A suitably military looking card catalogue box has been donated for the 1,800 index cards that form part of a collection bought by Mosman Library in March 2013.
These are orders for the 8th Australian Field Ambulance ahead of the attack on Fromelles in July 1916. You can see a number of trench map references for the officers in the field, like:
(The coordinates all relate to sheet 36 by the way, that is made clear on an earlier page of the unit’s war diary.)
Robert Warren of the Muninn Project has created an API to convert Western Front trench map coordinates to and from longitude and latitude. And he’s made available a web page that you can use to find coordinates on a modern map:
This is a boon for anyone working through a unit war diary, wanting to find quickly the locations and places referred to by the map coordinates. Read more on Warren’s blog post, Converting British Trench Map Coordinates.
For an account of the 8th Australian Field Ambulance’s experience at Fromelles, read these entries in Mosman man Allan Allsop’s diary.
More geographic resources are listed in our blog post, Finding your Anzacs on a map.
This magazine – its cover captioned “At Last!!!” – gives a snapshot of life aboard a returning troopship in 1919.
Mosman Library scanned the souvenir from an original copy lent to us by a generous student of history. As well as stories, verse and photographs, the “memento of our voyage home” has notes on returned officers and a list of other ranks aboard. Our donor thought someone might like to see if any Mosman men are mentioned.
At some point in your research you will want to locate a place with precision. Google Maps is a great resource but some names have changed since 1918, and Google will not always be able to help you with a trench map reference, or a colloquial name that was used only by the soldiers at the time.