“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 […]

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 […]

Exhibitions, essays, letters and more

As well as the many great posts we have here on our First World War blog, we’ve also been commemorating the First World War in many other ways. Exhibition Our ‘Going to War’ exhibition is in our foyer exhibition space at QSA’s premises – 345 Compton Rd Runcorn. The first in a series of exhibitions, […]

Queensland at the outbreak of First World War

This blog post is part of a series of essays commissioned by Queensland State Archives and written by historian Brian Rough. 4 August 1914. Britain, Australia and other Commonwealth nations declared that they were at war with Germany following its invasion of Belgium the day before. Queensland’s Premier, Digby Denham, was advised of the outbreak of […]

‘No place for rail sitters’: the conscription debate in Queensland during the First World War

This blog post is part of a series of essays commissioned by Queensland State Archives and written by historian Dr Judith McKay. The number of men enlisting for active service at the outbreak of the First World War was high. However, by late 1915, as casualties rose and enlistments fell, the AIF faced a shortage of […]

‘Keep the fires of enthusiasm burning’: Recruitment and enlistment in Queensland during the First World War

The recruitment of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War has been called ‘the greatest effort that Australia ever made as a nation’ (Robson, 1970). Approximately 417,000 Australians enlisted voluntarily between 1914 and 1918, of which more than 57,700 were Queenslanders. This figure constituted about 40 per cent of all men aged […]