Title: Eyes Right! The Life of Claude Morlet DSO, Eye Surgeon and Soldier
Author: Morlet, Geoffrey
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2007
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 253 pages
Comments: Claude Morlet qualified as doctor and almost immediately joined the armed services when the First World War broke out. He served first in Egypt, but then went to join the Gallipoli campaign. He recorded his thoughts and observations in diaries and letters back home, many of which have survived, giving a first hand account of the action. Later in France, caring for the wounded under hazardous conditions, he was Mentioned in Dispatches, and awarded the DSO for his service in action. Claude’s diaries and letters give a thoughtful and sympathetic view of the lot of the soldier, as well as some acerbic comments on the bureaucratic shortcomings of some of his superior officers.
In the Second World War he again enlisted, and among other service was involved in the notorious ‘Rats of Tobruk’ siege.
In civilian life he was a well known Perth ophthalmologist. His otherwise successful life was punctuated by several tragic deaths of close family members. His diary and letters are incomplete, but his son Geoffrey, himself an ophthalmologist, has pieced together the records and filled in the gaps.
The photographs in the book are from Claude’s own collection, and include many photos he himself took whilst on active service.
Claude’s view of the world reflects the times; service to one’s country, adherence to the ‘proper ways’ of doing things. His observance of military matters as something of an outsider (not being a combat soldier) also gives a different perspective on war.