The items below which have been shared with Wollongong City Libraries, were salvaged from a metal trunk in Hamilton St. There was no family connection and no information regarding the items.
The items are linked to number of people, Eric Hamilton Thomas, Roy Alexander Ziems, Joe, Ralph and a woman by the name of Miss Mant. They include postcards, letters and photographs.
Roy Alexander Ziems was living at Newtown, Sydney Newtown when he enlisted. He was 23 years of age and employed as a teamster. Roy’s next of kin was his father, William Julius Ziems whose address was Coramba via Coff’s Harbour. He joined the 2nd Infantry Battalion 13-23 Reinforcements and embarked on 8 November 1916 from Sydney on SS Port Nicholson. His enlistment records describe him as 5”9 ¾ in height with fair hair and blue eyes. He was promoted to Corporal during his service.
Roy returned to Australia on 6 July, 1919 and was officially discharged 5 October, 1919. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.
The letter below was written to Miss Mant from Roy dated 16 March 1917. He begins by thanking her for a pair of socks she knitted him which are appreciated due to the difficult climate. He writes of his landing at England on 8 January in midwinter and that it is a wonderful country and lists famous historic landmarks he’s seen. In the letter, asks about Dapto and asks Miss Mant to relay his letter to his aunt and uncle, Mr and Mrs Moorhead.
According to the Australian War Memorial and the National Australian Archives, Eric’s father was John Thomas and Eric was 20 years of age and an engineer student living at Muswellbrook at the time of his enlistment. He was described as having a sallow complexion with grey eyes and brown hair.
Eric embarked from Sydney on 22 December, 1915 on HMAT Suffolk A23 after joining the 4th Field Company of the Australian Engineers as a Sapper and was soon promoted Corporal and then again to Lieutenant.
He was killed in action on 2 May, 1918 at France. Records state he “died of wounds received in action (Hostile Aircraft)”. He is associated with Molong, NSW and is buried at Aubigny British Cemetery, France.
He is listed on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial .
Like Roy Ziems, Eric also shared a connection with Miss Mant.
We need your help. The Australian War Memorial and National Australian Archives can only provide so much information. If you have any information on any of these men, please do not hesitate to contact Wollongong City Libraries either through the contact page, in person at Wollongong Reference Library or calling the Reference Library on (02) 4227 7414.
NAA: B2455, THOMAS E H
NAA: B2455, ZIEMS R A
 AWM, Embarkation Roll – Roy Alexander Ziems, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2013, < http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation/person/R1809905/> viewed 22 January 2014.
 AWM, Roll of Honour – Eric Hamilton Thomas, Australian War Memorial Canberra, 2013, < http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person/R1670199//> viewed 22 January 2014.