A poem called ‘The New Exhibits’ by R.J. Cassidy was published in the The Worker. It pokes fun at Zoo’s temporary residents – ‘free labourer’s’ being used to break the Great Strike of 1917.
Disenchantment with the War and falling living standards led to arguably the greatest industrial unrest in Australia’s History. The National Film and Sound Archive has released footage which includes images of ‘free-labourers’ returning by ferry to their camp at Taronga Zoo, and protesters with placards decrying the use of the zoo as a camp for strike-breakers.
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, and 1 RFC Pilot who was shot down and captured.
100 years ago a handful of Royal Flying Corps pilots — including the newly graduated 2nd Lieutenant P.G. Taylor — contested the skies with German hunting squadrons.
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…