All stories

A very different childhood

Joyce McGrath

Jack McGrath was eighteen when he enlisted to fight in the war. Right from the beginning of his service, Jack was plagued by illness and injury – pleurisy, pneumonia, and malaria sent him to hospital... » read more

I have only spoke for my rights

James Arden

James Arden volunteered for service in the First AIF in 1916. He was forty-three years of age, a labourer, and described himself as a ‘natural born British subject’. The authorities were more... » read more

Marked secret

Samuel Mellor

Elizabeth Mellor first wrote to Melbourne Base Records in 1917. She had heard nothing from her son Samuel in years and feared ‘something must have happened to him’. She wondered if the Army could... » read more

She hath done what she could

Edith Moorhouse

Edith Moorhouse was born in Undera, a small town outside Kyabram in country Victoria. Her mother died in 1891 at the age of thirty-eight; her father the year later. At the age of six Edith was left... » read more

That other war

Reginald Biggs

Little more than a boy when he went to war, Private Biggs served as a signaller. He was often near the frontline, often shelled, gassed, and afraid. Certainly, Reginald Biggs recalled the danger,... » read more

The Great Fuck Up

Cecil Tarrant

Cecil Tarrant was a young Welshman who came to Australia seeking new beginnings. Within just a few short years he was brought back to Europe, marching to war with the 15th Battalion. Tarrant was... » read more

The land held a secret

Berrol Mendelsohn

A few years before the people of Fromelles returned to their homes, Mrs Mendelsohn wrote the first of many letters to the authorities. Her son Berrol had been killed in a ‘terrible battle’ not far... » read more

True to Australia

Peter Chirvin

Born in Vladivlastok, Peter Chirvin was one of over a thousand Anzacs of Russian descent. He served on Gallipoli, was wounded twice in action and was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery as a... » read more

A garden of memory

Dorothy Gilbert

Within a few months of the war ending, the Mayoress of Adelaide convened a meeting in the Town Hall. Its purpose was to raise a women’s war memorial and all the principal charities and patriotic... » read more

His country and his manhood

Charles Byrne

After the returned from war, Private Charles Byrne settled on a wheat farm in Gunnedah.  Something of a larrikin, the Gallipoli veteran renamed his property ‘Bugralong’.  Like thousands of... » read more