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“X” – The Life and Death of an Indigenous Digger

Today’s blog post explores the war service of an Indigenous 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 Indigenous 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 […]


The King remembers: Anzac Day messages

25 April 2016 is the 100 year anniversary of Anzac Day. Within our records we found this message featured in The Age newspaper on 25 April 1916, first published on this day in 1916, from His Majesty, King George V: Published in newspapers across Australia, in the third year of the First World War, the […]

Anzac Square, Brisbane: March 1954

Holy Day or Holiday?: On the Origins of Anzac Day in Queensland

Anzac Day observance in Australia did not begin as a government initiative, nor was it instigated by returned services associations. Indeed, in the lead up to 25 April 1916, the date of the first anniversary of the landing, acting Prime Minister George Pearce was less than enthusiastic about the event, suggesting that the nation might […]


“I may not get another chance to write like this again”

So writes Private James Vercoe Solomon (Jim) to his family from Zeitoun Camp at Heliopolis in October 1915. Obviously concerned about his family, Jim writes about his desire for his younger brother to act on his family’s behalf while he, Jim, heads off to the Dards’ (Dardanelles). Jim asks his brother William Edward Solomon (Will) […]