Australia’s war history

Click here for all items related to: Australia’s war history What are the central elements of Australia’s involvement with war and how do we continually reinforce them? While Australians’ relationship with the Anzac tradition or myth is a key theme

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Remembrance Day roundup: Paul Daley (twice), Sue Wareham, Bart Ziino – and a handy pay rise for the War Memorial Council

Just some links in case you missed them. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia reminds us of the reality of war, which sugar-coated remembrance often glosses over, and suggests the $500 million for making a bigger Australian War Memorial would be

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Stephens, David: For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘For Remembrance Day: The Anzac thoughts of Tony Abbott, new member of the War Memorial Council – and “war historian”‘, Honest History, 11 November 2019 As Tony Abbott, former prime minister, defeated member for Warringah, has been appointed

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Oliver, Bobbie: For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment

Bobbie Oliver* ‘For Remembrance Day: Another gaffe inflicted on the Australian War Memorial with Tony Abbott appointment’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [Bobbie Oliver comments on the appointment of former prime minister, Tony Abbott, to the Council of the Memorial.

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Newton, Douglas: For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way

Douglas Newton* For Remembrance Day: Helping the Australian War Memorial address its future – but to do so in a rather different way’, Honest History, 10 November 2019 [In 2018, distinguished Australian historian, Douglas Newton, responded to an invitation to

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Heritage Guardians submission to National Capital Authority on War Memorial carpark deplores gaming of approval systems by ‘salami slicing’ projects

Heritage Guardians has made a submission to the National Capital Authority’s public consultation on the Australian War Memorial’s Works Approval application for carparking associated with the Memorial’s $498m expansion. The consultation closed on 5 November. The Heritage Guardians submission covers

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Stephens, David: Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard

David Stephens* ‘Dr Nelson says farewell to accountability: a burrow into Senate Estimates Hansard’, Honest History, 5 November 2019 updated We posted a brief round-up of the recent Estimates hearings of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

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Stephens, David: War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial Director’s final appearance before Senate Estimates: some of what we found out’, Honest History, 27 October 2019 updated Update 5 November 2019: more analysis based on the Hansard. The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and

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Stephens, David: War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial stirrings: Works Approval application for a car park; an Annual Report that giveth and taketh away; an exhibition about peace-keeping’, Honest History, 18 October 2019 updated This week has seen a number of developments at the

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Wareham, Sue: Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda

Sue Wareham ‘Abbott – a natural fit for a war memorial sliding from commemoration to propaganda‘, Pearls and Irritations, 11 October 2019 From Heritage Guardians member, Sue Wareham, and follows earlier items in HG’s campaign against the $498m extensions to

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Daley, Paul: Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial

Paul Daley ‘Military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial‘, Guardian Australia, 9 October 2019 updated The war memorial’s council lacks a professional historian and critics say it’s like a hospital being run by homeopaths

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McIlroy, Tom: Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan

Tom McIlroy ‘Kerry Stokes guaranteed $500m War Memorial plan‘, Australian Financial Review, 7 October 2019 (Pay-wall. Pdf copy made from open access version.) Story based on FOI material provided to Heritage Guardians and Honest History. Seven West chairman and Rich

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Stephens, David: War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?

David Stephens* ‘War Memorial releases material under FOI relating to $498m expansion program: did a billionaire’s personal guarantee clinch the deal?’ Honest History, 4 October 2019 updated Update 17 October 2019: see below for update following tabling of the Memorial’s

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No surprises here but an opportunity missed: Tony Abbott appointed to Australian War Memorial Council

A kite was flown a little time ago that Tony Abbott, former politician, former prime minister, former Rhodes Scholar, current iron man and polly-pedaller, would be given a spot on the Australian War Memorial Council. And so it has come

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Hilferty, Fiona, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz, & Miranda Van Hooff: 5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought

Fiona Hilferty, Ellie Lawrence-Wood, Ilan Katz & Miranda Van Hooff ‘5,800 defence veterans homeless in Australia, that’s more than we thought‘, The Conversation, 30 September 2019 Our research puts a new number on the problem. We still do not know

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Brewer, Peter: War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation

Peter Brewer ‘War Memorial’s former director urged that any changes to the important site be made to “hasten slowly” and with complete consultation‘, Canberra Times, 25 September 2019 updated Update 29 September 2019: A full version of Director Nelson’s letter

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From the Honest History vault: six months today since publication of open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the $498m plan to extend the Australian War Memorial

On 23 March this year, the names of 83 distinguished Australians appeared on an open letter opposing the plan to extend the Australian War Memorial at a cost of $498m. The letter said this: The Australian War Memorial’s $498 million

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War Memorial opens Mitchell ‘garage’ for one day of the year – but could do so much more with it

Online paper The Senior picked up some Australian War Memorial promotional material about the Memorial’s renewed (first time since 2016) annual opening (5 October) of its Mitchell A.C.T. annexe to show off the large technology objects (planes, helicopters, tanks and

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Daley, Paul: We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland

Paul Daley ‘We demean our history when we turn the Australian War Memorial into Disneyland‘, Guardian Australia, 5 September 2019 Uses letter from former Memorial Director Brendon Kelson to Minister Chester to make some trenchant points about the proposed extensions

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Quite big enough, thank you! Recent developments in the Heritage Guardians campaign against the $498 million War Memorial extensions – and Nelson waves farewell

The announcement of the impending departure of Australian War Memorial Director, Dr Brendan Nelson, was linked with reminders of his and his Council’s plans to expand the Memorial at a cost of $498 million over a number of years. Our

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Daley, Paul: Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?

Paul Daley ‘Who should lead the Australian War Memorial?‘ ArtsHub, 2 September 2019 Criticises the suggestion that Tony Abbott might become Director of the Memorial, or even (perhaps) join its Council. Like Anzac, the memorial has been immune to political

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam

David Stephens ‘From the Honest History vault: Battle of Long Tan anniversary; Agent Orange in Vietnam’, Honest History, 18 August 2019 Today is the 53rd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan which killed 18 Australians and somewhere between 150

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Stephens, David: From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO

David Stephens* ‘From the Honest History vault: Awkward humility: the speeches of the Hon. Brendan Nelson AO‘, Honest History, 15 August 2019 A long piece in two parts on the oral oeuvre of the soon to be former Director of

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From the Honest History vault: Hiroshima and Nagasaki 74 years on

This week, Honest History always tries to recognise the anniversary of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August), which brought World War II to an end, but at a terrible cost. We do not this

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Stephens, David: Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion

David Stephens ‘Abbott wrong fit for War Memorial Council, says campaigner opposing AWM expansion‘, The Riot Act, 7 August 2019 updated Comment on the kite flown about possible appointment of Tony Abbott to the War Memorial Council. (Update 1 October

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Dingwall, Doug: Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park

Doug Dingwall ‘Australian War Memorial reverses plan to build on nature park‘, Canberra Times, 6 August 2019 Front page story on hard copy. Reports that the Memorial has decided to confine its expansion-related car parking to the current boundaries of

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Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial Redevelopment Program: the “Mitchell Option” reassessed‘, Honest History, 22 July 2019 updated [For the context to this paper, go to the Heritage Guardians campaign diary, which includes an earlier paper by Richard Llewellyn.] Update

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Bottoms, Timothy: Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ

Timothy Bottoms ‘Massacre recollections Elder stories of Frontier Wars in FNQ‘, YouTube, 16 July 2019 North Queensland-based historian, Tim Bottoms, has posted this 13 minute video in which Aboriginal Elders recount specific instances of frontier violence. The late Kenny Jimmy

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Hill, Lisa: Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb

Lisa Hill ‘Our Mob Served: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories of War and Defending Australia, edited by Allison Cadzow and Mary Anne Jebb’, ANZ LitLovers, 9 July 2019 ‘I expect’, says Lisa Hill in the course of this post,

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Productivity Commission report on veterans’ services also has something to say on Australian War Memorial

The Productivity Commission has recently provided its final report to the Australian Government on compensation and rehabilitation for veterans. The report is in two volumes under the title A Better Way to Support Veterans. While much of the focus of

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Coe, Bruce: Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup

Bruce Coe Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup, Slattery Media, Melbourne, 2019 The story behind the winning of the 1919 King’s Cup by the Australian Imperial Forces No. 1 crew is fascinating. Wartime authorities created diversions for war

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Jordan, Lucas: Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup

Lucas Jordan* ‘Rowing on after the Great War: the origins of the King’s Cup’, Honest History, 8 July 2019 Lucas Jordan reviews Bruce Coe’s Pulling Through: The Story of the King’s Cup On Saturday, 5 July 1919, an eight-man rowing

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Gower, Steve: The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision

Steve Gower The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2019 In this book, Steve Gower, the highly successful director of the Australian War Memorial from 1996 to 2012, gives a comprehensive account of the

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Abbott, Derek: A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial

Derek Abbott* ‘A personal memoir from a safe pair of hands: Steve Gower on the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 2 July 2019 Derek Abbott reviews The Australian War Memorial: A Century on from the Vision, by Steve Gower  Steve

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Stephens, David: Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the War Memorial Council

David Stephens* ‘Strengthening the RSL link is not the most pressing need for the unrepresentative and anachronistic War Memorial Council’, Honest History, 30 June 2019 updated During the recent election campaign, New South Wales President of the RSL, James Brown,

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Scappatura, Vince: The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy

Vince Scappatura The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2019 Australian society and its leaders generally take for granted the importance and value of this nation’s relationship with the United States. The US is commonly thought

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Broinowski, Alison: Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us

Alison Broinowski* ‘Unreliable protection from unnecessary enemies: Scappatura on the US Lobby and us’, Honest History, 25 June 2019 Alison Broinowski reviews Vince Scappatura, The US Lobby and Australian Defence Policy  A blast of fresh air blew through the Australian

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O’Mallon, Finbar: War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director

Finbar O’Mallon ‘War memorial risks becoming a “theme park”: former director‘, Canberra Times, 24 June 2019 Interview with former Director Brendon Kelson, referring to his letter to the Prime Minister regarding the proposed Memorial extensions. Mr Kelson offers the Memorial’s

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Llewellyn, Richard: The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice

Richard Llewellyn ‘The Australian War Memorial extensions: a critique of the design choice‘, Honest History, 24 June 2019 Richard Llewellyn held the senior position of Registrar at the Australian War Memorial from 1986 to 1995. His paper (almost 8700 words)

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Stanley, Peter: Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?

Peter Stanley ‘Reading the Act: what is the Australian War Memorial for?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 19 June 2019 Argues that the Australian War Memorial Act 1980 sets out the responsibilities of the Memorial and that providing a ‘therapeutic milieu’ for

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Bye, Clarissa: Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide

Clarissa Bye ‘Military heroes in fight of their lives as more veterans die through suicide‘, Daily Telegraph, 16 June 2019 Continues a campaign by Daily Telegraph, including editorially, for a Royal Commission into suicide of Australian Defence Force veterans. Earlier

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Binh Ba anniversary a good time to look more widely at Vietnam War: from the Honest History vault

Last week was the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba, a small battle in the Vietnam War, in which one Australian was killed and ten wounded. There were approximately 100 Vietnamese soldiers killed and an unknown number wounded.

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Knaus, Christopher: Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales

Christopher Knaus ‘Brendan Nelson warned to avoid “potential conflict” of paid role with Thales‘, Guardian Australia, 24 May 2019 Documents obtained under Freedom of Information show that the then Minister, Senator Ronaldson, warned War Memorial Director Nelson of potential conflicts

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Palmer, Charlotte: Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?

Charlotte Palmer ‘Is the Australian War Memorial a place of healing?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 23 May 2019 Article by retired Canberra GP medical practitioner, with 25 years’ clinical experience in treating psychological trauma. For those with untreated or unresolved distress,

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Dapin, Mark: Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History

Mark Dapin Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 This book should be read by anyone interested in the way myths become accepted as history.’ — Peter Edwards, author of Australia and the Vietnam War Why everything you think you

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Stephens, David: Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology

David Stephens* ‘Mark Dapin: politely pushing back against Australia’s Vietnam mythology’, Honest History, 7 May 2019 updated David Stephens reviews Mark Dapin’s Australia’s Vietnam: Myth vs History  The Honest History enterprise has devoted a lot of time and effort to

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Duffy, Michael & Nick Hordern: World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War

Michael Duffy & Nick Hordern World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, NewSouth, Sydney, 2019 It seems that not even world war could stop crime in Sydney. In fact, World War Noir confirms that war and crime — in the form of

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Pender, Margaret: Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s

Margaret Pender* ‘Refuting the War Memorial view of Australia’s World War II – or, at least Sydney’s’, Honest History, 5 May 2019 Margaret Pender reviews World War Noir: Sydney’s Unpatriotic War, by Michael Duffy and Nick Hordern  World War Noir: Sydney’s

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans

David Stephens ‘Australian War Memorial’s $498 million funding boost would be better spent on veterans‘, The Strategist, 2 May 2019 Response to arguments of Director, Australian War Memorial, as published in The Strategist recently. There are holes in Dr Nelson’s

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective

David Stephens* ‘Lest We Forget Yassmin Abdel-Magied: a two-year retrospective’, Honest History, 24 April 2019 updated Update 7 May 2019: ABC presenter Sami Shah on being Yassmin-ed. Update 26 April 2019: also on Independent Australia website. *** Two years ago,

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Stephens, David: More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights

David Stephens* ‘More on the War Memorial’s carelessness about naming rights’, Honest History, 23 April 2019 A couple of weeks ago, Honest History posted some analysis about ‘naming rights’ at the Australian War Memorial. The piece was triggered by War

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Daley, Paul: Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion

Paul Daley ‘Both major parties were suckerpunched into supporting the $500m war memorial expansion‘, Guardian Australia, 22 April 2019 updated One of the signatories of the open letter against the War Memorial extensions provides a passionate but well-reasoned analysis of

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Stephens, David: Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution

David Stephens* Köken Ergun’s Şehitler (Heroes) is a well observed Dardanelles doco that deserves wide distribution’, Honest History, 18 April 2019 updated Update 24 April 2019: Turkish nationals are to be excluded from Australian ceremonies at Gallipoli, 2019. Security reasons cited.

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Stephens, David: Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC

David Stephens* ‘Architects dig in against Australian War Memorial extensions; mixed messages from the Memorial; odd perspective from the ABC’, Honest History, 12 April 2019 updated Philip Leeson, ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), told ABC

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Stephens, David: A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?

David Stephens* ‘A free kick from the ABC and an opportunity missed at Senate Estimates: when does the use of a name become a naming right?’ Honest History, 11 April 2019 updated Senate Estimates this week were something of a

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Cooper, Jan: Searching for my father: a war story

Jan Cooper* ‘Searching for my father: a war story’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 Recently I went in search of information about my father, Doug Cooper. Like others born in 1940 or thereabouts, I suspected that I was not alone

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Stephens, David: Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project

David Stephens* ‘Thoughts of the people against the War Memorial’s grandiose extensions project’, Honest History, 8 April 2019 On 23 March, the Canberra Times carried a story about an open letter from 83 distinguished Australians opposing the plan to spend

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Appin Massacre memorial service to be held on 14 April

A post in Catholica by Keiran Tapsell reminds us that on 14 April there will be a memorial service for the Appin Massacre of 1816. The post links to some information put out by Campbelltown Council about the service. The

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Stephens, David: For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors

David Stephens* ‘For Our Country: Australian War Memorial sidles a little closer to a balanced view of Indigenous warriors’, Honest History, 31 March 2019 updated Update 23 April 2019: Graeme Dunstan of Peacebus examines the meaning of the artwork and

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Fathi, Romain: Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux

Romain Fathi Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2019 One of the Australian Army History Series, edited by Professor Peter Stanley of UNSW Canberra. By the time of the Armistice, Villers-Bretonneux – once a

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Stephens, David: A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it

David Stephens* ‘A bracing journey through the green fields of France: Romain Fathi’s Villers-Bretonneux and Australia’s place in it’, Honest History, 29 March 2019 David Stephens reviews Our Corner of the Somme: Australia at Villers-Bretonneux, by Romain Fathi First, the

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Heritage Guardians: a campaign against the proposed $498m extensions to the Australian War Memorial

Campaign latest Heritage Guardians The campaign is being wrangled by Heritage Guardians, a small committee. The members of the committee are: Brendon Kelson, former Director, Australian War Memorial Dr Charlotte Palmer, committee member, Medical Association for Prevention of War (ACT

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Greenland, Hall: ‘German frightfulness’ from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919

Hall Greenland* ‘“German frightfulness” from the Australian Light Horse, Egypt, 1919’, Honest History, 18 March 2019 One hundred years ago this month the fabled Australian Light Horsemen led the charge to put down the Egyptian national revolution. On 8 March

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Fathi, Romain: ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit

Romain Fathi* ‘“Look at me! Look at me!” The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux: a Frenchman’s reflection on his visit’, Honest History, 12 March 2019 updated Update 29 May 2019: Philip Goad in ArchitectureAu on the architecture of the

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Stephens, David: Why not advertise to ‘recruit’ a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?

David Stephens* ‘Why not advertise to “recruit” a new member of the Australian War Memorial Council?’, Honest History, 6 March 2019 Les Carlyon AC, editor, author and member of the Australian War Memorial Council is dead at 76. In due

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Stephens, David: Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious

David Stephens* ‘Total Australian spending on World War I centenary: an aide memoire for the curious’, Honest History, 19 February 2019 updated Australian Government ‘The total Australian Government Anzac Centenary funding over the last ten years to 2018-19 is approximately

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Edwards, John: John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II)

John Edwards John Curtin’s War: Volume I, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2017; Volume II, Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2018; also available electronically Using much new material John Edwards’ vivid, landmark biography places Curtin as a man of his times, puzzling

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Stephens, David: John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts

David Stephens* ‘John Curtin’s War leaves questions unanswered, despite John Edwards’ best efforts’, Honest History, 12 February 2019 David Stephens reviews John Curtin’s War (Volumes I and II) by John Edwards John Curtin has over the years become the Mount

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Wells, Alexander: Whatever happened to the arts of peace?

Alexander Wells ‘Whatever happened to the arts of peace?‘ Overland, 8 February 2019 In the mass media and cultural institutions, we have just marked the 100-year anniversary of Armistice by continuing to fixate on warfare – at the expense of

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Stephens, David: Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking

David Stephens* ‘Review note: Meanjin’s Summer 2018 issue is nutritious and thought-provoking’, Honest History, 29 January 2019 updated There’s always a lot to read in an issue of Meanjin and its Summer 2018 issue is rightly labelled ‘Bumper’. This reviewer

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Ashenden, Dean: Saving the War Memorial from itself

Dean Ashenden ‘Saving the War Memorial from itself‘, Inside Story, 15 January 2019 updated Long article canvassing many aspects of the War Memorial’s current direction, from its refusal to recognise the Frontier Wars, to the composition of its Council, and

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Kalagian Blunt, Ashley: My Name is Revenge

Ashley Kalagian Blunt My Name is Revenge, Spineless Wonders Publishing, Melbourne, 2018; electronic version available My Name is Revenge is in two parts. There is a novella, and an essay reflecting on the historic events that inspired that novella, and meditating

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Stanley, Peter: The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history

Peter Stanley[*] ‘The Armenian Genocide is part of Australian – and Turkish – history’, Honest History, 16 January 2019 updated Update 9 November 2019: a useful article from the United States following a vote there to recognise the Genocide. Peter

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Honest History review roundup: the books we wrote up in 2018

It’s been a great year for history publishing in Australia. Honest History has had the privilege of publishing reviews of materials that discuss, interrogate and eloquently distill the multi-faceted realities of our country’s history. From Diane Bell’s stirring reflection on

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War Memorial releases report on public consultation for $500 million extensions

The Australian War Memorial has released a brief report on the consultations it undertook in relation to the proposed extensions to the Memorial. Here is a copy. Key points: Feedback was received from 134 individuals. Participants were fairly evenly spread

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Stephens, David: Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller

David Stephens* ‘Paul Daley’s On Patriotism: an appreciation from a fellow-traveller’, Honest History, 16 December 2018 updated This is not really a book review, though a book has set it off. The book is Paul Daley’s On Patriotism, actually an

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Stephens, David: Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens* ‘Questions downstairs: the After the War exhibition at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2018 updated In 2014, when the refurbished First World War galleries at the Australian War Memorial were about to be opened, the

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Clark, Melanie: From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory

Melanie Clark* ‘From frontier to front line: Indigenous Australians and Australian war memory’, Honest History, 12 December 2018 Note: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are advised that the following article contains images of people who have died. *** ‘Policeman

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Miller, Nick: If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million

Nick Miller ‘If you could put a price on WWI fallen, it wouldn’t be $100 million‘, The Age, 5 December 2018 updated An FOI claim on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs reveals that visitor numbers to the Monash centre at

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Stephens, David: If the Australian War Memorial holds ‘the soul of the nation’ why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?

David Stephens ‘If the Australian War Memorial holds “the soul of the nation” why is the Memorial Council so full of brass?’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 updated The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, often tells

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Hutchison, Margaret: Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme

Margaret Hutchison Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, 2018 Part of the Australian Army History series, edited by Peter Stanley. During the First World War the Australian Government established an

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Werskey, Gary: Warpaint: the making of Australian war art

Gary Werskey* ‘Warpaint: the making of Australian war art’, Honest History, 28 November 2018 Gary Werskey reviews Margaret Hutchison, Painting War: A History of Australia’s First World War Art Scheme, by Margaret Hutchison I didn’t know until I read Margaret

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Stanley, Peter, ed.: Jeff Grey: A Life in History

Peter Stanley, ed. Jeff Grey: A Life in History, School of Humanities & Social Sciences, UNSW Canberra, Canberra, 2018 Memorial volume for UNSW Canberra’s late Professor of History. Authors are Frank Bongiorno, John Connor, Peter Dennis, Eleanor Hancock, Peter Stanley,

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Richardson, Andrew: Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book

Andrew Richardson* ‘Jeff Grey’s character, personality and contribution are captured in this book’, Honest History, 27 November 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Jeff Grey: A Life in History, edited by Peter Stanley Like most (if not all) military historians based in

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Stanley, Peter: Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred

Peter Stanley ‘Commemoration without conscience: the War Memorial must remain sacred‘, Canberra Times, 22 November 2018 Article by military historian (and Past-President of Honest History) arguing that, if the Memorial is indeed a sacred place, that status is incompatible with

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Reynolds, Henry: Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy

Henry Reynolds ‘Frontier conflict and the War Memorial: an enduring controversy‘, Meanjin (blog), 20 November 2018 Discusses War Memorial resistance to commemoration of the Frontier Wars, casualty figures, the nature of the conflict, Mabo, and terra nullius. It [frontier conflict]

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Karageorgos, Effie: An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger

Effie Karageorgos ‘An urgent rethink is needed on the idealised image of the ANZAC digger‘, The Conversation, 21 November 2018 Having spent all that money on Great War commemoration we need to become more honest – respectfully – about the way

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Davies, Geoff: Lest we also forget

Geoff Davies ‘Lest we also forget‘, Pearls and Irritations, 20 November 2018 Pungent and telling piece by an author and retired scientist. He enjoins us regarding a number of important events and issues, introducing each one with the words ‘lest

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Stephens, David: Another wrinkle on why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake

David Stephens ‘Why the Australian War Memorial will not commemorate the Frontier Wars: in 2013 it offloaded the job to the other end of Canberra’s lake – plus some statutory sleight of hand’, Honest History, 19 November 2018 updated Senator

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Stephens, David: War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon

David Stephens ‘War Memorial comes clean – sort of – about the help it receives from arms dealers Northrop Grumman and Raytheon’, Honest History, 18 November 2018 updated A short while ago we pointed to what looked like an error

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Menadue, John: Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm

John Menadue ‘Sacrifice is being politicised. Militarism is becoming the norm‘, Pearls and Irritations, 17 November 2018 Passionate post from Australian Elder, former senior public servant and businessman (and among Honest History’s distinguished supporters). Remembrance is morphing into  acceptance of

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Reynolds, Henry: Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?

Henry Reynolds ‘Has the cavalcade of commemoration finally halted?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 16 November 2018 Leading historian says historians of the future will wonder where our obsession with war – made flesh in the Anzac centenary – came from and

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Cochrane, Peter: Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane* ‘Reply to Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18’, Honest History, 16 November 2018 updated Marilyn Lake’s review of Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 appeared in Australian Book

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Cashen, Phil: 192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18

Phil Cashen ‘192. Thanksgiving Sunday, 17/11/18‘, Shire at War, 12 November 2018 Another excellent microcosmic piece – Phil Cashen has done 192 of them to date – from the Shire of Alberton, this time closely examining sermons in local churches

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More parting shots for the Armistice centenary (mostly from the non-mainstream media)

Scott Bennett in Inside Story on whether war memorials hide more than they reveal. His book is The Nameless Names: Recovering the Missing Anzacs. Paul Daley in Guardian Australia marks the passing of ‘Peak Anzac’, and he says this is

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Armistice Day: three non-mainstream media posts for the centenary, plus Paul Kelly on familiar territory

The Conversation almost counts as mainstream media these days, but its offerings are often far from run of the mill. Flinders University historian, Romain Fathi, has a concise and excellent piece on the Armistice to add to his earlier explainer

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Newton, Douglas: Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial

Douglas Newton ‘Merchants of death should not be funding Australian War Memorial‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 7 November 2018 To fund worthy causes such as a national commemoration, mounted in all our names, is why we have governments and taxation. Meeting

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‘Thank you for your service’: recent outbursts of faux patriotism well dealt with on non-mainstream media

In the course of little more than a week leading up to the centenary of the Armistice of 1918, we have seen and heard announcements about discount cards and lapel pins for veterans, a massive capital funding boost for the

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Stephens, David: A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions

David Stephens ‘A grandiose commemorative project for Canberra raises lots of questions‘, Pearls and Irritations, 2 November 2018 Asks some pointed questions about the $498 million War Memorial extensions. Among the questions: Does the implication that the Memorial is ‘sacred’

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Government commits to $500 million extensions to Australian War Memorial – and $11 million for veterans’ discount card and lapel pin

The Prime Minister today announced a project to extend the Australian War Memorial. Guardian Australia. Memorial publicity. PM’s presser. PM with Alan Jones. Largesse for Memorial contrasts with financial struggles for other cultural institutions. Jack Waterford in Fairfax. Architects’ view.

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Stephens, David: Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?

David Stephens* ‘Did the War Memorial deliberately mislead the Parliament about the money it gets from arms companies – or is it just careless about accountability?’ Honest History, 26 October 2018 Update 18 November 2018: the War Memorial provides an

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Fahy, Michelle: Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals

Michelle Fahy ‘Invictus Games, glossing over inconvenient truths – the arms trade and the British royals‘, Pearls and Irritations, 19 October 2018 updated Michelle Fahy from Medical Association for Prevention of War provides a forensic analysis of the links between

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Phelps, Peter: The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

Peter Phelps The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; electronic version available This is the story of Tom Phelps and the “other Kokoda Track”. Seventy-five years

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Pender, Margaret: A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people

Margaret Pender* ‘A family memoir confirms the randomness of wartime outcomes for ordinary people’, Honest History, 16 October 2018 Margaret Pender reviews The Bulldog Track: A Grandson’s Story of an Ordinary Man’s War and Survival on the Other Kokoda Trail

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Wakeling, Adam: Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials

Adam Wakeling Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available While the Nuremberg trials at the end of the Second World War are infamous, as are the atrocities

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Burton, Pamela: Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II

Pamela Burton* ‘Stern justice not without controversy: Japanese war crimes trials after World War II’, Honest History, 12 October 2018 Pamela Burton reviews Stern Justice: The Forgotten Story of Australia, Japan and the Pacific War Crimes Trials, by Adam Wakeling

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Cochrane, Peter: Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18

Peter Cochrane Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18, Text, Melbourne, 2018 In the half-century preceding the Great War there was a dramatic shift in the mindset of Australia’s political leaders, from a profound sense of safety in

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Stanley, Peter: The most important book on Australia and the Great War

Peter Stanley* ‘The most important book on Australia and the Great War’, Honest History, 7 October 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Peter Cochrane’s Best We Forget: The War for White Australia, 1914-18 The Great War centenary has seen a goodly trickle

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Dyster, Barrie: Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Barrie Dyster* ‘Grieving for Gallipoli: a reflection for the centenary of the 1918 Armistice’, Honest History, 23 September 2018 The centenary of the end of the Great War is an opportunity to reflect on the world-wide impact of the conflict.

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Fathi, Romain: World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)

Romain Fathi ‘World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)‘, The Conversation, 3 September 2018 updated The article describes: the global conflict that was the Great War: the death toll of over ten million soldiers and six million civilians; the subsequent

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Gainsborough, Vance: Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background

Vance Gainsborough* ‘Review note: Steve Sailah’s Killing Kitchener is a nicely-paced yarn set against a historical background’, Honest History, 1 September 2018 My (self-published) novelist friend, Ned Rowney, advises me that the keys to a good yarn are Place, Plot

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Alfano, Mark: They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same

Mark Alfano ‘They shall not die in vain: how the Islamic State honours its fallen soldiers – and how Australians do the same‘, The Conversation, 20 August 2018 Perceptive piece from a philosopher; based on frequency analysis of Islamic State

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Barritt-Eyles, Lisa: Remembering the Gulf War

Lisa Barritt-Eyles ‘Remembering the Gulf War‘, Australian Outlook, 2 August 2018 Concise outline from a PhD student of Australia’s involvement in the Gulf War, 1990-91. On 2nd August 28 years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait amid the uncertainty of the changing

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Flanagan, Richard: The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too

Richard Flanagan ‘The world is being undone before us. If we do not reimagine Australia, we will be undone too‘, Guardian Australia, 5 August 2018 Speech at Garma festival, NT, by distinguished author. (Over 500 comments at time of this

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Clark, Anna: Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on

Anna Clark ‘Friday essay: the “great Australian silence” 50 years on‘, The Conversation, 3 August 2018 updated Marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Boyer lectures by anthropologist WEH Stanner, which drew attention to Australian reluctance to confront our Indigenous

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Reynolds, Henry: A hundred years of mateship (2)

Henry Reynolds ‘A hundred years of mateship (2)‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 July 2018 Follows an earlier piece under the same title and riffs off an ill-judged poster from the Australian Embassy in Washington. The poster was intended to illustrate

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Stephens, David: Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything ‘sacred’?

David Stephens* ‘Australian War Memorial consults the public on mooted massive extensions: is anything “sacred”?’, Honest History, 3 August 2018 updated The Australian War Memorial has been talking for more than a year about its desire to extend its building

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Whish-Wilson, Senator Peter: Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson* ‘Ten questions for Brendan Nelson, speaking on Friday at the Tamar Valley Peace Festival’, Honest History, 1 August 2018 updated This article is posted as a contribution to public debate. These issues are also canvassed elsewhere on

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Margaret Macmillan Reith Lectures 2018 ‘The Mark of Cain’: on war and humanity

The 2018 Reith lectures by distinguished Canadian historian, Professor Margaret Macmillan, can be found on the BBC site, in audio and transcript. The series has the overall title ‘The Mark of Cain’ and the first four lectures are titled ‘War

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Stephens, David: Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia

David Stephens[*] ‘Dunera Lives is a tribute to resilience and a testament of worthy contributions to Australia’, Honest History, 12 July 2018 updated David Stephens reviews Dunera Lives: A Visual History, by Ken Inglis, Seumas Spark and Jay Winter, with

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Dunera Lives is well and truly launched: speeches by Frank Bongiorno in Canberra and Raimond Gaita in Melbourne

Dunera Lives: A Visual History was launched in Canberra on 4 July by Frank Bongiorno and in Melbourne on 8 and 9 July by Raimond Gaita. Frank Bongiorno’s speech and Raimond Gaita’s speech, both by courtesy of the authors. David

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Inglis, Ken, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan: Dunera Lives: A Visual History

Ken Inglis, Jay Winter & Seumas Spark, with Carol Bunyan Dunera Lives: A Visual History, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2018 In July 1940, around 2000 refugees, most of whom were Jewish and from Germany or Austria, were sent from Britain

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FitzSimons, Peter: Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World

Peter FitzSimons Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93 Minutes that Changed the World, Hachette, Sydney, 2018; e-book available Peter FitzSimons brings to life the story of the battle of Le Hamel – the Allied triumph masterminded

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Richardson, Andrew: Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel

Andrew Richardson[1] ‘Myths and reality about a small battle on the Western Front in 1918: FitzSimons and Dando-Collins on Hamel’, Honest History, 4 July 2018 Andrew Richardson reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Monash’s Masterpiece: The Battle of Le Hamel and the 93

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Dando-Collins, Stephen: Heroes of Hamel: : The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare

Stephen Dando-Collins Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare, Vintage & Random House, Melbourne, 2018; e-book available The battle of Hamel was remarkable for its speed, the tactics employed, numerous acts of extreme bravery,

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Ryan, Lyndall: The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury

Lyndall Ryan* ‘The Sydney Wars 1788-1817: mythbusting around the Harbour and the Hawkesbury’, Honest History, 19 June 2018 Lyndall Ryan reviews The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817 by Stephen Gapps  It seems extraordinary that, after 230 years,

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Gapps, Stephen: The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817

Stephen Gapps The Sydney Wars: Conflict in the Early Colony, 1788-1817, NewSouth, Sydney, 2018 The Sydney Wars tells the history of military engagements between Europeans and Aboriginal Australians – described as “this constant sort of war” by one early colonist –

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Honest History President Frank Bongiorno talks to Richard Denniss about commemoration, memory and donations to the War Memorial

Honest History President, Professor Frank Bongiorno of the ANU, talks to Richard Denniss, economist from The Australia Institute. Their chat (from mark 14.00) covers national days, the commemoration of blood sacrifice, how corporate donors to the War Memorial are possibly

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Troughton, Geoffrey & Philip Fountain, ed.: Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand

Geoffrey Troughton & Philip Fountain, ed. Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2018 This is a book about how New Zealanders have been inspired by visions for peace. Focusing on

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Hynd, Douglas: Is peace as interesting as war?

Douglas Hynd* ‘Is peace as interesting as war?’ Honest History, 23 May 2018 Douglas Hynd reviews Pursuing Peace in Godzone: Christianity and the Peace Tradition in New Zealand, edited by Geoffrey Troughton and Philip Fountain Towards the conclusion of Judith

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80 years on since Pig Iron Bob: new documentary has contemporary relevance

November this year marks 80 years since the Dalfram dispute, wherein then federal minister, soon to be PM, Robert Menzies, earned the nick-name ‘Pig Iron Bob’ for what seemed his excessive eagerness to sell to Japan material which had a

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Broinowski, Alison: Anzackery and the preening peloton

Alison Broinowski ‘Anzackery and the preening peloton‘, Pearls and Irritations, 24 April 2018 Honest History vice president weaves together Australian Defence Force duchessing of politicians, MSM Anzac cliches, critiques of Anzackery, culminating in praise for Richard Flanagan’s recent NPC speech.

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May, Catriona: War and trauma: learning the lessons

Catriona May ‘War and trauma: learning the lessons‘, Pursuit (University of Melbourne), 19 April 2018 An apposite post for the Anzac season, the article examines developments in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in armed forces, from diagnosis of ‘shell-shock’

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Reynolds, Henry: Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?

Henry Reynolds ‘Brendan Nelson and the War Memorial – what about the frontier wars?‘ Pearls and Irritations, 10 April 2018 Historian of invader-Indigenous relations in Australia considers the proposed extension to the Australian War Memorial and the Memorial’s inadequate recognition

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Stephens, David: Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today

David Stephens ‘Lest We Forget again: Anzac Day is an opportunity to confront our violent frontier past and its shadow today’, Honest History, 10 April 2018 updated Yassmin Abdel-Magied, 2017 (Guardian Australia/ABC) Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a young Somali-Australian Muslim woman, was

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Stephens, David: Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions

David Stephens* ‘Brendan Nelson’s bunker and with cap in hand: contrasts in funding our national cultural institutions’, Honest History, 9 April 2018 updated Update 11 May 2018: Honest History’s submission to the JSCNET Inquiry into Canberra’s National Institutions The Director

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Daley, Paul: A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money

Paul Daley ‘A $500m expansion of the war memorial is a reckless waste of money‘, Guardian Australia, 9 April 2018 Picks up the issue also canvassed by David Stephens of Honest History. Having spent more than half a billion dollars

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Peter Stanley: Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide

Peter Stanley ‘Shades of the Great War are missing in this nicely packaged offering from Adelaide’, Honest History, 4 April 2018 Peter Stanley reviews Robert Kearney and Sharon Cleary, Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War The centenary

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Kearney, Robert & Sharon Cleary: Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War

Robert Kearney & Sharon Cleary Valour and Violets: South Australia in the Great War, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 2018 Close to 35,000 South Australians enlisted for service overseas during the Great War. Around 5500 never came back. Countless more returned with

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Shield, John: Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land

John Shield[1] ‘Between Sky and Sea: Herz Bergner’s Australian Yiddish novel about the Holocaust and the search for the Promised Land’, Honest History, 30 March 2018 This is the second of John Shield’s articles exploring the Text Classics list. The

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Blowing the whistle on Australia as gunrunner: two pertinent non-MSM pieces

Prime Minister Turnbull recently announced a $3.8 billion defence export plan. ‘Gunrunners’ is Defence Force slang for makers and purveyors of arms and related equipment. Perhaps the government has earned that epithet as well. Overall, Australia plans to spend some

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (35): As enlistments dwindle, PM Hughes reminds people there is a war on’, Honest History, 16 March 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The second conscription referendum in December 1917 may have looked like the

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73 years this week since the most destructive bombing raid in history: Tokyo 9-10 March 1945

Everyone knows about Hiroshima and Nagasaki – two cities where tens of thousands of people were killed by a single bomb – but there is much less awareness about what happened in Tokyo on the night of 9-10 March 1945.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (34): Shire at War blog looks at alcohol, temperance and attitudes to the war’, Honest History, 21 February 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen’s assiduous research for his Shire at War blog has

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Bombing of Darwin 76 years on: Territory tourism to have even stronger khaki tinge (but focus is still too narrow)

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs pro tem* Michael McCormack reminds us that today marks the 76th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin in February 1942. Around 400 people were killed in Darwin and in later raids on other northern towns. SS

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Daley, Paul: Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised

Paul Daley ‘Beating the khaki drum: how Australian identity was militarised‘, Guardian Australia, 1 February 2018 Pulls together the themes of Anzackery, arms manufacturers inflicting advertising on Canberra airport users, and the same manufacturers donating to the Australian War Memorial

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Shield, John: All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression

John Shield* ‘All the Green Year: Don Charlwood between war and depression’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 When Honest History discovered the Australia Explained website and I turned to the books page thereon it gladdened my heart to see there

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (33): The second conscription referendum viewed from Gippsland’, Honest History, 30 January 2018 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Once again, we find some very useful research on Phil Cashen’s Shire at War blog, based in

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Grishin, Sasha: Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity

Sasha Grishin ‘Arthur Streeton: The art of war at the National Gallery of Australia combines beauty and barbarity’, Canberra Times, 10 January 2018 Review of an exhibition at the National Gallery, Canberra, until 29 April, just after Anzac Day. Reminds

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (32): Alfred Deakin in retirement supports conscription’, Honest History, 19 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Deakin in his prime (Wikipedia) By the end of 1917, former prime minister Alfred Deakin had been out

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What Honest History reviewed in 2017: might be some Christmas reading here

Honest History’s reviews are found here, with the latest at the top of the list. You can scroll down and find reviews of a wide range of books, of a generally historical bent, along with the occasional movie or television

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Armstrong, John: Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015 – April 2019

John Armstrong* ‘Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. April 2015–April 2019‘, New Zealand Journal of Public History 27, 2017, pp. 59-63 This (pdf) is a long review of the Museum of New Zealand

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Hyland, Tom: What have I become?

Tom Hyland ‘“What have I become?”‘ Inside Story, 14 December 2017 A review of – and a look at the politics behind – Chris Masters’ just published book No Front Line: Australian Special Forces at War in Afghanistan. Hyland notes

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Koch, Christoph, ed.: Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945-2015

Christoph Koch, ed. Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015, Peter Lang, Bern, 2017 The book’s subtitle, ‘Rechtliche Bedeutung Und Historische Auswirkungen’, translates from the German as ‘Legal Meaning and Historical Impact’ and this is an accurate summary of the

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Tampke, Jurgen: Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II

Jurgen Tampke* ‘Potsdam Conference 70th anniversary conference papers help us to understand European history since World War II’, Honest History, [date] Jurgen Tampke reviews Christoph Koch, ed., Das Potsdamer Abkommen (The Potsdam Agreement) 1945–2015  This book comprises eleven papers delivered

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Long Tan Cross repatriation a good time to put Vietnam War in perspective

The Long Tan Cross has been repatriated to Australia, as reported on Defence Connect, by the Prime Minister and Minister Tehan, and in the media. There are plans for the cross to go on permanent display at the Australian War

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription

Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (31): Returned soldiers speak out against conscription’, Honest History, 6 December 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series The newspaper, the Woman Voter, run by Vida Goldstein, Cecilia John and other radical women, was often a

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Troughton, Geoffrey, ed.: Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945

Geoffrey Troughton, ed. Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, Victoria University Press, Wellington, 2017 New Zealanders, while generally peaceable and tolerant people, have seldom shied away from war. Even in the current era, Anzac Day

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Hynd, Douglas: New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance

Douglas Hynd* ‘New Zealand Great War peacemaking history has Trans-Tasman relevance’, Honest History, 5 December 2017 Douglas Hynd reviews Saints and Stirrers: Christianity, Conflict and Peacemaking in New Zealand, 1814-1945, edited by Geoffrey Troughton Contemporary critiques of Christianity, whether as

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Newton, Douglas: First World War centenaries that really matter are looming

Douglas Newton ‘First World War Centenaries that really matter are looming‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 November 2017 Centenary moments of huge significance are upon us: the centenary of the so-called “Lansdowne Peace Letter” of 29 November 1917, and the centenary

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Winkler, Heinrich August (trans. John A. Moses): And deliver us from the war guilt

[Note: This is a translation completed by Professor John A. Moses in November 2017 of a July 2014 review article in German by Professor Heinrich August Winkler on Christopher Clark’s The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (Die

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Stephens, David: The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know

David Stephens* ‘The Australian War Memorial is still doing well out of arms manufacturers – how well, we don’t quite know’, Honest History, 30 November 2017 updated Update 13 September 2018: Senate Estimates information provides a partial update, showing $1.3

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Farhart, Claudia: Give Peace a Chance

Claudia Farhart Give Peace a Chance, YouTube, 6 November 2017 A 50 minute documentary featuring interviews with Australian protesters against conscription and against the Vietnam War, interspersed with comments from academics and archival film. The interviews were collected by Larry

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Jenkins, Simon: No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history

Simon Jenkins ‘No more remembrance days – let’s consign the 20th century to history‘, The Guardian, 9 November 2017 Other Honest History material on Remembrance Day 99 is here and linked therefrom. Simon Jenkins’ piece was shared 12 000 times

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Paradoxical purchase: War Memorial acquires APY ‘defence of Country’ painting Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa

The Australian War Memorial has unveiled a large painting by artists from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia. The painting, Kulatangku angakanyini manta munu Tjukurpa (‘Country and Culture will be protected by spears’) hangs in a conspicuous

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Perry, Roland: Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History

Roland Perry Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 The book ‘tells the story of the emergence and dominance of these brilliant Australian soldiers, who commanded the two

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Abbott, Derek: Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War

Derek Abbott* ‘Another ripping yarn from Australia’s Great War’, Honest History, 16 November 2017 A review of Roland Perry’s Monash and Chauvel: How Australia’s Two Greatest Generals Changed the Course of World History Let’s get it out of the way

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Four late offerings for Remembrance Day: what should we remember really?

We have already posted some material relevant to 11 November, Remembrance Day, the 99th of that designation. That little collection links to the other posts. There’s also Simon Jenkins from The Guardian, who says ‘enough already’ of Remembrance Day. Two

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Letter to the Editor: Euphemisms are deadly

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: Every Anzac and Remembrance Day, we hear euphemisms for men and women who have died in war. They are “the fallen”, they “made the supreme sacrifice”, “they shall grow not

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Beyond the poppies row on row: Remembrance Day is a good day to think

Remembrance Day (Armistice Day, if you prefer) – like Anzac Day, Christmas, Easter, Passover, Ramadan, Diwali, Melbourne Cup Day, and other regular ceremonial and commemorative occasions – triggers virtually automatic reactions among many of us. Poppies, stories of old Diggers,

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Glover, Jeff: “Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons

Jeff Glover* ‘“Trying to be something they’re not”: grandfathers, Diggers, and Peter FitzSimons’, Honest History, 10 November 2017 As a 61-year-old avid reader of Australian military history, all too often these days I find inaccuracies, mistruths and even lies about

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Letter to the Editor: War Memorial a great place but no ‘soul of our nation’

This in Fairfax today from Honest History secretary and editor: What nonsense from Bill Shorten (Private Capital, November 7, p. 13). The War Memorial no more “represents the soul of our nation” than any other place where Australians gather. It

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Faber, David: Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge‘, Honest History, 8 November 2017 The paper concerns the recent centenary of the Battle of Beersheba and what the author sees as

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Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge

David Faber* ‘Beersheba, occupation and the mind of God: a reflection on the centenary of the Beersheba charge’, Honest History, 8 November 2017 Can historians know the mind of God? It is a long time since most historians have scrutinised

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The Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove has been restored but the words – though moving – are still dubious

The photograph below, taken on 29 October, shows the Atatürk memorial at Anzac Cove (Ari Burnu) after recent refurbishment. Honest History offered some advice to Turkish President Erdoğan about future options for the memorial but – not surprisingly perhaps –

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Stephens, David: ‘Age shall not weary them’: questioning a Kokoda claim

David Stephens* ‘ “Age shall not weary them”: questioning a Kokoda claim’, Honest History, 3 November 2017 This week’s 75th anniversary of Kokoda has seen repeated claims about the average age of Australian soldiers in the Kokoda campaign. For example,

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Walsh: Nick: Kokoda Track: from the Honest History archives

[Note: this post was originally published in January 2016. Ministerial press release to mark 75th anniversary of Kokoda campaign.] Nick Walsh Kokoda Track, The author, 2nd edition, Melbourne 2012 This little book (70 pages, a dozen photographs, two clear maps) was

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Newton, Douglas: Beersheba and the scramble for the Ottoman Empire – and more on the Beersheba centenary boast

Update 8 November 2017: David Faber writes about the Beersheba centenary and the work of Kelvin Crombie (Gallipoli – The Road to Jerusalem), who has tried to put the Gallipoli campaign into a Christian context. Essentially, Crombie argues that the

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Brodie, Nick: The Vandemonian War

Nick Brodie The Vandemonian War, Hardie Grant, Melbourne, 2017; available electronically The Vandemonian War had many sides and shades, but it was fundamentally a war between the British colony of Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and the Aboriginal people who lived

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Shield, John: A Vandemonian war story passionately told

John Shield* ‘A Vandemonian war story passionately told’, Honest History, 29 October 2017 John Shield reviews The Vandemonian War by Nick Brodie If you were slightly unsure about this book and its subject matter before, Nick Brodie does everybody a

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Alexander, Kristen: Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II

Kristen Alexander* ‘Captives of war make a compelling story of World War II’, Honest History, 22 October 2017 Kristen Alexander reviews Clare Makepeace’s Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War Clare Makepeace’s grandfather

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Makepeace, Clare: Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War

Clare Makepeace Captives of War: British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, 2017 This book is of Australian interest, as some 8000 Australians were POWs in Europe during World War II, although they

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Stephens, David: Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that ‘has lost its way’

David Stephens ‘Skirmish in Canberra Times letters column over a War Memorial that “has lost its way”‘, Honest History, 18 October 2017 updated Today’s Canberra Times (online and hard copy) included a letter from me which was butchered by the

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The Dunera Boys 77 years on: Dunera News No. 101

Thanks to our contacts in the Dunera community (still going strong after 77 years) for passing us their latest newsletter, dated October 2017. This edition includes a re-enactment, reunions and some interesting personal stories. For readers who don’t know, the

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Clarke, Patricia: Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger

Patricia Clarke ‘Jennie Scott Griffiths: a Texas-born red ragger‘, NLA Unbound: the National Library of Australia Magazine, June 2017 A biographical article on this feminist and anti-conscription campaigner during Australia’s Great War. She was an indefatigable worker in radical causes

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Johnstone, Ian M.: Armidale and the Great War

Ian M. Johnstone Armidale and the Great War, The author, Armidale NSW, 2017 The book describes the impact of World War I on this New South Wales town and its people. The author has previously written on aspects of New

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Armidale and the Great War (review of Johnstone)

‘Armidale and the Great War’, Honest History, 21 September 2017 Frank Bongiorno* reviews Armidale and the Great War, by Ian M. Johnstone One of the positive aspects of the centenary of World War I has been the stimulus it has

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Torsh, Daniela & Max Humphreys: On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967

Daniela Torsh & Max Humphreys ‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967‘, Honest History, 19 September 2017 This extended interview transcript is provided as a primary source for readers interested in the history of protest in

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On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys

‘On Sydney Harbour with the prime minister of South Vietnam, 1967: Daniela Torsh interviews Max Humphreys’[1], Honest History, 19 September 2017 Kirribilli House from the Harbour (Wikipedia/Stephen Bain) Daniela Torsh: So Max, I’ve got a question to start with: tell

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Australian Peacekeeping: 70th anniversary and unveiling of memorial

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the first deployment of Australian forces in a peacekeeping role. After many years of effort and fundraising, a memorial to Peacekeepers will be dedicated in Canberra on Thursday, 14 September. Details are in

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Tatz, Colin: Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?

Colin Tatz ‘Australians may well love their sport, but why don’t we delight in success elsewhere?‘ The Conversation, 6 September 2017 The Australian nation and nationalism, we often proclaim, began at Gallipoli. This is a nonsense, as that sets aside the

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Ariotti, Kate & James E. Bennett, ed.: Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts

Kate Ariotti & James E. Bennett, ed. Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts, Palgrave-Springer, New York & Heidelberg, 2017; e-book available by chapters This book contributes to the global turn in First World War studies by

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A war fought and felt around the world (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.)

‘A war fought and felt around the world’ (review of Ariotti & Bennett, ed.), Honest History, 4 September 2017 Martin Crotty* reviews Australians and the First World War: Local-Global Connections and Contexts edited by Kate Ariotti and James E. Bennett

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Handasyde, Kerrie: Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross

Kerrie Handasyde ‘Anzac theology and women poets under the Southern Cross‘, Colloquium: The Australian and New Zealand Theological Review, Vol. 49 No. 1, May 2017, pp. 17-30 (pdf courtesy of author; open access) During the Great War Australians lived within

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Korea, the war that never ended, might be starting up again: some useful source material

Update 19 August 2017: Michael Leunig on being ‘joined at the hip’ in ANZUS (‘Australia and New Zealand’s Unquestioning Subservience’) As one who was almost jailed under the ANZUS treaty for resisting a notice of military conscription in the Vietnam

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (27): ‘Recruitment problems in Gippsland 1917 despite patriotic appeals, God and martial music’, Honest History, 10 August 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series We have made use previously in this series and elsewhere of the

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Stanley, Peter, ed.: Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy

Peter Stanley, ed. Charles Bean: Man, Myth, Legacy, UNSW Press, Canberra, 2017 Proceedings of a 2016 conference at UNSW Canberra. Australia’s official war correspondent during WWI, Charles Bean was also Australia’s first official war historian and the driving force behind

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From the Honest History archives: Lest We Forget Hiroshima 72 years ago this week

Repost from last year. Why? Well, we faithfully and annually commemorate wartime events involving Australians. Some of these events are relatively insignificant, even trivial, in the scheme of things or when compared with other wartime events. It seems only right

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Black Mist Burnt Country: touring exhibition tells the story of the Maralinga tests and their impact

The recent death of Yami Lester brings to prominence again the long struggle of activists regarding the impacts of the British atomic tests at Maralinga in the 1950s. Black Mist Burnt Country is a national touring exhibition, which commemorates the 60th

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Newton, Douglas: The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres

Douglas Newton ‘The centenary of the Third Battle of Ypres‘, Pearls and Interpretations, 3 August 2017 The carnage at Ypres and Passchendaele is ‘an object lesson in what happens when an Australian government allows our Allies to dominate in the

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Lockhart, Greg: What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?

Greg Lockhart ‘What were we fighting for at Gallipoli, in Palestine and on the Western Front?’ (Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4; Part 5), Pearls and Irritations, 24-28 July 2017 updated Update 15 August 2017: Lockhart’s further thoughts,

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Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits

‘Dark irony and dishonesty of Dunkirk: misrepresentations, exaggerations, and clunky bits’, Honest History, 1 August 2017 Peter Stanley* reviews Dunkirk  Just as Theresa May’s government writhes over the implications of Brexit, there is a dark irony in the appearance of

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Nolan, Christopher (dir.): Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan Dunkirk, Syncopy, Warner Brothers and others, UK, US, France, Netherlands, 2017 Set during the Second World War, [the film, with an ensemble cast] portrays the Dunkirk evacuation … Nolan wrote the script, told from three perspectives—the land, sea, and air—to contain

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Honest History: Some extracts from Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History ‘Some extracts from Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial, Second edition, June 2017’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated We have produced the second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial.

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Aktar, Ayhan: Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective‘, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated The history of the Gallipoli campaign has been contested in Turkey for many decades. The commemorations of the Ottoman naval victory of 18

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Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective

Ayhan Aktar * ‘Rewriting the history of Gallipoli: a Turkish perspective’, Honest History, 25 July 2017 updated [This piece draws upon my article originally published in the Turkish daily newspaper Taraf (Istanbul), 18 March 2014. An earlier English translation by

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Arms spending and war: which comes first, at home and abroad?

Christopher Pyne, Minister for Defence Industry, has been talking up the possibilities of Australia growing its arms exports industry. Fairfax’s David Wroe says Pyne ‘wants Australia to become a major arms exporter on par with Britain, France and Germany and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (25): The Free Religious Fellowship: anti-conscription – and unexpected family history

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Chris Wade’s article, ‘Practical idealists: the Free Religious Fellowship, the Great War and conscription‘, reminds us of the breadth and depth of feeling against conscription in Great War Australia: the cause was taken up by

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Reynolds, Henry: Memories and massacres

Henry Reynolds ‘Memories and massacres‘, Pearls and Irritations, 10 July 2017 For over 30 years, Henry Reynolds has been writing about massacres of Indigenous Australians. The culmination of his research was the well-received book Forgotten War in 2013. This brief

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Cain, Frank: The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia

Frank Cain The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2017; first published 1993 Driven by Marxist ideology, the Industrial Workers of the World sought to draw the Australian

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The Wobblies at War (review of Cain)

‘The Wobblies at War’ (review of Cain), Honest History, 11 July 2017 Rowan Day* reviews Frank Cain’s The Wobblies at War: A History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia This is a republication of Frank Cain’s 1993

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Stephens, David: Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise

David Stephens ‘Hidden in plain sight: Aboriginal massacre map should be no surprise‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 July 2017 updated Follow-up to Professor Lyndall Ryan’s map, unveiled at the Australian Historical Association conference, of settler massacres of Indigenous Australians. The

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Wahlquist, Calla: Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood

Calla Wahlquist ‘Map of massacres of Indigenous people reveals untold history of Australia, painted in blood‘, Guardian Australia, 5 July 2017 updated Reports a paper by Professor Lyndall Ryan (University of Newcastle) at the Australian Historical Association conference in Newcastle.

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This week in the Russian Revolution 1917: courtesy of the World Socialist Web Site – and Alexander Kerensky

We have previously respectfully drawn readers’ attention to the resources of the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS), which tracks world politics from the perspective of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI). The Fourth International was founded by Leon

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Highlights reel: Hilary Mantel, historical novelist, on what history is all about

Dame Hilary Mantel (author of Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and other books) is this year’s Reith Lecturer for the BBC. You can find transcripts and audio of the lectures (weekly, 13 June 2017 for five weeks) on the

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Menadue, John: By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead

John Menadue ‘By accepting funding from weapons suppliers the Australian War Memorial demeans Australia’s war dead‘, Pearls and Irritations, 30 June 2017 John Menadue, former senior public servant and businessman, wrote to Brendan Nelson, Director of the War Memorial, to

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Hayes, Sarah: Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today

Sarah Hayes ‘Gold Rush Victoria was as wasteful as we are today‘, The Conversation, 29 June 2017 Archaeological excavations across Melbourne have uncovered masses of rubbish dating back to the Gold Rush era of the 1850s and 1860s. Artefacts recovered

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Australian War Memorial’s $16.1 million shed for big war things: money well spent?

As reported in the Canberra Times, the Australian War Memorial is making its case to the parliamentary Public Works Committee to build a $16.1 million facility at Mitchell in Canberra. On past form, the PWC will put a tick on

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Piccini, Jon: Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War

Jon Piccini ‘Amnesty International and conscientious objection in Australia’s Vietnam War‘, JHI Blog, 13 June 2017 This small case study provides insights into how the idea of human rights has been contested over time. Australia’s two Amnesty Sections – not

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Stephens, David: Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier

David Stephens ‘Graham Freudenberg, elegant and erudite scribe of an important era in Australian politics – and earlier’, Honest History, 22 June 2017 Norman Graham Freudenberg AM is 83 years old this year. He has written speeches for Labor leaders,

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Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 The conscription referendums as a turning point in Australian politics I

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Jones, Barry: Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies

Barry Jones ‘Democratic opposition to war: the 1916-17 anti-conscription campaigns – impacts and legacies (Keynote address, Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May 2017)’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 This one day conference addressed a number of aspects of the

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Rosen, Sue: Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II

Sue Rosen Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2017 In 1942 the threat of Japanese invasion hung over Australia. The men were away overseas, fighting on other

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Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Australia’s war in Vietnam has been relatively well documented. Less is known, however, about what

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Honest History: Second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Honest History ‘Second edition of Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 1 October 2017: the For Country, For Nation exhibition (discussed in the Alternative Guide) closed in Canberra in September

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Bach, Willy: Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong

Willy Bach ‘Britain, Australia, New Zealand, SEATO, the secret war in Laos, and counter insurgency expert Colonel “Ted” Serong’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 updated Update 28 June 2017: Willy Bach died yesterday. Honest History sends condolences to his friends

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Scorched earth flames are fanned again (review of Rosen)

‘Scorched earth flames are fanned again’, Honest History, 13 June 2017 Derek Abbott* reviews Sue Rosen’s Scorched Earth: Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War under Japanese Invasion in World War II The reality of the threat of a Japanese invasion

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Sparrow, Jeff: Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia

Jeff Sparrow ‘Internment is so hot right now, but it’s nothing new in Australia‘, Guardian Australia, 10 June 2017 Pauline Hanson and others have discussed the possibility of interning perceived suspicious persons. Sparrow recalls how internment was carried out in

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (24): Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes 1917

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Phil Cashen shows in this post on the excellent Shire at War blog (‘Soldiers’ farewells and welcomes in the first half of 1917’) how intense agendas ran deep beneath the apparently simple gesture of farewelling

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Blight, David: The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans

David Blight ‘The Battle for Memorial Day in New Orleans‘, The Atlantic, 29 May 2017 Examines the recent Memorial Day oration of Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, at a time when the former Confederate states of America are again

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Gallagher, Emily: The first war for country, for nation

Emily Gallagher ‘The first war for country, for nation‘, Inside Story, 18 May 2017 A review of the For country, For Nation exhibition at the Australian War Memorial. Another review, by David Stephens for Honest History, is here and should

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Stephens, David: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom

David Stephens ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (23): ‘A wartime police state’: Australia’s War Precautions Act during the war for freedom’, Honest History, 19 May 2017 updated The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Every country at war takes measures to protect

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Ross, Fiona: Humane and intimate, how the Red Cross helped families trace the fates of WW2 soldiers

Fiona Ross ‘Humane and intimate, how the Red Cross helped families trace the fates of WW2 soldiers‘, The Conversation, 11 May 2017 The University of Melbourne Archives now holds the series ‘Missing, Wounded and Prisoner of War Enquiry Cards’, which

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Moss, Tristan & Tom Richardson, ed.: New Directions in War and History

Tristan Moss & Tom Richardson, ed. New Directions in War and History, Big Sky Publishing, Newport, NSW, 2016 (download full text) Papers from a Canberra conference (February 2016) held by the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and

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Phillips, Richard: Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI

Richard Phillips ‘Australia: Anzac Day and the official silence about anti-war opposition in WWI‘, World Socialist Web Site, 4 May 2017 The article notes the dominance this Anzac season of the received view of Anzac in Australia and, by contrast,

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Three Anzac season stories from the University of Melbourne’s Pursuit research report

The University of Melbourne does a regular report, Pursuit, on research being undertaken at the university. Recently, it posted: Michelle Moo on women doctors who fought to be able to provide medical services during World War I; Phill Cobbin on

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Hassan, Toni: Why does the War Memorial proudly display this booty from an illegal war?

Toni Hassan ‘Why does the War Memorial proudly display this booty from an illegal war?‘, Canberra Times, 3 May 2017 Also in other Fairfax and in Canberra Times hard copy. Reports the disappointment of former Australian War Memorial education officer,

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Brunswick-Coburg Anti-Conscription Commemoration Campaign Conference, 20 May

This important conference is to be held in Brunswick on Saturday, 20 May, at roughly the half-way point between the centenaries of the two unsuccessful conscription plebiscites during World War I. This all day event will cover details of the

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Lest we forget Lest We Forget: Rudyard Kipling’s Recessional: Honest History document

‘Lest we forget Lest We Forget: Rudyard Kipling’s “Recessional”: Honest History document’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 updated Update 4 June 2017: an Army musician sang ‘Recessional’ at the opening of the Boer War memorial in Canberra last week. Last

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Turnbull, Noel: Anzac Day at Port Melbourne

Noel Turnbull ‘Anzac Day at Port Melbourne‘, Noel Turnbull Blog, 25 April 2017 Noel Turnbull, a Vietnam veteran and former media and communications executive, spoke at the Anzac Day service at Port Melbourne. Most of those young men didn’t enlist

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Piggott, Michael: Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott ‘Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 A review of two exhibitions, Indigenous Australians at War from the Boer War to the Present (touring from the Shrine of Remembrance,

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Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia

Michael Piggott* ‘Indigenous war service: two exhibitions at the National Archives of Australia’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Showing at the moment in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra is an exhibition of work by the renowned World War

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Markwick, Roger D.: The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation

Roger D. Markwick ‘The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 The furore over the recent remarks of Yassmin Abdel-Magied raises important issues about the possibility of dissent against received – and state-promoted – views of

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The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation

Roger D. Markwick* ‘The “sacralisation” of history and state legitimation’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 This is a slightly edited version of a paper presented to a conference, History and Authority: Political Vocabularies of the Modern Age, Humanities Research Centre,

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Stephens, David: ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 A review of Chris Masters’ double DVD for the Australian War Memorial. (Trailer; ABC story.) The DVDs contain footage

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Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”

David Stephens ‘Afghanistan: The Australian Story shows war is about much more than “love and friendship”’, Honest History, 2 May 2017 Serendipity can be illuminating. This reviewer began to watch Chris Masters’ double DVD, Afghanistan: The Australian Story, on the

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Stephens, David: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (22): The Finland Station and Flinders Street

David Stephens ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (22): The Finland Station and Flinders Street’, Honest History, 16 April 2017 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Today (16 April) is exactly one hundred years since Lenin arrived at the Finland Station in

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McMullin, Ross: Bill Leak and Will Dyson: cartoonists and artists compared across a century

Ross McMullin* ‘Bill Leak and Will Dyson: cartoonists and artists compared across a century’, Honest History, 10 April 2017 When Bill Leak delivered a typically engaging presentation in Sydney a decade ago on the remarkably talented Australian cartoonist Will Dyson,

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Babkenian, Vicken & Judith Crispin: Australia’s Armenian Story

Vicken Babkenian & Judith Crispin ‘Australia’s Armenian Story‘, Inside Story, 6 April 2017 This is a long extract from chapter 3 of The Honest History Book, published by NewSouth. It deals with the Armenian Genocide, which commenced 24 April 1915

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Daley, Paul: Narcha’s remains have been repatriated. But colonialism’s malevolence lingers

Paul Daley ‘Narcha’s remains have been repatriated. But colonialism’s malevolence lingers‘, Guardian Australia, 3 April 2017 Douglas Grant is perhaps Australia’s best known Indigenous Anzac. The remains of one of Grant’s close relatives – Ngadjon elder Narcha, also known as

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Does this Advance Australia Fair? The Australian War Memorial’s new marketing slogan

Update 25 April 2017: Sue Wareham in Pearls and Irritations on the War Memorial’s reliance on funding from arms manufacturers. Update 15 April 2017: Canberra Airport is renowned already for its hosting of advertisements for arms manufacturers. The No Airport

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Wearing three hats, an interesting collection of pressers from Minister Tehan

The member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, is minister for a number of things, although we mostly track his activities as Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac. A clutch of media releases from the Minister this week

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Long white clouds of Atatürk myth over Aotearoa New Zealand

Long white clouds of Atatürk myth over Aotearoa New Zealand The other day at the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, New Zealand Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Maggie Barry, and Turkish Ambassador, Ahmet Ergin, unveiled a sculpture

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Allen, Christopher: Artists of the Great War: the pity and the propaganda

Christopher Allen ‘Artists of the Great War: the pity and the propaganda‘, The Australian, 18 March 2017 A review of a current exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (closes in June). We have not ceased to be fascinated

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Stephens, David: Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens ‘Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 21 March 2017 updated This is a combined review of For Country, for Nation, about Indigenous service in defence of Australia, and A Home on a

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Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial

David Stephens ‘Allusions in Beanland: two exhibitions at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 In September 2016, the War Memorial opened For Country, for Nation, an exhibition about Indigenous service in Australian defence forces from the Boer

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Flora, Steve & David Stephens: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (21): Australia reacts to the February 1917 Revolution in Russia: a look at newspapers of the day

Steve Flora & David Stephens The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (21): Australia reacts to the February 1917 Revolution in Russia: a look at newspapers of the day’, Honest History, 21 March 2017 Australia during the

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Yip, Andrew: Friday essay: video games, military culture and new narratives of war

Andrew Yip ‘Friday essay: video games, military culture and new narratives of war‘, The Conversation, 10 March 2017 Argues that ‘the relationship of video games to history, politics and modern military cultures is no mere child’s play … [I]n video

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New TV documentary chronicles refugee crisis during Armenian Genocide

From the United States comes news of a television documentary, They Shall not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. The documentary describes the humanitarian efforts of Americans who saved a generation of orphans and refugees after the collapse of

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Moses, John: Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War

John Moses* ‘Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War’, Honest History, 10 March 2017 The author argues that any discussion about the origins and significance of Anzac commemoration will be baseless if it fails

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Hundred years on from the February Revolution of 1917: five lectures, many perspectives

This week is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the February Revolution of 1917 in Russia. (We know it is March now but that is due to a calendar glitch which need not detain us further.) Honest History will

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Australian War Memorial frames its own view of Indigenous Australians’ fighting past

Why did the Australian War Memorial spend $366 000 on a painting depicting a massacre of Indigenous Australians by white settlers (when it refuses to commemorate the Frontier Wars)? The Australian War Memorial has acquired and unveiled the 1985 painting

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (20): The soldiers’ vote denied: making sense of the first conscription plebiscite’, Honest History, 28 February 2017 During 2016 our ‘Divided sunburnt country’ posts (linked above) tracked events in the

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Wroe, David: The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war

David Wroe ‘The secret Iraq dossier: inside Australia’s flawed war’, The Age, 25 February 2017 updated Long article, with illustrations and video, on Australia’s Iraq involvement, the key point being that the motivation – why we fought – was to

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Marlow, Karina & Luke Pearson: 8 war heroes you didn’t learn about in school

Karina Marlow & Luke Pearson ‘8 war heroes you didn’t learn about in school‘, SBS, 21 February 2017 This NITV repost from 22 April 2016 presents, without editorial comment, brief biographies of Pemulwuy, Musquito, Windradyne, Yagan, Jandamarra, Tunnerminnerwait and Maulboyheenner,

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The Fitzkrieg reaches Darwin: Honest History and Peter FitzSimons

The Northern Territory government was pleased to welcome leading ‘storian (his term), Peter FitzSimons to Darwin for the weekend’s commemoration of the bombing of that city in 1942. This was of interest to Honest History, since we had put up

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The bombing of Darwin, 75 years on: some alternative views

Honest History has been interested in the bombing of Darwin almost since we began the website, though our interest has extended to aspects that are not likely to be front and centre this week during the 75th anniversary events. Obviously,

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The Fall of Singapore, 75 years on: some alternative views

Update 20 February 2017: The Strategist has three articles on the Fall of Singapore, from James Goldrick, Joan Beaumont and Hugh White. On Wednesday in Ballarat, Minister Tehan will attend a national service in Ballarat to commemorate the 75th anniversary

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Cashen, Phil: Enlistments in the second half of 1916: background characteristics Part 2 – religion, units and service history

Phil Cashen ‘103. Enlistments in the second half of 1916: background characteristics Part 2 – religion, units and service history‘, Shire at War, 5 February 2017 We have often linked to the sterling work of Phil Cashen of the Shire

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Stephens, David: Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again

David Stephens ‘Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 The article looks at the statistics in the Memorial’s Annual Report 2015-16 for real (flesh-and-blood) visitors to the Memorial and

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Crotty, Martin: In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past

Martin Crotty ‘In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 The author, a fun runner, describes some Anzac-themed running events and what they say about the current desire of some of

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In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past

Martin Crotty* ‘In their footsteps? Anzac fun runs and the consumption of the past’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 Running for fun and Anzac I am an historian of Australia at war, a frequent commentator on the way Australia commemorates

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Bown, Sharon: One Woman’s War and Peace

Sharon Bown One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force, Exisle Publishing, Wollombi, NSW, 2016 In 1999, idealistic 23-year-old Registered Nurse Sharon Bown left her comfortable family life in Tasmania and joined the Royal

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A personal view of war and peace (review of Sharon Bown)

‘A personal view of war and peace’ (review of Sharon Bown), Honest History, 7 February 2017 Pamela Burton* reviews One Woman’s War and Peace: A Nurse’s Journey in the Royal Australian Air Force by Sharon Bown This is an introspective

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Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again

David Stephens ‘Cooking the (visitors) books: the Australian War Memorial struggles with statistics – again’, Honest History, 7 February 2017 ‘There has always been an element of myth-making and myth-peddling in the Memorial’s work; it should not extend to its

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Rushbrook, Peter: Lest We Forget: the Kapooka tragedy 1945

Peter Rushbrook ‘Lest We Forget: the Kapooka tragedy 1945‘, History of Education Review, vol. 37, no. 1, 2008, pp. 48-55 (pdf made available by author) This article explores an incident that raises questions relating to the making and unmaking of

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Babkenian, Vicken: Gladys Berejiklian, the Great War, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide

Vicken Babkenian ‘Gladys Berejiklian, the Great War, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide‘, Independent Australia, 30 January 2017 Marks the election of Australia’s first premier of Armenian ethnicity. Ms Berejiklian’s grandparents were among those liberated by Allied forces in 1918, surviving

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McDonald, Neil with Peter Brune: Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent

Neil McDonald with Peter Brune Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 Chester Wilmot (1911–1954) was a renowned Australian war correspondent, broadcaster, journalist and writer. Covering the first triumphant North African battles of Bardia,

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Shield, John: Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent (review of McDonald with Brune)

‘Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent‘, Honest History, 12 January 2017 John Shield* reviews Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent, by Neil McDonald with Peter Brune There is a lovely sequence in

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Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18

Our regular correspondent, singer-songwriter, Tony Smith, has sent us a CD wrangled by himself and musical and poetical colleagues. It is called ‘Silent Centenary: Australian voices questioning the war of 1914-18’. It includes a mixture of sung songs, recited poems,

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Spark, Seumas: Ken Inglis and the Dunera: a seventy-year history

Seumas Spark ‘Ken Inglis and the Dunera: a seventy-year history‘, Inside Story, 12 December 2016 Discusses the work of Inglis and the American historian, Jay Winter, on the Dunera boys, mostly Jewish internees from Britain, who made such a contribution

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Mein Smith, Philippa: The ‘NZ’ in Anzac: different remembrance and meaning

Philippa Mein Smith ‘The “NZ” in Anzac: different remembrance and meaning‘, Journal of First World War Studies, vol. 7, 2016, pp. 1-19 This article examines differences of emphasis in Australia and New Zealand in the rituals of Anzac Day, the

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Stanley, Peter: Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial

Peter Stanley* ‘Review of The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors at the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 updated Update 29 April 2019: speech by War Memorial Director Nelson to NSW Jewish Board of Deputies. The opening late last

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Scates, Bruce & Melanie Oppenheimer: The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939

Bruce Scates & Melanie Oppenheimer The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2016 When Australian soldiers returned from the First World War they were offered the chance to settle on “land fit for heroes”. Promotional

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Settling for less (review of Scates and Oppenheimer)

‘Settling for less’ (review of Scates and Oppenheimer), Honest History, 13 December 2016 Michael Piggott* reviews The Last Battle: Soldier Settlement in Australia, 1916-1939 by Bruce Scates and Melanie Oppenheimer At last the book is out. Its official genesis dates

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What Honest History read and reviewed during 2016: a round-up of book reviews (and reviewers)

‘What Honest History read and reviewed during 2016: a round-up of book reviews (and reviewers)’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 The Honest History team gets to read a lot of books during a year and we are getting more and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19) The 1916 coal strike

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (19): The 1916 coal strike’, Honest History, 13 December 2016 ‘The strikes and upheavals, political and industrial, we see around us are the manifestations of a deliberate policy which aims at destroying

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Daley, Paul: The Armenians and the Warlpiri: two genocides that sparked a pilgrimage to the outback

Paul Daley ‘The Armenians and the Warlpiri: two genocides that sparked a pilgrimage to the outback‘, Guardian Australia, 8 December 2016 Describes the journey of two Armenian priests into Warlpiri country. The visit was organised by Judith Crispin, who has

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National Film and Sound Archive: Melbourne Time Capsule: Marvellous Melbourne: Swanston and Collins Streets

National Film and Sound Archive ‘Melbourne Time Capsule: Marvellous Melbourne: Swanston and Collins Streets‘, NFSA website A marvellous two minute point-of-view film from a tram trundling through Melbourne in 1910 (date picked exactly by our HH guru before he saw

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Minister releases preliminary results of study into veterans’ suicide; but are priorities still skewed?

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan (with Health Minister Ley) has released preliminary results of a study of suicide by Australian veterans. Key findings are as follows: ● there were 292 deaths by suicide among people with at least one

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Australian War Memorial opens permanent display on Holocaust

The Australian War Memorial has opened a permanent display on the Holocaust. (SBS report.) The exhibition, The Holocaust: Witnesses and Survivors, builds on the memories of 30 000 Holocaust survivors who made their homes in Australia after World War II.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (18): The Prime Minister is determined to carry on’, Honest History, 26 November 2016 The referendum (plebiscite) had been held on 28 October. Prime Minister Hughes was the guest of

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Braithwaite, Richard Wallace: Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy

Braithwaite, Richard Wallace Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy, Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2016 Only six escapees survived the Sandakan death marches of 1945 in North Borneo, the worst atrocity ever inflicted on Australian soldiers. 1787 Australian

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At war with the Braithwaites (review of Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters)

‘At war with the Braithwaites’, Honest History, 23 November 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Richard Wallace Braithwaite, Fighting Monsters: An Intimate History of the Sandakan Tragedy Around the end of the 1960s the twenty-year-old Richard Braithwaite, then a university student, wore

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Shield, John: Top End Anzackery: an illustrated review note (featuring a mouse who flys a Spitfire)

Shield, John* ‘Top End Anzackery: an illustrated review note (featuring a mouse who flies a Spitfire)’, Honest History, 22 November 2016 Re-enactment, 74th anniversary of Darwin bombings, 2016 (Defence department) In 2012, the 70th Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin

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Green, Jonathan: Why must a war define us? Honest History highlights reel

Green, Jonathan ‘Why must a war define us?‘ ABC The Drum, 24 April 2014 (Honest History highlights reel) Over the last three years Honest History has tried to collect significant pieces written about Australia’s relationship with war. We have commissioned

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The Conscription Conflict and the Great War (review of Archer, Damousi, et al)

‘The Conscription Conflict and the Great War’ (review of Archer, Damousi, et al), Honest History, 16 November 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, edited by Robin Archer, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot and Sean Scalmer. See

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Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed.: The Conscription Conflict and the Great War

Archer, Robin, Joy Damousi, Murray Goot & Sean Scalmer, ed. The Conscription Conflict and the Great War, Monash University Publishing, Melbourne, 2016 Collection with articles by the editors, Douglas Newton, Frank Bongiorno, John Connor and Ross McKibbin. While the Great

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Stanley, Peter: Three Great War histories review: was the slaughtering really worth it?

Stanley, Peter ‘Three Great War histories review: was the slaughtering really worth it?‘ Sydney Morning Herald, 12 November 2016 Honest History’s president reviews Victory at Villers-Bretonneux, by Peter FitzSimons, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End, 1917-1923,

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Reid, Richard: ‘That famous army of generous men’: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day

Reid, Richard ‘“That famous army of generous men”: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day‘, Honest History, 11 November 2016 An extended article about six men who fought in the Great War and the reflections their stories provoked in the

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Stephens, David: When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition

Stephens, David ‘When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition‘, Honest History, 11 November 2016 Tells the story of the Lake War Memorials Forum, a group which fought for two years to prevent the building

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‘The Call to the People of Australia’, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel

‘” The Call to the People of Australia”, Remembrance Day, 1951: highlights reel’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 This Remembrance Day is the 65th anniversary of one of the stranger documents of early post-war Australia. Titled ‘The Call to the

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Stanley, Peter: AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people

Stanley, Peter ‘AWM sixtieth anniversary: the Memorial and its people, 11 November 2001‘, Australian War Memorial Today, Peter Stanley is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales Canberra, as well

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The Australian War Memorial is opened, 11 November 1941

The Australian War Memorial was opened 75 years ago today. The Australian War Memorial at Canberra, symbol of a young nation’s courage and sacrifice, was officially opened yesterday [began the report in the Canberra Times]. The impressive service of tribute

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When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition

David Stephens ‘When a motley crew of Canberra stirrers protected the War Memorial from competition’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 updated Twelve years ago, some Canberra citizens conceived the idea of building in the city new war memorials, one for

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Two years of commentary on the Australian War Memorial: from the Honest History archives

Rationale Critiquing the Anzac-centred received view of Australian history necessarily involves forensic examination of the work of our premier commemorative institution, the Australian War Memorial. The Memorial – rather surprisingly, in view of its interest in warlike matters – has

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‘That famous army of generous men’: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day

Richard Reid* ‘”That famous army of generous men”: some stories and reflections for Remembrance Day’, Honest History, 11 November 2016 In early November 1993 I stood at 8.00 am in the misty cold of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Adelaide

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (17): Three post-mortems on the first conscription referendum

The Divided Sunburnt Country series Note: No. 16 in the series was updated on 7 November to include a short speech by Michael McKernan on the impact of conscription in Jugiong, NSW, and a paper by Frank Bongiorno on why

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (16): Conscription miscellany – and mainstream avoidance

The Divided Sunburnt Country series ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (16): Conscription miscellany – and mainstream avoidance’, Honest History, 4 November 2016 updated Update 16 November 2016: review of Archer, et al, ed., The Conscription Conflict and the Great War.

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (15): Final thunderous appeals, pro and con, on the eve of the conscription plebiscite

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (15): Final thunderous appeals, pro and con, on the eve of the conscription plebiscite 100 years ago’, Honest History, 27 October 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Pro Prime Minister Hughes’s final appeal appeared in

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Possibly coming to a theatre near you: a movie about the Armenian Genocide

The Promise is a new movie about the Armenian Genocide. Directed by Terry George, starring Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, it has been expensive to produce and is now facing distribution issues in the United States, partly

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Stephens, David: ‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats

Stephens, David ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats‘, Honest History, 20 October 2016 This article continues our analysis of ten of Dr Nelson’s speeches from

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‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats

David Stephens ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part II: Long bows, Holly Golightly and political baseball bats’, Honest History, 20 October 2016 updated In our previous article we looked at the structure, themes and

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (14): No conscription! Facts for doubting boneheads

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (14): No conscription! Facts for doubting boneheads’, Honest History, 16 October 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Here are some extracts from a piece in Direct Action for 14 October 1916 (just two weeks before

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‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling

David Stephens ‘“Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 The received Australian view of war can be encapsulated in phrases like ‘Lest we forget’, ‘the

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Stephens, David: ‘Awkward humility’: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson, AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling

Stephens, David ‘” Awkward humility”: The speeches of the Hon Brendan Nelson AO: Part I: Thrice more with feeling‘, Honest History, 11 October 2016 The article analyses ten speeches from 2007 to 2016 regarding their structure, recurring themes and sets

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Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History

‘Honest History highlights reel: Nick Dyrenfurth’s Mateship: A Very Australian History’, Honest History, 11 October 2016  Nick Dyrenfurth’s book Mateship: A Very Australian History, was published by Scribe in 2015. This highlights reel picks out some key paragraphs. We used

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (13): DVA materials help children today debate conscription then

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (13): DVA materials help children today debate conscription then’, Honest History, 11 October 2016 updated Update 21 October 2016:  Queensland Government Anzac Centenary website has a useful summary on conscription in 1916. The Divided Sunburnt

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Honest History goes to the pictures: movie and TV reviews from the Honest History archives

Quite early in the Honest History project we realised that it was important to review movies and television series that came within our areas of interest. (We even explained why we were doing it.) Practically (due to resource limitations), this

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (12): The conscription battle hots up

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (12): The conscription battle hots up – 100 years ago’, Honest History, 30 September 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series Our intrepid researcher, Steve Flora, has worked his way through the National Library’s excellent Trove

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Dando-Collins, Stephen: The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill

Dando-Collins, Stephen The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill, Penguin Random House, Melbourne & Sydney, 2016 In The Hero Maker, award-winning historical author and biographer Stephen Dando-Collins exposes the contradictions of one of Australia’s most successful, but troubled, writers.

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Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape (review of Dando-Collins biography)

‘Paul Brickhill: chronicler of bombers, busters and a great escape’ (review of Dando-Collins biography), Honest History, 22 September 2016 John Myrtle* reviews The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill by Stephen Dando-Collins In the 1950s Australian-born Paul Brickhill wrote

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Koopman, Catharina: Campo 78 – the WWII Aussie camp in Abruzzo

Catharina Koopman* ‘Campo 78 – the WWII Aussie camp in Abruzzo‘, Dante Alighieri Society, Canberra, 29 June 2016 updated A review of the bilingual book, Campo 78: The Aussie Camp, by Gabriella Di Mattia (Accademia degli Agghiacciati, Sulmona, Italy, 2015).

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Woods, Martin: Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War

Woods, Martin Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War, National Library of Australia Publishing, Canberra, 2016 A selection of maps from the National Library’s collection along with detailed explanatory text. The war produced more maps than any

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Fighting against the tide? (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps)

‘Fighting against the tide?’ (review of Martin Woods on World War I maps), Honest History, 15 September 2016 Peter Stanley reviews Martin Woods, Where are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War The National Library of Australia, uniquely now

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Broinowski, Alison: Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under

Broinowski, Alison ‘Review note: What was all that about? Abe Forsythe’s Down Under’, Honest History, 12 September 2016 A longer version of this article, taking up more general issues to do with Afghanistan, is here on Pearls and Irritations. A

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Stephens, David: We go to Rio: questioning received war history

Stephens, David ‘We go to Rio: questioning received war history’, Teaching History (History Teachers’ Association of New South Wales), 50, 3, September 2016, pp. 4-6 Pdf accessible here made available by courtesy of HTANSW, which holds copyright. Anzac may be

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (11): The Case for Universal Service

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (11): The Case for Universal Service‘, Honest History, 8 September 2016 The Divided Sunburnt Country series   When Prime Minister WM Hughes announced the first conscription referendum there was already plenty of literature in circulation

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Turnbull, Noel: Leadership in the face of Anzackery

Turnbull, Noel ‘Leadership in the face of Anzackery’, Noel Turnbull (blog) 29 August 2016 Another to add to our series ‘Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context‘. The author has been a journalist, academic, public relations consultant, and

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Diamadis, Panoyiotis: Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes (Hellenic genocides 1914-22)

Diamadis, Panayiotis ‘Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 Analysis of recent press articles on the genocides of the indigenous Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. Two

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Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes (Hellenic genocides 1914-22)

Panayiotis Diamadis ‘Friendships are based on truths: looking again at the crime of crimes’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 In recent weeks, there have been three major pieces published in The Australian and the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) on the genocides

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Lord Northcliffe (egged on by Keith Murdoch) talks up the Anzacs after Pozieres: Honest History document

‘“These young giants from the furthest corner of the earth”: Lord Northcliffe (egged on by Keith Murdoch) talks up the Anzacs after Pozières: Honest History document’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 The document below is taken from The Sun (Sydney)

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From the Honest History archives: ‘Defining Moments’ at the National Museum of Australia (September 2014 and since)

Honest History has tracked the ‘Defining Moments’ project at the National Museum of Australia pretty much since it began. The project was an expression of the NMA’s claim to be ‘Where our stories live’ – ‘stories’ plural – which we

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (10): Prime Minister Hughes announces the first conscription referendum, 100 years ago today

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (10): Prime Minister Hughes announces the first conscription referendum, 100 years ago today’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Just after 3.53 pm on Wednesday, 30 August 1916, on a cold

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Hell No! We Won’t Go anti-conscription project goes to the Australian War Memorial

Australia’s Vietnam War had many facets, some of which we explored in our recent Honest History series. One of these facets, local Australian opposition to the war and to conscription, gets some coverage in the galleries at the Australian War

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Bach, Willy: A “kick in the guts”? A final look at Long Tan

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series Willy Bach ‘A “kick in the guts”? A final look at Long Tan’, Honest History, 30 August 2016 I am happy to say there were others who

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Butler, Richard: Nuclear disarmament – Australia’s profound and cynical failure

Butler, Richard ‘Nuclear disarmament – Australia’s profound and cynical failure‘, Pearls and Irritations, 23 August 2016 updated The author looks at Australia’s distinguished history in nuclear disarmament negotiations, before commenting on the recent decision by Australia to insist that there

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Moses, John: The fallacy of Presentism in Australian history

John Moses ‘The fallacy of Presentism in Australian history‘, Honest History, 23 August 2016 The paper seeks to illustrate that historiography can be misused for promoting political agendas. It uses examples from Marxism-Leninism, particularly in the then East Germany and

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ABC Conversations with Richard Fidler: Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga

ABC Local Radio ‘Liz Tynan on the secret history of Maralinga‘, Conversations with Richard Fidler, 9 August 2016 The ABC (actually Sarah Kanowski) talked to science journalist Elizabeth Tynan (49 minutes) about her book on the British nuclear tests at

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (9): Billy Hughes girds his loins for the conscription battle

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series On 31 July 1916, Prime Minister WM Hughes returned to Australia (Fremantle) after six months in Britain and Europe, where he had raised Australia’s profile in Allied war councils. He spoke at the Melbourne Town

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Viet Thanh Nguyen : Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series ________________________________ Viet Thanh Nguyen Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2016 This is the final post in our series

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From the Honest History archives: People who turn up – nurses in Vietnam (June 2016)

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series ________________________ This week’s commemoration of Australia’s Vietnam War (hanging off the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan) underlines that history is made by those who

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Stephens, David: We need to talk about how we commemorate our wars in other people’s countries – and our own

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series _______________________________ David Stephens ‘We need to talk about how we commemorate our wars in other people’s countries – and our own’, Honest History, 18 August 2016 updated

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Broinowski, Richard: The Battle of Long Tan turns fifty – but not without a hitch

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series Richard Broinowski ‘The Battle of Long Tan turns fifty – but not without a hitch’, Honest History, 18 August 2016 updated An article by Mark Schliebs in

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From the Honest History archives: What happened to Australians after the Vietnam War (June 2015)?

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series _____________________________ Parades, recognition and misremembering Part of the narrative of Australia’s Vietnam War in the more than 40 years since our commitment ended has been that Australian

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (8): Jennie Scott Griffiths: ‘She Fought Where She Stood’

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Victoria Haskins writes in her Anzac Her Story blog about Jennie Scott Griffiths, born in Texas in 1875, mother of ten children, newspaper editor, and anti-war campaigner in World War I Australia and just after

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From the Honest History archives: Agent Orange – Vietnam scourge of soldiers and civilians alike (March 2015, March 2016)

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series   Honest History has published a number of posts on the effects of Agent Orange, the chemical defoliant used by United States forces during the Vietnam War.

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Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: Honest History series

‘Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: an Honest History series’, Honest History, 15 August 2016 updated UPDATE 11.45 am FRIDAY: Still difficulties with access. UPDATE 6.00 AM THURSDAY: Restricted access to be allowed. STOP PRESS: Cancellation of

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From the Honest History archives: 1965-75 another Vietnam: unseen images of the war from the winning side (February 2016)

Australia’s Vietnam War – and keeping it in context: others in the series   This post shows the Vietnam War from the other side, with pictures (curated by Alex Q. Arbuckle for Mashable) by Vietnamese photographers of civilians, militia and

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Lamperd, Ruth: Families speak about military loved ones lost and how we failed them

Lamperd, Ruth ‘Families speak about military loved ones lost and how we failed them‘, Sunday Herald-Sun, 13 August 2016 The story reveals 41 military personnel and veterans died this year from suicide, the same as the number of Australians who

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From the Honest History archives: Hiroshima 1945; Managing Hiroshima

Update 31 August 2016: an article on The Millions website commemorating the 70th anniversary of the publication in The New Yorker of John Hersey’s long article Hiroshima. The anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings tends to creep up on

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (7): An overview of the 1916-17 conscription referenda

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series Michael Hamel-Green wrote in Green Left Weekly earlier this year an article called ‘When Australia voted no to war: the 1916-17 conscription referenda‘. The article is a useful brief introduction to the conscription struggle, an

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From the Honest History archives: Wounded and damaged soldiers then and now (November 2014)

Between the centenary of Fromelles and Pozières it seems appropriate to re-run a small collection Honest History put together late in 2014 on the physical effects of war on the men and women who fight it. The collection was provoked

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Piggott, Michael: Charles Bean’s legacy: UNSW Canberra conference, July 2016

Michael Piggott ‘“Charles Bean’s legacy”: UNSW Canberra conference, July 2016‘, Honest History, 2 August 2016 Update 6 August 2016: Peter Stanley, Honest History professor, Research Professor at UNSW Canberra, and a curator of the Bean exhibition, writes about the exhibition.

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Stanley, Peter: Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (6): ‘I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier’: pacifists

Stanley, Peter ‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (6): “I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier”: pacifists’, Honest History, 19 July 2016 This is an extract from Chapter 23 of John Connor, Peter Stanley & Peter Yule, The War

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From the Honest History archives: Alison Broinowski from October 2013 on Iraq 2003 and war powers reform

In the wake of the Chilcot report and recognising its relevance for Australia, we are re-running a perspicacious October 2013 piece from Alison Broinowski (vice president of both Honest History and Australians for War Powers Reform). Called ‘The streaker’s defence:

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Pennell, Catriona & Mark Sheehan: Official World War I memorial rituals could create a generation uncritical of the conflict

Catriona Pennell & Mark Sheehan ‘Official World War I memorial rituals could create a generation uncritical of the conflict‘, The Conversation, 12 July 2016 A New Zealand-United Kingdom co-written article with some Australian input from Christina Spittel of UNSW Canberra

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Sherratt, Tim: Investigating the Hansard black hole

Sherratt, Tim ‘Investigating the Hansard black hole‘, Tim Sherratt: Research Notebook, 29 May, 10 July 2016 Not about the Budget black hole this time but about deficiencies in the ParlInfo search engine which countless people have used for research in

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (5): Catholic and Protestant schooling in Gippsland

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series This series focuses on the home front and asks whether issues at home were actually the big stories of the Great War, especially of the years 1916-18. We have seen already how national issues like

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Chilcot lessons for Australia as well as for powerful friends: Honest History miscellany

After seven years, Sir John Chilcot has reported on how the United Kingdom found itself in Iraq in 2003 and what it all meant. Chilcot’s report considers the actions and words of British Prime Minister Blair, United States President George

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Broinowski, Alison: What are we willing to fight for? (review of James Brown)

Broinowski, Alison ‘What are we willing to fight for?‘, Independent Australia, 3 July 2016 Honest History Vice President, Alison Broinowski, reviews Firing Line: Australia’s Path to War Quarterly Essay 62 by James Brown (Anzac’s Long Shadow) and expands upon the

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Sharpe, Matthew: Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory

Sharpe, Matthew ‘Friday Essay: The Battle of the Somme and the death of martial glory‘, The Conversation, 1 July 2016 Commemorating the death today 100 years ago of over 19 000 British soldiers in a stupid venture. The generals learnt

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Öztürk, Özgür: Gallipoli campaign: a symbolic battleground

Öztürk, Özgür ‘Gallipoli campaign: a symbolic battleground‘, Geliboluyuanlamak (Understanding Gallipoli), 24 June 2016 This is an essay from a Turkish MA student on the blog of Dr Tuncay Yilmazer, a Turkish specialist in the Ottoman Empire and the Great War.

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Online Gem No. 10: Official histories of Australia at war

‘Online Gem No. 10: Official histories of Australia at war’, Honest History, 29 June 2016 Over the past century Australian governments have commissioned six separate series of official war histories, one for each of the major conflicts in which Australia

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Review note: Irish Easter Rising commemoration has lessons for Australia

‘Review note: Irish Easter Rising commemoration has lessons for Australia’, Honest History, 23 June 2016 I am just one-eighth Irish and by no means an expert in being Irish or in Irish history. But Honest History’s recent collecting of material

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (4): AIF enlistment starts to fall

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series One hundred years ago this month, as Anzac troops settled in on the Western Front – 600 had been killed by the end of June, enlistments in the AIF dropped to their lowest monthly total

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Brayley, Annabelle: Our Vietnam Nurses

Brayley, Annabelle Our Vietnam Nurses, Penguin, Sydney, 2016 When Australia joined the Vietnam War, civilian and military nurses were there to save lives and comfort the wounded. With spirit and good humour, they worked hard and held strong, even though

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Our Vietnam nurses’ stories should have been told before this (review of Brayley)

‘Our Vietnam nurses’ stories should have been told before this’ (review of Brayley), Honest History, 15 June 2016 Pamela Burton reviews Annabelle Brayley’s Our Vietnam Nurses. It is refreshing to read stories of heroism by those who travel to war

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James Brown’s Quarterly Essay, Firing Line: Australia’s Path to War, launching in June and July

James Brown’s Quarterly Essay, Firing Line: Australia’s Path to War, is launching during June and July in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney. Dates from 16 June and bookings are required in all venues. Details. James Brown investigates Australia at war.

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RSL members miffed as PM mentions Soldier On

The ABC has a story today that some RSL members who heard the prime minister’s speech to the RSL National Conference were upset that he mentioned the work of veterans’ organisation, Soldier On. A reading of the PM’s speech shows

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Stephens, David: Keepers of the flame: making war memorial councils more representative

David Stephens ‘Keepers of the flame: why do the people who control our war memorials look so different from the rest of us and why does this matter?’ Honest History, 7 June 2016 This article analyses the composition of the

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Dow, Aisha: Thousands face mental scars from modern war service

Dow, Aisha ‘Thousands face mental scars from modern war service‘, The Age, 5 June 2016 Like the generations before them, many of today’s returned soldiers are facing enormous challenges adapting back to everyday life. Forty-one Australians serving in the Australian

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A quick skim through some subscription journals: review note

‘Review note: a quick skim through some subscription journals’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 updated Update 18 June 2016: Nicholas Farrelly and James Giggacher write in the Canberra Times about the history of their highly successful academic blog, New Mandala,

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Cashen, Phil: Ireland, Empire and Irish-Australians

Cashen, Phil ‘Ireland, Empire and Irish-Australians‘, Shire at War, 4 June 2016 Microcosm in Yarram, Gippsland, Victoria, of tensions playing out across Australia. The article briefly outlines the movement towards Irish Home Rule, which stalled with the outbreak of war

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Keepers of the flame: making war memorial councils more representative

David Stephens ‘Keepers of the flame: why do the people who control our war memorials look so different from the rest of us and why does this matter?’ Honest History, 7 June 2016 updated Contents The Australian War Memorial Act

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18: a new series from Honest History

‘Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18: a new series from Honest History’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 updated   Dorothea Mackellar in theatrical costume, 1918 (Wikimedia Commons/SLNSW) In 1904, Dorothea Mackellar, then aged 19, wrote her poem ‘My country’, which included

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (3): trade unions and Irish Australians

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ___________________ By 1916 trade unions were pretty well established in Australia and so, for that matter, were people whose families came from Ireland. Catholics from Ireland probably tended to support the labour side in politics

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Hill, Anthony: For Love of Country

Hill, Anthony For Love of Country, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2016 At the close of the First World War, and after surviving a gas attack on the Western Front, Captain Walter Eddison moved his family from war-ravaged Britain to start a

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For love of country in war and peace (review of Anthony Hill)

‘For love of country in war and peace’ (review of Anthony Hill), Honest History, 7 June 2016 Gentle Reader reviews Anthony Hill’s For Love of Country. This book is described on the cover as ‘a true Australian family story of

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Moyal, Ann: Churchill and Gallipoli: a personal commentary

Moyal, Ann ‘Churchill and Gallipoli: a personal commentary‘, Honest History, 7 June 2016 Australian historian, Ann Moyal, knew Winston Churchill in his later life. Here she reflects on the letters Churchill wrote in 1915-16 to his wife, Clementine, and juxtaposes

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Churchill and Gallipoli: a personal commentary

Ann Moyal ‘Churchill and Gallipoli: a personal commentary’, Honest History, 7 June 2016 I have long enjoyed a personal and historical interest in Sir Winston Churchill. As a highly privileged young research assistant to Lord Beaverbrook, I spent a month

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Divided sunburnt country: Australia 1916-18 (2): the War Census

The ‘Divided sunburnt country’ series ________________ In 1915 Australians took part in a special census, called the War Census, ostensibly to help organise the country’s resources for total war but effectively to prepare for the introduction of conscription for war

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Wolf, Charlie & Athol Bittley: AFL club songs ranked by ambition and boastfulness

Wolf, Charlie & Athol Bittley ‘AFL club songs ranked by ambition and boastfulness‘, Thermocow, 27 May 2016 Now that we’ve got your attention … This article on a comedy blog is just a bit of fun but go beyond the

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Divided sunburnt country (1): Australia 1916-18: recruiting in Gippsland

This post is by way of being a ‘soft launch’ for a new Honest History series. We are using the series to explore a crucial question: whether what happened at home in Australia during the Great War was actually more

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Honest History sends copy of Alternative Guide to Australian War Memorial to every member of Memorial Council

Which word should we use to describe what happened on 25 April 1915: ‘landing’ or ‘invasion’? Why do we refer to dead soldiers as ‘the fallen’? Does the ‘freedom’ we are said to have fought for in our many wars

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Babkenian, Vicken & Peter Stanley: Armenia, Australia and the Great War

Vicken Babkenian & Peter Stanley Armenia, Australia and the Great War, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016; available electronically Australian civilians worked for decades supporting the survivors and orphans of the Armenian Genocide. 24 April 1915 marks the beginning of two great epics of

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Babkenian, Vicken & Peter Stanley: ‘Armenian propaganda uses the ANZAC’ [sic]: A response

Babkenian, Vicken & Peter Stanley ‘”Armenian propaganda uses the ANZAC [sic]”: A response’, Honest History, 19 May 2016 The Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance (ATA-A) website has published a review of Armenia, Australia and the Great War, by Vicken Babkenian and

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Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? (review of Babkenian and Stanley)

‘Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’ (review of Babkenian and Stanley), Honest History, 19 May 2016 Gareth Knapman reviews Armenia, Australia and the Great War by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley ‘Who, after all, speaks today of

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Newton, Douglas: The Centenary of the Great War – and Anzac (five articles)

Newton, Douglas ‘The Centenary of the Great War – and Anzac‘, Pearls and Irritations, 7 May 2016 This overview article links to four others on changing war aims during the Great War and lost opportunities for peace 1914-18. As well

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Douglas Newton confronts the really important questions about war

‘Douglas Newton confronts the really important questions about war’, Honest History, 16 May 2016 David Stephens reviews five articles by Douglas Newton that take us ‘behind the scenes’ in the Great War. The piece also appears in John Menadue’s blog,

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Snyder, Timothy: Poland vs history (Australian comparisons not far beneath)

Timothy Snyder ‘Poland vs history‘, New York Review of Books, 3 May 2016 updated In its exhibitions, the Museum of the Second World War [in Gdańsk, Poland] promised to tell the story of the 1930s and 1940s in an entirely

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ABC Radio National Big Ideas: Shell shock: a century of silence

ABC Radio National ‘Shell shock: a century of silence‘, Big Ideas, 25 April 2016 The affects and significance of shell shock have been underplayed for a century, according to Yale emeritus professor, Jay Winter. (Professor Winter is also associated with

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Their Great War and ours: the commemorative view from Europe

There was an interesting presentation at UNSW Canberra yesterday from Professor Oliver Janz of the Free University of Berlin. It brought out some differences between the way World War I is being commemorated in Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

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Frame, Tom, ed.: Anzac Day: Then & Now

Frame, Tom, ed. Anzac Day: Then & Now, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 John Connor, Jeff Doyle, Tom Frame, Michael Gladwin, Jeffrey Grey, Carolyn Holbrook, Ken Inglis, Gareth Knapman, John A. Moses, Heather Neilson, Robert Nichols, Christina Spittel and Peter Stanley explore

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Honest History: Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial

Update 13 June 2017: Look for the second edition of the Alternative Guide here. It contains pretty much everything that was in the first edition plus new material on World War II and later conflicts. The first edition has been

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Anzac Day then and now – and probably for the future (review of Frame anthology)

‘Anzac Day then and now – and probably for the future’ (review of Frame anthology), Honest History, 26 April 2016 Paddy Gourley reviews Anzac Day: Then & Now, edited by Tom Frame. This book has been produced by the Australian

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Across the sea to Ireland: Australians and the Easter Rising 1916 – highlights reel

‘Across the sea to Ireland: Australians and the Easter Rising 1916 – highlights reel’, Honest History, 26 April 2016 updated Update 22 February 2017: Stephanie James paper for UNSW Canberra: ‘Australian Political Perceptions of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin’.

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Review note: Vietnam – the war that made us what?

‘Review note: Vietnam – the war that made us what?’ Honest History, 26 April 2016 SBS showed a three-part series on the Vietnam War, Vietnam: The War that Made Australia (now on video), which had an unusually narrow focus and

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Alomes, Stephen: Our national folly: war romance and the Australian national imaginary

Alomes, Stephen ‘Our national folly: war romance and the Australian national imaginary‘, Anne-Marie Hede & Ruth Rentchsler, ed., Reflections on ANZAC Day: From One Millennium to the Next, Heidelberg Press, Heidelberg, Vic., 2010, pp. 89-105 (text made available by the

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Gilpin Faust, Drew: Two wars and the long twentieth century

Gilpin Faust, Drew ‘Two wars and the long twentieth century‘, New Yorker, 13 March 2015 Honest History just found this one but it is a useful comparison of the American Civil War and the Great War in terms of the

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Reynolds, Henry: Unnecessary Wars

Henry Reynolds Unnecessary Wars, NewSouth, Sydney, 2016 Update 21 October 2017: Henry Reynolds on unnecessary wars (Brisbane Peace Lecture 2017, as broadcast on ABC RN) ‘Australian governments find it easy to go to war. Their leaders seem to be able

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101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide: Honest History miscellany

‘101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide: another April date that today’s Australians overlook’, Honest History, 6 April 2016 updated Update 23 April 2019: a new book by Israeli historians, Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi, The Thirty-Year Genocide, is reviewed by

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Invasion, massacre and the Queen’s uniform: Honest History miscellany

‘Invasion, massacre and the Queen’s uniform: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 4 April 2016 updated This little collection pulls together a few threads relating to the following: the event of 1788 and afterwards that some of us call ‘white settlement’

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Five Inside Stories and four Conversations: Honest History miscellany

‘Five Inside Stories and four Conversations: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 22 March 2016 updated Recent update on the Reef 20 April 2016: ABC report on the extent of bleaching, including map, showing particularly the extreme position in the northern

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Edwell, Penny: Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North

Penny Edwell* ‘Review note: First World War Commemoration and Memory Conference, IWM North’, Honest History, 17 March 2016 Organised by the Imperial War Museum North Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers Network (FWW Network), the First World War: Commemoration and Memory

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Bird, Jacqueline: In the matter of Agent Orange: Vietnam veterans versus the Australian War Memorial

Bird, Jacqueline* ‘In the matter of Agent Orange: Vietnam veterans versus the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 15 March 2016 A detailed account of more than twenty years of history, leading up to the agreement by the Australian War Memorial

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Walsh, Michael JK & Andrekos Varnava, ed.: Australia and the Great War

Walsh, Michael JK & Andrekos Varnava, ed. Australia and the Great War: Identity, Memory and Mythology, MUP Academic, Carlton, 2016 Australia and the Great War explores both the immediate and long-term consequences of the war on this complex relationship, looking in

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In the matter of Agent Orange: Vietnam veterans versus the Australian War Memorial

Jacqueline Bird ‘In the matter of Agent Orange: Vietnam veterans versus the Australian War Memorial’, Honest History, 15 March 2016 * CONTENTS Opening comments Initial reaction to FB Smith’s work The 2008 trigger at the War Memorial The case against

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After the Fall: Singapore conference on World War I (review of Walsh and Varnava)

‘After the Fall: Singapore conference on World War I’, Honest History, 15 March 2016 updated David Stephens reviews Australia and the Great War: Identity, Memory and Mythology, edited by Michael JK Walsh and Andrekos Varnava Conference papers that wait too

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PM’s remembrance rhetoric and alleged DVA performance: a fascinating juxtaposition

Two events in the last week juxtaposed enlightened commemorative rhetoric and complaints about bureaucracy. The rhetoric came from the prime minister on 26 February, opening the new Soldier On Robert Poate Reintegration and Recovery Centre in Canberra. It is critical

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Fathi, Romain: ‘A piece of Australia in France’: Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux

Fathi, Romain ‘”A piece of Australia in France”: Australian authorities and the commemoration of Anzac Day at Villers-Bretonneux in the last decade’, Shanti Sumartojo & Ben Wellings, ed. Nation, Memory and Great War Communication, Peter Lang, Bern & Oxford, 2014,

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In the wake of the White Paper: does arms spending lead to war?

With the release of the Defence White Paper today, we are reposting a paper that we first posted in November 2014. The paper asks the question, ‘Does arms spending lead to war?’ The summary of our paper is here and

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Daley, Paul: Cultural institutions crisis and history being militarised

Daley, Paul ‘Our major cultural institutions are in crisis – and our history is being militarised‘, Guardian Australia, 22 February 2016 updated ‘What price do we put on a nation’s memory? And what should that memory recall?’ Analyses the current

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Bombing of Darwin remembered – in context

Update 10 March 2016: a new book by Brett Bowden on the bombing of Darwin. The new Minister for the Centenary of Anzac, Dan Tehan MP, has issued his first media release. It marks the 74th anniversary today of the

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Arbuckle, Alex Q.: 1965-1975 another Vietnam: unseen images of the war from the winning side

Arbuckle, Alex Q. ‘1965-1975 another Vietnam: unseen images of the war from the winning side‘, Mashable, 5 February 2016 Next month, 8 March, is the 50th anniversary of the Australian government’s announcement that its  commitment to the Vietnam War would

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McConnel, James & Peter Stanley: Australia fights Britain over Fromelles

McConnel, James & Peter Stanley ‘Fromelles: Australia picks a fresh fight with Britain over a 100-year-old battle‘, The Conversation, 10 February 2016 Riffs off Australian officials’ decision to exclude the families of British soldiers from attending the Fromelles commemoration in

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Smaal, Yorick: Sex, soldiers and the South Pacific

Smaal, Yorick Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific: Queer Identities in Australia in the Second World War, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2015 Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45 explores the queer dynamics of war across the Australia and forward bases

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Sex, soldiers and the South Pacific (review of Smaal)

‘Sex, soldiers and the South Pacific (review of Smaal)’, Honest History, 8 February 2016 Diane Bell* reviews Yorick Smaal’s Sex, Soldiers and the South Pacific, 1939-45: Queer Identities in Australia in the Second World War Note: The cover of the

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Review note: Stephens and Seal’s Remembering the Wars

‘Review note: Stephens and Seal’s Remembering the Wars: Commemoration in Western Australian Communities‘, Honest History, 6 February 2016 Anyone who’s spent time in country Australia will have noticed the centrality of a war memorial to nearly every community. Recently, memorials

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Fitzkrieg halted at New Directions in War and History Conference, Canberra

About 70 people attended this conference at ANU on 4-5 February, jointly run by the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at ANU and the Australian Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society at UNSW Canberra. Front-line conference wranglers

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Singing country: the importance of the song On every Anzac Day

David Stephens ‘Singing country: the musical legacy of David Morrison, Australian of the Year – and a straw in the wind at the Australian War Memorial?’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 Before David Morrison became Australian of the Year he

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‘Visitation’ numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?

David Stephens ‘“Visitation” numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?’ Honest History, 2 February 2016 updated The title of this piece needs some explanation. First, ‘visitation’. The author thought this word meant the visit

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Stephens, David: Singing country: the importance of the song On every Anzac Day

Stephens, David ‘Singing country: the musical legacy of David Morrison, Australian of the Year – and a straw in the wind at the Australian War Memorial?’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 The article looks at the story behind the song

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Stephens, David: ‘Visitation’ numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991

Stephens, David ‘“Visitation” numbers at the Australian War Memorial since 1991: is this joint really jumpin’?’ Honest History, 2 February 2016 updated Update 7 February 2017: One year on: analysis of visitor statistics in the Memorial’s Annual Report for 2015-16. (The

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High Commissioner Fisher talks up the war, January 1916: highlights reel

‘High Commissioner Fisher talks up the war, January 1916: Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 2 February 2016 Andrew Fisher left the Australian prime ministership on 30 October 1915 and, with his family, travelled to London to take up the

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Uyar, Mesut: Gallipoli ceasefire May 1915

Uyar, Mesut ‘Who called for a ceasefire? Gallipoli 1915‘, Wartime (Australian War Memorial) 73, Summer 2016, pp. 54-59 (pdf supplied by author) The author argues that the ceasefire of 24 May was needed, tricky to negotiate and raised issues of

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Pilger, John: Australia’s day for secrets, flags and cowards

Pilger, John ‘Australia’s day for secrets, flags and cowards‘, New Matilda, 23 January 2016 The original Australians are the oldest human presence. To the European invaders, they did not exist because their continent had been declared terra nullius: empty land. To

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Dean, Peter J.: Complexity and limitations of Australian army biography

Dean, Peter J. ‘Commemoration, memory, and forgotten histories: complexity and limitations of Australian army biography‘, War and Society, 29, 2, October 2010, pp. 118-36 Addresses the question ‘how far has biography been utilized in understanding the history of the Australian

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Connor, John, Peter Stanley & Peter Yule: World War I at home

Connor, John, Peter Stanley & Peter Yule The War at Home: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Volume 4, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2015 The War at Home interprets the experience of the Australian people during the

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Walsh, Nick: Kokoda Track

[Note: this post was originally published in January 2016] Nick Walsh Kokoda Track, The author, 2nd edition, Melbourne 2012 This little book (70 pages, a dozen photographs, two clear maps) was written by a veteran who died recently aged 100

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FitzSimons, Peter: Fromelles and Pozières: In the Trenches of Hell

Peter FitzSimons Fromelles and Pozières: In the Trenches of Hell, Random House, Sydney, 2015; electronic version available On 19 July 1916, 7000 Australian soldiers – in the first major action of the AIF on the Western Front – attacked entrenched

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The Fitzkrieg reaches Fromelles and Pozières (review of FitzSimons)

‘The Fitzkrieg reaches Fromelles and Pozières’, Honest History, 11 January 2016 David Stephens reviews Peter FitzSimons’ Fromelles and Pozières: In the Trenches of Hell. This is a better book than this reviewer expected. He edited a trenchant but balanced review

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Stephens, David: A century since we stole quietly away

Stephens, David ‘A century since we stole quietly away‘, Honest History, 23 December 2015 updated Marks the centenary of the evacuation of ANZAC troops from Gallipoli and describes the commemorative ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. Anzac remains, according to

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A century since we stole quietly away

David Stephens ‘A century since we stole quietly away’, Honest History, 23 December 2015 To judge from Trove (the National Library’s newspaper database) the first news of the successful evacuation from Gallipoli arrived in time for the evening editions of

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Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder

‘Honest History Christmas miscellany 2015: lots to read and ponder’, Honest History, 20 December 2015 Christmas often brings a reckoning and it is the same in our compact little enterprise. We would have loved to have afforded some of the

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Cahill, Rowan: two poets (Denis Kevans & Henry Weston Pryce) – review essay

Rowan Cahill ‘Two poets (Denis Kevans and Henry Weston Pryce), war and a manuscript: a review essay’, Honest History, 17 December 2015 In the Special Collections of the Australian Defence Force Academy’s (ADFA) Academic Library is a manuscript by poet

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Appleby, Gabrielle: what say do our elected representatives have in going to war?

Appleby, Gabrielle ‘What say do our elected representatives have in going to war?‘ The Conversation, 10 December 2015 updated The authorisation of military force is one of the most serious and consequential powers that governments possess. This power should be

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Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre: Land of opportunity (Post-War Reconstruction archives)

Powell, Graeme with Stuart Macintyre Land of Opportunity: Australia’s Post-War Reconstruction, National Archives of Australia, Canberra, 2015 This is 336 pages (30 chapters) of guidance to the files of the National Archives of Australia on a crucial decade of Australia’s

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Vatsikopoulos, Helen: Australian women war reporters (review of Baker)

Vatsikopoulos, Helen ‘Australian Women War Reporters review: how female journalists made it to battle‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 December 2015 Reviews Jeannine Baker’s Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam. Australian women journalists might have been granted equal pay

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Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka, ed.: Miles Franklin writings from the Balkans war

Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka (Millicent), ed. ‘Writings from the Balkan Theatre of War by Miles Franklin (Extracted from the Archives of the Mitchell Library)’, Transcultural Studies: A Series in Interdisciplinary Research, Special Issue: The Serbs and Miles Franklin in World War I

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Bell, Diane: Miles Franklin and the Serbs still matter: a review essay

Diane Bell* ‘Miles Franklin and the Serbs still matter: a review essay’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 [Publication details of the work reviewed: Vladiv-Glover, Slobodanka. (Editor). (2014). ‘Writings from the Balkan Theatre of War by Miles Franklin (Extracted from the Archives

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Going to the Flicks, Brisbane, November 1915

‘Going to the Flicks, Brisbane, November 1915: highlights reel’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 Brisbane Courier 26 November 1915 26 November 1915 was a Friday and it was the final night of the ‘stirring military program’ at the Strand Theatre

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Eales, Robert: Morant, the expendable icon & other Boer War resources

Eales, Robert ‘Morant, the expendable icon‘ (and other Boer War resources), Boer War Topics (website) Update 27 June 2017: discovery of artefacts possibly associated with Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant, conman, murderer – and victim. Update 13 June 2017: Boer War memorial

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Daley, Paul: Vietnam veteran who never really returned

Daley, Paul ‘“He should have died”: the Vietnam veteran who never really returned‘, Guardian Australia, 25 November 2015 Partly a review of historian Michael McKernan’s memoir (When this Thing Happened) about his brother-in-law, Joe Stawyskyj, a national servicemen, injured for

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Beaumont, Joan, Lachlan Grant & Aaron Pegram; ed.: Beyond surrender: POWs

Beaumont, Joan, Lachlan Grant & Aaron Pegram, ed. Beyond Surrender: Australian Prisoners of War in the Twentieth Century, Melbourne University Press, Carlton Vic. 2015; available electronically Over the twentieth century 35,000 Australians suffered as prisoners of war in conflicts ranging

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Fitting POWs into our skewed Anzac legend (review of Beyond Surrender)

‘Fitting POWs into our skewed Anzac legend’ (review of Beyond Surrender), Honest History, 25 November 2015 Kristen Alexander* reviews Beyond Surrender: Australian Prisoners of War in the Twentieth Century, edited by Joan Beaumont, Lachlan Grant and Aaron Pegram _____________________ As

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Henry, Adam : Nation-state, killing and death

Henry, Adam ‘The nation-state, killing and death‘, Library of Social Science Guest Newsletter, 7 October 2015 The author examines some paradoxes and hypocrisies in how nations, even ‘modern’ nations, rationalise their involvement with war. Despite the fact that graphic images

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White, Hugh: importance of self-reliance in defence

White, Hugh ‘Principle of self-reliance more important now than it has ever been‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 2015 The article looks at the implications of the government announcement that the Defence White Paper will not now be released until

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Tognolini, John: History Man’s Past; Brothers

Tognolini, John A History Man’s Past & Other People’s Stories: A Shared Memoir. Part One: Other People’s Wars, The author, Wellington, NSW, 2015; Brothers, Part One: Gallipoli 1915, The author, Wellington, NSW, 2015 The first book draws upon the author’s interviews

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A history man’s view of war (review of Tognolini)

‘A history man’s view of war’, Honest History, 18 November 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews A History Man’s Past & Other People’s Stories: A Shared Memoir. Part One: Other People’s Wars and Brothers, Part One: Gallipoli 1915, both by John Tognolini.

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Nelson, Robert: honour those who refused to go to war

Nelson, Robert ‘We should honour those who refused to go to war‘, Age, 11 November 2015 The author considers who and what is worthy of remembrance, noting the recently published book World War One: a History in 100 Stories. The

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Wellings, Ben: conscription referendums made our Great War different

Wellings, Ben ‘Only the conscription referendums made Australia’s Great War experience different‘, The Conversation, 10 November 2015 ‘Relegating the global and transnational dimensions and reiterating familiar – if erroneous – national narratives’, the author argues, ‘creates distortions in the image

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Hassan, Toni: what’s the War Memorial good for?

Hassan, Toni ‘The War Memorial: what’s it good for?‘ Age, 6 November 2015 Also in other Fairfax papers, this piece takes up themes common in Honest History: the Australian War Memorial shies away from recognising the Frontier Wars, it plays

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The first Anzac Day? Adelaide 1915: highlights reel

‘The first Anzac Day? Adelaide 1915: highlights reel’, Honest History, 13 October 2015 This year, 2015, as surely everyone knows now, is one hundred years since the Gallipoli landing/invasion, 25 April 1915, popularised as ‘Anzac’. But when was the first

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Online gem No.3: Canberra’s 1940 air crash

Online gem No. 3: Canberra’s 1940 air crash (13 October 2015 updated) On the morning of 13 August 1940 a Hudson A16-97 aircraft flying from Melbourne to Canberra crashed on the eastern approaches to Canberra’s airport. All ten people on

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War correspondents: Canberra memorial; resources on HH site

Update 25 October 2015: extract from Jeannine Baker’s Australian Women War Reporters: Boer War to Vietnam Update 26 September 2015: more from Nicholas Stuart and Gai Brodtmann MP. Update 25 September 2015: Helen Vatsikopoulos writes. A cheeky reflection from Mark

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Victoria, Brian: war remembrance in Japan (two parts)

Victoria, Brian ‘War remembrance in Japan’s Buddhist cemeteries, Part I: Kannon hears the cries of war‘, Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, Vol. 13, Issue 31, No. 3, August 3, 2015; ‘Part II: Transforming war criminals into Martyrs: “true words” on Mt.

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Stephens, David: three Canberra art exhibitions (review)

Stephens, David ‘Less twaddling by the lake: three art exhibitions in Canberra‘, Honest History, 16 September 2015 A review of Reality in flames at the Australian War Memorial, Heroes and villians: William Strutt’s Australia at the National Library of Australia

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Less twaddling by the lake: three Canberra art exhibitions

David Stephens ‘Less twaddling by the lake: three art exhibitions in Canberra’, Honest History, 16 September 2015 The three exhibitions covered in this review offer a multi-hued picture of parts of our history. The first show, Reality in flames, has

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 2 June 1915

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 2 June 1915 Our final insight into expatriate missionary life in the Ottoman Empire of 1915. Previous editions: 28 April, 5 May 1915, 12 May 1915, 19 May 1915, 26 May 1915. Again, thanks to Vicken Babkenian for unearthing

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Summers, Julie: Fashion on the ration: style in the Second World War

Summers, Julie Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War, Profile Books, London, 2015 From the young woman who avoided the dreaded ‘forces bloomers’ by making knickers from military-issue silk maps, to Vogue’s indomitable editor Audrey Withers, who

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Radojevic, Mira & Ljubodrag Dimic: Serbia in the Great War

Radojević, Mira & Ljubodrag Dimić Serbia in the Great War 1914-1918: a Short History, Srpska knjizevna zadruga (Serbian Literary Cooperative), Belgrade, 2nd edition, 2014 Serbia in the Great War 1914-1918 is a book of facts based on well-known sources and documents. Affirming

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Gluckstein, Donny, ed.: Fighting on all fronts

Gluckstein, Donny, ed. Fighting on All Fronts: Popular Resistance in the Second World War, Bookmarks, London, 2015 Collection of ten articles and introduction. Fighting on All Fronts brings together ten writers to take up the story of popular resistance. The

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Stephens, David: Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?

Stephens, David ‘Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?‘, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Honest History’s secretary and editor traces the often fraught relationship between Honest History and the Australian War Memorial, which

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Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?

David Stephens ‘Freedom and the Australian War Memorial: is Honest History not a force for good?’, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Communication has always been central to warfare. Carrier pigeons, flags, field telephones, Mel Gibson rushing through the trenches in

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Finding a thing to wear during World War II (review of Julie Summers)

‘Finding a thing to wear during World War II’, Honest History, 1 September 2015 Janet Wilson* reviews Fashion on the Ration: Style in the Second World War by Julie Summers This book accompanied an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum

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Redressing historical inadequacies? review of two books on two wars

‘Redressing historical inadequacies?’ Honest History, 1 September 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews Serbia in the Great War 1914-1918, by Mira Radojevic and Ljubodrag Dimic, and Fighting on All Fronts: Popular Resistance in the Second World War, edited by Donny Gluckstein. These

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 26 May 1915

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 26 May 1915 More insights into expatriate missionary life in the Ottoman Empire of 1915. Previous editions: 28 April, 5 May 1915, 12 May 1915, 19 May 1915. In this edition: [Translated from Ikdam:] While the English papers

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Taylor, Alan: Syria’s children (photographs)

Taylor, Alan ‘Syria’s children‘, The Atlantic, 27 August 2015 Contains 35 photographs of the effects of the war in Syria on children. It must be a question for countries contemplating involvement whether this will make things on the ground better

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Australia. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Armenian genocide FOI documents

Australia. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade FOI disclosure log reference nos 15/25024 and others, Freedom of Information This material was disclosed under FOI to Vache Kahramanian on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of Australia. Reference number 15/25024 is

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Furst, David, Tomas Munita et al: walking in war’s path

Furst, David, Tomas Munita, Jodi Rudoren, Isabel Kershner, Jon Huang, Sergio Pecanha ‘Walking in war’s path‘, New York Times, 22 August 2015 We don’t normally feature the Gaza Strip on Honest History but this is an exceptional piece of reportage

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Banivanua Mar, Tracey: Pacific people and war in Pacific

Banivanua Mar, Tracey ‘Remember the Pacific’s people when we remember the war in the Pacific‘, The Conversation, 19 August 2015 Summarises the story of war in the Pacific from the point-of-view of the people who lived there and had to

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Broinowski, Alison: mission creep into Syria

Broinowski, Alison ‘Borderless war or, when you get in a hole, stop digging‘, Pearls and Irritations, 15 August 2015 The United States has formally asked for Australian involvement in Syria. Honest History vice president had already posted this article on

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 19 May 2015

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 19 May 1915 We continue these insights into expatriate missionary life in the Ottoman Empire of 1915, presenting a different, English-language, view of the Dardanelles campaign. Previous editions: 28 April, 5 May 1915, 12 May

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Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment

‘Review note: Stuart Macintyre’s Australia’s Boldest Experiment‘, Honest History, 19 August 2015 updated World War I is far enough back for spruikers of a particular view of it to extract bits selectively from, say, the ambivalent Charles Bean and impress

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Reality of war deja vu, including Long Tan 49

We presented these items in our e-Newsletter no. 28 earlier in the month on the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima-Nagasaki (and the 100th anniversary of Lone Pine). We wanted to run them through again. Also, given today’s 49th anniversary of Long

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VP Day 70th anniversary: miscellany

‘VP Day 70th anniversary: Honest History miscellany’, Honest History, 16 August 2015 Anniversary Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan in 1945, commemorated as Victory in the Pacific Day. ABC News provided a comprehensive round-up. Geraldine Doogue

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Bowers, Mike: Anzac Cove and Gallipoli – interactive

Mike Bowers ‘Anzac Cove and Gallipoli: then and now – interactive‘, Guardian Australia, 25 April 2015 We missed it earlier but are running it now as it, briefly, won an award, until it was realised there had been a mistake.

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Spurling, Tom & JM Webb: World War I and Australian science

Spurling, Tom & John Mark Webb ‘The Great War brought us tragedy but it also birthed Australian science‘, The Conversation, 13 August 2013 Shows how the war enabled Australia to embrace science and technology innovation in a national way. Traces

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 12 May 1915

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 12 May 1915 We continue our presentation of these fascinating insights into expatriate missionary life in the Ottoman Empire of 1915. Previous editions: 28 April, 5 May 1915. Our colleague, Vicken Babkenian, who has sourced

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Rollo, Stuart: anti-semitic slogans on WWI memorial

Rollo, Stuart ‘In the most unlikely of places, anti-semitic tropes find new life‘, New Matilda, 11 August 2015 The author notes slogans ‘Victims of the Rothschilds’ on signs at the Light Horse Interchange, a war memorial road exchange at Eastern

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Sparrow, Jeff: owning up to our black history

Sparrow, Jeff ‘If black lives really matter in Australia, it’s time we owned up to our history’, Guardian Australia, 7 August 2015 Weaves together Adam Goodes, the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign in the United States, the treatment of Pacific Islander

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Wilfred Burchett in Hiroshima: highlights reel

‘Wilfred Burchett in Hiroshima: highlights reel’, Honest History, 9 August 2015 Today is the 70th anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. By the end of 1945 up to 80 000 people in Nagasaki had died

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Hiroshima-Nagasaki and Lone Pine: miscellany

‘Hiroshima-Nagasaki and Lone Pine: miscellany’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 Battle of Lone Pine (Battle of Kanlı Sırt), 6-10 August 1915 Bombing of Hiroshima, 6 August 1945 Bombing of Nagasaki, 9 August 1945 (Images warning) Update 12 August 2015: a

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Stephens, David: And the children went: Hands on History at the War Memorial

Stephens, David ‘“And the children went”: Hands on History at the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 4 August 2015 A description of a ‘Hands on History’ session for school children on holidays, leading in to an assessment of how the

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Heaton, Barbara Carol: coal miners during World War II

Heaton, Barbara Carol* ‘A history of unrest and turmoil: coal miners during World War II’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 An examination of coal mining in wartime, drawing heavily on resources collected by former mining official, Jim Comerford, and now

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And the children went: Hands on History at the War Memorial

David Stephens ‘”And the children went”: Hands on History at the Australian War Memorial in the school holidays’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 During the last school holidays, the Australian War Memorial ran some ‘Hands on History’ sessions for children.

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Coal miners during World War II

Barbara Carol Heaton* ‘A history of unrest and turmoil: coal miners during World War II’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 Controversy continues over the role of militant unions in Australia during World War II. While the sharpest focus has been

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War Census 1915 (Part II)

‘The War Census of 1915: Honest History highlights reel (Part II)’, Honest History, 4 August 2015 War worries are added to by the census, which probes into the pockets and the soul of every citizen, asking him in plain print

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Buckley, Ian: Australia’s foreign wars, Boer to Iraq

Buckley, Ian ‘Australia’s foreign wars: origins, costs, future?! and other essays‘, Honest History, 4 August 2015 While we have categorised this as one post, it actually links to a trove of articles by this deep-thinking now 90-year-old. The articles link

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Four takes on war and how to look at it

We wanted to run these again, particularly a week ahead of the simultaneous (pretty much) anniversaries of Lone Pine and Hiroshima. The first two items put our war history in perspective; the third might look like an easy mark but

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If not the Bush then what?

These four quotes from our Whizzbangs collection suggest that, while the Bush may have made us, we’ve moved on to drier country. We ignite Whizzbangs in our monthly newsletters. Before. ‘It is easy enough to see why men went to the

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Menadue, John: militarisation the new norm

Menadue, John ‘Militarisation, the new norm‘, Pearls and Irritations, 27 July 2015 Menadue, distinguished former senior public servant, writes on his blog about the increasing militarisation of Australia, through the creation of the Australian Border Force, military vice-regal appointments, warlike

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 5 May 1915

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 5 May 2015 This is the complete edition for the date shown of an English language weekly newsletter published by the American missionaries in Constantinople. The issues from 1915 provide great insight from the ‘other side’

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Kalagian Blunt, Ashley: life after genocide

Ashley Kalagian Blunt ‘Life after genocide: legacies of a shattered culture‘, Griffith Review, July 2015 A Canadian-Armenian now living in Australia examines her heritage and touches on Australian connections as well. She notes how the Armenian genocide provided lessons for

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Australian War Memorial: Reality in Flames

Australian War Memorial Reality in Flames: Modern Australian Art & the Second World War Opened on 3 July 2015, this is ‘the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to exploring how Australian modernist artists responded creatively to the Second World War’. Modern

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Robertson, Tim: foreign fighter with Anzac spirit

Robertson, Tim ‘Foreign fighter with the “Anzac spirit”‘, Eureka Street, 12 July 2015 Brief article on Reece Harding, killed fighting with Kurdish Peshmerga forces against Islamic State. Harding was technically in breach of Australian law, though Robertson describes the factors

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ANZUS-China miscellany

‘ANZUS-China miscellany’, Honest History, 17 July 2015 Update 18 July 2015: Chinese Ambassador Ma attempts to reassure Australia about China’s benign intentions. _____________________________ Recently Honest History collected some material on China-Japan-Australia-US relations and ran it under the heading ‘Spratlyswatch’. While

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Broinowski, Alison: Toxic warfare (Agent Orange)

Broinowski, Alison ‘Toxic warfare: Agent Orange revisited‘, Honest History, 16 July 2015 The article comments on the decision by the Australian War Memorial Council to commission a further volume on the medical aspects of the Vietnam War. Also relevant are

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Toxic warfare: revisiting Agent Orange

Alison Broinowski ‘Toxic warfare: revisiting Agent Orange’, Honest History, 16 July 2015 Soon after the Australian War Memorial announced that three new histories of the wars in East Timor, Afghanistan, and Iraq (to 2014) are to be written in the

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Bible House, Constantinople: The Orient, 28 April 1915

Bible House, Constantinople The Orient, 28 April 1915 An unusual post for Honest History but a fascinating one, this is the complete edition for the date shown of an English language weekly newsletter published by the American missionaries in Constantinople. The

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