My colleague Robyn Van Dyk and I have probably taken well over 1,200 people on guided tours of the Memorial's current special exhibition Lawrence of Arabia and the Light Horse. As ANZAC Day 2008 approaches it is interesting to reflect on which Light Horse images have resonated most profoundly with our visitors. This week, I also took some veterans from the Vietnam War through the exhibition.
This post is a further comment regarding Emily Robertson's post on the Shellal Mosaic. When researching for the exhibition I came across some references to the mosaic in the collection of papers of General Sir Henry George Chauvel. In a letter to his wife on 3 May 1917 he mentions some damage done to the mosaic by Turkish forces and that he had contacted the Director of Antiquities to remove it. The letter was transcribed into Lady Chauvel’s scrapbook which she compiled after the war.
John Lafferty from the Memorial's Information Technology section has taken himself and his trusty camera to Gallipoli on our annual Battlefield Tour. John is a gifted photographer and he is maintaining a blog from the tour while they are all in Gallipoli. You can find the Gallipoli Battlefield Tour blog here.
The David Lean film Lawrence of Arabia is one of the more famous examples of art contributing to the Lawrence legend. Lesser known is the Australian feature film Forty Thousand Horsemen which can also be considered as significant for its role in legend making, however, for the Australian Light Horse.
The papers of General Sir Henry George Chauvel are one of the highlights of the Memorial's written collections. This collection contains numerous correspondence exchanged between “Harry” Chauvel and his family and also includes two spectacular, large leather bound, gold embossed, scrap books created by Lady Chauvel after the war. The volumes document Chauvel’s military engagements during the war and offer an insight into his actions and thoughts. They contain a selection of his letters, hand transcribed by his wife, as well as photographs, maps, field message notes and news cuttings.