‘The story of Nellie and Phil’ A Wedding Beneath The Pyramids of Giza

I spotted an interesting article on the Australian War Memorial this morning regarding an event which took place at the Giza Plateau in Cairo on the 17th January, 1915. Two men, on separate occasions, had regarded the event as newsworthy enough to record for posterity in their diaries and letters home. An Australian soldier at Mena Camp in Egypt, Private Arthur Adams, noted in his … Continue reading ‘The story of Nellie and Phil’ A Wedding Beneath The Pyramids of Giza

Sir Ronald Ross’ work on dysentery in Alexandria, Egypt during the Great War

The Ross Collection in the Archives of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine holds material on dysentery during the First World War. Sir Ronald Ross is famous for being the discoverer of the mosquito transmission of malaria and the first Briton to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. During World War One he was appointed a consultant physician on tropical diseases to … Continue reading Sir Ronald Ross’ work on dysentery in Alexandria, Egypt during the Great War

‘The problem is not an easy one’ … cemetery construction, horticultural schemes and the Egyptian climate

In 1948 Hubert Worthington, the Principal War Graves Commission  Architect for Egypt and North Africa was busy adding his comments to the sketch plans, estimates and reports for the new cemetery construction at Tel-el-Kebir. The war memorial cemetery at Tel-el-Kebir, 110 kilometres north-north-east of Cairo, was used from June 1915 to July 1920 and increased after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other sites, including … Continue reading ‘The problem is not an easy one’ … cemetery construction, horticultural schemes and the Egyptian climate

‘One of the Best’ Private W.Vincent Rumbelow – Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

A few months ago I was lucky enough to find the Great War medals belonging to 240221 Private William Rumbelow of the 1st / 5th Bn Suffolk Regiment for sale on E Bay. I was really pleased to be able to purchase the medals and began to undertake some research into the life of their owner and the circumstances surrounding his death. After the Second … Continue reading ‘One of the Best’ Private W.Vincent Rumbelow – Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

‘These Kings of the Feathers, they steal your bread’

While most of Australia’s Imperial Force went to France in 1916, the bulk of Australia’s mounted forces remained in Egypt to counter to Turkish threat at Suez. After 1916  when the threat to the canal was over and victory at Romani had been secured the Light Horse advanced into Turkish territory. In 1917 they entered Palestine and by 1918 had advanced into Jordan and Syria. … Continue reading ‘These Kings of the Feathers, they steal your bread’

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)

‘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