The Casualties of War:  Beyond the Battlefield

The Casualties of War: Beyond the Battlefield

At the time of the First World War there was little understanding of what today is termed post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD). Returned soldiers often suffered lingering psychological damage which, although largely unrecognised, was at least as debilitating as physical injuries. Doctors were generally reluctant to diagnose a patient with shell shock, attributing their condition to…

The Pekanbaru Death Railway

The Pekanbaru Death Railway

The Japanese invaded Sumatra in 1942 and, using the engineers from the infamous Thai Burma Railway, put over 120,000 newly captured slaves to work building a railway. These slaves were not only local Indonesians, but also POW’s captured as the eastern colonies fell. This is the history of that railway…   Very early on the Dutch government in Indonesia had investigated the…

Honeysuckle Creek

Honeysuckle Creek

For more than 60 years, Australia has played a vital role in space tracking owing to its geographic location and its technical know-how. A high point was reached at 12.56pm (AEST) on 21 July 1969 when the Apollo tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, near Canberra, transmitted live television of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the surface…

From Our Collection

From Our Collection

Photo Album: “Cupid Camouflaged”, a Red Cross Silent Film This photograph album of stills is from the Australian silent film ‘Cupid Camouflaged’.  The film was commissioned by Dame Eadith Walker of Yaralla to raise funds for the Red Cross.  This album may be one of the 27 souvenir books auctioned for a total of 201…

Early Australian Films

Early Australian Films

(The following article, found on Trove Newspapers site, was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald, Mon. 29 Jan 1934.) Actor’s Reminiscences Amusing reminiscences of the early days of Australian films were given to members of the Sydney Movie Makers’ Club in a lecture by Mr. Eric Howell, a former actor. Mr. Howell said that as…

Destiny’s Spectrum

Destiny’s Spectrum

The gold-leafed letters on framed honour rolls spell out the names of those who served their country in the Great War. Crosses identify those who made the supreme sacrifice. Some names are repeated – were they brothers? Cousins perhaps? Their names only hint at the family’s anguish as they went off to war. It is…

Down the Line

Down the Line

Tramway Lane, close to what is locally known as Cabarita Junction, is a reminder of what was once an extensive network of tramlines linking Enfield, Ashfield, Burwood, Concord, Mortlake and Cabarita. Collectively known as the Enfield lines, the system operated independently from the city lines from 1891-1948.  Steam trams were used until 1912 when the…

We Will Remember Them

We Will Remember Them

Leslie Kenneth Garfield Browning, MC and Bar When war broke out in August 1914 the Australian Naval and Military Expedition Force was hurriedly assembled and dispatched to New Guinea to seize control of the German colony. After limited resistance, the German forces surrendered and the expeditionary force returned to Australia leaving a small detachment to…

From Our Collection

From Our Collection

The Wattle Brooch – fit for a Queen In 1954 Queen Elizabeth made her Coronation Tour of Australia.  To celebrate the visit it was decided to present her with a very special gift – something uniquely Australian. And what better choice could there be than the country’s native flora represented in a spray of precious…

You Must Wear a Mask

You Must Wear a Mask

In 1918-1919, when the Spanish influenza pandemic swept the globe, Australians – with their peculiar sense of humour – devised unique ways of dealing with the apparatus and cures popular at the time. For example, hideous faces were painted onto the face mask, or kewpie dolls and huge wire spiders hung from the sides. However,…