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The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience


I wanted to alert readers of my blog to this travelling exhibition, which you may or may not have heard about.

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is a travelling exhibition that tells the story of Australia’s involvement in the First World War, and the ensuing Century of Service of Australia’s armed forces in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved.

It has already visited some cities but quite a few opportunities remain on the schedule to see it:

Adelaide Mar 2016
Tamworth Apr – May 2016
Toowoomba May 2016
Brisbane Jun 2016
Mackay Jul 2016
Cairns Aug 2016
Townsville Sep 2016
Darwin Oct 2016
Port Augusta Nov 2016
Perth Nov – Dec 2016
Bunbury Jan 2017
Kalgoorlie Jan – Feb 2017
Geelong Feb 2017
Orange Mar 2017
Newcastle Mar 2017
Sydney Apr 2017

The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience follows a chronological timeline spanning the period from pre-First World War Australia to the present day, using a mix of visuals, artefacts, audio and film to engage visitors.

An important feature of the experience will be the curated ‘local stories’ zone. These zones will be created with the local communities and will contribute a legacy for each region. The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is the flagship community event of the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary national programme.

Find out more about the Anzac Centenary national programme at this link.


RACS launches Anzac Surgeons of Gallipoli Exhibition

You might have noticed I haven’t been very active in the past week …. you can blame it on the ‘flu.

I thought this might be of interest – the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) will this evening launch the Anzac Surgeons of Gallipoli Exhibition and an accompanying book that commemorates the role of Australian and New Zealand surgeons and medical students who later became surgeons, in the Gallipoli campaign.

The Gallipoli Exhibition features a mock-up of a casualty clearing station in the foyer of the College offices in Melbourne, making reference to the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, which remained on Anzac Beach throughout the campaign.

The College Exhibition will feature WW1 artefacts, some borrowed and others from the College’s collections, such as surgical kits and instruments, original stretchers and newspapers from 1915.

It also includes Captain Poate’s map of Gallipoli and Archibald Watson’s surgical diaries.

Captain Hugh Poate, an enlisted Sydney surgeon, was posted to the 1st Field Ambulance, where at the beginning of the campaign he worked on transports ferrying the wounded from Gallipoli to Egypt.

Archibald Watson was a Professor of Anatomy at the University of Adelaide and was the Chief Pathologist in Egypt during the Gallipoli campaign.

The history of the campaign is well documented in the exhibition by museum posters detailing medical arrangements, information on ‘Black’ ships, hospitals on Lemnos and Egypt, as well as information on wounds and infectious diseases.

The accompanying book entitled Anzac Surgeons of Gallipoli, contains 128 biographies written by Australian and New Zealand RACS Fellows and College staff and was edited by the College’s archivist Elizabeth Milford and the incoming RACS President, David Watters.

According to Professor Watters, the book tells the story of the 1915 campaign fought in the Dardanelles by Great Britain, its Empire and France on behalf of their ally, Russia.

“It talks about the medical arrangements, how war wounds were managed almost 100 years ago and is packed full of biographies of the surgeons who served in the Anzac forces on hospital ships and military bases,” Professor Watters said.

 The exhibition will be open to the public during standard RACS museum open hours from 10am-4pm Monday to Thursday at 250-290 Spring Street, East Melbourne, Victoria.

Sights and Sounds of World War I – new website with rare footage


NZ Troops parade in Auckland – World War 1

I thought this sounded interesting – even though it’s not a book.

I received a press release today announcing that a new website exploring the sights and sounds of World War 1 has been produced in partnership by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision in New Zealand.

A curated selection of hundreds of rare films, songs, recorded interviews, documents and photos from the era have been expertly restored and digitised for the website, titled Anzac: Sights and Sounds of World War I .

New content will be added regularly during the Centenary period (2015 – 2019). Initial highlights now available on Sights and Sounds include:

  • The First Troopships: Departure (1914): Departure of the Australian Imperial Force from Albany, Western Australia.
  • Heroes of Gallipoli (1915): Rare footage of the Gallipoli campaign (loaned from the Australian War Memorial).
  • The Exploits of the Emden (1914/1928): Directed by Ken G Hall, this film combines documentary and dramatised incidents relating to the Sydney-Emden naval battle.
  • Cartoons of the Moment (c1915-1916): Australian sketch artist and caricaturist Harry Julius provides a satirical commentary of World War I.
  • If England Wants a Hand, Well, Here It Is (1915): A song performed by Harrison Latimer.
  • Charity Bazaars in Martin Place (c1916): Fundraising for the war effort in Martin Place, Sydney.
  • The Landing of the Troops in Egypt (c1916): A musical and dramatic recreation aimed to encourage support for the war effort.
  • Mrs Barnard (1965): The gargantuan gingernut-baking efforts to fundraise for the war effort.
  • A range of oral histories from soldiers who served at Gallipoli talking vividly about their experiences, the hardships they faced, as well as some of the lighter moments.

ANZAC Tributes: War Memorial exhibition coming to Liverpool

Liverpool City ANZAC commemoration

Liverpool City ANZAC commemoration

Liverpool City commemorates 100 years of ANZAC

Next up in Liverpool’s program of ANZAC exhibitions and events is the launch of ‘A Camera on Gallipoli’, a travelling exhibition from the Australian War Memorial. This is an exhibition of photographs of Sir Charles Ryan who took photos during his time at Gallipoli during World War I, capturing the day to day lives of the ANZAC troops. To check out all of the Liverpool commemorative activities, go to

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