Sister Selina Lily (Lil) Mackenzie – 1st Australian General Hospital (Heliopolis)

The Victoria Museum holds a small collection bequeathed by Rosemary McArthur in 2010 commemorating the life of Sister Selina Lily ‘Lil’ Mackenzie which provides an interesting insight into the role of women (in this instance nurses) serving in Egypt during World War I.  Portrait of Sister Lil Mackenzie with a Friend, Egypt, 1915-1917 Lil returned to her hometown after the outbreak of war, and on 5 October 1915 … Continue reading Sister Selina Lily (Lil) Mackenzie – 1st Australian General Hospital (Heliopolis)

‘To collect or not to collect that is the question’ – The purchase of War Souvenirs

Evidence of looting (private property taken from a combatant or a third party, dead or alive, in war), and trophy taking (anything serving as a token or evidence of victory, valour, or skill) on Egyptian territory can be found today in museums and archives all over Britain and its former dominion territories. Attitudes to looting and trophy taking in 1882 were as complex as the … Continue reading ‘To collect or not to collect that is the question’ – The purchase of War Souvenirs

2/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulance 42nd Division

This week I managed to purchase a wonderful image of the 1st / 2nd East Lancashire Field Ambulance which was taken at Giza, Egypt in October 1914. Assistance to identify the unit shown in the image was generously given by Andrew Mackay, co-Author of Burnley & the Royal Edward Disaster – ‘The Story of Callam’s Own’.  The 1/1st, 2/1st and 3/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulances which … Continue reading 2/1st East Lancashire Field Ambulance 42nd Division

I do love a nice research mystery …

This week, knowing my research interests, my Dad presented me with a set of postcards which he felt may be of interest. The first image, taken by S Sarkis, Garrison Photographer from the Kasr-el-Nil Barracks in Cairo is of a funeral procession described as ‘Fusiliers’.  Now I’m going to make some assumptions here with regard to the cemetery. I’m 90% certain that this is the … Continue reading I do love a nice research mystery …

The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Military medals are becoming increasingly valuable, but its the story of courage behind the award that ultimately counts. Whenever I  have seen personal medals for sale either at a dealers or for sale on sites such as eBay I have often wondered about the circumstances that brought them to be for sale. Over the years many sets are bequeathed to Regimental Museums or Associations however … Continue reading The Ethics of Collecting Medals – ‘Private James Tilbury’ of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment

‘Vigilans’ a look at the iconic photograph featuring the men of the 11th Battalion

On the 10th of January 1915 Officers and men of the 11th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces posed on the Great Pyramid of Giza for what would become an iconic photograph. The 11th Battalion did much of their war training in Egypt and would be amongst the first to land at Anzac Cove on April 25, 1915. In the five days following the landing, the battalion suffered 378 … Continue reading ‘Vigilans’ a look at the iconic photograph featuring the men of the 11th Battalion

To sew or not to sew? that is the question …Sewing Soldiers and Historical Textiles

The pocket sewing kit originated in the middle of the 18th century. The ‘housewife’ holdall or pouch was an essential component of a soldiers equipment. It contained all that he would require to carry out repairs to his clothing when necessary. Inside, it would contain a range of items such as a thimble, needles, balls of darning wool to repair socks, darning thread to repair his … Continue reading To sew or not to sew? that is the question …Sewing Soldiers and Historical Textiles