By: Geoffrey Morlet (501.2/35745)
The Life of Claude Morlet, DSO, Eye Surgeon and Soldier
In December 1914 Claude Morlet, a newly qualified doctor, set sail from Melbourne to do his duty for his Country in the First World War. After spending time in Egypt tending the wounded in Australian military hospitals, he got his wish to join the action and arrived in Gallipoli in September 1915 after the initial assault. He recorded his thoughts and observations in diaries and letters back home, many of which have survived giving a first hand account of the action.
Later in France, caring for the wounded under hazardous conditions, he was Mentioned in Dispatches, and awarded the DSO for his service in action.
Returning from the war, he settled in Perth where he married and established a successful practice as an ophthalmic surgeon.
When war again broke out, he enlisted and served in the Middle East before being posted to Tobruk, where he served throughout the siege.
After the war he came home to his family, and resumed his busy ophthalmic practice.
Claude's diaries and letters give a thoughtful and sympathetic view of the lot of the soldier, as well as some acerbic comments on the bureaucratic shortcoming of some of his superior officers.
The diaries and letters have been knitted together with further background by his son Geoffrey, and illustrated with photos from Claude's own collection
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