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World War I: Nature of War

Australians at War

William 'Evan' Allen began his navy career as a boy soldier at outbreak of World War One when he was only 14 years old. He served initially on the training ship Tingira in 1914 before joining the crew of HMAS Encounter in 1915. During the war he served on the Cerberus (1918) and the Sydney (1918-19). Evan retired from the Royal Australian Navy in 1947 after 34 years service. Listen to the interview (Part 1; Part 2) by Ina Bertrand (approx. 1 hour each), or read the transcript (Part 1; Part 2).

From 'Victorians at War', an oral history project by the SLV.

A farmer in the north of Victoria, John "Jack" Lockett decided to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) at the age of 25 at Mildura in March 1916. He joined D Company in the 38th Battalion with the rank of private. Jack's battalion was sent to France in November 1916 to form part of the 10th Brigade, 3rd Division. Promoted in May 1917 to Lance Corporal, Jack had achieved the rank of Sergeant by the end of year. In 1918 he saw active service in France with the 38th Battalion in Marrett Wood, Dernancourt, Morlincourt, Proyart, Bray, Suzanne, Vaux and Clary. Jack returned to Australia on 5 August 1919 and was discharged from the AIF in September. Listen to his interview by Ina Bertrand here, or read the transcript here.

From 'Victorians at War', an oral history project by the SLV.

Australians at War: Episode 3

Mateship is the greatest thing is episode 3 of the television series Australians at War. The series examines the effects of war on the lives of Australians and how this nation has been shaped by those experiences. It was commissioned by the Australian Government through the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs, in co-operation with the Australian War Memorial, as part of the commemorations to mark the Centenary of Federation in 2001.

Mateship was the greatest thing, has at its core the on-camera stories, opinions and statements of some of our last survivors of that terrible campaign. Without sentiment or sensationalism, they tell of the madness to which men descended and the bravery and endurance they exhibited, as the casualty lists jumped by thousands and the relentless lottery of trench warfare became all a man could consider.

At home, Australia was gripped by two bitterly divisive conscription referendums, when the government of Billy Hughes tried desperately to provide the Empire with more Australian soldiers. They failed, but the men enlisted anyway and in virtually every Australian home, death and suffering became all too familiar.

The nature of warfare in WWI

Trench Warfare

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