Project blog


Darragh Christie, 20 October 2017 · # · · Comment

Blood Votes, Part 1

On the 28th of October 1916, Australians were asked to vote “YES” or “NO”, in favour of military conscription or against it. It was, in the words of Official Historian C.W. Bean “one of the most acrimonious struggles Australia has ever seen.”

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Darragh Christie, 3 October 2017 · # · Comment

A story of the trench

Exactly 100 years ago today Corporal Reginald Dargan had A story of the trench, published in the The Mosman Daily .

The author, The Daily notes, had been wounded 3 times and was at Ontario Hospital, London. His records at the National Archives help fill in further details: he’d been admitted on the 25th of April (ANZAC Day), 1917, and had survived the famous battles of Lone Pine and Pozieres, and a court martial.

The poem was written from 1st hand experience, probably whilst recovering from his 3rd lot of war ending injuries.

Poem by Corporal R. Dargan. Mosman Daily Oct. 03 1917

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John Bryan, 21 September 2017 · # · · Comment

Patrick Francis Hogan

Today (21 September 2017) is the 100th anniversary of Patrick Francis Hogan being killed in action. He was a journalist who enlisted in the AIF in February 1915.

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Darragh Christie, 22 August 2017 · # · · Comment

Hill 60 and the lost 18th

The 18th Battalion volunteers — raised mainly from the Sydney area, including Mosman — were described as ‘great big cheery fellows, whom it did your heart good to see.’ Within 48 hours of landing at Gallipoli, 50% of them were either dead or wounded. A few days later 80% of the 760 men who started the battle had become casualties.

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Darragh Christie, 14 August 2017 · # · · Comment

Where angels fear to tread: Smithy’s baptism of fire


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 career was forged in the fires of adversity. In his autobiography My flying life 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

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