Private Ernest Donald Gow

Private Ernest Donald Gow 4th Bn, Australian Infantry, A.I.F. Died: 03.02.15 (Double Pneumonia, Mena Hospital, Cairo, Egypt) Age: 24 Headstone Inscription: ‘At Rest’ Son of William and Minnie Gow, of Ulmarra, New South Wales. Born at Wollongong. Ernest Donald Gow (Service No. 1207) was one of the first men from the Illawarra to die in World War 1. He was born in Wollongong in 1890, … Continue reading Private Ernest Donald Gow

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)

‘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