This diary from the period of the Gallipoli Campaign in World War 1 was kept by Alexander (or Sandy as he was known) Simpson Mulligan. Sandy was the sixth child of James Mulligan and Agnes Simpson. James had arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand early in 1874 having been caught up (along with his sister Margaret) in the stranding of the Surat on the southern coast of New Zealand. Margaret married Samuel Mee a few short years after her arrival and they went farming at Kuri Bush on the coast just south of Dunedin.

James, an active and committed member of the Loyal Orange Institution (or Lodge) and Agnes stayed in Dunedin and raised their family in Caversham. James died in June 1901 when Sandy was just 8 and a half years old. Agnes died early in 1904. So by the start of his teenage years Sandy was an orphan and his family was fractured. Most of the children, including Sandy, were brought up by their older brothers, Francis Humphrys and Arthur William. One brother, Edwin Joseph, was sent to his Aunt Margaret, at Kuri Bush, to be raised; a sister, Agnes Gertrude, was sent to her mother's family in Auckland.

By 1908, the now parentless family had moved to Invercargill where the older boys all had secure jobs.

Sandy began his military service on 18 August 1914. He served 97 days in NZ, 4 years 192 days overseas, for a total of 4 years and 289 days. He was one of the earliest volunteers and part of the first deployment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

  • 18 August 1914: his service began in New Zealand
  • From 16 October 1914 until 25 April 1919 his service was in 'Foreign'
  • 4 December 1914: he was in Egypt
  • 18 December 1915: appointed Acting Sergeant
  • Promoted Sergeant 6 March 1916
  • 15 April 1917: appointed Acting Staff Sergeant Major
  • 24 April 1917: he joined 2nd New Zealand Field Ambulance
  • Promoted to Warrant Officer First Class Staff Sergeant Major 1 April 1917
  • 15 August 1918: appointed Lieutenant and appointed as Assistant Quartermaster, No. 1 NZ General Hospital.
  • He was finally discharged on 25 May 1919.

Sandy lived in Invercargill throughout his adult years, with the exception of his war years, and married local girl Agnes Ivy Brown. He ran a successful business as a dental mechanic and raised a son, Graeme who still lives in Invercargill.

Sandy died in 1962 and is buried in Eastern Cemetery; Agnes lived on until 1975. She, too, is buried in Eastern Cemetery.