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History: Looking Back

How a pocket book saved the life of Private John Croft at Gallipoli

Looking Back

A souvenir of the war was received this week by Mr. Frank Catt, of Bulli, from Private John Croft of Woonona. It consisted of the young fellow’s pocket-book, with a sharp-nose bullet embedded in it. A few weeks ago Private Croft was reported wounded, and from this practical message it can be seen how narrowly he missed fatal injury. The message of death passed through his forearm and would have enter his body but for striking the book at an angle. He has sent an earnest request that the sacred trophy be preserved.

– The Globe and Sunday Times War Pictorial Saturday 19 June 1915.

John CroftJohn Hector Croft

(Private, b.1891 – d.1916)

3rd Australian Infantry Battalion

Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli

A number of items are in the Australian War Memorial archives collection relating to the First World War service of 2343 Private John Hector Croft (pictured)…

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About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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