History Week 2014

History Week 2014

The Great War

It was to be “the war that will end war,” HG Wells said in August 1914. From the heights of hope to the horror of the trenches, the Great War changed the world irrevocably. It separated families and lovers, turned young men into soldiers and young women into nurses, converted friends and neighbours into enemies.

History Week 2014 explored the impact of World War I abroad and at home.

Bites after Work: Perspectives on WWI

Historians from the City of Sydney presented a series of bite-sized talks on 11 September at Surry Hills library, exploring different aspects of World War I.

Lisa Murray – South Sydney and World War I
Lieutenant AJ Shout VC was one of the many South Sydney residents who fought in the Great War. City Historian Dr Lisa Murray presented an illustrated talk, revealing some of the stories of the soldiers and families who served in World War I from the South Sydney district. Her talk drew on research compiled for her forthcoming book on the history of Redfern, Alexandria and Waterloo.

Laila Ellmoos – A council at war
The City of Sydney Council’s response to war entailed not only the loss of staff through enlistment, but the conflicting political positions of individuals and parties that were represented at the local government level. In this talk, historian Laila Ellmoos explored the contrasting attitudes of the City’s aldermen towards the war, with a focus on the conscription debate.

Cam MacKellar – War is noise
The macabre symphony of munitions exploding on the Western Front during World War I could be heard over 100 miles away in the streets of London. What did it sound like for soldiers in the trenches directly under bombardment? How did soldiers survive the noise of war? In this talk, historian Cam MacKellar explored the noise, music and silences from World War I.

Catherine Freyne – From frontier to front
Taking the City of Sydney’s new oral history collection featuring Aboriginal people who have served in the military as a starting point, historian Catherine Freyne considered the long history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people defending country and nation, both within Australia and overseas.

South Sydney, WWI and the Home Front

City Historian Dr Lisa Murray presented an illustrated talk on 13 September at Waterloo Library, revealing some of the stories of the WWI home front experience in the South Sydney district. The contributions of industry, community fundraising and comfort funds, municipal efforts, returned soldiers, war memorials and remembering the war were explored in Lisa's presentation. This talk drew on research compiled for her forthcoming book on the history of Redfern, Alexandria and Waterloo.

Links

History Week 2014 – The Great War City of Sydney – Anzac centenary

Image: Allied flags superimposed on Sydney's GPO Building during the Victory Day Parade, July 1919 (Photograph by A Foster, courtesy City of Sydney Archives, SRC 17079)

Last updated: Thursday, 28 May 2015