Richmond Hill State School, Burdekin Street, Charters Towers, c 1890
 Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 2698

Referendum Blues

Four days before Australians voted in the 1916 referendum about compulsory military service, a teacher at Richmond Hill State School decided to explore this process of voting when teaching the combined  Fourth and Fifth classes. On Tuesday 24 October Mr William John Williams discussed the concept of a referendum -“what it is, when it is […]

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Beerburrum Soldier Settlement

Written by Paul Sutton, Researcher The Beerburrum Soldier Settlement was an Australian Government funded, and Queensland Government administered effort, to provide land to repatriated servicemen who had served in the Australian and Imperial armed forces during World War One. The settlement was established in 1916 and ran until terminated during the late 1920s, though many […]

Parliament House, Brisbane, 1894

The state of the State of Queensland in 1916

1916 and the First World War was into its third year with both home and abroad suffering under the conflict. On the 22 August 1916 Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams, the Governor of Queensland, gave a speech at the opening of the 20th Parliament, summarising the order of business for the State of Queensland. A speech that […]

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A War Mother’s Plea

While searching for First World War records to display in our latest exhibition ‘On the Home Front’, we found this striking image of Second Lieutenant Sister Rosa O’Kane. This beautiful portrait of Sister Rosa in her nurse’s uniform had been painstakingly attached to a cardboard backing. On the reverse was an obituary poem clipped from […]

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“X” – The Life and Death of a Courageous Digger

Today’s blog post explores the war service of an Aboriginal Queenslander who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force. The extract below from an open letter published in the Townsville Daily Bulletin, 24 Oct 1916, brings to the fore the subject of this blog post: Private William (Billy) Elsdale. Believed to be the first Aboriginal digger […]

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Hats off to Harry Chauvel!

The Australian Army’s slouch felt hat with its distinctive upturned left side of the brim and rising sun badge is an iconic symbol of the camaraderie of Australian soldiers. The slouch hat’s mark in history is rooted in Australia’s involvement in the First World War, although its history dates back to the 1800s. Over time […]

C M Nothling's vineyard and shingle roof cottage at Teutoberg, Blackall Range, c1899

What’s in a name – Teutoberg or Teutoburg? NO … it’s Witta!

On 17 October 1887 an enterprising group of ex-German nationals selected land portions in the Blackall Range and formed the kernel of the new town of Teutoburg. Situated about four miles north-west of Maleny, difficulties regarding the spelling of the town name rose early in the area’s history. Correspondence from the residents of the area […]