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/

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Fisher, Andrew

Of Scottish heritage, and a former miner and trade unionist, Andrew Fisher served as Prime Minister of Australia three times, in 1908–09, 1910–13 and 1914–15. During his second term he was instrumental in the passing of legislation that saw the introduction of Australia’s first national old-age pension scheme. Fisher was also PM when construction began on the Trans-Australian Railway – originally running the “Great Western Express” and nowadays the “Indian-Pacific” – and the Australian Capital Territory was founded. He won the election in 1914 just six weeks after war broke out across Europe. The new Labor Government was thus immediately consumed with devising defence measures and planning Australia’s War effort in support of the Empire. It was Fisher’s responsibility to despatch the troops to Europe at the beginning of the war, and as there were reports of German cruisers, he refused to allow the convoy to sail until it had been fully assembled. He also made the commitment that Australia would finance its troops itself. He had hoped to do this by raising the funds through taxes and duties, but this was not possible, and he negotiated a loan from Britain. This debt proved to be an ongoing burden to Australia in the 1930s. On 27 October, 1915 Fisher resigned as Prime Minister due to ill health and was succeeded by his deputy, William Morris (Billy) Hughes.  

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Hughes, Billy

Billy Hughes migrated to New South Wales from Britain in 1884, when he was 22. He worked as a labourer and a cook before opening a small mixed shop. He became a union organiser and entered politics in 1894. He studies law and was admitted to the bar in 1903. A supporter of Federation, he was elected to federal Parliament in 1901. He was Attorney General in Andrew Fisher’s Labor government. When Fisher resigned in October 1915, Hughes took over at Prime Minister.

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Churchill-Smith, James

James Churchill-Smith enlisted in May 1915, in Adelaide. He was born in October 1894, and was educated at Norwood Public School before going to the School of Mines. He was initially assigned to the 10th Infantry Battalion before joining the 50th, when the AIF was doubled in February 1916.

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Beachy Bill

Beachy Bill the nickname given to a well-concealed Turkish gun on Gaba Tepe which caused considerable casualties to the ANZACs and was a constant menace, particularly to those on the beach. The location once occupied by Beachy Bill is now an interpretive centre.

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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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