a history of war service

This site is about Randall Lance Rhodes, from Norwood, South Australia. His experiences through World War 1 in particular are conveyed through the letters he wrote home to his family, which are listed on this site.

Lance, as he was known, left Australia on the HMAT Ascanius on Tuesday 20 October 1914. His letters home will be posted on this site in ‘real’ time exactly 100 years on.

Born in 1893 on August 3, to parents Edward Henry Rhodes and Annie Eliza Kelly in Norwood, South Australia. He was a bank clerk before he enlisted for the army in August 1914, where he joined the 10th battalion Australian Imperial Forces (AIF). He departed Australia in October of that year aboard HMAT Ascanius to go to Egypt for field training.

Lance fought in Turkey, Greece and France throughout the first world war with periods of training and convalescence in Egypt and England. He also served during the second world war and after its conclusion, until May 1949.

  • August 1914: enlisted at Morphettville
    Service number 148, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius A11
  • October 1914: departed Australia for Egypt
  • December 6 1914-February 23 1915: training in Egypt
  • March 5 1915: arrived at Lemnos Island, Greece
  • April 25 1915: Gallipoli landing, Turkey
  • September 6 1915: Valetta, Malta
  • November 23 1915: Lemnos Island, Greece
  • December 29 1915: various locations, Egypt
  • March 21 1916: promoted to Second Lieutenant
  • June 12 1916: arrived in Marseille, France
    Second Lieutenant, 50th Infantry Battalion
  • 19 August 1916: nominated to receive Military Cross
  • 24 April 1918: wounded, evacuated to England and later Australia (shrapnel wound to shoulder?)
  • 1949: service in World War 2 – Sydney, Australia

He has been cited in various war history tomes and publications due to his extensive expertise and services for the Australian Army.

The letters will be added gradually in ‘real’ time over 4 years.

Lance died on June 15, 1959.

Lance’s first letter is here.



This site has been in the media recently:

In the Eastern Courier:


In the Eastern Torrens Messenger:


To read more, visit here:


  1. Frank says:

    I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not to find your
    email subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any?
    Kindly allow me recognise so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  2. Dennis Mulroney says:

    Congratulations on this site. I am researching the lacrosse matches played in Egypt in 1915, before the 10th Battalion men went to Gallipoli. Newspaper reports at the time were based on the letters Lance wrote home so, to find them transcribed here is a joy, thank you.

    I have also been able to locate two group photographs of lacrosse players taken in Egypt that may include Lance. The links are:

    Trove – The Adelaide Chronical 10 April 1915
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/95772511?searchTerm=Egypt + lacrosse”&searchLimits=l-advcategory=Article|||l-word=*ignore*%7C*ignore*|||l-illustrated=*ignore*%7C*ignore*|||sortby=dateAsc#

    The Australian War Memorial

    • saraherhodes says:

      Hi Dennis,
      Thanks so much for your interest and your compliments. Thanks also for sharing the links to those photos. Good luck with your research and do let us know if you publish it somewhere!
      Best wishes from The Rhodes Family.

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