This film was written by students from the School of Languages and Linguistics in French at the University of Melbourne with the support of staff from the Arts eTeaching Unit, using material from the University of Melbourne Archives.
Sir Wilberforce Newton was a medical student at the University of Melbourne who enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1915, thus arriving at the Western Front before the Australian Army. He had a fractious relationship with a few senior British Officers, leading him to write a note “British Officers I Have Met” along with others describing daily life in the trenches. A typescript of the diary can be read here.
On returning to Australia, Newton worked at the Alfred Hospital. He became a member (1934-48) of the faculty of medicine at the University of Melbourne and acting Stewart lecturer in medicine (1941, 1946). A foundation fellow (1938), council-member (1944-54) and vice-president (1950-52) of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, he chaired (1950) its Victorian committee. (Information from the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry here).
The diary and other papers from Wilberforce form part of the Newton-Stephen Family collection at the University of Melbourne Archives.