The First World War began when Britain and Germany went to war in August 1914, and Prime Minister Andrew Fisher’s government pledged full support for Britain. The outbreak of war was greeted in Australia, as in many other places, with great enthusiasm

Australian War Memorial

 

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Australian troops in the Turkish Lone Pine trenches
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Australian War Memorial

Dates at the beginning of August hold special significance for people world-wide as they mark events that occurred at the very beginning of World War 1 – the war to end all wars.

While this war helped to forge a part of the Australian identity it also resulted in a massive death toll.

Dates:

3 August, 1914 – Australia declares official support for Britain
4 August, 1914 – Britain declares war on Germany
5 August, 1914 – AIF formed throughout Australia
6 August, 1915 – Lone Pine battle

coversTo read the official account of the beginning of World War 1 this link will take you to The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918 , a 12-volume series covering Australia’s involvement in the First World War. The series was edited by the official historian Charles Bean, who also wrote six of the volumes, and was published between 1920 and 1942.

The books, with their familiar covers, “the colour of dried blood” in the words of one reviewer, rapidly became highly regarded internationally. Bean’s work established the tradition and set the standard for all subsequent Australian official war histories.

Click on the Play button on the clip below to play a short video of old footage from that war.

Do you have family members who fought in this war and are there family memories of these soldiers and nurses that you can share with the broader community?

As the centenary of World War 1 approaches,our society would like to have as much information as possible about local ‘diggers’ to share with everyone in the district.

History is not a series of dry facts and dates. The people who lived at the time of those significant dates, and the many stories they had to tell make history live and breathe.

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