Anzac moments rescued from oblivion
To mark Anzac Day 2017, we've published rare Anzac films and songs on our Sights and Sounds of World War One website. Highlights include a ‘mimic warfare’ training exercise in Sydney’s Moore Park (with children running on the training battlefield) returned soldiers recovering in hospitals and supporting enlistment campaigns, and a 1916 cinema ad asking Australians to 'carve' Anzac Day 'deep-cut in the Calendar of Time'.
We also have rare images of Edward VIII, then Prince of Wales, decorating Australian soldiers in France, as well as an Australian Rules football match played by troops in London, 1916. And it's not just films; we've also published six popular songs of the time, including 'What did you do on the Great War, Daddy?' and 'Take me back to dear old Blighty'.
This fascinating content is available on Sights and Sounds of World War One, a website we've developed in partnership with our counterparts and friends Nga Taonga Sound & Vision (NTSV) in New Zealand. The site commemorates the centenary of the First World War by showcasing audiovisual material held by both archives. It was launched in 2015, and updates of new content occur throughout the centenary period up to 2019.
The following clip shows returned servicemen doing handicrafts, playing music and even flirting with the nurses while convalescing in hospital. There were 170,000 war survivors dealing with wounds or illness, ranging from mental health cases to orthopaedic, tubercular and rheumatic cases, in hospitals across the country. The Australian Department of Repatriation was formed in 1917 to help them, with the support of 600 doctors. This film was made to publicise their rehabilitation schemes.
The latest additions are listed in our media release, but there is much more to discover on Sights and Sounds of World War One.