The Roos That Went To War

In the shadow of the great pyramids amid the piles of kitbags and Lee-Enfield rifles, an iconic image held by the Australian War Memorial shows an Australian Imperial Force infantryman encountering a kangaroo. Image Credit: The Australian War Memorial Members of the 9th and 10th Battalions regularly smuggled mascots from home aboard transport ships as reminders of home. The above photo, which was taken by Chaplain … Continue reading The Roos That Went To War

Stories from the Hadra War Cemetery (Egypt): Staff Nurse Ella Cooke

In the winter of 1914, Ella Cooke was looking forward to a grand adventure. The Auckland-born nurse and her twin sister Lily had just departed New Zealand in a boat bound for Vancouver, New York and finally England. She was looking forward to seeing the sights, and eventually a working holiday in London, or maybe Paris. The outbreak of war in July 1914 dashed all … Continue reading Stories from the Hadra War Cemetery (Egypt): Staff Nurse Ella Cooke

‘A gallant and erudite Soldier’ – The Funeral of Major William Throsby Bridges

William Throsby Bridges was born at Greenock, Scotland, on 18 February 1861. As a youth he moved to Canada, where he later entered the Royal Military College but failed to graduate. In 1879 Bridges moved to Australia and joined the civil service, working in Braidwood, Murrurundi, and Narrabri. He returned to military life in 1885, taking a permanent commission in the artillery, and that same … Continue reading ‘A gallant and erudite Soldier’ – The Funeral of Major William Throsby Bridges

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)

‘Views of an Antique Land – Imaging Egypt and Palestine during the Great War’ Conference

I was recently invited to speak at the Heritage Lottery Funded Project ’Views of an Antique Land’ conference which was held at the University of Cardiff in May. My brief presentation focused on the logistical challenges of housing the EEF in Cairo during the Great War.  I’m now looking forward to assisting with classifying the remaining donations. For anyone wishing to view the slidepack please see … Continue reading ‘Views of an Antique Land – Imaging Egypt and Palestine during the Great War’ Conference

‘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

A.S.T.E.N.E Conference – University of East Anglia (21 – 24th July 2017)

The Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East will hold its twelfth biennial conference at the University of East Anglia and Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Norwich, from Friday 21 July to Monday 24 July, 2017. I’ll be speaking on Sunday 23rd of July during session 10 Tourism and Perceptions of the Other on Soldiering In Egypt. My paper will aim to … Continue reading A.S.T.E.N.E Conference – University of East Anglia (21 – 24th July 2017)

‘Views of an Antique Land’ Project Conference (20th May 2017)

I was so pleased to be invited to speak at the closing ‘Views of an Antique Land’ project conference which is being held on the 20th May at Cardiff University. My paper ‘Recollections and Representations of Cairo (1914/18) – The Egyptian Expeditionary Force’ will include a brief overview of the strategic importance of Egypt and the logistical challenge of housing, feeding and caring for the large numbers of Commonwealth … Continue reading ‘Views of an Antique Land’ Project Conference (20th May 2017)

Military History and Colonialism: The Pigeons of Denshawai

The Denshawai Incident is the name given to a dispute which occurred in 1906 between British Military officers and the locals villagers of Denshawai, Egypt. Denshawai was one of many small cruelties of colonialism, but the arrogance of the British response gave a new impetus to the growing sense of Egyptian nationalism. Though the incident itself was fairly small in terms of the number of casualties and injuries, the … Continue reading Military History and Colonialism: The Pigeons of Denshawai