On the 21st August 1914, George Martindale, along with many of his peers, enlisted for the war in service of Australia. Part of the 5th Battalion, he served for over 3 years and witnessed some of the largest and most catastrophic battles of World War 1. From the very beginning, when George was sent to Egypt to undertake training with some of the first of the enlisted men, he wrote home. He documented his daily life in the war - the events, his feelings and opinions - and sent these messages and photographs back to his family in Melbourne. His military experience took him through some of the most torious battles of the war - he was sent to Gallipoli and fought in the battle of Lone Pine, eventually being evacuated when the troops were pulled out. He was then sent to France where he was a part of the infamous Fromelles battle, where in one night more than 5000 Australian casualties virtually wiped out his Division. He went on to Bullecourt, also a torious battleground on the Western front, where he was seriously injured, putting an end to his army career. His letters tell his story beginning with the excitement of signing up and sailing across the world to fight the enemy, to world weary after having seen so much death and destruction. His letters tell the revealing real-life story of Gallipoli, Fromelles and Bullecourt. Through George Martindale's letters we see the First World War through his eyes, and experience the war as he did.
George Martindale was born on the 2nd April 1887 in Dimboola, Victoria, the 2nd oldest of 5 siblings. George's father was a carpenter, general tradesman and undertaker who owned a prosperous business in the town. George learnt his trade of carpenter from his father. When war broke out he enlisted on 21st August 1914, but because he signed up in Melbourne he ended up in the 5th Battalion, whereas most of his friends from Dimboola joined the 8th Battalion. After serving for approximately 3 years he was seriously wounded at Bullecourt on the 9th May 1917, losing his right eye and a portion of his skull and brain. He returned to Australia permanently unfit for service, and continued to suffer from fits and seizures as a result of his head wound. One of these seizures proved fatal and he died on the 2nd of April 1922.