Blog: First World War Centenary
The Australian War Memorial has remarkable hidden stories in its sound collection. This compilation of interview extracts reveals the lucky escapes of five men that served during the First World War. These men suffered wounds, sickness and witnessed the horrific casualties of war. They describe themselves to be the lucky ones.
The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as provide full copies for research on the Memorial’s website.
On 20 December 1915, Private John Kingsley Gammage of the 1st Infantry Battalion wrote in his diary, This concludes a real experience that money could not buy with an enemy that fought fairly and clean. Gammage was one of the last 10 000 Australian troops remaining at Anzac Cove. These men departed Anzac Cove during the night of Sunday 19 December through into the early hours of Monday 20 December 1915. The preparations for their departure had been carefully planned down to the finest details.
I would not have joined this contingent if I had known that they were not going to England.
Private John Simpson, 3rd Field Ambulance, Christmas Day 1914
"It is the hospital ship, with its Red Cross flag flying aloft, that stands as the one humane agency in the midst of the horrors of modern naval warfare."
Some of the objects on display in the new ANZAC voices exhibition illustrate the ingenuity of the ANZACs when faced with insufficient supplies and equipment at Gallipoli. When the ANZACs landed there on 25 April 1915, they expected a quick advance to Constantinople [Istanbul] so did not carry the equipment or supplies they needed for trench warfare. Although supplies were brought in throughout the campaign by boat, these could be delayed or destroyed through bad weather or Turkish shelling, so the soldiers at Gallipoli had to be industrious and inventive. They made weapons, equipment, board games and stationary from the items they found around them.
Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Gabrielle Considine. No comments.
Education at the Memorial, First World War Centenary, Collection, Collection Highlights Sound Collection Online, Primary source, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, First World War
Primary source This sound reel features Australian soldiers from the First World War recalling memories of recruitment and enlistment.
Sound Collection Online
This sound reel brings together five Australian soldiers from the First World War. They recall their memories of recruitment and enlistment into the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF), 1914 - 1919.
Part 2 - Reinforcement and Movement
As mentioned previously, the dioramas consist of a number of sections of base framework, some of which are bolted together, some of which are not. Well-hidden behind the display cases, facades and the diorama surface, few still sat on their original leg castors, while many had been trimmed and placed on fascinating, decades-old systems of levelling the individual sections.