Under suspicion! The enemy within

The reality of war isn’t only the conflict at the frontline, but the impact on life on the home front. An essay written by Dr Murray Johnson, Treatment of Enemy Aliens in Queensland, notes that: “the British Empire and its allies – including Australia – were faced by four major combatants: Germany, the Austro-Hungarian and […]

Among the memos – of patriotism and suspicion

The strength of home front emotion can be found within the most unpredictable records. Take the rather dull sounding letterbooks for the Queensland Government’s Harbours and Rivers Department. These contain copies of memos and letters that provide insight into administrative instructions. What might surprise you is that, besides finding feelings of patriotism and support for […]

Treatment of Enemy Aliens in Queensland 1914-1920

This blog post is part of a series of essays commissioned by Queensland State Archives and written by historian Dr Murray Johnson. Before the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, German migrants were held in high esteem for their industriousness and agricultural skills. Successive Queensland governments actively encouraged German immigrants, who came to […]

What to call the war

The first hurdle when searching for records relating to the First World War, or The Great War, is what to call it. Our records containing First World War information were created during or shortly after the war of 1914–1918. Recordkeepers of the day simply used the term their department was using when they registered, bundled […]