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

Featured
Arthur John Moore Burrowes letters and postcards to his family, 26 January 1918-15 September 1919
'If anything else is added the post card will be destroyed'

Keeping the secrets of battles fought, won and lost, makes for very clinical correspondence from ‘over there’. Reading between the lines about the realities of life in the armed forces must have been very difficult for the recipients of such scant morsels of information. It isn’t exactly a wordy message but I am sure it would have been happily received back home with the first line kept intact. See postcard.

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