Thomas Edward Drane left the town of Forbes, NSW on the 16th of August 1914 to join the war effort. He was headed for the Victoria Barracks in Sydney where he enlisted into the 1st Field Company Engineers (1FCE) and was given the service number of 53.
During his service with the Australian Army he compiled a personal diary of his wartime experiences. His diary describes the anticipation and adventure in the days of training leading up to battle. He writes of the time spent in Sydney with new friends and the cheering crowds when departing. And the times he enjoyed with mates, exploring Egypt’s natural wonders and culture when relieved from the rigours of wartime training.
Then there is the harsh reality of the Gallipoli landing which has been so firmly entrenched in Australia’s history. To read in his own words the living hell of those first moments and ensuing days from his perspective as a member of the 1st Field Company Engineers of NSW, is to gain an insight into what many men had endured for ‘honour and love of the country that reared them’.
Now in the Centenary year of the Gallipoli landing, the personal account contained in T.E.Drane’s diary has come to life with a project started by his great grandson Andrew Drane. The project has been partly supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.
The diary has been developed as a multi-touch book, providing the opportunity to bring his story to life with the addition of supporting photographs, multimedia, extracts, articles, web links and research material. The content of Tom’s diary has not been changed, although some corrections have been made in relation to the spelling of people and place names to assist with the historical linking.
Some photographs and artifacts have been used from the Drane family collection, but many are from other sources that relate directly to the ‘time and place’ of the narrative. Each photo in the book is Multi-Touch enabled and can be viewed in further detail with expanded content and captions or larger images.
iBookstore: Journey of an ANZAC – Thomas Drane
Updated material will be added to the publication as new information and research comes to light.
Special thanks go to the descendants of T.E.Drane for permission to publish the diary contents and to Catherine Job (relative of Cleve Page) for her dedication and research into the 1FCE. Thanks also go to the Forbes RSL Sub-branch for their support with the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program funding application.
First Field Company Engineers
This site will also be expanded to provide more information about the 1st Field Company Engineers in the upcoming months of the Centenary.
For more information please contact Andrew Drane