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photos and stories from the Powerhouse Museum

From Cairo, on the banks of the Nile, 1915

April 25th, 2013 by

Document from the Powerhouse Museum Collection

This photograph from the Boddington Family Collection shows a river scene in Cairo, in the early years of the 20th century. The colour printed postcard was sent from Egypt by a young soldier, Frederick Boddington, to his family in Mackay, Queensland. On the reverse side of the card, reproduced below, he wrote:

Dear Joe,

This photo is taken from a bridge which I cross on the tram fairly often. Generally there are dozens of these boats or dahabeahs waiting for the bridge for them to lift and allow them to pass. We are getting worked pretty hard now and [illeg] means the front very shortly. We will very soon leave here I think on account of large amount of sickness among the troops. What do you think of the size of the [..ffs?]

The card is postmarked Cairo, 1915.

Frederick and his brother George, as members of the Infantry Battalion, AIF – the famous 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade, were among the first Australian soldiers ashore at what is now known as ANZAC Cove.

Frederick E Boddington and his brother George K Boddington both survived their Gallipoli experiences, but Frederick was wounded. In a letter to his parents, written from the Luna Park Pavilion Hospital in Cairo, he describes in vivid detail accidentally running into a Turkish trench at night.

Both brothers later died in France. Frederick E Boddington was killed in action on 11 April 1917 at the First Battle of Bullecourt, and George K Bodddington died on 12 May 1917 from wounds sustained on 10 May at the Second Battle of Bullecourt. A third brother, Charles, survived the war.

This item is one of an archive including the brothers’ medals, death plaques and photographs, as well as a ‘mourning medal’, letters, postcards and other items relating the gravity of loss for their family.

Document from the Powerhouse Museum Collection

Photographer unknown

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