Handwriting problem solved by Pitch In! volunteers

As part of the Pitch In! digital volunteering program, volunteers have been carefully transcribing the World War 1 letters and postcards of Maurice George Delpratt.

Typewritten copy of a letter from Maurice George Delpratt to his family, written from Constantinople, Turkey, informing them of his capture on June 28 1915. Maurice George Delpratt Correspondence. State Library of Queensland

Typewritten copy of a letter from Maurice George Delpratt

Delpratt fought at Gallipoli and was taken prisoner by the Turks on 28 June 1915. He was officially listed as missing in action and his family informed in July that year. He remained a prisoner of war for the duration of hostilities, being imprisoned mainly at Hadji-Kiri, near Belemedik, in the Taurus Mountains where he worked on the Baghdad railway construction. He was released after the armistice of November 1918 and after a brief stay in England was repatriated to Australia on the 3rd July 1919.

Photograph of the prisoners in the camp. M.G. Delpratt is seated in front row, third from left. Maurice George Delpratt Correspondence. State Library of Queensland

M.G. Delpratt is seated in front row, third from left

The collection includes letters and postcards written by him while held as a prisoner of war in Turkey during World War One. Most of the letters were written to his eldest sister Elinor (Nell), Mrs F.L. White of “Brooklands”, Woodhill, Queensland and donated to the library by the Delpratt family.

The Pitch In! transcribers were stumped by a word they could not read in one of the letters and so we took to Facebook to see if an answer could be found.

Within twenty four hours we were thrilled to find that two people had responded to inform us the mystery word was Boasca – a village in Romania.

Every day digital volunteers are hard at work, transcribing these important historical documents and anyone can help. It’s easy to get involved and lots of fun too!

Find out about Pitch In! and become a digital volunteer.

Look for other transcribing projects at Pitch In! on the SLQ website.

Margaret Warren, Coordinator, Discovery Services