Project blog


Darragh Christie, 1 August 2017 · # · Comment

Taronga Zoo's 'New Exhibits.'

Screen shot of Great War (1917) film reconstructed by NFSA experts. The protest placards make humorous reference to the Zoo’s use as a strike-breakers camp.

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.

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Darragh Christie, 31 July 2017 · # · Comment

A light on the Hill: Great Strike, 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.

Screen shot of 1917 film reconstructed by National Film & Sound Archive experts https://www.nfsa.gov.au/latest/australias-great-strike-100-years. The protest placards make humorous reference to the strike-breakers residing at Taronga, decrying the Zoo’s use as strike-breakers camp.

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Darragh Christie, 31 July 2017 · # · Comment

Lt. R.S. Phelan downed over Passchendaele

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, and 1 RFC Pilot who was shot down and captured.

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Darragh Christie, 4 May 2017 · # · Comment

HMAS Sydney vs. Zeppelin L43.

Charles Bryant’s 1931 painting depicting the HMAS Sydney a the fight with Zeppelin L43 in the North Sea.

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Darragh Christie, 25 April 2017 · # · · Comment

Bloody April, 1917: P.G. Taylor survives

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…

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