Postcard of a photograph of H.M.H.S. Assaye, a hospital ship, during the Dardanelles campaign, Gallipoli, World War I, 1915.

On the front is a photograph of a ship hand labelled 'HMHS Assaye'; on the back is a hand-written message written upside down addressed to 'Dear Freddie', who was either stationed at or in hospital, and it is dated 12/12/1915. The postcard has not been signed and it does not bear a stamp or postmark and does not appear to have been posted. It is likely to have been written by Sergeant John Lord, service # 6252, 13th Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps, and is part of a collection of objects relating to, or brought back from, Europe and the Middle East after World War I, belonging to Lord. On 4 November 1915 Lord joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) on the HMAS 'Assaye' on a voyage from Alexandria to Gallipoli. He was stationed at Lemnos Island rather than on Gallipoli itself.

Lord returned to Australia after his service in World War I.

Physical Description

This is a postcard with a photograph of a ship the HM Transport Assaye on one side. On the reverse is a handwritten message. The postcard is not stamped and it is not signed, so it can be assumed that it was never sent and that it was written by Sergeant John Lord.


This object appears to be a postcard written by one serviceman to another, it was most probably written by John Lord with the intention to post it. It is significant because it was written when Lord was stationed at Lemnos Island (at the height of the Lemnos Island's role in the war). It is also significant because it states that the rest of the Unit is at Anzac Cove.

In early 1915 Lemnos Islands played a significant role in the war, used by the Allies to try and gain control of the relatively close Dardanelles Straights. Although this failed, the Allies used it as a port throughout the war despite its unsuitability. Whilst Lord was stationed at Lemnos, the rest of his unit were at Anzac Cove. The Allies retreated from Anzac Cove around a week after this postcard was written.

It is a more personal object than many of the others in this collection. This is historically significant because it gives an insight into Sergeant John Lord that the other objects that are part of this collection do not (assuming it was, in fact, he who wrote the postcard). Whilst Lord was writing this for another to read, it emphasises mateship and it gives an insight into Lord's disposition and interests.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    John Lord Collection

  • Collecting Areas

    Public Life & Institutions

  • Acquisition Information

    Donation from J. Lord, 1986

  • Date Created

    12 Dec 1915

  • Author (Probable)

    Sergeant John Lord

  • Organisation Depicted

    HMHS Assaye

  • Inscriptions

    The hand written message on the back of the postcard is as follows: ??? Hospital 12/12/15 Dear Freddie, Just a card to wish you many happy returns of the day. This is a photo of the ship I was left on and she is a real good boat. How would you like to be on one of these? I am back on Lemnos Island again and have met several boys I know and very soon made myself at home. This is a lovely place covered with tents and they look alright. Work here is not too bad and will be alright as long as we do not get any very dirty weather. I am expecting some letters any day now. They all went up to "anzac cove" where our unit is but we are not wanted there so are attached to this place.

  • Classification

    Military history, Service, Medical services & facilities

  • Category

    History & Technology

  • Discipline


  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    8.6 cm (Length), 13.5 cm (Width), 0.02 cm (Depth)

  • Keywords

    Wars & Conflicts, World War I, 1914-1918