Compelling personal accounts of WWI unveiled in a major new exhibition, opening 5 July
Tuesday, 1st Jul 2014

Life Interrupted: Personal Diaries from World War I exposes the compelling tales of adventure, heartache and bravery – with a dose of great Aussie humour – through the hand-written diaries and letters of soldiers, doctors, nurses, stretcher-bearers, journalists and POWs.

The diaries include accounts of the first battle in New Guinea and the naval battle between HMAS Sydney and the German raider the Emden in 1914, the Gallipoli campaign and the battle at Fromelles and Pozieres in France in 1916 and the Middle East Campaign.

The exhibition features an amazing installation of 750 WWI diaries drawn from the Library’s collection, and visitors will be able to hear recordings of diary entries written in the trenches, from hospital beds and while on leave in Paris and Cairo.

The exhibition also features iconic Frank Hurley images alongside evocative amateur photography captured on Kodak ‘Soldiers’ Own’ cameras by soldiers at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, along with rare maps, posters, postcards and objects souvenired from the frontlines and from Paris and the UK while on leave.

View the New South Wales servicemen portraits, 1918-1919 set on flickr

Box 8 Item 17 – Hugh Venables Vernon miscellaneous papers, 1916-1919.
Handmade protection with steely look and stylish upper lip!

At first glance it is apparent that this garment would have been quite difficult to actually put on, due to the tight fit. Undoubtedly handcrafted by a loved one, it has been photographed in action by the  wearer, as intended. I particularly like the attention to detail on the moustache – possibly one of the few things that a man in his position had complete control over.

Ph: +61 2 9273 1414
Fax: +61 2 9273 1255

State Library of NSW
Macquarie Street,
Sydney NSW 2000,

Media Enquiries