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.

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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.

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10th Battalion

The 10th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. The battalion was recruited in South Australia, and together with the 9th, 11th and 12th Battalions, formed the 3rd Brigade. The battalion was raised within weeks of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked for overseas just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early December.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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The Advertiser was founded in 1858. Between 1893 and 1929,Sir John Langdon Bonython was its sole proprietor. He also held the post of editor for 45 years, and under his direction the Advertiser became a prominent Australian daily newspaper. It appealed to the growing middle class and was proudly South Australian, although Bonython was determined that its coverage should be as complete as possible. The newspaper prospered, partly thanks to the prominence given to small advertisements. Bonython had been an advocate for Federation, and promoted the cause through his newspaper. Indeed, he represented South Australia in the Federal Parliament for several years from 1901 as a Protectionist. Bonython was also a noted philanthropist, giving significant sums of money to educational institutions, and to the needy during hard times. He also gave a large sum of money towards the completion of Parliament House in Adelaide.

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Capture of the German colony of New Guinea

The Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF), consisting of 1000 soldiers and 500 sailors, was tasked with the capture of German Pacific Protectorates. The German forces in New Guinea were not large – they were typically used to put down rebellions. Six Australians were killed in the operation, but the AN&MEF were soon victorious. Although this force also had an objective to take control of German colonies further north, plans were foiled, as the Japanese, who entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers in late August, occupied the German colonies north of the equator.

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HMAS Sydney defeats the German cruiser Emden

The HMAS Sydney was one of the Australian ships escorting the first convey from Albany in November 1914. On 9 November, the Sydney was ordered to leave the convoy and investigate reports of an unknown ship near the Cocos Islands. It was discovered to be a German Cruiser, Emden, which had been attacking and destroying parts of the British Imperial communication system on the Island. HMAS Sydney, with superior speed, gun range and weight, defeated the Emden. Only 12 Australians were killed in the battle while Emden suffered over 100 casualties. News of the victory was greeted with much celebration by the Australian troops and public. Emden: The SMS Emden, a Dresden-class light cruiser of the Imperial German Navy, attacked a communication post on Direction Island in the Cocos region between Australia and Sri Lanka, on November 9, 1914. Prior to this, Emden had sunk 25 other civilian ships and shelled Madras, India. It had completed the destruction of two Allied warships in the Straits of Malacca near Penang, Malaysia as well. The HMAS Sydney was among a group of Australian, British and Japanese ships sent to investigate the communication post, and the Sydney rendered Emden disabled for battle purposes in under two hours of sea battle. The Sydney crew returned the following day to assist any injured members of the German crew.

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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

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King Edward VII

King Edward VII (1841-1910) was the King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1901 to 1910. He married Princess Alexandra of Denmark, but was known for having many mistresses. As an advocate for friendly international relations, King Edward VII visited many continental capitals to establish relationships with other European powers.

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Kingston, Charles Cameron

Charles Cameron Kingston (1850-1908) was an Adelaide-born lawyer and politician who held office as Premier of South Australia from 1893-1899. During his time as Premier, Kingston introduced much legislation set on improving the lives of workers and women, and was also a staunch supporter of the White Australia Policy.

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Angas, George Fyfe

George Fife Angas (1789-1879) was an early colonist who played a key role in the establishment of the South Australian colony. Angas founded the South Australian Company, formed to establish the new colony, and later served as a member of South Australia’s Legislative Council.

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Vaughan, Crawford

Crawford Vaughan (1874-1947) was the South Australian Premier between 1915 and 1917. During his time as Premier, Vaughan implemented a number of progressive changes which affected education, women’s and worker’s rights. However, due to his pro-conscription stance, Vaughan and a number of other Labor party members broke away to form the National Labor Party (the National Patty). Vaughan went on to have a successful career in business, politics and academics before passing away in December of 1947

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