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 […]

First World War fancy dress football poster proves to be an unexpected find

It’s strange what one stumbles across when diving into the archives. As we highlighted in a previous blog post, What to call the war, not everything is neatly labelled ‘war’, and one of the challenges facing QSA archivists, in particular when commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War, has been finding those items […]

Dardanelles Estate

In August 1915, in the midst of the Gallipoli Campaign, the name ‘Dardanelles’ was used to advertise a new estate in an expanding Brisbane suburb. The Dardanelles is the name of the main sea lane through which troops were transported to the Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey in 1915 and 1916. Land in this estate in the […]

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 […]

Patriotic Gymkhana – but not a horse in sight

One of the fascinating and unexpected aspects of exploring our First World War records is discovering different types of fund-raising events no longer seen today. One that caught my eye was a ‘motor gymkhana’. The Automobile Club of Queensland held a Patriotic Motor Gymkhana on 10 October 1914 with the Motor Cycle Club and the […]

A fifteen year old writes to the Governor: To the front I want to go!

I was recently in the company of a fifteen year old boy at a friend’s party. He’s tall and strong and obviously loves sport as he gravitated to the backyard tennis game as soon as he arrived. He played gently with the preschoolers but with vigour and intent against older opponents – particularly the middle […]

The Queensland home front during the First World War

This blog post is part of a series of essays commissioned by Queensland State Archives and written by historian Brian Rough. It would not be unreasonable to imagine that, as Australian soldiers marched off to war, they left behind them a home front which was politically homogeneous and uniformly resolute in its support of the troops […]