to sleep". He considered himself lucky to survive and he "thought I was going to be left to be buried but luck was on my side". He describes Athens, and being sent to the "front lines", which was "hell on earth" as he was a despatch rider. He describes the Germans aircraft bombing them and the hardships imposed by the Germans. In great detail he describes a dispatch job to a ammo dump that was 15 miles away and it took him 4 hours as German aircraft flew over "by the dozens', and forced him to "jump off his bike 20 times". He finally made it to the ammo dump but 12 planes came over and "blew up all the ammo and I was in the middle of it", and he had to stay in a mud hole for 3 hours until "all the shells and bullets stopped going off". To his great sorrow his motorcycle had been blown up as well. He then had to get a lift via a military truck and they had driven not long when another plane attacked the truck he was in, then it "blew it (the truck) off the road killing the two boys that were in the front" and forcing Jack to jump off the rear of the truck "just in time". All that Jack sustained was a gashed leg. A super letter regarding the war in Greece. The second has Jack looking not so fortunate as he explains to Lois as to why he has not written to her for a long time. He was travelling through a township when "a few Hun planes dropped quite a few large bombs and one made a mess of me". He has quite a few stitches in different parts of his body including his head and had lost his index finger on his right hand. He is in hospital and the nurses are treating him well and his "cobbers" have been dropping in to see him. He explains that "there are a lot of boys around me a lot worse than I ever was". He was unconscious for two days and lost his hearing for 6 days. This letter would have been written when he was in Syria as it is dated 3 Oct, 1941. Fortunately Jack would get back to his unit and eventually survive the war. For an infantry division to fight effectively, its commander must be in contact with his subordinate units at all times. To do this during the Second World War, the signals unit had to provide the commander with communications, whether by despatch rider on motorcycle, over the telephone and wireless, or any other necessary means. Communications had to be maintained around the clock, under all conditions, and no matter how difficult. This was the role of Jack. The third and final letter of two pages has Jack describing that "he thinks his Army days are over" and he is thinking of joining the Navy, and wanting confirmation from Lois if she thinks he is doing the right thing. What is really interesting is that he has not heard from his 'three cobbers' who were on board the HMAS Sydney when it was sunk. The letter is dated May 1942 6 months after the sinking and basically the Australian public was still unaware that all hands had been lost. Such was the fear on public reaction. Here are the ephemeral pieces: 1) a card from the 1st Australian Corps Signals to Lois; 2) three telegrams and envelopes, two sent to Lois when Jack was still in Australia, and one sent from Syria and the envelope has a censors stamp; 3) there is a postcard from Happy Jack to Lois showing the Mosque at Damas; 4) 5 small "snaps", mainly of Syria, but a really good one of; "Aussie Bren Gun Carrier at official entry into Beirut". Each snap is written on the rear; 5) There is a leather souvenir wallet (Syria/Lebanon) with 3 photos, large one of 'Happy" Jack to Lois, 1941 (the author of this lot) which is postcard size, two smaller photos of Jack and two mates and Jack on his signallers motorcycle; 6) There is a large message from Syria to Australia, and Jack is wishing a Merry Xmas to Lois; and lastly 7) A letter to Lois with mainly small talk and Jack enquiring about contacting her via telephone. Overall an excellent record for the AIF historian or an enthusiast of the AIF Greece and Syria campaigns. G+. 
Price: 1355.99 USD
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