• Images of the Light Horse (1)

    Friday 18 April 2008 by Mal Booth. 7 comments

    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. They had served in the battle for Fire …

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  • More on the Shellal Mosaic

    Monday 21 January 2008 by Robyn Van-Dyk. 1 comments

    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 …

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  • Blogging from Gallipoli

    Monday 23 April 2007 by Mal Booth.

    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 Dardanelles campaign is not covered by our exhibition, but both Lawrence and the Light Horse were involved.  …

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  • General Sir Harold "Hooky" Walker and the AIF

    Thursday 19 April 2007 by Mal Booth.

    Major General Sir Harold Walker, 1918 by James Quinn (ART03349) ART03349This post is a bit of a stretch, but I think the link is there and it is interesting enough, so here it goes. Recently, I have been reading up on the actions of our Light Horse in Palestine, particularly in late 1917 and 1918. This has all been related to the development of the exhibition text or storyline. Earlier, our efforts had concentrated …

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  • Ion Idriess and the legend of the Light Horse

    Friday 16 March 2007 by Robyn Van-Dyk. 9 comments

    Desert Column - dust jacket of the 1951 2nd edition One of the more significant contributions to the legend of the Light Horse comes from the literature of Ion Idriess. A prolific and well loved author, whose books sold in the millions, Idriess is perhaps most famous for his stories set in the outback and Northern Australia. The Desert Column is based on the diaries that he kept throughout the war. Published in 1932, it …

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  • Seeing is believing (more on the taking of Damascus)

    Monday 15 January 2007 by Nigel Steel.

    Damascus from the north east (aerial photograph) B03526The political background to the entry into Damascus is complex and murky. Yet, only by identifying the underlying web of forces involved, can sense be made of what happened as control of the city passed from the Turks to the Allies. It is clear that parts of the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment were the first troops formally to enter Damascus when they passed …

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  • Gateway to Palestine

    Tuesday 9 January 2007 by Nigel Steel. 1 comments

    Rafa from One-tree Hill by George Lambert ART02693 Exactly 90 years ago, with the capture of Rafa on 9 January 1917, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force arrived in Palestine. The Turkish raid on the Suez Canal in February 1915 had shown the limitations of defending both Egypt and the Canal from its western bank. Beginning with the establishment of a new defensive line 10 km east of the Canal, the British military authorities…

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  • Forty Thousand Horsemen

    Thursday 21 December 2006 by Robyn Van-Dyk. 1 comments

    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. Poster Forty Thousand Horsemen Released in 1940, the film’s nationalistic sentiment and dramatisation of Australian …

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  • Chauvel on the taking of Damascus

    Tuesday 28 November 2006 by Robyn Van-Dyk.

    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 …

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  • The Taking of Damascus

    Tuesday 14 November 2006 by Mal Booth. 2 comments

    Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel by George Lambert ART02734The blog has recently received a number of comments that reveal the entry into Damascus in October 1918 still inspires strong feelings. The question of who was the first to enter the city has been disputed ever since. The evidence now points to the men of Brigadier General L C Wilson's 3rd Light Horse Brigade as being the first troops to enter Damascus in the …

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