This is the second in a series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of the Australian Imperial Force other ranks uniform during the First World War.
At 11pm, on 4 August 1914, English time, Britain declared war on Germany. Australia immediately pledged her support and offered an initial force of 20,000 men. The offer was quickly accepted.
This is the first in a series of blogs that covers the basic aspects of Australian uniforms during the First World War. There is a great diversity between nursing uniforms of the First World War. This variety is due to the fact that nursing uniforms were not centrally manufactured or issued in this war. Instead, nurses were given a uniform allowance to equip themselves and were allowed to make their own uniforms if they chose. This, and tailoring variations within Australia and overseas, led to considerable variety in the uniforms as can be seen in contemporary photographs.
Reading Room, Saturday 17 May 2014, 11.00am. Bookings are essential.
Have you ever wondered what happens to the military’s official documents?
Have you ever wondered how historians and academics access military documents and files for their research?
In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at the auction of the Dr Hans Sachs collection in New York. As part of my research into the collector Dr Hans Sachs (1882-1974) I discovered that, his passion for the graphic arts led to a German U-boat becoming an unlikely exhibition venue for posters at the height of the First World War.
On the eve of landing at Gallipoli, 99 years ago, Sergeant Apcar De Vine of the 4th battalion took pen to paper to write of his preparations for the landing. Under orders to sail at 12am he records a meal of tea, bully beef and eggs. He describes packing iron rations for three days. “Two tins of Bully Beef, tea, sugar, biscuits, 2 cubes of Bovril, also rations for the first day of landing, bully-beef and biscuits, we had to rearrange our packs to get all the food in, also an extra ration of water ... in an empty lemonade bottle”. He also packed a billy to boil water for tea.
Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty was barely able to stand. Exhausted from the intense fighting of the previous two days, he used a brief period of respite to pen his experiences of the past few days to paper. Cecil had written in his diary every day since he had left Australia. When he had completely filled his first diary he began a second, writing on whatever scraps of paper he could find and often using the backs of envelopes sent from home. For many soldiers writing helped them make sense of what was happening.