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 […]

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

This article, by Mark Cryle, was originally published on the Queensland State Archives website, April 2014. 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 […]

“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) […]

Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 3041

Secret Despatches: Reports from the Home Front

At the outbreak of the First World War, one of the many tasks of Queensland’s Lieutenant-Governor, Sir Arthur Morgan, was to send secret despatches concerning domestic affairs to the Secretary of the State for the Colonies based in London. The first secret despatches sent after the commencement of war were written on 2 September 1914 […]

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 […]

Portrait of Hubert Ebenezer Sizer

One more soldier found – Hubert Ebenezer Sizer MLA

In the course of creating the workshop and seminar on how to find your First World War Soldier, Queensland State Archives staff regularly came across references to Corporal Sizer, as he was mentioned frequently in newspapers of the time. With our curiosity stirred, we wanted to find out who this Corporal Sizer was and whether […]

“No Intoxicants!” – Co-ordinating the March of the Dungarees

By the latter half of 1915, national enthusiasm for enlistment was on the wane, publication of casualty lists and word of the Gallipoli horrors were by then reaching Australia. In response recruiters began to employ a variety of methods to increase numbers. One notable event– part of the ‘snowball marches’ taking place across Queensland 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 […]

Training youth for peace and preparing them for war

Today the Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADF Cadets) is a well-known organisation but have you ever wondered how the cadet movement began in Queensland? In 1884 William Henry Halstead was a newcomer to Queensland and, shortly after his arrival, was admitted into the public service as a teacher. There is an entry for William Henry […]

Provisional Allotment List for the A5 Omrah

Sister Constance Mabel Keys – her life in the First World War and beyond.

Discovering the heritage value of records at Queensland State Archives can be convoluted. This was the case when the State Library of Queensland Distant Lines exhibition prompted research into an esteemed military nurse who survived the First World War: Constance Mabel Keys. Born in Queensland in 1886, Sister Constance Mabel Keys became one of the […]