Blog: Anzac Connections
How does a son tell a father whom they love that they’re about to leave them, possibly forever? How does a father persuade a son not to leave, a son they have watched grow into a fine young man, a son they have nurtured and loved from the moment their boy opened his eyes, a son who they watched as he learnt to walk and now watched again as those same legs prepared to march him to war?
“One Arab, whom I mistaken at a distance for a soldier in blue uniform, proved to be a naked fanatical savage…”
Captain Thomas Walter White, sitting second from the left, July 1915, Basra.
“We will be a hard headed crowd when we get back, after the sights we see…”
Douglas Barrett-Lennard and the Western Australians of the 8th Australian Field Artillery Battery
Of such mettle were the men who, under the most insuperable difficulties of Anzac, fought their guns throughout the campaign.
This blog post was written by Anne Landais, a French student from the Ecole Nationale des Chartes (National School of Palaeography and Archival Studies), which is a university level institution that prepares students in the human and social sciences for careers in history related domains. The current priorities of the Ecole Nationale des Chartes include the development of digital technologies applied to historical research and heritage studies, and finally the reinforcement of its international initiatives.
Private James Charles Martin was in a bad state. Exhausted and suffering from a high fever, he lay aboard the hospital ship Glenart Castle under the watchful eye of Matron Frances Hope Logie Reddoch. Jim was nearly fifteen thousand kilometres from his family in Hawthorn, Victoria. He had lost over half his weight serving in the squalor of the trenches at Gallipoli and had contracted typhoid fever. Soldiers often contracted the disease in the unsanitary conditions of the trenches. Then again, most soldiers were not fourteen years old.
“On Saturday, 1 September, I was accorded the privilege of giving away the Bride at the marriage between Miss Caroline Elizabeth Edwards and ABUC Gordon Stephen Dempsey…A small wedding reception was held, after the ceremony, in my cabin.”
The Research Centre has now digitised and made available online the series AWM266 Australian Naval Force (ANF) Engagement and Service Records, 1903-1911.
The records in this series relate to men and boys – mainly residents of Australia and New Zealand – who served in the Australian Squadron of the Royal Navy under the terms of the Naval Agreement Act of 1903. Similar to attestation papers of soldiers in the First World War, they contain information on each individual engaged in the ANF between 1903 and 1911.
Today marks an important event in the annals of the Australian War Memorial’s centenary digitisation project, Anzac Connections. 50 000 pages have now been scanned for online access by all Australians and international researchers. This milestone comes as we celebrate the release of another thirty-eight personal collections to supplement the 153 collections already available online.
On 6 August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Australia agreed to a request by the British government to seize German wireless stations in the south-west Pacific, namely German New Guinea. Australia was also required to occupy the territory under the British flag and establish a military administration. For the first time, Britain called upon Australia to train, supply and command her own forces in defence of the empire. Consequently, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was born.