Anzac Sights and Sounds

Commemorating the Anzac Centenary

Sights and Sounds of the First World War
 Stephen Groenewegen

We've published the clips below to coincide with the centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919, contributing to the final phase of First World War centenary commemorations.


Signing the Treaty

The following short newsreel clip shows a banner proclaiming ‘Honneur et Patrie’ (Honour and Fatherland), the Treaty of Versailles as signed by the Allied powers, and delegates departing the Paris Peace Conference.

Leaders walking past the camera include US President Woodrow Wilson, British Prime Minister David Lloyd George, French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes (seen at the far right of the frame at the very start of the procession):

The Treaty of Versailles and delegates departing the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. NFSA title: 14224


The Red Cross in Action

In this clip from c1919, nurses from the Australian Red Cross serve tea and refreshments to returned soldiers, including those injured and in convalescence:

Nurses from the Australian Red Cross serve tea and refreshments to returned soldiers, c1919. NFSA title: 14250

These clips were initially published on the Anzac Sight Sound website, a five-year project between the NFSA and New Zealand's Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.

The site contained more than 250 unique film and sound recordings ranging from the pre-war arms race to the ongoing postwar commemorations of Anzac Day.

Many of the pieces of film showcased on the website were themselves repatriated to New Zealand and Australia from European archives in the course of the project. These include several Pathé newsreel films such as a digital copy of Paris Leave Club, which shows a group of New Zealand, Australian and American soldiers touring the sights of Paris in the company of some female nurses, probably not long after the Armistice in early 1919.


This article was first published in 2019. The text was updated in 2023.