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In Their Own Words : ANZACs of the Western Front

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Published on Apr 22, 2012

This presentation of WW1 film, together with voices of WW1 veterans, was produced by the Australian War Memorial's film and sound curators. The footage and original oral history recordings are part of the rich film and sound collections of the Australian War Memorial.

The Memorial holds many oral history stories of the Great War; these are stories of veterans who survived to record their stories of the war years leading up to Armistice and beyond. These stories are a fascinating insight into the minds of a previous generation, revealing not only how campaigns were fought, but also the realities of war at an individual level, deeply personalising the Australian history of war with humour and with tears.

Some recordings were conducted by Memorial staff, while a few are memoirs, recorded by the veterans themselves.

Most of Australia's WW1 Western Front footage was shot by official photographers, such as Sir Hubert Wilkins, Herbert Baldwin and Captain Frank Hurley. It was their role to capture an authentic record of Australians in WW1. However, it was virtually impossible for a cameraman of the early 20th Century to take his camera, (large and unwieldy by today's standards), into the active front line. Some footage -- men leaping from a trench and across the wire, for example - had to be staged by arrangement of the cameraman. Nevertheless, it is to these talented and courageous cameramen we owe this captivating glimpse of Australians long gone, and the conditions under which they lived and fought.
For more information about the Memorial's film and sound collections see http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/film/ and http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/sound/

The collection items used in this video are listed below.

Film:
F00018 The Australians' final campaign in 1918
F00048 Ribemont gas school
F00050 With the Australians in France [Australian forces in France 1916]
F00055 The Australians at Messines
F00056 Fighting in Flanders
F00162 Engineers camp, Moore Park, Sydney
F00187 We of the AIF

Sound:
S00421 Private Ralph Silvester Scobie DCM as a private 54th Infantry Battalion AIF France 1917-1918, interviewed by Bryan Butler.

S00466 Norman Frederick Chapman as a lieutenant, 3 Field Company, 1 Division, France, 1917-1918, interviewed by Brian Butler.

S04443 Eric Kingsley Abraham as a private 5 Division Signal Company, Gallipoli and France, 1915-1919 [memoir]

S03783 Otto Carl Nielsen as a member of 25th Infantry Battalion AIF, Gallipoli and France 1915-1918 [reminiscences]

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