SLQ Gallery, level 2
Activity book (all grades)
This document has been designed as an activity sheet which we recommend be downloaded as a PDF and printed for students to use. Download the SLQ Gallery activity book (PDF 247 KB).
Teachers may wish to sort students into small groups to work through the questions in this activity book.
Where to start?
The questions in this book are presented in an anti-clockwise direction, starting from Gilbert Leonard Holcomb. To avoid congestion, it is advised that teachers allocate each group a Queenslander to start from and request that they move around the exhibition by working through the Queenslanders as they appear in this book. Students should not skip any.
As you move around the room, complete the table below. In the last column place a tick if they survived or a cross (x) if they were killed. The names of the Queenslanders appear in this activity book in the order that they are presented in the exhibition. Choose a Queenslander to start from and move around in an anti-clockwise direction.
|Name||Places they served||Role e.g. soldier, nurse, priest||yes or no|
1. Gilbert Leonard Holcomb
2. David John Garland
3. Lachlan Chisholm Wilson
4. Harry Doyle
5. Roy Douglas Proctor
6. George Samuel Deviney
7. Archie Lindesay Black
8. James Toohey
9. John Bain ‘Jack’ Moncrieff
10. Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne
11. Constance Mabel Keys
12. David Gifford Croll
13. George Herbert Bourne
14. Maurice George Delpratt
15. Joseph Cecil Thompson
16. Robert Cyril Vickers
17. Alexander Hammett Marks
18. Francis Henry Staunton
19. Victor Owen Williams
20. Herbert Thomas Moffitt Mallyon
21. Joseph Kevin Murphy
22. Thomas William Glasgow
23. William Maitland Woods
24. George Green
25. Jane McLennan
Use notes to fill out the following table about one of the Queenslanders whose story is detailed in this exhibition.
- Place of residence
- What happened to this Queenslander?
- Where did they serve?
- How long did they serve for?
- What was their role during the war?
- How do we know about this Queenslander? Hint: Look at the objects associated with this Queenslander
- Interesting facts – list medals, awards, stories, etc.
The map wall
Look for the wall with the giant map on it. It is the wall you pass as you enter the gallery.
Find the answers to the questions below by reading the information on the wall.
Answer these questions
Look at the map of Australia
1. Which year recorded the highest level of Australian enlistments?
2. Which year saw the least number of people enlist?
3. How many Australians enlisted all together?
4. How many men left Australia to fight overseas?
5. How many nurses?
6. How many horses?
7. What was the last link with Australia George Deviney couldn't see any more when he wrote his diary in March 1917?
8. What did the Rev George Green think about the countryside where he was stationed in 1915?
First World War statistics for all countries involved
9. Write down the highest number in this section and what does it refer to?
Think about these questions
10. Of the 65 million men who served during the First World War, just over 37 million died. If only 8.5 million were killed on the battlefield, what else might have caused the deaths of the remaining 28.5 million? Write down what you think.
The display cases in front of the map wall
Find the answers to the questions below by looking at the objects in the display cases.
What is it?
Name the following objects and answer the questions:
1a. What is it?
1b. Who owned it originally?
1c. Who took it from the original owner?
2a. What is it?
2b. What was it used for?
2c. What other use did soldiers have for it?
3a. What is it?
3b. What were they used for?
Life in the trenches could be boring, so soldiers had to find ways to keep themselves busy. Find 2 objects in this display cabinet which were used or made by soldiers in an attempt to keep boredom at bay.
This object was used by soldiers to alleviate boredom:
This object was made by soldiers to alleviate boredom:
Which four items would have been used by members of the Australian Light Horse? Write down what they are called.
Find the gas mask.
Poison gas was often used to attack the enemy during the First World War. Although it was one of the most feared weapons, it actually killed very few troops compared to other weapons, such as the machine gun.
There were many different gases used in the First World War such as chlorine gas and mustard gas. Chlorine gas was green and soldiers saw it coming. If they didn’t put their masks on in time, it would choke them to death, as it swelled the airways so much it was impossible to breathe. If the gas didn’t kill the soldier it could cause temporary blindness, blisters or coughing for hours on end.
Gas frightened troops so much that soldiers who developed symptoms such as a sore throat sometimes thought they had been attacked even when they hadn’t. The masks they wore to protect themselves from attack were almost as frightening as the gas itself.
Think about this question
If you were a soldier enduring a gas attack, would you have felt confident that the gas mask in the display box would protect you? Why/Why Not?
Indigenous Servicemen of the First World War
In the early 1900s Australia’s Indigenous people were treated very badly by the government. Their lives were tightly controlled and they had to ask permission to do basic things, such as marry. If they worked, they were paid very little and they even had to ask the government to access their wages; and the government didn’t always say yes.
Indigenous soldiers were not allowed to enlist at the beginning of the war; however some did get through the recruiting process and were sent to Gallipoli. As fewer non-Indigenous Australians signed up, the government changed the rule to allow Indigenous soldiers with one non-Indigenous parent the opportunity to serve.
Although these soldiers fought side by side with other Australians, when they returned to Australia they were not given the same rights and privileges as non-Indigenous servicemen. In fact when they returned home, they found that nothing had changed and they were forced to go back to a life with limited freedoms and totally controlled by the government.
Read the red text panel
Answer these questions
- How many Indigenous soldiers enlisted during the war?
- How many served in Gallipoli?
- List 5 reasons Indigenous soldiers signed up to fight?
- Which branch of the army did the most Indigenous soldiers join?
- Why do you think they joined this branch rather than another?
Gilbert Leonard Holcomb
Gilbert was living in Gatton when war broke out and he was one of the first to enlist. He joined the 2nd Australian Light Horse Field Ambulance and was sent to Gallipoli where he served as an orderly on a hospital ship. When the ANZACs first landed on the shores at Gallipoli, Gilbert and the others on board watched the grisly scene unfold from the safety of their ship. They were quickly put into action though as the wounded were transferred by boat to the hospital ships to be cared for by Gilbert and the doctors and nurses on board. These hospital ships were vital as they ferried the sick, dying and injured between the battle field and field hospitals nearby. They were not immune to attack though and sometimes came under enemy fire.
One day while working on the ship, Gilbert noticed that one of the badly wounded who had been bought aboard was his good friend from home, Les Pountney. Sadly, despite Gilbert and the nursing staff’s best efforts, Les died 10 days later.
In 1916, Gilbert became sick and was sent back to Australia. He never served again.
When soldiers were killed during the war, families were initially informed of their death via a brief telegram. These telegrams did not provide the family with many details about how their loved one died. Often, this information was received through letters written by members of their units who had seen the soldier die, or nursing staff who had nursed the soldiers during the last days of their lives. These letters, although full of sad details, were cherished by those at home.
Find the letter Gilbert Holcomb wrote to Les Pountney’s family. Les’ father had it published in the local paper, as so many people were asking him about what had happened to his son. Read it, then answer the following questions.
Answer these questions
- When did Gilbert write the letter?
- Where was he at the time?
- How does Gilbert describe Les?
- Where did Les die?
- When did Les die?
- What was Les’ last request? (second last paragraph, red biography)
Think about this
If you were Les’ parents and you received this letter from Gilbert, how would you feel? Would you be grateful to receive it?
David John Garland
When the war broke out Canon Garland was in Brisbane and he initially served as a chaplain to the soldiers at Enoggera, who were training for service overseas. Canon Garland believed in conscription and spent some time after this travelling Queensland trying to convince young men of their duty to serve. In 1917 he travelled to Egypt and ministered to the soldiers in the Middle East.
In the early 1900s religion played an important role in the lives of many Australians and Chaplains such as Canon Garland played key roles in looking after the soldiers’ spiritual needs. They served in Queensland helping to prepare soldiers for what lay before them, they served on the front and they helped soldiers once they returned home. At a time when death was always near, even those who were not particularly religious found comfort in attending religious services held by men such as Canon Garland.
Look at the three piece travelling communion set in the display case. While this did not belong to Garland, it was typical of the sort carried by clergy in the war zone.
Read the text in italics. It was written by George Bourne and describes a communion service held near the front line.
Reverend Garland played a big role in the establishment of ANZAC day ceremonies in Queensland. Read paragraph 6 of his red biography and write down the four aspects he developed.
Lachlan Chisholm Wilson
Lachlan Wilson was one of Queensland’s most highly ranked soldiers. He calmly and skilfully led his troops in Gallipoli before serving in the Middle East where he led his troops through many important battles which were crucial in keeping the British in control in this area. For his leadership and skills he was awarded several honours and was one of Queensland’s most highly decorated soldiers.
Look for Wilson in the photographs on the wall. Think about what he is doing in each one?
Look at Wilson’s red biography on the wall.
Answer these questions
- Paragraph 5
List the names of five places where Wilson led his men in military operations. Investigate these back at school to discover more about these battles.
- Paragraph 6
List the honours awarded to Wilson. You may like to research them back at school.
- What did Wilson do after the war?
- How did people describe him?
Harry Doyle was an Indigenous soldier who served in the Middle East as a member of the 11th Light Horse Regiment. He saw action in Sinai and the Jordan Valley, including the Battle of Beersheba.
As a returned serviceman, Harry was granted an exemption from the Protection of Aborigines Act. This meant that he was not bound by as many restrictive laws other Indigenous Australians were.
Not a lot is known about Harry after the war. He spent his final years in Cairns and died while living in a home, used by ex-soldiers who had nowhere else to go. After his death, his friends raised money to place a headstone on his grave, to mark the resting place of a loved friend and a great soldier.
Think about this
A person’s grave can tell you a lot about them. Look at Harry’s grave. Is it fancy, plain, expensive or simple? What does the headstone say? What do you think Harry’s grave might tell us about him?
Read Harry’s Attestation Papers. These are papers Harry and other recruits filled in when they enlisted. Write down some of the information it asks for?
Answer these questions
- How old was Harry Doyle when he enlisted?
- What was his job at the time of his enlistment?
Roy Douglas Proctor
Roy Proctor was killed in action in 1917. During the war he sent home many letters and postcards, especially to his sister Ruby. After his death, Ruby placed all of the letters etc in a box and each year on Roy’s birthday, Ruby would bring them out and remember the brother she loved and lost. In later life Ruby donated these items to State Library of Queensland.
Look at some of the postcards Roy sent home to Ruby and his family. List the names of the places Roy sent them from?
Look at the photograph of Roy’s headstone.
- How old was he when he was killed?
- Where is he buried?
- Was this headstone originally placed on Roy’s grave or did it replace something?
- This is a memorial card sent to Roy’s mother after the war. What information does it provide?
- Briefly explain what the Next of Kin memorial plaque is. Who was issued with it and why?
- Briefly explain what the Females Relatives Badge is. Who was issued with it and why?
George Samuel Deviney
George Deviney was a young man looking for adventure. In 1916, he left his father and siblings at home in Helidon and headed off to war in France. While overseas he wrote several letters home and despite the misery he was enduring, his letters were filled with cheerful stories about his time spent training and in the trenches.
Sadly George did not make it home and was killed on the battlefield. His diary, in which he had regularly written while overseas, was found among the mud by a British serviceman. At the first opportunity the British soldier wrapped it in brown paper and sent it back to Helidon where it was gratefully received by George’s family.
Read George’s last entry he made in his diary. It was written only two days before he was killed.
Look at George’s diary. Why is it so small? Where do you think George kept it? Does it look in good condition? Think – If only this diary could talk; what would it say, what had it seen?
George became good mates with another soldier called Owen Donlen. They would have endured a lot together during their war service. After George was killed, Owen wrote to George’s family. Read the last paragraph of George’s biography to see what Owen wrote.
Imagine how difficult it was for Owen to endure the war without his best mate George.
Read the letter which was sent to George’s family notifying them that he had been killed. This letter was typical of the time. Imagine how postmen must have felt delivering these letters. Imagine how the family felt receiving them. These letters gave few details about how the soldier was killed. If you were George’s family, what questions might you like to ask about his death? Write down 2 or 3.
Archie Lindesay Black
Archie Black was a member of an artillery brigade. The artillery units were certainly the ‘big guns’ of the war, for it was this corps that was responsible for stocking, moving and firing the big guns used in the war. The First World War was considered an artillery war. The big artillery guns caused the greatest loss of life during the First World War and were responsible for some of the most terrible injuries.
Look at the postcard which shows one of the big guns in action during a training camp in Brisbane in 1916. How many men are working it? How easy would this gun have been to move around the muddy trenches in France?
Just like you, soldiers received report cards too, only the subjects were quite different.
Look for Archie’s Cadet Report Card. What subjects did he study? How did he go?
Look at Archie’s diary. How big is it? What is sticking out the bottom of it?
Read paragraph 4 of Archie’s red biography then answer this question: What was Archie responsible for?
Winters in France can be bitterly cold and, unlike Queensland winters, wet. Read paragraph 6 then write down what a soldier might expect during a French winter spent in the trenches.
James Toohey was a linesman in the First World War as well as a gunner. Linesmen were extremely important during the First World War. Their job was to aid and maintain communication between those directing the battles and those fighting the battles.
Early in the war messages were communicated by hand written documents which were delivered by runners (soldiers) or by animals, such as dogs and pigeons. Visual forms of communication such as semaphore (a system of sending messages by holding the arms or two hand-held flags or poles in certain positions according to an alphabetic code) and lamps which flashed Morse code were also used and Toohey became an expert at both of these. As the war went on, telephones or trench phones which could receive and send Morse code were developed. For these to work wires had to be planted across the battlefield. This job was done by signal troops such as Toohey, who attempted to lay the lines down behind advancing troops. Hence they were called linesmen. This job was vital but very dangerous as the wires were easily snapped or destroyed by enemy shelling and linesmen were often seen re-running the lines or fixing them under heavy enemy fire. As such, Toohey was often called upon to perform acts of bravery and so returned a much decorated (awarded) soldier.
Examine Toohey’s identity tags. Every soldier was issued with two, why?
As well as a linesman, Toohey acted as a gunner. Read paragraph 3 then list down some of the duties he undertook in this role.
As a linesman, Toohey faced constant danger. Read paragraph 5 to find out what happened to him in July 1916. Read paragraph 6 then list the medals Toohey was awarded.
John Bain ‘Jack’ Moncrieff
Jack was a hard working young farmer from Mitchell when he enlisted in 1915. He was at Gallipoli for 18 weeks before being evacuated with dysentery, an illness which would often recur during his service. As a result, many of the letters Jack sent home were written in military hospitals while he dealt with bouts of this illness. His letters are full of stories about all aspects of the war including the places he visited on his days off, what his role involved as well as references to other young men from home that he met while overseas. His last letter, dated 18 August 1916, reassured his parents he was safe and sound. The next correspondence they received from the front was a letter informing them that their much loved son Jack had been killed in France. He was 25 years old.
Look at the medals and the memorial plaque in the brown glass frame.
List the names of the medals Jack received.
Answer this question
Who were memorial plaques given to?
You will see several of these throughout the exhibition. Look for them as you move through.
Describe the memorial plaque. What words are written on it? What images are on it? You might like to investigate the meaning of these images when you return to school.
Look at the memorial scroll.
Answer this question
Who were memorial scrolls issued to?
Read the quote at the top of Jack’s biography. What does this tell you about the importance of letters from home?
Look at the images on the postcards Jack sent home during the war.
Think: how are they typical of other postcards sent at this time?
Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne
Eleanor was not a nurse but a doctor. She was one of only 129 female doctors in Australia at that time and one of 15 who served during the war. Eleanor was the first Queensland woman to study medicine.
Initially the Australian army did not allow female doctors to enlist, but Eleanor was determined to serve and so travelled to London at her own expense before enlisting in the Australian Medical Corps in 1916. She served mainly in London at hospitals which treated soldiers who were recovering from war injuries.
The early 1900s was a time when women were not considered as capable as men and were given very few work opportunities. Despite this, the hospital Dr Bourne worked at comprised an all female staff and she wrote later in life about the skill, dedication and professionalism of the women she worked alongside during this time.
After the war Dr Bourne remained in Britain where she worked until her retirement, at which time she returned to Queensland.
Who else in Dr Bourne’s family served during the First World War and what was his/her duty?
Constance Mabel Keys
Constance was one of the first Queenslanders to embark for the First World War and became one of Australia’s most highly decorated nurses. She saw some of the first service of the war when in November 1914, en route to Egypt she nursed German survivors from the Emden, a German ship which had been sunk by HMS Sydney.
During the Gallipoli campaign, she worked in field hospitals as well as nursing wounded Australians on hospital ships as they travelled home. After her time at Gallipoli, she was sent to England where she served in military hospitals. In 1917 she was sent to France.
In France, Constance and her fellow nurses were never far from the front line and had to work under difficult, frightening and often dangerous conditions. In order to avoid being killed from heavy artillery fire or captured by the Germans, field hospitals had to move… a lot! This was extremely difficult in conditions that were wet, cold and muddy. The constant movement also did nothing to alleviate the soldiers’ conditions as they were bought to the hospital suffering from gas and artillery attack, illness or pure exhaustion.
After peace was declared, work for the nurses did not stop. There were still wounded soldiers to care for. Constance finally returned to Australia in November 1919, five years after she had left.
Britain declared war on Germany on August 4 1914. Look at Constance’s Attestation papers (enlistment papers). When did she enlist? Do you think this was a reflection of her support for the war or her dedication to nursing?
David Gifford Croll
David Croll was a doctor. When war broke out David, his wife Winnie who was a nurse, and his brother John all signed up. Winnie was sent to Egypt while David served firstly at Gallipoli and then at various points throughout the Middle East.
His diaries detail many aspects of the war including the difficulties under which he and the soldiers worked. His job not only involved treating the wounded but also the transportation of medical goods and wounded men through harsh desert conditions, as well as organising the retrieval of wounded men, often while under fire.
He served for the entire duration of the war and was remembered as a practical, organised, hardworking, professional medical officer and soldier.
Look at the objects in the display cabinet and read the text labels.
Look at the postcards. Think: Do you keep things like this? Why do you think Doctor Croll kept them?
Answer these questions
- Each regiment had their own colours. What were the regimental colours of the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance?
- Have a look at the Australian Army Medical Corps armband. Who do you think wore this and why?
Find the Map of Cairo and the Environs.
This map belonged to Dr Croll and lists tourist sites Australians could visit during the war; for many a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Imagine you are an Australian nurse or soldier, far from home. You have a few days off and you want to explore Cairo.
Locate the following places on the map: the pyramids, the River Nile, Cairo.
List three other sites you would like to visit
Back at school you might like to locate these places on a current map.
George Herbert Bourne
George Bourne was 33 years old when he enlisted in August 1914. He had previous military experience and so was appointed Major in the 2nd Light Horse Regiment. His sister was Dr Eleanor Bourne who also served in the First World War and whose story is also described in this exhibition.
We know about George’s story from the many letters he wrote during his time in the military. Some of his first letters describe the excitement he felt travelling from Australia to Egypt on a transport ship full of eager soldiers and frisky horses. After several months in Egypt, the men left their horses behind and travelled to Gallipoli to fight. His letters describe the many difficulties they faced.
Late in the Gallipoli campaign George fell ill and was evacuated. When he returned to his unit they were now stationed in the Middle East and this is where George spent the rest of his First World War service.
On the journey over to Egypt, the horses, though cared for as well as could be, were kept in cramped conditions. When they disembarked at Egypt the soldiers and horses remained there for several months before going into battle. For the soldiers this was a time to sightsee and to undertake more basic training. How did this time serve the horses? What did it give the horses time to do? Read paragraph 2 of George’s red biography to find out.
After some time at Gallipoli, there were hundreds of allied and Turkish corpses, scattered across the battlefield. The rotting corpses were smelly and there was a high risk that they could cause disease. The allies and Turkish soldiers organised a temporary armistice (halt to the fighting) to bury their dead. George Bourne witnessed this event.
Read paragraph 4 of his red biography to discover how he described it.
Look at George’s canvas kit bag. This kit bag was used to carry all of the items issued to George by the army. Think about what George might have needed or used. Write down five things you think might have been in George’s kit bag.
When you get back to school you might like to look at this web-page to see if you were right:
Examine the medals
Look at George’s Medals. Draw one which you most like the design of then write its name below it.
Maurice George Delpratt
Maurice Delpratt’s story is unlike any of the other Queenslanders in the exhibition. Originally a school teacher from Mount Tamborine, Maurice was working on a station in Longreach when war broke out in 1914. He immediately signed up and joined the Light Horse. Like his fellow soldiers, Maurice was sent to Egypt then onto Gallipoli. It was here that his life took a very different direction from the other Australians serving with him.
After only a few months his family received word that he was missing in action. This meant either one of two things: the first was that Maurice was dead but it couldn’t be confirmed as nobody had seen him killed and his body had not been located. The second was that he had been captured and was now a prisoner of war (POW). In September they received confirmation that it was the latter.
During an attack on enemy lines, Maurice had been asked to run a message to the soldiers at the front. While undertaking this task, he was mistaken by Australian machine gunners as Turkish. They pinned him down, forcing him to take cover in a Turkish trench. He was then captured and held as a prisoner of war (POW) for the next three years.
During his time as a POW he sent many letters home detailing his experience. His family were able to write letters to him regularly. It was these letters from home more than anything else which sustained Maurice through the hardships he endured during his long captivity.
Paragraph 5 of Maurice’s red biography details some of the places he was held captive. Write down at least four places listed. When you get back to school you might like to locate them on a map.
Paragraph 6 details the work Maurice and other POWs were forced to do and the conditions they had to endure. Briefly describe these.
Locate and read the letter Maurice sent to his family telling them that he had been captured. It explains the events that led to his capture.
Imagine how his family must have felt receiving this news. Do you think they would have been glad or do you think it would have worried them more?
Write down what it says about how the Australian soldiers at the time felt about being captured. What did they think it was?
Think: Do you agree with them? Does Maurice blame the Australian gunners? Whose fault does he think it is?
Look at the photographs of the prisoners of war. Find Maurice.
Think: What are the prisoners wearing? How do they look? Where do you think this photograph was taken? What are the buildings made of in the background? What is their condition?
Look at the field service postcard sent from Maurice, dated 25 May 1915.
Think: How soon after the Gallipoli landings did Maurice send this? It doesn’t say much but family at home would still have been glad to have received it. Why?
Look at the postcards Maurice’s family sent him. What are the images of?
Think: How would these have made Maurice feel when he received them?
Look at the badge with the Red Cross Symbol.
Prisoners of War were not forgotten by those at home. Organisations such as the Red Cross set up appeals to raise money. The money was used to purchase goods, food and medicines which were then sent to the Prisoners of War. Without these parcels, many POWs would not have survived.
Joseph Cecil Thompson
Cecil Thompson was a 22 year old farrier (a person who shoes horses) from Childers who enlisted at the beginning of the war. Instead of joining the Light Horse which might have been expected from a farrier, Joseph loved music as much as horses, and joined the band of the 9th Infantry Battalion as a cornet player.
In combat situations, bandsmen were traditionally employed as stretcher bearers, carrying the sick and wounded from the front line to casualty clearing stations. Cecil spent five long years collecting and carrying wounded and dead soldiers. He became intimately acquainted with the hills and trenches of Gallipoli and the mud, trenches and dugouts of France. A stretcher bearer’s job was vital but also difficult, dangerous and often fatal. As well as his stretcher bearer duties, Cecil also performed in the band when opportunity allowed it.
Cecil served in Gallipoli and France. He took photographs which detail his time in Gallipoli and described key events, such as the Gallipoli landing, in a diary which he wrote in throughout the war.
Somehow Joseph survived typhoid, being gassed and constantly being exposed to enemy fire. After the war he returned to Australia and was granted a 340 acre block of land in Isis.
Look at photograph of the 9th Battalion Army Band in France in 1917. Find Cecil.
During the war, goods and foods people used every day were expensive and hard to come by. To ensure that everyone received enough basic supplies and to make it fair, the government issued ration books. When a person wanted to purchase something such as tea, they would have to tear a coupon out of their ration book and hand it over to the shop keeper. Each coupon gave the holder permission to buy a certain amount of food. Rationing was tighter in England than it was in Australia.
Look at Cecil’s ration book. He used it when he was on leave in England. Write down what it entitled him to buy.
Write down what was on the menu for Sergeant’s dining in Lemnos, on 27 November, 1915.
Read the extract from Cecil’s diary written in italics at the start of his red biography. Write down how it describes the Turks’ bullets.
Robert Cyril Vickers
Robert Vickers was a young butcher from Rockhampton when he enlisted in August 1915. Robert joined the 1st Light Horse Brigade Train and spent all of his war service in the dry desert of the Middle East. Robert was a driver on the supply trains which transported food and goods to the soldiers on the front line. Supply trains were not the trains we think of today but a long line of horses, carts and wagons carrying supplies across the desert. As a driver, Robert rode one of the horses and ‘drove’ the supplies to the troops. While he did not see any action, his job was vitally important as the morale and often the lives of those fighting on the front line depended upon a regular supply of goods. After all, soldiers couldn’t fight without ammunition and in the hot desert conditions they could not survive without water. Drivers such as Robert bought all these goods to the troops.
During his time in the Middle East, Robert took many photos. There is a saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. The photographs he took provide us with primary evidence of what soldiers serving in the Middle East experienced on a daily basis, the dangers of war and the fun they had on their days off.
Do thisLook at some of the photographs Robert took and read the text labels. As you do so think about the following questions:
- Have you heard of any of the places Robert served in?
- What is the environment like in the Middle East?
- What difficulties would the environment have caused the soldiers and the horses?
- What goods might the Australians have needed to deal with these conditions?
- What difficulties would it have caused for the transportation of goods?
Read paragraph 3 of Robert’s red biography. It details what his job as a driver involved.
- Write down three things his job required him to do.
- Write down what conditions were like in the desert which made his job difficult.
Read paragraph 4 of Robert’s red biography. It details some of the conditions he endured in the Middle East.
Write down the name of the disease which struck down Robert and many other troops serving in the Middle East.
Alexander Hammett Marks
Dr Marks was one of three brothers who were all doctors and who all served during the First World War. He enlisted early in the war and experienced the whole Gallipoli campaign from the landing to the withdrawal. During his time in Gallipoli he wrote letters home from the trenches detailing his experiences.
After Gallipoli he was sent to France. In February 1917 he fell ill with pneumonia and was sent to London. In October he returned to France where he commanded the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Casualty clearing stations were positioned not far from the front lines and were places wounded were evacuated to first. Soldiers here were then treated and returned to the front line, or if their injuries were severe they were evacuated to a military hospital far away from the front line.
Dr Marks served for the entire war. He is remembered for his keen sense of humour, positive attitude and skill as a doctor. His efforts were recognised with several awards.
Look at the objects in the display cabinet and read the text labels.
Answer these questions
- Where did the wood for Dr Marks’ walking stick come from?
- How many medals was Dr Marks awarded?
- What is the sketch of?
- Name 5 buildings shown on the sketch?
- What is the aerial photograph of?
Francis Henry Staunton
Frank was from Richmond in north-west Queensland so when he arrived in Brisbane for basic training in late December 1914, he was already a long way from home.
In June 1915, Frank sailed to Egypt where he took in the sights before undergoing further basic training. His battalion was among the last to arrive in Gallipoli and so he was only stationed there for a few months. After Gallipoli, Frank was sent to France and this time his battalion was among the first Australians to arrive.
To begin with, Frank’s letters home reported that life in the French trenches was not as bad as that in Gallipoli, however it was early on in the fighting and winter had not yet set in.
During time off Frank travelled to London and judging from his letters home, had a wonderful time as he reported that he found it difficult to return to the battlefields of France. Sadly in late July 1916, Frank was killed by an artillery shell while running a message during his battalion’s first big battle. Many of his fellow ANZACs were also killed on that day.
Look at the items in the display case and read the text labels.
Answer the following questions
- Why would the cigarette box have been a treasured possession?
- What material were the flowers on the postcard made from?
- Who made these postcards?
- Why was the Next of Kin Memorial Plaque issued to Frank’s family?
- List the other medals and badges awarded to Frank and his family?
Look at the colourful souvenir with the words, ‘To Mother With Love From Frank’ embroidered on it. Think: How do you think Frank’s mum would have felt when she received this? Do you recognise any of the faces or flags on the souvenir?
Victor Owen Williams
At the start of the war, Vic was too young to enlist, but in 1917, just before his 19th birthday, he couldn’t wait any longer and signed up. He was looking for adventure and he got it.
In August 1917, he sailed to Scotland where he disembarked before moving down to the south of England where he participated in basic training. During this time he bought a bicycle and rode it to a nearby training camp where he caught up with his best mate from home, Allen, who had also enlisted.
Late in the war in 1918, Vic left England and was sent to France. Here Vic and his battalion engaged in battle for the first time. Vic’s unit suffered heavy casualties and Vic himself was wounded in both hands and was evacuated to hospital. He had returned to his unit for only a month when he became ill with the flu and dysentery and was again evacuated. When Vic was finally well enough to return to his unit, peace had already been declared.
Vic’s war may have been short, but he saw some fierce battles during that time. Vic wrote two diaries during his service and many letters home which provide a unique insight into his experiences of war.
Examine the objects and images in the display case and read the text labels.
Look at the photographs. Think: what is happening in them? How do the soldiers look? What do you think the soldiers might have been feeling?
Answer these questions
- Where was the photograph of the giant wheel sent from?
- Where is the foldout souvenir booklet from?
Herbert Thomas Moffatt Mallyon
In August 1915, Herbert Mallyon, a young station hand from Dalwood, Springsure, in central Queensland, left the family property and travelled to Brisbane to enlist.
In January 1916 he embarked on HMAT Runic as part of the 13th Reinforcement, 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, but upon his arrival in Egypt, Herbert was deployed to the 15th Field Ambulance as a driver. After four months in the desert he boarded the Royal George, bound for Marseilles, and by July 1916 he was working as a stretcher bearer in the trenches of Bac St Maur.
The Herbert Thomas Moffitt Mallyon Papers contain postcards from Herbert to his mother Mary Ellen, photographs o f Herbert and his mates, and two diaries from 1916 and 1917. In his diaries, Herbert writes about life in the trenches, and his daily activities as part of C Section, 15th Field Ambulance. Although brief, his entries convey the horror of their situation, as he describes the noise of heavy bombardment, the harsh winter, and the challenges of carrying wounded for miles over wet and muddy ground in the rain.
As he records the relentless routine of going into the trenches, enduring several days under fire, then retiring to billets behind the lines, Herbert reveals himself as a capable young man with a dry wit, an admirable work ethic, and an obvious affection for his comrades-in-arms. Leave is anticipated with enthusiasm and relief, and resumption of duties with resigned pragmatism.
Herbert never made it home to Queensland. His later diary entries note increasing casualties among the members of the Field Ambulance, particularly the stretcher bearers, and on 29th September 1917 Herbert too was wounded in action, evacuated, and died of multiple shell wounds.
In a letter to Herbert’s mother Mrs Mallyon, the members of the 15th Australian Field Ambulance expressed their deep sorrow that their comrade Mallyon had been killed. Every member of C Section signed the letter.
Look at the photograph of the men from Springsure. Find Herbert.
Read the letter sent from Herbert’s Brigade to his mother.
Think: How would this letter have made his mother feel?
Write down how Lieutenant Parker and the other members of his Brigade felt about Herbert.
Think: How was Herbert killed? How did his unit look after him at the time?
Look at the photograph of the three soldiers sitting outside a dugout.
Think: What is the dugout made of? Do you think this would provide much protection from gas attacks, grenades or even the weather?
Dugouts were areas of ground, usually in trench walls, that were literally dug out. They varied in size and design and were used as places where soldiers could retreat in times of heavy shelling, when they wanted to sleep or to get out of the weather. Sometimes soldiers of higher rank used them as command centres.
Joseph Kevin Murphy
Captain Joseph Murphy was one of four brothers from the same family who enlisted for service during the First World War. An inspiration to those he commanded, he was a highly decorated soldier and received many medals in recognition of his skill and leadership on the battlefield. One of his most interesting and unusual missions abroad was the retrieval and removal of a German tank. This same German tank is now on display in the Queensland Museum and is the only surviving First World War German tank of its kind.
Read paragraph 5 of Captain Murphy’s red biography to learn about the difficulties he faced in moving the tank.
Read the letter sent from the Department of Defence which notifies Captain Joseph Murphy that he is to receive the Military Cross.
There is a mistake on this form. What is it?
Hint: The answer is found in the text labels but see if you can find it first.
Write down the names of the medals Murphy was awarded during his service.
Answer this question How many times was Murphy wounded?
Thomas William Glasgow
Sir Thomas William Glasgow was the highest ranking Queenslander to serve in the First World War. As Major-General he was considered one of Australia’s best commanders. He served in both Gallipoli and France. Later in the war he led his men to some key victories in France, which pushed the Germans back and turned the tide of the war. Despite his hard, military traits, he was a loving family man who greatly missed his wife and daughters. He wrote hundreds of letters to them during his war service. After the war he returned to Brisbane where he led Brisbane’s ANZAC parade for 20 years.
Read paragraph 4 of Glasgow’s biography. List some of the leadership qualities Glasgow is reported to have had.
Look in the display case for the gift Australian soldiers received for Christmas 1915.
Imagine how you would have felt receiving this small gift if you were one of those soldiers.
William Maitland Woods
Padre Woods spent his war service stationed in the Middle East near his son who was also serving overseas. Like other chaplains he was kept busy holding communion services, ministering to the men and burying those who had died. Woods was well suited for service in the Middle East for he was a keen amateur archaeologist and is remembered for his part in excavating the Shellal Mosaic.
This Shellal Mosaic is a marble mosaic which was originally on the floor of a church built around 1,500 years ago, in the present day Gaza Strip. After the church was destroyed, the mosaic lay covered for hundreds of years until Turkish soldiers uncovered and damaged it as they were trying to dig a hole in which to place a machine gun. Later in the war this position was taken over by ANZAC forces who, upon discovering the mosaic, asked the Reverend Woods to excavate it. Woods and a team of soldiers did so under the surveillance of German planes which, (often flew low overhead) during the excavation, were probably curious as to what the ANZACs were doing. Finally the mosaic was shipped out of Palestine to Australia. It now resides in the Australian War Museum.
Look at the photographs of the mosaic and the excavation.
Think about this question
At the time some Australian and British authorities expressed concern that removing the mosaic was the wrong thing to do and that it should be returned to its place of origin, Palestine, as they are the rightful owners. The debate continues today.
Do you think bringing it to Australia was the right thing to do?
Should the Australian war memorial return it its traditional owners?
Some of the most moving and detailed reports of the First World War held by State Library are found in diaries written by the Reverend Green. The Reverend Green served at Gallipoli and in France and England. Although Chaplains such as Green did not fight, they endured the same conditions as the soldiers they ministered to and suffered much from their experiences. One of their worst tasks was burying the dead.
Look for The Reverend Green’s Gallipoli diary in the display case.
Read the words in italics in paragraph 5 of the Reverend Green’s red biography. It is a diary entry he wrote after he had to bury some dead soldiers at Gallipoli.
Read paragraph 6 of the Reverend Green’s red biography. It talks about the conditions he endured in Gallipoli.
Answer these questions
- What did the Reverend Green smell and see when he was performing burial rites on the dead soldiers? (paragraph 5)
- List some of the things the Reverend Green had to endure while serving in Gallipoli? (paragraph 6)
Jane McClennan was a nurse who served in Greece. There were no ANZAC troops serving in the area so Jane nursed British troops. The area Jane worked in was scattered with tents which could house up to 2,000 men. Positioned a bit away from the front line, wounded soldiers were brought to the tent hospital in convoy which meant that Jane and the other nurses had to deal with large numbers of sick and wounded arriving at the same time.
Read paragraph 5 and describe the conditions Jane and her other nurses worked under.
Answer these questions
- Australian nurses were easily recognised by the red capes they wore. Often they used a rising sun badge to clip the cape together at the front. What was Jane’s cape made out of?
- How do we know about Jane’s service? What did she write?
Think about this
Jane and the other nurses not only nursed British soldiers but also prisoner of war patients including Turks and Austrians. How do you think this would have made the nurses feel?
In March 1918 Jane fell ill and was sent home. Read paragraph 6 to discover how Jane felt about this. Why do you think she felt like this?
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