A SPRINGDALE Heights man says he always knew his grandfather was “tough as boot leather” and a recently discovered war letter has backed his belief.
Bill Room received the letter three weeks ago after it was found by a family friend in Hobart and sent to his cousin who forwarded it to him.
The whereabouts of the original letter is a mystery but he has a typed copy, which describes the first landing on the beach at Gallipoli and how his grandfather, Captain William Room, was wounded.
“He used to tell me stories about his time in war but nothing like this, it is very much a detailed account,” Mr Room said.
“A lot of people died and that’s the nature of war.
“He was lucky because he was just wounded in the shoulder; he copped one high in the shoulder and they had to cart him back.”
Captain Room was a warehouseman from Launceston, prior to enlistment in 1914.
He embarked with the rank of Second Lieutenant and was in charge of a machine gun section of the 12th Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade.
While serving at Gallipoli, Captain Room wrote a detailed letter to his father to keep him informed.
Days after the landing, Captain Room writes from Heliopolis Base Hospital on May 2, 1915.
“I am sitting up in bed trying to write a few lines. Not measles this time but a bullet wound in the left shoulder, and fortunately not serious.
“The bullet went in about two inches from the neck, under the small bone, and out about nine inches, only just touching the collarbone.
“So the Turks did yours little harm, only a flesh wound, which, don’t you think, was most fortunate?
“We had a terrible day last Sunday, and our casualty list was very heavy, especially officers, not only of our own battalion, but of all the 3rd brigade.”
Mr Room has many fond memories of his grandfather, when they both lived in Launceston.
“He was pretty good to me, he looked after me very well and sent me to fly fishing school when I was 16 and bought me a fishing boat,” he said.
Although Captain Room was shot twice during his service, he survived to be discharged from the Army in 1917 and lived to be 96.
“The last few years he had to spend in a wheelchair but he was still driving a car at 91,” Mr Room said.
“I always said that he was tough as boot leather.”
Later in the letter, Captain Room details a narrow escape from stopping a bullet while unloading the boat.
“I was bending over, picking up the ammunition boxes, when a bullet went over my head and into my pack.
“Had I been standing it would have struck me in the chest.”
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