Guide to the Papers of Willie Neville Majoribank Chester [MSS 364]

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Manuscript Name Papers of Willie Neville Majoribank Chester
Manuscript Number MSS 364
Last Updated August 2021
Extent 1 cm (1 box)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract Copy of a brief diary kept during the First World War by Willie Chester, 1915-1918, measuring 120cm x 90cm. His diary describes shipboard life; training in Egypt and England; and the frustrations and horrors of the campaigns in France and Belgium.

Digital content available from this collection:
Diary 1: 5 November 1915-22 December 1918

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

Willie Neville Majoribank Chester was born in Papua New Guinea, and served as a Private in the Australian Army Medical Corps, Special Reinforcements, from 29 November 1915 to 10 June 1919. Chester enlisted at the Town Hall, Sydney, NSW, on the 28 August 1915, and entered Holsworthy Camp, NSW, on 28 September 1915, in DCoy, 9th Battalion. He transferred to the Australian Army Medical Corps (AAMC) on 29 November 1915. He embarked from Sydney aboard HMAT A61 Kanowna on 29 March 1916, and disembarked in Egypt on 7 May 1916. He left Egypt on 29 May 1916, for England, disembarking on 11 June 1916 at Plymouth. He departed from Folkestone on the Princess Victoria on 16 July 1916, and arrived at Boulogne, France on 16 July 1916.

Chester served with the 2nd Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps in France and Belgium from 1916-1918. He returned to Australia on the 10 June 1919.

Ian Chester
First World War Unit Embarkation Roll
National Archives of Australia, April 2006

Administrative Information


The collection is available for research.

Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Willie Neville Majoribank Chester, Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, MSS 364, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


The collection was acquired from Willie Chester's son Ian Chester in 1999.

Access Terms

Personal Names

Chester, Willie Neville Majoribank

Corporate Names

Australia. Army. Australian Imperial Force (1914-1921)

Topical Subjects

Soldiers -- Australia -- Diaries

Soldiers -- Australia -- Archives

World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, Australian

World War, 1914-1918 -- Biography

World War, 1914-1918 -- Australia



Container List

Box 1

Folder 1
Original and photocopy of a brief diary kept during the First World War by Willie Chester, together with notes and addresses, 15 November 1915-22 December 1918