While reading about the Australians at Bullecourt in 1917, it struck me as odd that there is only one official battle honour for what seemed to be two distinctly separate battles, albeit in the same location. Furthermore, the official battle honour only refers to the second battle that occurred in May, and seemingly ignores the first battle that took place on 11 April. To satisfy my curiosity, I looked in to the matter further, with assistance from colleagues at the Australian War Memorial and from the Australian Army History Unit.
In September 1914 Charles Reginald Yells, a 24 year old labourer from Kapunda, South Australia enlisted with the AIF. Joining the 9th Light Horse Regiment, he trained at Broadmeadows in Victoria before embarking on the HMAT Karroo for Egypt in February 1915. In July 1915, he was promoted to Temporary Sergeant to teach at the Imperial School of Instruction at Zeitoun, Egypt. He worked as an instructor at the school until assigned for “special duty” to the Red Sea Ports on 10 August 1917.
Ninety years ago, in May 1917, the Australian War Records Section (AWRS) was formed in London. It is from this date that we trace the formal origins of the Australian War Memorial. Over the next two years the AWRS acquired approximately 25,000 objects, as well as paper records, photographs, film, publications, and works of art. All were brought back to Australia in 1919 and formed the basis of the collection of what would eventually become the Australian War Memorial.
It is not enough to expect the evidence of the past to be preserved as a matter of chance or accident. Someone has to care.
Tunnellers – Hill 60
I'm now back at work and catching up on the email and tasks. I am also still processing the photos taken on the trip. As I go through the images I am adding notes but also looking for those images that where taken to match those in the collection. Here is the first one. It is a panoramic photo of North Beach. Although these images have been taken at a slightly different angle the details are still clear and the changes to the landscape become obvious.