Tom Skeyhill, the blind soldier poet
Join this Vicfix campaign that remembers Victorian WWI poet, Tom Skeyhill
Vicfix is improving the searchability of digitised newspaper articles and making the hidden details of Victoria's rich history available for everyone.
About Tom Skeyhill
In 1916 Tom Skeyhill, 'the Kipling of Gallipoli', was probably the best known soldier in Australia. A Hamilton local, he had volunteered as a signaller in WWI and was in the first landing on Gallipoli. While taking part in a bayonet charge, he was blinded by a shell explosion and spent almost a year in hospitals in Egypt and Melbourne.
A resourceful and capable man, Skeyhill published a book of poems after his convalescence. Soldier songs of Anzac was so popular that Skeyhill embarked on a lecturing tour through capital cities and regional towns across Australia (and later the USA), where he read his poems, showed photos and lectured eloquently on his war experiences. He donated money from his lectures to the Red Cross to aid wounded soldiers. In 1918 his sight was restored following 'osteopathic treatment' in Washington, USA.
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