1914-1915 drought

In the last 100 years the severity of the 1914-1915 drought has often been overshadowed by the outbreak of World War One. It was widespread throughout Australia and particularly prevalent in Victoria, central New South Wales, Tasmania south-western Western Australia as well as in South Australia. Rainfall in early 1914 gave farmers hope for their crops after a long, dry summer. However, as the year progressed, the rain came to a halt and did not return for thirteen long months. The ground became dry and crops began to wither. Stock within the southern states was transported to more suitable areas via railway, causing prices to rise substantially. Throughout various areas of South Australia, May through to October of 1914 remains the driest period on record. By the end of 1914, the wheat harvest was a mere quarter of what had been achieved in the previous year.

View more content related to 1914-1915 drought.

Terrell, Frederick Leopold

After working as an iron moulder, 25 year old Frederick Leopold (Leo) Terrell was frustrated by the lack of work in South Australia and, enlisted for service for the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train at Keswick on 27 March, 1915. After several months of training, Terrell embarked from Australia on 3 June 1915 and served with the AIF at Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay. He later served with the 12th Field Artillery Battery on the Western front in Europe.

View more content related to Terrell, Frederick Leopold.

Ottoman Empire in 1914

In its heyday, in the late 17th century, the Ottoman Empire had controlled much of southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus and northern Africa. Constantinople (now Istanbul) was the capital, and with control over lands around the Mediterranean, the Empire played a significant role in the interactions between East and West. However, the Empire was in decline in the decades leading up to the First World War, losing much of its territory to European powers. It entered the war in November 1914 on the side of the Central Powers, and played a significant role in the Middle Eastern campaigns.

View more content related to Ottoman Empire in 1914.

Avery, Louis Willyama

Louis Willyama Avery was born on July 15, 1891, and moved to Adelaide from Broken Hill for his education. He attended St Peter’s College and later the SA School of Mines, where he studied Engineering. He was working in Broken Hill when war was declared, and he decided to enlist for service in August 1914. He was a member of the 3rd Field Engineers, A.I.F, 1st Australian Division, 3rd Brigade, and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915. Later in the war he fought in Europe, being awarded a Military Medal in 1917. Following his time in the Dardanelles, Avery was hospitalised suffering from typhoid fever, and letters from his father to military administration show how difficult it was for families in Australia to find out information about the health of soldiers overseas.

View more content related to Avery, Louis Willyama.

AIF Camp in Egypt

The AIF began disembarking in Alexandria, Egypt on 3 December 1914. From here it was a five hour train ride to Cairo, then marched to their camp. The Australian Infantry camp was located at Mena, near the pyramids of Giza. Six days a week they were drilled – marching through the sand, digging and attacking trenches and it was here that they were formed into the ANZAC Corps, with the New Zealand forces. Major-General William Birdwood, a 49-year old British officer was given command of the corps.

View more content related to AIF Camp in Egypt.

Bean, Charles

Official war historian C.E.W. Bean was born in New South Wales, but completed his education in England. He returned to Australia in 1904 and began to practice law, but opted for a career in journalism instead, in 1908. In September 1914 he won a ballot held by the Australian Journalists Association to become Australia’s official war correspondent, narrowly defeating Keith Murdoch. He travelled with the first contingent of the AIF to Egypt and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April. During his time with the troops, he became a passionate advocate for the idea of a museum to remember the war, and became a driving force behind the creation of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. He was also responsible for writing the detailed history of Australia’s involvement in the War, which is available online at the Australian War Memorial site. http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/first_world_war/

View more content related to Bean, Charles.

Seager, Alexandrine

In business before the war, Mrs Alexandrine Seager had the administrative and organisational skill required for running the Cheer Up Society, which she founded in, after visiting Morphettville camp to see her son in the Australian Imperial Force in November 1914. With the support of the editor of Adelaide newspaper, The Register, she appealed to South Australian women to join the Society, which aimed to provide 'general comfort, welfare, and entertainment' for soldiers. Initially, they visited camps, arranged entertainments, such as concerts and sent comforts to the front. As the wounded began returning from Gallipoli, they provided comfort and care. From 1915 they were based in a large tent behind the Adelaide Railway Station, which was replaced by the Cheer-Up Hut in nearby Elder Park (opened on 14 November, 1915). The Society had eighty country branches, and a key aspect of their fundraising was the annual Violet Day Appeal (first held on 2 July 1915). She was also instrumental in the foundation of the South Australian Returned Soldiers’ Association. For further information, visit History SA's online resource, Adelaidia

View more content related to Seager, Alexandrine.

Cheer-Up Society

The South Australian Cheer-Up Society was founded by Alexandrina Seager. Its object was to support the soldiers as well as to bring them into contact with the 'highest type of womanhood'. They visited the soldiers at camp before they embarked for the trenches and provided them with supper, concerts and conversation.

View more content related to Cheer-Up Society.

Torrens Island Internment Camp

Torrens Island Internment Camp opened on 9 October 1914. Hundreds of men – ‘enemy aliens’ – were interned on Torrens Island, in the Port River estuary near Adelaide. Sailors taken off enemy ships, foreign nationals living in South Australia, and even some naturalised British subjects found themselves behind barbed wire. Wartime censorship meant people outside knew next to nothing about internment or life in the camp. Initially life in the Camp was uncomfortable, but not harsh. However, a new commanding officer was appointed in early 1915, and treatment of the internees became more brutal. An investigation into conditions resulted in the camp being closed in August 1915, with many internees being released, while others were transferred to a camp at Holsworthy in new South Wales.

View more content related to Torrens Island Internment Camp.

Kemble, Lindsay

19-year-old Burra-born Lindsay David Kemble (1895-1976) caused a considerable stir in early 1915 when arrested for unlawfully impersonating a woman in Adelaide. In fashionable female attire, he pleaded guilty in the Adelaide police court on 11 January, regretting the foolish prank, the result of a £100 bet that he could walk the streets as a woman for two months avoiding arrest. He was cautioned with a £2 fine, but the event launched his successful decade-long stage career as a female impersonator. Immediately contracted by Adelaide’s King’s and Star Theatres performing to packed houses as the Parisian beauty Miss De Vere, by the end of January he was starring in his own film. Local pioneering filmmaker Harry Krischock’s Lindsay Kemble’s Adelaide showed Kemble ‘doing’ the city in company of unsuspecting well-known city men. This and the leniency of the police outraged the Melbourne Truth describing his antics as ‘pornographic poppycock’ (Sat 6 Feb 1915 p5). However Kemble continued to draw crowds in both Adelaide and the country, playing at Port Pirie, Kadina and Broken Hill. In September 1916, as Victor Kemble, Lindsay enlisted at the Sydney showgrounds and within a year became the female lead in one of the vaudeville field theatres, the Sentimental Blokes, begun by South Australian Lieutenant Douglas Walsh (1884-1918) of the 10th Battalion. Kemble remained in London with the concert party during 1919, performing before the Prince of Wales. He toured Australasia with ex digger vaudeville troupes as Mademoiselle Mimi for much of the 1920s, remaining a Sydney-based actor during the 1930s and after the Second World War was a barman in Mackay, Queensland.

View more content related to Kemble, Lindsay.