A surprising number of animals pop up in the Australian War Memorial’s image library. Some of them were useful members of a unit, others were just a comfort to the men or a reminder of home. For animals this was sometimes for better or for worse, but they are nonetheless part of the story of the Australians at war. Here are some of the animal companions of our troops from WWI to WWII.
Roos traveled all over the world with young soldiers as they were sent to fight in far flung wars.
Monochrome images of war-torn landscapes, of dark skies and mud-laden boots trigger a distant memory of a bygone era. But not anymore. For over five years, policeman Juan Mahony persevered to revitalise a collection of World War I images, in colour, to make this slice of our history more accessible. Working alongside a team of digital artists, he made many visits to museums, studying original army uniforms and equipment from the Australian War Memorial, to achieve a real-life colour representation of individual soldiers and their stories. Juan was inspired by the 1916 death of his great uncle on the Western Front to get every detail right. He published the images in his book: The Digger’s View.
Anzac troops heading into conflict went armed with more than weapons. The invention of the Vest Pocket Kodak (VPK) camera, small enough to fit into the pocket of a soldier’s tunic, enabled troops to capture the true face of war. Here are some of their personal images.
Two brave but understated Australians talk about their South Pole trek.