• Evan Morecott Holder

Army / Flying Corps
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  • Birth

    Burra, South Australia, Australia

  • Enlistment - WW1

    Keswick, SA, Australia

Stories and comments
    • The Men of the 27th Battalion
    • Posted by jaydsydaus121, Wednesday, 21 July 2021

    Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW), Sunday 12 December 1915, page 2 BROKEN HILL SOLDIERS LETTERS FROM THE FRONT. The following are extracts copied from letters sent to residents in Broken Hill by their friends who are on active service with the Australian Imperial Forces abroad :— PRIVATE E. M. HOLDER. Private E. M. Holder who was second surveyor at the Central mine prior to his enlistment and departure with the 27th Battalion. A.I.F., writes as follows from Gallipoli on October 20 to Mrs. James Hebbard (manager):— "A few lines of remembrance from the peninsula, where your doings in Broken Hill are still of interest, and are talked over when several of us get together, with much appreciation and a little of home sickness, when the mails come along with fresh news. It must have been a grand day for Broken Hill in your celebrations of Australia Day. All the letters were very glowing in their description of the efforts put for-ward by everyone, and the success achieved is very gratifying. I saw a good photo of the scene at the oval with the Citizen Forces of Broken Hill on parade. I was glad to see how well the Central mine came out in the pro-cession. Truly the day will be long remembered in Broken Hill. I am sorry since to hear the state of affairs with regard to work. Surely at this time people should realise the import-ance of working together for all they are worth, without letting their little private troubles hinder the production of material necessary to provide against our common enemy, who threatens so imminently all that we value and hold dear. Still, I hope the differences have been quickly settled before this reaches you. By that time, unless you hear of our advance to some other position, we be fairly comfortably housed in win-ter quarters, which at present are in a state of preparation out of sandbags and timber, which, by the way, is very scarce hereabouts except in the small scrubby growth which covers the hills and is disappearing fast for use as firewood. "The country is made up, so far as we can see, of huge ridges and gullies, or 'deres,' as the Turk call them. We are encamped on the slope of one of these ridges, and hold the crest facing the enemy on a hill which towers above us at no great distance. Our stores and supplies have to be brought up from the beach along a very steep wind-ing track protected from the enemy's fire from a high ridge, and a little above the watercourse in the bottom of the dere. In the summer this watercourse has been the main track, and with pro-tection, at exposed places by sandbag barricades has been fairly safe. In the winter this will become impassable, and as a new road has been made higher up on the side of the dere, still very steep and winding in and out to conform to the shape of the country for protection against rifle fire. Mules are the chief means of transport, and they are won-derful at this class of work. They were brought from India, and have Indians in charge of them. Early every morn-ing a mule train can be seen winding along the track, one Indian leading, then three mules linked to the other in single file, then another Indian lead-ing his three mules, and so on. They bring up the water first thing, and later on the stores. You will be pleased to hear that my training at the Central mine is standing me in good stead here, as I am very much occupied with survey work, getting plans of trenches and contours, using the pris-matic compass, scale, and soft pencil, a piece of old rubber shoe sole, a biscuit box for a drawing board, and pieces of bachelor buttons for drawing pins. We have a limited quantity of good draw-ing paper and tracing cloth, and a very limited amount of Indian ink. About ¼in. depth in a small pill bottle had to do one fair-sized tracing, so it was very careful work. I have been attached to the New Zealand Engineers for a time doing survey work, but am close handy to our 27th Battalion. Please remem-ber me to all friends.''