About Home front

Click here for all items related to: Home front Here there are references which bring out clearly how there is more to war history than the deeds of men in khaki and that this is the case not just in

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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

On Wednesday in Ballarat, Minister Tehan will attend a national service in Ballarat to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore (15 February 1942) and all Australian prisoners of war. This should be an occasion also to take

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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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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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Cashen, Phil: The war against drink

Phil Cashen ‘The war against drink‘, Shire at War, 9 December 2016 Another post from the excellent Shire at War blog from down Alberton way in Gippsland. This one is about local efforts to defeat the demon drink during the

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Horrocks, Lucinda: Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat

Horrocks, Lucinda ‘Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat‘, Honest History, 8 August 2016 Hearing about this Ballarat project, Honest History agreed with producer Lucinda Horrocks that she should describe what the project set out to do,

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Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat

Lucinda Horrocks ‘Memories of war: A film and research project in Ballarat’, Honest History, 8 August 2016 In 2014 I embarked on a collaborative film and research project to explore the history and impact of World War I in the

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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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Review note: Maggie’s Kitchen can be read between courses

‘Review note: Maggie’s Kitchen can be read between courses’, Honest History, 27 July 2016 Gentle Reader* reviews a war book that mixes fiction and fact. Maggie’s Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is technically fiction but it manages to weave in a

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

Stephens, David ‘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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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 Contents The Australian War Memorial Act 1980

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

Honest History ‘Honest History’s Alternative Guide to the Australian War Memorial‘, Honest History, 26 April 2016 updated Update 1 November 2016: the Alternative Guide has been downloaded 1672 times since Anzac Day although the War Memorial Council has said it

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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 16 June 2016: David Hayes in Inside Story writes about the 2016 commemoration in Ireland and the links to

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Smith, Tony: I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier

Smith, Tony ‘“I didn’t raise my son to be a soldier”: a presentation to the National Folklore Conference, Canberra, Easter 2016‘, Australian Folklore Network, April 2016 Starts from the broad context of the Anzac centenary, looks at the range of

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Half the world away at home (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule)

‘Half the world away at home’ (review of Connor, Stanley & Yule), Honest History, 15 March 2016 Derek Abbott* reviews The War at Home: The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Volume 4, by John Connor, Peter Stanley

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Cashen, Phil: Soldiers’ farewells 1915

Cashen, Phil ‘Soldiers’ farewells‘, Shire at War, 18 February 2016 Another well-researched piece from Gippsland, this one analysing local newspaper reports on 30 farewells to local soldiers during 1915. Many more men enlisted than received farewells (which is interesting in

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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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Clarke, Patricia & Niki Francis: Canberra women in World War I

Clarke, Patricia & Niki Francis ‘Canberra women in World War I: community at home, nurses abroad‘, Women Australia, December 2015 An essay about the role played in the Great War by the women of Canberra – the town was one

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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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World War I internment case rings ‘national security’ bells today

What happens in Marrickville today would have been of interest to the enforcers of the War Precautions Act 1914 had it happened a century ago. Sunday, 22 November 2015, saw the Gallipoli Centenary Peace Campaign (GCPC) and St Brigid’s Parish

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Scates, Bruce, Rebecca Wheatley & Laura James: 100 Stories

Scates, Bruce, Rebecca Wheatley & Laura James World War One: A History in 100 Stories, Penguin, Melbourne, 2015 A long-awaited product of a complex project to tell the stories of many people affected by the Great War. There is also

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What is history? (review of Scates et al)

‘What is history? An old question; a new answer?’ Honest History, 1 December 2015 Jim Windeyer* reviews World War One: A History in 100 Stories by Bruce Scates, Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James. Another review by David Stephens. Jim Windeyer

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Subversive stories of an old war (review of Scates et al)

‘Subversive stories of an old war’, Honest History, 1 December 2015 David Stephens reviews World War One: A History in 100 Stories, by Bruce Scates, Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James. Another review by Jim Windeyer. __________________________________ This book is sentimental

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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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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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Spittel, Christina: Australia in the Great War (review of AWM WWI galleries)

Spittel, Christina* ‘Australia in the Great War‘, reCollections, vol. 10, no. 2, October 2015 This review of the refurbished World War I galleries at the Australian War Memorial was published in the online journal of the National Museum of Australia.

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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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Cashen, Phil: anti-German sentiment in Gippsland 1915

Cashen, Phil ‘Anti-German sentiment in the Shire of Alberton to the end of 1915‘, Shire at War, 7 November 2015 Thorough local research from this Gippsland-based blogger on the degree that people used the anti-German hysteria to flaunt their patriotism.

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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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Benbow, Heather Merle: emotional meaning of food in wartime

Benbow, Heather Merle ‘Feeding the troops: the emotional meaning of food in wartime‘, The Conversation, 30 September 2015 Food is central to experiences of war [the author says], and not just for the soldiers for whom it is a daily

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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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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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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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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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Cashen, Phil: pressed to enlist, 1915

Cashen, Phil ‘Pressed to enlist in the first half of 1915‘, Shire at War, 1 July 2015 From the excellent Shire at War blog, out of Alberton, Gippsland, Victoria, comes this forensic examination of a war of letters to the

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Review note: Australia and the First World War (Australian Historical Studies)

‘Review note: AHS Classics virtual issue “Australia and the First World War” (Australian Historical Studies)’, Honest History, 12 July 2015 This virtual issue ‘reprints’ seven articles with an introductory essay from Bart Ziino. They are all free access until end

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Review note: WWI in Australia (Journal of Australian Studies)

‘Review note: World War I in Australia (Journal of Australian Studies, virtual special issue, April 2015)’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 We recently noted difficulties of access with some online journals. This issue of the Journal of Australian Studies, published

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War Census 1915 (Part I)

‘The War Census of 1915: Honest History highlights reel (Part I)’, Honest History, 7 July 2015 Some historians and observers say that Gallipoli saw the birth of the Australian nation as men flocked to the colours. Others argue that the

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Sheralyn Rose responds to Honest History

‘Sheralyn Rose responds to Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 18 June 2015 Dr Sheralyn Rose, the wife of a Vietnam veteran, has responded to our highlights reel on Vietnam mythbusting. Rather than ask her to provide this material as

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Vietnam Veterans’ Federation responds to Honest History

‘Vietnam Veterans’ Federation responds to Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 12 June 2015 The Vietnam Veterans’ Federation through its national research officer, Graham Walker, has responded to our highlights reel on Vietnam mythbusting. Rather than ask Graham Walker to

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Dapin, Mark: The Nashos’ War

Dapin, Mark The Nashos’ War: Australia’s National Servicemen and Vietnam, Penguin Viking, Melbourne, 2014 [O]ur ideas of national service contain strange contradictions and inaccuracies: that the draft was unpopular but militarily necessary; that the nashos in Vietnam all volunteered to

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Mythbusting about Vietnam: highlights reel

‘Mythbusting about Australians returned from Vietnam: Honest History highlights reel’, Honest History, 9 June 2015 updated UPDATE 14 July 2015: further volume planned on medical aspects of Vietnam War service. Comment by Alison Broinowski. UPDATE 18 June 2015: Dr Sheralyn

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McQueen, Humphrey: on CJ Dennis (1977)

McQueen, Humphrey ‘Sentimental thoughts of “A moody bloke”‘, Gallipoli to Petrov: Arguing with Australian History, George Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1984, pp. 23-34 (pdf of out-of-copyright material made available by the author) This piece was originally written in 1977. (You

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Smith, Tony: The Peace Angel (anti-war song)

Smith, Tony ‘The Peace Angel’, Honest History, 29 May 2015 The song (lyrics below by Tony Smith) is sung here by Gene Smith. Maggie Thorp (Margaret Sturge Watts) was a Quaker and a life-long agitator and worker for progressive causes.

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National Museum of Australia: Home front exhibition

National Museum of Australia The Home Front: Australia during the First World War The exhibition opened on 3 April 2015 and will run till 11 October. The Home Front explores the pride, sorrow, passion, wonder and joy experienced by Australians far

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Gamut of emotions: the Home Front at the National Museum

‘Gamut of emotions: the Home Front at the National Museum’, Honest History, 12 May 2015 Michael Piggott reviews the National Museum of Australia’s exhibition, The Home Front. Here’s a challenge to think about over the next ten minutes. If you

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Philpott, William: Attrition: Fighting the First World War

Philpott, William Attrition: Fighting the First World War, Little Brown, London, 2014 The First World War was too big to be grasped by its participants. In the retelling of their war in the competing memories of leaders and commanders, and

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War in the long run

‘War in the long run’, Honest History, 12 May 2015 Derek Abbott* reviews William Philpott’s Attrition: Fighting the First World War The historiography of World War I is a bitterly contested area: a necessary war to defeat Prussian militarism; a

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National Portrait Gallery: All That Fall exhibition

National Portrait Gallery All That Fall: Sacrifice, Life and Loss in the First World War The exhibition runs from Friday, 27 March until Sunday, 26 July 2015. Focussing on the wide-ranging theme of loss and absence, this exhibition provides a

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Small but powerful: two Canberra Great War exhibitions

‘Small but powerful: two Canberra Great War exhibitions’, Honest History, 13 April 2015 David Stephens reviews All That Fall at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, and When Hall Answered the Call at the Hall School Museum, Hall, A.C.T. You only

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Grey, Jeffrey, ed.: Great War centenary history

Grey, Jeffrey, ed. The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, 2014-16 Five volume set, including Australia and the War in the Air (Volume 1) by Michael Molkentin, reviewed by Kristen Alexander, The War

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Perkins, Cathy: A spoonful of blood

Perkins, Cathy ‘A spoonful of blood‘, Meanjin, 13 March 2015 On the life and work of Zora Cross (1890-1964), an Australian poet active during and after the Great War. Her poetry collection Songs of Love and Life was a publishing event, with

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Jones, Peter: It’s also brave to stand for peace

Jones, Peter ‘Talking point: it’s also brave to stand for peace‘, Mercury (Hobart) , 28 February 2015 Discusses Australian conscientious objection during World War I, as set out in an exhibition in Hobart. As Henry Reynolds told his audience at

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Featherstone, Don (dir.): The War that Changed Us

Featherstone, Don (dir.) The War that Changed Us, Electric Pictures, 2014 Documentary (four parts) about Australia during World War I, produced by Andrew Ogilvie and scripted by Clare Wright and the director. It follows the stories of six people, who

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McKernan, Michael: WWI: Love & Sorrow

McKernan, Michael ‘WWI: Love & sorrow‘, reCollections (National Museum of Australia), 10, 1, 2015 Review of this exhibition, which is at the Melbourne Museum until November 2018. This is an exhibition [says McKernan] that openly and deliberately works on the

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Robertson, Emily: Propaganda at home (Australia)

Robertson, Emily ‘Propaganda at home (Australia)‘, Ute Daniel et al., ed., 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, 2015 Australian government propaganda was subordinate to state and federal recruiting bodies and thus was mainly tasked with maintaining

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Stephens, David: Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s WWI galleries

David Stephens ‘Is this “our story”? Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s refurbished World War I galleries’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 Update 20 November 2015: a review from Christina Spittel of UNSW Canberra in the National Museum’s reCollections

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Is this ‘our story’? AWM’s refurbished WWI galleries

‘Is this “our story”? Another look at the Australian War Memorial’s refurbished World War I galleries’, Honest History, 3 March 2015 David Stephens takes a further look at the new galleries. There are launches and launches. The Australian War Memorial

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Stephens, David: Two views of World War I: War Memorial and National Library

David Stephens ‘Two views of World War I: sight-bites and Keepsakes‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 The article is a review of the refurbished World War I galleries of the Australian War Memorial and the temporary Keepsakes exhibition at the

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Two views of World War I: War Memorial and National Library

‘Two views of World War I: sight-bites and Keepsakes‘, Honest History, 3 February 2015 David Stephens reviews the refurbished World War I galleries at the Australian War Memorial and the Keepsakes exhibition at the National Library of Australia. (A further

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Direct Action, then and now

Direct Action a century ago was a newspaper published in Sydney by the International Workers of the World. Its first edition, dated November 1914, included a cartoon, ‘The advancing proletariat’, the words of ‘The Internationale’ and articles critical of the

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Highlights reel: patriotic poems from Perth

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Stanley, Peter: Who are the liars? Response to Colebatch

Stanley, Peter ‘“Who are the liars?” A response to Hal Colebatch’s Australia’s Secret War‘, Honest History, 17 December 2014 Professor Stanley closely analyses Dr Colebatch’s book, joint winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History 2014. Professor Stanley concludes

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Who are the liars? Response to Colebatch

Peter Stanley ‘”Who are the liars?” A response to Hal Colebatch’s Australia’s Secret War’, Honest History, 17 December 2014 Hal Colebatch asks in Quadrant Online, ‘So, Professor Stanley, Who Are the Liars?’ Er, no one, I answer. Who says that

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Colebatching: a previous joint winner on the PM’s award

Peter Stanley, Honest History President and previous joint winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for History, has written on The Drum about the work of the most recent joint winner, Hal GP Colebatch (Australia’s Secret War). Colebatch’s Australia’s Secret War

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Faber, David & Robert Henry: Remembrance duet

Faber, David & Robert Henry ‘Remembrance duet‘, Honest History, 2 December 2014 These two pieces, David Faber’s story of the Dardanelles cenotaph in Adelaide and Robert Henry’s poem ‘The valley’, illustrate how people at home tried to come to grips

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Remembrance duet

David Faber and Robert Henry ‘Remembrance duet’, Honest History, 2 December 2014 ‘The Dardanelles cenotaph: our unknown war memorial’ by David Faber © A war memorial stands unobtrusively in Adelaide’s South Parklands. Life flows quietly around this cenotaph and little attention

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Socialist Alternative: War! What For?

Socialist Alternative War? What For? an Anti-War Centenary Newspaper, Socialist Alternative, Carlton South, Vic., 2014 The presentation and use of history during the centenary of the Great War should involve the exposure of conflicting, evidence-based interpretations. This publication from Socialist

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Department of Veterans’ Affairs: Schooling, Service and the Great War

Veterans’ Affairs, Department of Schooling, Service and the Great War, The Department, Canberra, 2014 A secondary (Year 9) education resource, put together by DVA’s Commemoration Branch and Dr Rosalie Triolo of Monash University. This educational resource investigates the diverse experiences

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Those who teach, fight

‘Those who teach, fight’*, Honest History, 4 November 2014 David Stephens reviews a recent publication by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Schooling, Service and the Great War. _____________________________________________ The educational materials offered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) have

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Cashen, Phil: Blogging the Great War

Cashen, Phil ‘Blogging the Great War from Gippsland‘, Honest History, 4 November 2014 Retired school principal and historian, Phil Cashen, writes about how he set up a blog, Shireatwar.com, on the story of the Shire of Alberton, Victoria, during the

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Blogging the Great War from Gippsland

Phil Cashen ‘Blogging the Great War from Gippsland’, Honest History, 4 November 2014 The genesis for the blog, Shireatwar.com, came from family history. My wife’s family came from the Shire of Alberton in Gippsland. They were dairy farmers. In World

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Pedersen, Peter: Anzac Treasures

Pedersen, Peter Anzac Treasures: The Gallipoli Collection of the Australian War Memorial, Murdoch Books, Crows Nest, NSW, 2014 This landmark publication commemorates the centenary of the Great War’s Gallipoli campaign, 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916. ANZAC Treasures approaches the

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Anzac Treasures follows a well-worn track

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Columbans: Way of Peace materials

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Reid, Richard: Faraway experience

Reid, Richard ‘That faraway experience: some thoughts on family history and the Western Front‘, Honest History, 7 October 2014 This article is based on a talk given to launch Family History Month at the National Archives of Australia head office,

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That faraway experience: family history and the Western Front

Reid, Richard ‘That faraway experience: some thoughts on family history and the Western Front’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 I had an uncle, John Holmes Wherry, my mother’s eldest brother in a family of six, who fought on the Western

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Lest We Forget collection reviewed

‘Lest We Forget comes out of the West’, Honest History, 7 October 2014 Paddy Gourley* reviews Bobbie Oliver & Sue Summers, ed., Lest We Forget? Marginalised Aspects of Australia at War and Peace, Black Swan Press, Curtin University, Perth, WA,

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Sydney Great War exhibition looks at both sides

State Records of New South Wales has announced a number of initiatives which promise to give a reasonably balanced view of the state during the years 1914-18. The New South Wales Anzac Centenary website is in three parts: In Service –

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Going home: The War that Changed Us, ep. 4

‘Going Home’, the final episode of The War that Changed Us, mostly covers 1918 and the first year of peace but otherwise continues the approach of earlier episodes, interweaving the experiences of its six lead characters in Europe and Australia.

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Things come apart: The War that Changed Us, ep. 3

By episode 3 of The War that Changed Us, we’ve fully adjusted to its dramatised documentary approach, its repeated home front-front line segues, its six main actors’ role types, the expert commentators, colourised footage and stills, narrating voice-over hinting at

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Laugesen, Amanda: Language, soldiers, Great War

Laugesen, Amanda ‘Language, Australian soldiers, and the First World War’, Honest History, 1 September 2014 The illustrated text of a lecture at Manning Clark House, Canberra, 21 July 2014, on the language experience of ordinary people caught up in war.

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The War that Changed Us (Ep. 2): euphoria becomes hard slog

We were a bit late catching up with this week’s episode but this is what we thought. Episode 2 of The War that Changed Us grasps how quickly the mood changed in World War I, both among the men who

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Rizzetti, Janine: Victorians and WWI home front

Rizzetti, Janine ‘RHSV Conference: The Other Face of War: Victorians and the Home Front‘, The Resident Judge of Port Phillip [blog], 11 August 2014 Report of conference of Royal Historical Society of Victoria. Speakers included Bart Ziino (Deakin University) who ‘challenged

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The War that Changed Us not rose-tinted

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Masanauskas, John: Melbourne pictures

Masanauskas, John ‘Haunting images of the streets that were once home to Melbourne’s slums‘, Herald-Sun, 11 August 2014 Photo essay of slum streets 1936-83. The piece links to similar essays on other aspects of Melbourne life, including series for each

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Bastian, Peter: Andrew Fisher

Bastian, Peter Andrew Fisher: an Underestimated Man, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2009 Hoping to set the record straight, this biography asks why one of Australia’s greatest reformers has sunk into obscurity. Calling for a reevaluation of Andew Fisher’s career,

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Labour and the Great War reviewed

‘Labour and the Great War from a dozen perspectives’, Honest History, 4 August 2014 Ernst Willheim* reviews Frank Bongiorno, Raelene Frances and Bruce Scates, ed., Labour and the Great War: The Australian Working Class and the Making of Anzac, Australian

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Bongiorno, Frank, et al, ed.: Labour and the Great War

Bongiorno, Frank, Rae Frances & Bruce Scates, ed., Labour and the Great War: The Australian Working Class and the Making of Anzac, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History, Special edition, Labour History, 106, May 2014 Examines the awkward

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Oliver, Bobbie & Sue Summers, ed.: marginalised remembrance

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Leslie Jauncey writes to a grieving Amy O’Malley (12 June 2014)

Leslie and Beatrice Jauncey became close to King and Amy (Aimee) O’Malley. Our researcher, Steve Flora, himself born a mere 900 or so kilometres from King’s probable birthplace in Valley Falls, Kansas, has become close to all four of them

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Stanley, Peter: Lost Boys of Anzac

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Cain, Frank: Wobblies and World War I

Cain, Frank The Wobblies at War: a History of the IWW and the Great War in Australia, Spectrum Publications, Melbourne, 1993 A simple account of an important industrial and political struggle on the home front. Frank Cain’s book traces the

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Murphy, DJ: TJ Ryan biography

Murphy, DJ TJ Ryan: a Political Biography, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1990; first published 1975 T.J. Ryan was … elected Labor Premier of Queensland against the turbulent background of World War I. His Labor government set the foundations

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Colebatch, Hal GP: Australia’s secret war

Colebatch, Hal GP Australia’s Secret War: How Unions Sabotaged our Troops in World War II, Quadrant Books, Balmain, NSW, 2013 Describes strikes and other industrial action on the waterfront during the war, its impact on the war effort and the

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Williams, John F. : German Anzacs

Williams, John F. German Anzacs and the First World War, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2003 Tells the story of German descent Australians who fought for Australia against Germany. A review is here.

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Beaumont, Joan: Broken Nation

Beaumont, Joan Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2013 The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli have

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Lake, Marilyn: Fractured nation

Lake, Marilyn ‘Fractured nation’, Honest History e-Newsletter No. 6, October 2013 Marilyn Lake writes that World War I led to the desolation of the national spirit, the nation’s joie de vivre and its high reputation in the world as an

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Triolo, Rosalie: Our schools and the war

Triolo, Rosalie Our Schools and the War: Victoria’s Education Department and the Great War, 1914-18, Australian Scholarly Publishing, North Melbourne, Vic., 2012 The Great War profoundly touched the lives of Australian teachers, school children and local communities, and with lasting

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Fitzhardinge, LF: Hughes

Fitzhardinge, LF William Morris Hughes: A Political Biography: Vol. 1: That Fiery Particle, 1862-1914; Vol. 2: The Little Digger, 1914-1952, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1978, 1979; electronic version available Fifty years of history of Australia as a nation from the

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Vidal, Katie, Cathie Arkell & Joan Williamson: Wives of war

Vidal, Katie, Cathie Arkell & Joan Williamson Wives of War  (2009) (videos and transcripts) Wives from Afghanistan-Iraq, Vietnam and World War II talk about the impact of war service on them, their families and their husbands.

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Fractured nation

‘During World War 1 Australia lost its way. Its enmeshment in the European war fractured the nation’s soul.’ Marilyn Lake In the year 1913 Canberra was born as our national capital on the very eve – as we now know

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Robson, LL: First AIF

Robson, LL The First A.I.F: A Study of Its Recruitment 1914-1918, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., 1970; paperback edition 1982 Tells the story of the early recruiting drives, the failure of the voluntary system, the conscription referendums and the division

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McKernan, Michael: This war never ends

McKernan, Michael This War Never Ends: Australian Pows and Families, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, Qld, 2001 An absorbing examination of what it was like to wait and to worry on the homefront during the years of the loved

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McKernan, Michael: Great War

McKernan, Michael The Australian People and the Great War, Thomas Nelson, West Melbourne, Vic., 1980; later editions Fascinating account of Australian society during WWI, with focus on churches, women, young people below conscription age and ethnic groups, such as German

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McKernan, Michael: Churches and the Great War

McKernan, Michael Australian Churches at War: Attitudes and Activities of the Major Churches, 1914-1918, Catholic Theological Faculty & Australian War Memorial, Sydney & Canberra, 1980 Based on the author’s thesis. The author discusses here (2004) the role of the churches,

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McKernan, Michael: Strength of a nation

McKernan, Michael The Strength of a Nation: Six Years of Australians Fighting for the Nation and Defending the Homefront in WWII, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, NSW, 2006; kindle edition Nearly one million Australians out of a total population of

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Damousi, Joy & Marilyn Lake, ed.: Gender and war

Damousi, Joy & Marilyn Lake, ed. Gender and War: Australians at War in the Twentieth Century, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2nd edition, 2011; first published 1995 Essays which explore ‘the inter-relationship of gender and war in Australia for the first

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Damousi, Joy: Aftermath

Damousi, Joy Living with the Aftermath: Trauma, Nostalgia and Grief in Post-war Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 2001; e-book available The book ‘based on oral testimonies, focuses on the shifting patterns of mourning and grief in the experiences of Australian

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Damousi, Joy: Labour of Loss

Damousi, Joy The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, 1999; e-book available The Labour of Loss explores how mothers, fathers, widows, relatives and friends dealt with their experiences of grief and loss

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Australian War Memorial: Australians at War

Australian War Memorial Australians at War Massive store of materials, under concise summaries, relating to the colonial period and 14 theatres of war. Includes links to the complete text of the official histories of the two World Wars, the Korean

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Caulfield, Michael: Vietnam years

Caulfield, Michael The Vietnam Years: From the Jungle to the Australian Suburbs, Hachette Australia, Sydney, 2007 Contains many extracts from interviews with both Vietnam veterans and Australians who opposed our involvement in the war. There are recollections of both the

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Australian War Memorial: Afghanistan exhibition

Australian War Memorial Afghanistan: The Australian Story Online version of exhibition at the Memorial opened August 2013. Stresses the impact on soldiers and families. Contains many short videos of soldiers’ and families’ stories. Honest History noted the exhibition here (under

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Lester, Tim: The fallen

Lester, Tim ‘The fallen‘, Sydney Morning Herald [various dates] (video series) Interviews by Tim Lester with families and friends of five soldiers killed in Afghanistan. While the war is recent the sentiments are timeless – impact on loved ones, sadness but

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Inglis, KS: One day will endure (1964)

Inglis, KS ‘Anzac Day: the One Day will endure’, John Lack. ed., Anzac Remembered: Selected Writings by K.S. Inglis, History Department, University of Melbourne, 1998, pp. 13-17; first published, The Age, 25 April 1964 Discusses early arguments about Anzac Day,

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Stanley, Peter: Digger Smith

Stanley, Peter Digger Smith and Australia’s Great War, Murdoch/Pier 9, Sydney, 2011 Explores the history of forty Smiths (and Schmidts), taking Smith as ‘Everyman’ and thus exploring Australia’s experience of World War I, at the front and at home. Not

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Daley, Paul: Remembrance Day 2010

Daley, Paul ‘As long as we always remember them…‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 14 November 2010 Compares Australian attitudes to Remembrance and Anzac Days, suggesting this grew from the early attitudes of the Diggers, who felt the former day was more

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Dean, Peter J, ed.: 1942

Dean, Peter J, ed. Australia 1942: In the Shadow of War, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Vic., 2013 A collection of essays on a momentous year in Australia’s history.  The authors include David Horner, Kate Darian-Smith, Ross McMullin, Alan Powell

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Honest History: Darwin bombing keeps on giving

Honest History ‘Darwin bombing keeps on giving’, Honest History e-Newsletter No. 3, August 2013 The newish Director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, reckons that 1942 is one of the two most significant dates in Australian history. He may

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Stanley, Peter: In the Shadow of Gallipoli reviewed

(Canberra Times, 20 April 2013) Robert Bollard, In the Shadow of Gallipoli: The Hidden History of Australia in World War I, New South, 224 pp. $32.95 My erstwhile institution, the National Museum of Australia, has just opened an exhibition, Glorious

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McKinlay, Brian, ed.: Documents

McKinlay, Brian. ed. Australian Labor History in Documents: Volume 1 The Trade Union Movement; Volume 2 The Labor Party; Volume 3 The Radical Left, Collins Dove, Melbourne, 1990; first published Drummond 1979 Includes a poem from The Australian Worker, 12

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Jauncey, LC: Conscription

Jauncey, LC The Story of Conscription in Australia, Macmillan of Australia, South Melbourne, Vic., 1968; first published 1935 There has not been as detailed an account of the World War I conscription battles since this book was written. This edition

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Gammage, Bill: Broken Years

Gammage, Bill The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War, Penguin Books, Ringwood, Vic., 1975; first published ANU Press 1974; illustrated edition Penguin 1990; illustrated paperback edition Melbourne University Publishing 2010; other editions The groundbreaking use of 1000 soldiers’

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Day, David: Curtin

Day, David John Curtin: A Life, Harper Collins, Pymble, NSW, 1998; paperback edition 2006 Curtin played a part on the home front in World War I as an anti-conscription agitator, then led the nation as a war Prime Minister in

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Day, David: Fisher

Day, David Andrew Fisher: Prime Minister of Australia, Fourth Estate/Harper Collins, Pymble, NSW, 2008 Fisher seems to personify the fracture that the Great War wrought in the Labor Party and in Australia: from presiding over significant nation-building and social reforms

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Daley, Paul: Collingwood

Daley, Paul Collingwood: A Love Story, Victory Books, Carlton, Vic., 2011 Intertwines strands of family history, war and sport in the story of Collingwood footballers, Malcolm ‘Doc’ Seddon, Percy Rowe, also known as Paddy Rowan (killed in France, 1916) and

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Curthoys, Ann, AW Martin & Tim Rowse, ed.: Australians from 1939

Curthoys, Ann, AW Martin & Tim Rowse, ed. Australians from 1939, Fairfax, Syme & Weldon Associates, Broadway, NSW, 1987 One of the volumes in Australians: A Historical Library. Thirty historians, political scientists and citizens contribute to sections on Australians and

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Clark, CMH (Manning): History

Clark, CMH (Manning) A History of Australia, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., six volumes, 1962-87; later editions The sub-titles of some of the volumes attest to the deep themes running within the work: The Earth Abideth for Ever, 1851-1888 (Vol.

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Cahill, Rowan: Battle of Sydney

Cahill, Rowan ‘The Battle of Sydney’, Overland, 169, Summer, 2002, pp. 50-54 ‘Account of the wartime strike by Australian troops in Sydney, 1916, in defence of their working conditions. This action involved thousands of soldiers, mutiny, and a march through

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Beaumont, Joan, et al, ed.: Internment

Beaumont, Joan, Ilma Martinuzzi O’Brien & Trinca, Mathew, ed. Under Suspicion: Citizenship and Internment in Australia during the Second World War, National Museum of Australia Press, Canberra, 2008 Stories of internees, revealing ‘the sometimes disturbing nature of how the nation

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Bollard, Robert: Shadow of Gallipoli

Bollard, Robert In the Shadow of Gallipoli: The Hidden History of Australia in World War I, New South, Sydney, 2013 Bollard urges us to revise the accepted “distorted, or at least unbalanced” view of the Great War. He looks at

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Bongiorno, Frank et al, ed.: Mars and Minerva

Bongiorno, Frank, Iain Spence & John Moses, ed. ‘Mars and Minerva: Australian intellectuals and the Great War’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 53, 3, September 2007 (special edition) Covers the fields of science and technology, literature and literary criticism,

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