Signaller Frank Oswald Moses 3081
1st Anzac Wireless Company
Frank Moses was anxious to go to war. Two days after his 18th birthday in 1915, he took the train from his home town of Mittagong to enlist in Liverpool. He was already training with the Citizen Military Forces as a member of the 43rd Werriwa Cadet Regiment, holding the rank of 2nd Lieutenant but perhaps to make sure he was accepted into the AIF, he put his age up by a year.
Frank sailed for the Middle East on the Warialda in October 1915 and a month later was in camp at Abassia, drilling hard in the desert by day and visiting Cairo nearly every night, taking in the sights and sounds of this exotic culture. He was recruited to the School of Signals and passed several courses with flying colours before sailing with the AIF for France in March 1916.
Throughout his time in Egypt, France and Belgium Frank kept a pocket diary. Written in his small neat hand, he documented his movements and experiences through some of the most dangerous engagements of the war, but without losing the sardonic humour that made the Diggers famous. Remarkably given the large number of men at the front, he often met up with mates from Mittagong, many of whom would not survive. Frank carried a camera with him and took many photos that related directly to his diary entries including a poignant picture of the field grave of his Bowral friend, Jim Pope, fashioned from the rubble of battle.
Frank returned to Australia, married in Sydney in 1927 and had a successful post-war career travelling throughout Australia and the Far East as sales manager for a large food manufacturing company. Ironically, having come through more than four perilous years at the front, he died from the effects of a snake bite in suburban Sydney in 1941. His diary and photographs are a lasting memorial to his service – and adventures – in The Great War.