See our Queensland history come to life with home front and war front stories of courage, resilience, sacrifice and duty from the State Library of Queensland collection.
Soldier settlements of Queensland’s Granite Belt digital story, 2018
After the First World War, a number of towns and localities in the Granite Belt of Queensland's Darling Downs were given French names, in commemoration of those who served on the Western Front. Some of these villages lie along the Armistice Way (Amiens Road) near Passchendaele State Forest, and many are former soldier settlements, which grew into fruit and vegetable growing communities. The town of Amiens was part of the Pikedale Soldier Settlements Scheme. Other settlements included Messines, Bapaume, Bullecourt, Pozieres and Fleurbaix, all named after battlefields of the Great War. This digital story explores the history and impact of soldier settlements in this region, and examines how these communities commemorate their origins today.
Dr. and Mrs. Croll – a wartime marriage digital story, 2016
During the First World War, Queensland doctor Colonel David Gifford Croll was the well-regarded commander of the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance in Egypt and Palestine, and later served as Assistant-Director of Medical Services for the Anzac Mounted Division. His wife Winifred also served, as a staff nurse with the 1st Australian General Hospital at Heliopolis, Egypt. She nursed soldiers wounded during the Gallipoli campaign before returning to Australia in January 1916. Winnie became the first Secretary of the Queensland War Nurses Fund, which helped First World War nurses, and after the war she pursued community work, as a Queensland Guides Commissioner and a member of the Red Cross Society. Dr. Gifford Croll returned in 1919, and received a CBE for his distinguished service. He established a general practice in Sherwood, and served again in World War 2, in 1941 commanding the 112th Australian General Hospital, later known as Greenslopes Military Hospital or Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital. He was also a Commissioner of the Sea Scouts of Queensland, a commodore of the Royal Queensland Yacht Club, and a foundation member of the Sherwood RSL. This digital story focuses on their active service in Egypt during the First World War, and their unusual circumstance as a young married couple at war.
Origins of ANZAC Day in Queensland digital story, 2015
Anzac Day is our national day of remembrance, an opportunity to commemorate those Australians and New Zealanders who have served and died in conflict. This digital story examines the key part which Queensland played in the development of this national day. The Queensland Anzac Day Commemoration Committee was formed in early 1916, and its deliberations instituted elements such as the parade of troops, the minute's silence, and the Last Post, which are still observed today. In particular, the efforts of honorary secretary Canon David John Garland, ensured that Anzac Day remained a solemn, community commemoration of wartime sacrifice, rather than a celebration.
Memories for a new generation, 2017
A digital story which explores the QANZAC100: Memories for a new generation project, a five-year legacy initiative funded by the Queensland Government to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Filmed in August 2017, the digital story details a variety of project outcomes, and forms a progress-so-far report.
James Nicholas Murray: soldier surveyor digital story, 2017
This digital story explores the significance and potential of Private James Nicholas Murray’s surveyor’s notebook of Russell’s Top, Gallipoli. Private James Nicholas Murray was a surveyor by profession, and enlisted in the First World War on 10 February 1915 as part of D Company, 25th Battalion. He proceeded to Gallipoli in September 1915, then returned to Egypt when the Peninsula was evacuated. While on the Peninsula he surveyed the Allied trench and tunnel system. Once back in Egypt, he suffered hearing loss from otitis media infection, and on 3 March 1916 was invalided to Australia for discharge. The 29924 James Nicholas Murray Papers contain documents pertaining to Murray's employment as a surveyor in Queensland, along with papers relating to his WWI service in Egypt and Gallipoli, in particular a 1915 diary, and a field service notebook containing survey measurements of trenches and tunnels at Gallipoli. Murray’s notes have been plotted onto a contemporary survey map by James Murray's grandson Mark Murray, also a surveyor, and the notebook has formed the basis of a University of Queensland 3D modelling project.
Central Queensland Nurses of the First World War digital story, 2017
This digital story examines the training, dedicated service and legacy of central Queensland nurses who enlisted in the Australian Army Nursing Service during the First World War, and highlights the work of the Rockhampton Country Hospital Museum in uncovering their stories. In 2014, the Rockhampton Country Hospital Museum in Central Queensland undertook research aimed to identify and honour the First World War contributions of local nurses who trained at local hospitals, had a Pre War or Post War link to the local area, and enlisted to serve their country. Limiting the geographical area to central Queensland allowed the research to focus on Rockhampton Hospital nurse training records archived at the Rockhampton Country Hospital Museum, as well as stories written home and printed in local newspapers. An outcome of the research was a greater insight into the achievements of these dedicated nurses, and an increased awareness of their legacy of caring. 18 of the nurses researched trained at Rockhampton Hospital, 6 trained at Mount Morgan Hospital, 5 trained at Rockhampton Children’s Hospital, 2 trained at Rockhampton Women’s Hospital, and 2 trained at Gladstone Hospital.
E.T. Shorley: First World War lyricist and poet digital story, 2017
In 2015, Rockhampton music teacher and playwright Janet Stevenson received a Regional Arts Development Fund grant to assist with research and development of a play about the life of central Queenslander composer E.T. (Ezra Thomas) Shorley. Mr. Shorley emigrated from the United Kingdom aged 19, and lived around Rockhampton, Mount Morgan and Ulam. Although his background was in farming, Shorley composed poems, lyrics and some music, and published more than twenty songs towards the end of the First World War and into the 1920s. State Library holds a number of these pieces, some of which have a wartime theme. Stevenson’s play, The Optimist, was staged in Rockhampton, Mount Morgan and Emu Park in the lead-up to Anzac Day 2016, and is a unique interpretation of Shorley’s life, and a creative commemoration of the First World War in Queensland.
Discovering Annie Wheeler digital story, 2017
This digital story examines the important and unique part Mrs. Annie Wheeler played in connecting Central Queensland soldiers and their families during the First World War. Annie Margaret Wheeler (1867-1950), soldiers' welfare worker, was born at Saunders Station, Dingo, Queensland. Educated in Rockhampton, she trained as a nurse at Sydney Hospital. In 1896 she married Henry Gaudiano Wheeler of Cooroorah Station, near Blackwater, and after his death in 1903, moved back to Rockhampton. In 1913 she took her only daughter Portia to England to complete Portia’s education. When war broke out in 1914, Mrs Wheeler felt compelled to contribute to the war effort. Moving to London she took up residence near the AIF Headquarters and the Anzac Buffet. She endeavoured to contact all soldiers from Central Queensland, whether wounded, imprisoned, or in the trenches. She kept a detailed card index of contacts, corresponded with men on the battlefield, forwarded mail, provided for their needs and supervised the care and comfort of those in hospital. For soldiers on leave she supplemented allowances and advanced funds when needed. To them, she became known as the 'Mother of the Queenslanders'. Families in Queensland sent letters and parcels through her, and by 1918 over 2,300 men were on her books. Every fortnight Mrs Wheeler sent home detailed letters which were published in the Capricornian and the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin. A support fund was set up in Rockhampton, and the Commonwealth government provided free passage for her return in 1919 to a hero's welcome. Over 5,000 people met her train. She was appointed O.B.E. in 1920.
Canon Garland’s Memorial digital story, 2017
This story explores the contribution and significance to Queensland of Anglican priest and army chaplain Canon David John Garland during the First World War. The story also focuses on the work undertaken by the Canon Garland Memorial Society to plan, design and fund a permanent memorial in Garland's memory, as part of Queensland’s centenary commemorations. During World War 1, Anglican chaplain Canon David John Garland was a senior army chaplain at Enoggera training camp, and as Honorary Secretary of the Queensland Recruiting Committee, travelled the state, encouraging men to enlist. He then served as chaplain in Middle East from 1917 to 1919, raising funds for memorials, and for soldiers’ hostels both home and abroad to provide places of safe respite. Garland was heavily involved with the Bible in State Schools League in Queensland, and is widely considered to be the ’architect of Anzac Day’. As Honorary Secretary of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee, he was an important originator of Anzac Day as a day of solemn and enduring commemoration. From 1920 as Rector of Ithaca Parish, he broadcast Sunday services on public radio until he passed away in 1939.
Queensland’s First World War Death Registers digital story, 2017
Queensland’s Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages (RBDM) holds death registrations for men and women who enlisted in Queensland and died during World War 1 - almost 10,000 registrations. This digital story highlights the unique WWI death registers held at Queensland’s Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages (RBDM), the story behind their compilation 1921-1924 under the direction of the then Registrar-General George Porter, who took it upon himself to register the deaths of those who had, in his words, ‘given their lives for Queensland’. Copies of completed death certificates were made available to relatives for two shillings.
In September 1914, local photographers Talma Studios and then Fegan Studios set up tents at the Enoggera training camp, Brisbane, to photograph soldiers for publication in The Queenslander newspaper. Kit was provided so that every portrait featured a soldier in uniform. These portraits were then published in the Pictorial Supplement of The Queenslander newspaper, a weekly summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now the Courier Mail). By the end of 1918 around 29,000 photographs were published. As part of the QANZAC100: Memories of a new generation legacy project, State Library of Queensland undertook to digitise this unique collection of images, which represents around half of the 57,705 Queenslanders who enlisted in WWI. This digital story explores the rationale and process underpinning the soldier portraits digitisation project, including the invaluable contribution of volunteers, and the impact of sharing and making accessible this valuable resource.
El Arish soldier settlement digital story 2016
This digital story explores the township of El Arish in Far North Queensland and its origins as the Maria Creek soldier settlement. Reminders of its First World War beginnings are still evident today.
QANZAC100 Regional White Gloves Experiences digital story 2016
The QANZAC100: Memories for a new generation legacy project held a series of White Gloves Experiences in regional towns all over Queensland. These experiences gave audiences an opportunity to view and handle heritage material pertaining to the First World War. This digital story explores purpose and value of QANZAC100 White Gloves Experiences to regional communities, the logistics involved in presenting a range of items from the State Library's collection and how the Experiences can help to bring Queensland stories to light.
Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland
A digital story highlighting the work of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee (ADCC) of Queensland, which was formed on 10 January 1916 at a public meeting organised by the State Recruiting Committee. A local land agent, Thomas Augustine Ryan, recommended the formation of a committee to explore ways of honouring the fallen soldiers of the Gallipoli campaign, and once formed the ADCC devised a ceremonial day to be held on 25 April, the anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. For a century, the ADCC has overseen the conduct of Anzac Day services and activities all over Queensland, and remains central to the organisation of the event today. This digital story includes images of Anzac Day commemoration in Queensland over the last 100 years, and an interview with former honorary secretary and president of the Committee, Colonel Arthur Burke OAM (Retired).
Currumbin RSL Dawn Service
25 April 2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of Anzac Day as a commemoration of World War 1 in Queensland. Currumbin Returned and Services League (RSL) on the Gold Coast is the creator, funder and manager of one of Australia’s largest and most unique Anzac Day commemoration events. The Dawn Service is held every year on the beach at Elephant Rock. This digital story explores how the service has expanded over time, and engaged and involved the local community to become a popular and diverse event.
March of the Dungarees Re-enactment
During the First World War, patriotic “snowball” marches were a spectacular and often successful way to encourage young men to enlist. The Dungarees March in south-east Queensland left Warwick on 16 November 1915, and made its way through Allora, Clifton, Greenmount, Cambooya, Toowoomba, Helidon, Gatton, Laidley, Rosewood, Ipswich and Oxley, a 270 kilometre journey that ended in Brisbane, with around 130 young men arriving to a tumultuous civic reception. At the end of 2015, the Dungarees March was re-enacted. Marchers left Warwick on 12 December, and arrived at Anzac Square, Brisbane on 19 December. A range of community events surrounded the departure of marching cadets, on 29 November and 11 December.
Premier's Anzac Prize Digital Story
This digital story presents an interview with Emily Ireland, one of the 2015 winners of the Premier's Anzac Prize. Through Emily's experience and the WWI family story which underpinned her application, the digital story explores the application process, awarding of the prize, and the subsequent journey to Gallipoli and the Western Front. Emily shares her impressions of and learnings from the experience.
Distant Lines, Queensland Voices of the First World War Digital Story
From April - November 2015, State Library of Queensland mounted a large and successful exhibition - Distant Lines: Queensland Voices of the First World War. This exhibition was a major deliverable of the QANZAC100 legacy project, funded by the Queensland State Government. Distant Lines showcased the State Library’s First World War collections, and explored the experiences of Queenslanders during those difficult years. As a visual record of the exhibition, this digital story takes viewers through the exhibition spaces, and curators Kevin Wilson and Robyn Hamilton explain the curatorial intent behind its design and content.
Queensland chaplains during the First World War digital story
An examination of the role and experiences of Queensland chaplains during the First World War, with particular reference to three Anglican chaplains – The Reverend William Maitland Woods, The Reverend George Green and Canon David John Garland, whose papers are held in the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Chaplains were responsible for the spiritual welfare of the soldiers, and alongside the more gruesome task of burying the dead, they provided important pastoral care and emotional support to their comrades.
2nd Light Horse Regiment digital story
This digital story explores the achievements of Queensland’s 2nd Light Horse Regiment during the First World War. Raised at Enoggera in Queensland, the 2nd Light Horse Regiment embarked for Egypt on the Star of England in September 1914, and after further training in the Egyptian desert, was deployed to Gallipoli, without horses. The diaries of Anglican chaplain The Reverend George Green and the letters of Major George Herbert Bourne provide insight into the experiences of the 2nd Light Horsemen as they endured months of trench warfare before returning to Egypt in September 1915. Historian Mark Cryle and Army Museum South Queensland Manager Captain Adele Catts discuss the qualities and skills of the Light Horsemen, and the important bond between horse and man. In Egypt, the 2nd Light Horse joined the Anzac Mounted Division to defend the Suez Canal. As part of the 1st Light Horse Brigade, the Regiment played a significant role in the battle of Romani on 4 August 1916, and participated in the Allied advance across the Sinai in late 1916, fighting at Maghdaba and Rafa on the Palestine frontier. Other notable engagements included the abortive second battle of Gaza on 19 April 1917, and the battle of Beersheba.
Major General Sir Thomas William Glasgow KCB CB CMG DSO digital story
The story of Major General Sir Thomas William Glasgow, Queensland's highest ranking First World War soldier, and an effective and highly regarded divisional commander. Born in Tiaro in 1876, Glasgow enlisted with the Wide Bay Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry and served with distinction in the Boer War, where he won the DSO while still a Lieutenant. He organised the 13th Light Horse Regiment at Gympie in 1903, and at the outbreak of the First World War enlisted in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment. Glasgow earned distinction at Gallipoli, leading the Australian assault on Dead Man's Ridge, and on the Western Front he was appointed commander of 13th Infantry Brigade as part of 4th Australian Division. On 25 April 1918, 13th Brigade, together with Harold 'Pompey' Elliott's 15th Brigade, staged an important counterattack to recapture the town of Villers-Bretonneux. This action played a significant role in turning back the German Spring 1918 advance. In June 1918 Glasgow was given command of 1st Australian Division. In 1919 Glasgow was appointed KCB, was awarded the French Légion d'honneur and the Croix de Guerre, and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. After the war he commanded 4th Division, became honorary colonel of the 5th Light Horse and the 1st Battalion, and led the Anzac Day parade in Brisbane for 20 years. From 1919-1931 Glasgow served in the Australian Senate as a Nationalist. From April 1927 until October 1929 he was Minister for Defence. In 1939 Glasgow was appointed first Australian high commissioner to Canada, and returned to Australia in 1945 to resume pastoral and business interests in Queensland. He died in Brisbane in 1955 and was given a state funeral.
Roy Douglas Proctor digital story
The story of Roy Douglas Proctor, a Sergeant in 15th Battalion, A.I.F during WWI. The Roy Douglas Proctor Papers 1915-1917 are held in the John Oxley Library and contain letters and postcards sent from Roy while on active service, to his sister Ruby in Kelvin Grove, Brisbane. The letters are written from Egypt, France and Belgium, the postcards depict scenes in Egypt, the hospital ship Asturias, Marseille and London. Roy was killed in action, aged 26, on 1 February 1917, and buried in the Guards Cemetery, Les Boeufs, Somme, France.
Queensland doctors and nurses in the First World War digital story
An examination of the experiences of Queensland doctors and nurses who served in the First World War. Professor John Pearn AO, RFD and Dr. Robert Likeman CSM, both distinguished civilian and military doctors, discuss the challenging situations faced by medical service people in the First World War, from overwhelming numbers of casualties, to extreme conditions and traumatic injuries. They explore the medical advancements which resulted from war, and the lasting emotional and psychological effects of the war on the doctors and nurses who served.
Maurice George Delpratt digital story
The story of Maurice George Delpratt, a station overseer from Tambourine and former housemaster at The Southport School, who served at Gallipoli with the 5th Light Horse, and was captured by the Turks on 28 June 1915. As a prisoner of war at Hadji-Kiri, near Belemedik in the Taurus Mountains, Turkey, he worked on the construction of the Baghdad Railway. During his three years imprisonment, Delpratt corresponded with family and friends at home in Queensland. Most letters and postcards were written to his eldest sister Elinor (Nell), Mrs F.L. White of "Brooklands", Woodhill, Queensland. Correspondence and comfort parcels were facilitated by the Australian Red Cross POW Department in London. Delpratt was released after the armistice in November 1918 and returned to Queensland in July 1919. He married Mary Esther Davies of Toowoomba in 1928 and they had three daughters. He later worked at the Warwick Post Office and died in Warwick in 1957.
Queensland’s Indigenous servicemen of the First World War digital story
This digital story explores the contribution and experiences of Indigenous Queenslanders during the First World War. Despite the oppressive policies and practices of the Protection Era, between 1,250 and 1,500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women volunteered for the AIF, and approximately 300 were from Queensland. Indigenous Queenslanders tried to enlist for a variety of reasons, and Indigenous Languages Coordinator Desmond Crump discusses the effect of the Defence Act (1909), which excluded from service 'those who were not of 'substantially European origin or descent'. In 1917 the Act was amended to so that 'half castes' could enlist. While this increased Indigenous recruitment, it did not guarantee Indigenous soldiers any of the rights afforded their non-Indigenous comrades after the war, and they returned to a life of restriction and discrimination.
Margaret Thorsborne AO digital story
Recording made in Cardwell, North Queensland with Margaret Thorsborne whose parents served right through the First World War. Margaret's mother, Constance Keys, served with the Australian Army Nursing Service, and cared for the wounded from Gallipoli and in England, France and Flanders. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross Second Class, the Royal Red Cross First Class, was twice mentioned in dispatches, and was awarded the Medaille d'honneur des Epidemies (en vermeil). Margaret's father Lionel Pennefather served though the war with the 7th Battalion. He took part in the landing at Anzac Cove on 25th April 1915, then to Cape Helles in the attempts to take Krithia, back to Anzac, then to action in France. Constance Keys and Lionel Pennefather did not meet until 1920 when they were back in Australia. They married in 1921.
George Samuel Deviney digital story
The story of George Samuel Deviney, a young farmer from "Gladsdale" Helidon who enlisted with the 9th/52nd Battalion A.I.F. during WWI. He left for war with youthful enthusiasm and a sense of patriotic duty. George was killed at Dernancourt, France in 1918. His letters and diaries, and correspondence relating to his death and posthumous award are held in the John Oxley Library. The George Samuel Deviney Papers 1909-1918 include letters, diaries, postcards, a school exercise book, newspaper clippings, photographs, telegrams, accounts and one Next of Kin Memorial Plaque.