All stories

Conscription by stealth

Giovanni Ferrando

Signor Giovanni Ferrando was a former consul for the Kingdom of Italy, a successful businessman, and twenty-two years an Australian resident. He volunteered for service in the early days of the war,... » read more

The boy soldier

Bernard Haines

Bernard Haines was one of Australia’s boy soldiers. The papers tell us he was 14 when he enlisted, 15 when they sent him to France, 16 when he was gravely wounded at the Battle of Baupaume. They... » read more

The Empire's bidding

James Ferguson

James Ferguson was a farmer from Midlands, Western Australia. He served as a trooper in the 8th Light Horse, saw savage action in the Middle East and, when Turkey sued for peace in 1918, expected to... » read more

The first to arrive, the last to leave

Rose Venn Brown

Rose Venn Brown was the first Australian woman to sign on for war work in France. She would also be the last to leave. When war broke out, Rose was working as the Assistant Registrar at Sydney... » read more

The man in the bath

Samuel Rolfe

Gas was one of the Great War’s greatest horrors. There were seventeen types of gas developed during the Great War. The Allies and the Germans competed for new ways to blind, choke, cripple and kill... » read more

A labour of love

William Knox

The son of a successful businessman, William Knox was raised at ‘Ranfurlie’, a stately home in East Malvern. Knox was educated at Scotch College, one of Melbourne’s most elite schools, and he gave... » read more

But for the grace of God

Joseph Bolton

Private Joseph Bolton fought in the Second Battle of Bullecourt, the AIF’s second attempt to break the heavily fortified Hindenburg Line. On the first day he was struck by a shell and on the second... » read more

Captain Charlie’s boozer

Allen Charlie Kingston

Allen Charlie Kingston commanded the Australian War Graves Detachment at Villers-Bretonneux. A Gallipoli veteran, Kingston had seen four years of war and supervised the recovery of hundreds of bodies... » read more

Gone to pieces

William Brown

William Brown enlisted when he was forty-three. Sent into the line, he suffered what they called ‘shell concussion’. Brown was trapped in the trenches for days on end, forced to drink water... » read more

Like a broken doll

Margaret Broadhurst

In the years before war took hold of the world, Margaret and Tom fell in love. On the eve of his enlistment, Tom proposed to Margaret with a diamond ring and their engagement was announced.... » read more