Cooper, Ethel

Caroline Ethel Cooper (1871-1961) was something of an eccentric – for starters, she had a pet crocodile called Cheops which she kept in her apartment, and lived a very independent lifestyle. A proficient musician, she formed her own Women’s Orchestra in Adelaide before the outbreak of the war. A regular visitor to Germany, she was living in Leipzig when the war broke out. She remained in Germany for the duration of the war, writing a letter each week to her sister Emmie in Adelaide. Although these letters could not be posted during the war, the first 52 were smuggled to Switzerland and posted from Interlaken and the remainder were hidden and sent from England in 1918. Although her premises were often raided by police and she was forbidden from leaving several times during the war, she was not detained and had a pass that stated her presence was ‘agreeable to the military authorities’. She returned to Adelaide for a few years after the war, but returned to Europe where she participated in relief work. She settled in Adelaide in 1936, with her then-widowed sister.

View more content related to Cooper, Ethel.

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.

Morphettville Camp

Australia did not have all the infrastructure required for the war, and some camps for enlisting soldiers were set up at racecourses. Morphettville Camp was one such camp, where soldiers trained and were housed before being deployed overseas. The land was donated by Richard MacDonnell Hawker (1865-1930), well-known sportsman and pastoralist of Bungaree Station near Clare.  He was also the owner of Morphettville Stud Farm, about 80 acres of land alongside the Morphettville Racecourse.  Following the outbreak of war, Hawker made ‘a splendidly patriotic offer to the military authorities … for the free use of encampment of the expeditionary force… ‘(The Register, 13 August 1914).

View more content related to Morphettville Camp.

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.

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.

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.

Suez Canal

The Suez Canal is a constructed waterway linking the Mediterranean and Red Sea. It opened in 1869, creating a convenient naval passage between Europe and South Asia. The canal was important to its then British controllers, who no longer needed to travel around Africa to reach their colonies; this had a significant impact upon world trade and colonisation. As a strategic naval route used during the First World War, the Suez Canal came under heavy attacks from Ottoman forces. However, the Turks were unsuccessful in their attempts to seize the Canal, which remained under some degree of British control until the 1950s. It is now operated by the Egyptian run Suez Canal Authority.

View more content related to Suez Canal.

Governor Galway

Sir Henry Lionel Galway (1859-1949) was the Governor of South Australia from 1914 until 1920. Described as a controversial figure, Governor Galway advocated for conscription, supported gambling and wanted to end the White Australia policy in order to bring in much needed labour from Asia into the Northern Territory. Australia’s strides towards equality failed to align with Galway’s conservative outlook, seeing him oppose the South Australia’s education system and women’s enfranchisement. As a sign of protest against his conservative views, the Labor parliamentarians decided to boycott Galway’s farewell. Although Governor Galway was socially conservative, his wife, Lady Marie Carola Franciska Roselyn Galway, was tireless in her fundraising and social efforts throughout the First World War. Nonetheless, Sir Henry Galway is still a revered Governor, and praised for his involvement during wartime.

View more content related to Governor Galway.

Red Cross

Australian branches of the Red Cross formed in 1914 within days of the outbreak of the war. They were all branches of the British Red Cross Society, reflecting the close bonds with the ‘Mother Country’. Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, the wife of Australia's Governor General, established the Red Cross in Melbourne, and encouraged state governors' wives to do the same. In South Australia, Lady Marie Carola Galway convened the inaugural meeting at Adelaide Town Hall on 14 August, 1914. Thousands of South Australians, predominantly women, joined the ranks of the Red Cross, raising funds to support the soldiers and putting traditional skills to use, knitting, sewing and baking for the war effort. Branches sprang up all around the state, based on suburbs, towns, religious congregations and workplaces. Later in the war the Red Cross opened an Information Bureau to help families search for missing soldiers.

View more content related to Red Cross.

Lady Galway

Lady Marie Carola Franciska Roselyne Galway (1876-1963) was the wife of South Australia’s 17th Governor Sir Henry Galway. Newly married in August 1913, they arrived in Adelaide to take up office the following April. Within four months war was declared. Lady Galway became a tireless and compassionate charity worker, travelling widely, writing numerous letters and raising over a million pounds during the First World War. As well as founding the South Australian division of the Red Cross, she also directed the Belgian Relief Fund and was the founding president of the League of Loyal Women, an organisation that supplied comforts for servicemen. She did much to raise the status of women in public life. Her husband’s opinions and often tactless remarks were sometimes controversial throughout his governorship but by contrast, Lady Galway was popularly received. Charming, well read and an excellent public speaker, she received many accolades from South Australians prior to her return to England in 1919. This is remarkable considering she was half German - her mother being a Bavarian countess, her father an Irish baronet – and also a Catholic living in what was then Australia’s most Protestant state.

View more content related to Lady Galway.