Albatros D.V in combat with a Spad of 23 Squadron, by Terry Jones
Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport has over 40 million passengers arriving and departing every year.
Charles Kingsford-Smith became a household name between and after the wars because of his record-breaking Trans-Pacific flights with Charles Ulm and P.G. Taylor, and mysterious disappearance in 1937.
Less known are his experiences as a combat pilot in 1917, where his flying life was forged in the fires of adversity. In his autobiography he recalled
Sometimes our squadrons would sweep the sky in bands 20 strong, looking for trouble in the shape of Hun machines, and generally finding it. We flew low over enemy aerodromes and trenches, ground strafing and attacking anything in sight with our drums of Lewis fire. At other times we flew high, waiting At 15,000 ft. to pounce on our enemies, and there were exciting and adventurous occasions when we deliberately cultivated a spinning nose dive to in an effort to avoid attack, or with nonchalant abandon rolled carefree.
..We did the job to the best of our ability in what seemed to be the craziest old antiquarian contraptions imaginable- the machines of the Royal Flying Corps.. And we were up against an enemy that was ahead of us in aircraft design, and certainly not our inferiors in courage, élan and dash.
SYDNEY AIRMAN. (1918, March 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved July 25, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15778624
The National Film and Sound Archive has just released footage – in conjunction with an exhibition at the Carriageworks, Sydney – commemorating the Great Strike of 1917. It includes images of strike-breakers returning by ferry to their camp at Taronga Zoo, and protesters with placards decrying the use of Taronga as a camp for strike-breakers.
With more than 90 per cent of Australia’s silent film heritage thought to be lost, it is likely that these censored scenes have vanished forever. But you never know, someone somewhere might have kept this film in a box in their garage or attic. If you know anything about the missing footage, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infantry attack in Polygon Wood by Fred Leist (1919) ART02927
July 31, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the 3rd Ypres campaign, culminating in the wasteful Battle of Passchendaele, which claimed the lives of at least 44 volunteers from, or associated with, the local area.
A few days after the disaster at Fromelles, Australian Divisions were thrown into the battle for a small French village called Pozières
Australian official historian Charles Bean wrote that Pozières ridge “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.” At least 21 Mosman volunteers fell between the 23rd of July and the 17th of August, 1916
Gibraltar bunker Pozieres (AWM EZ0098)
Sopwith Pup of 66 Squadron. Lt. P.G Taylor shoots down Albatros, by Mark Postlethwaite.
100 years ago a handful of Royal Flying Corps pilots — including the newly graduated 2nd Lieutenant P.G. Taylor — contested the skies with German Flying Circus hunting squadrons, lying in wait to destroy any aircraft straying into their territory.
The life expectancy of an RFC pilot averaged only about 18 hours in April 1917. Many died because they flew, in the words of ‘Bill’ Taylor, a motley assortment of ‘…appallingly makeshift aeroplanes.’
This is their story…