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
An Anzac and some of his friends. "The Donks"
'An Anzac and some of his friends. "The Donks"'

Taken by official war photographer Frank Hurley, this image and its title are equally captivating  because it's such an ordinary photo of a young man looking after his animals in such  extraordinary circumstances. I can just imagine him saying something like 'Must be almost time to feed the donks' - an unremarkable job if he was at home, perhaps he was a farmer. Something else again at War in the Middle East. See pic.

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