In their own words : ANZACs of the Western Front
News, Personal Stories, Collection Highlights, First World War, Western Front, ANZAC, Film, oral history
This presentation of WW1 film, together with voices of WW1 veterans, was produced by the Australian War Memorial's film and sound curators. The footage and original oral history recordings are part of the rich film and sound collections of the Australian War Memorial.
The Memorial holds many oral history stories of the Great War; these are stories of veterans who survived to record their stories of the war years leading up to Armistice and beyond. These stories are a fascinating insight into the minds of a previous generation, revealing not only how campaigns were fought, but also the realities of war at an individual level, deeply personalising the Australian history of war with humour and with tears.
Some recordings were conducted by Memorial staff, while a few are memoirs, recorded by the veterans themselves.
Most of Australia's WW1 Western Front footage was shot by official photographers, such as Sir Hubert Wilkins, Herbert Baldwin and Captain Frank Hurley. It was their role to capture an authentic record of Australians in WW1. However, it was virtually impossible for a cameraman of the early 20th Century to take his camera, (large and unwieldy by today's standards), into the active front line. Some footage -- men leaping from a trench and across the wire, for example - had to be staged by arrangement of the cameraman. Nevertheless, it is to these talented and courageous cameramen we owe this captivating glimpse of Australians long gone, and the conditions under which they lived and fought.