Allan Martin 2014 Public Lecture


“When the War Comes Home”: Recovering the Forgotten Stories of 1914-1919

One hundred years on, is our country prepared to confront the cost of war – or will the Anzac Centenary be more an act of forgetting than remembering?  In the lead up to the Centenary, the National Archives of Australia will embark on a bold new initiative, one destined to change the way that World War One is remembered.  ‘Project Albany’ will involve the digitisation of tens of thousands of repatriation files, charting what happened to the ‘diggers’ who came home.  What became of the casualties of war:  the gassed, the blind, the crippled, the insane?  Who cared for them? How did they cope with the trauma of war?  And did Australian servicemen and women return to the ‘Land Fit for Heroes’ they were promised?  The digitisation of service records will open a new chapter in our understanding of war.  Thousands of Australians, young and old, have consulted War Service Dossiers on the National Archives Website but this new resource will enable families to chart the life of a relative through the post war period – and to see his/her battle didn’t end when the guns stopped firing.  “When the War Comes Home” will explore the ways these repatriation files might shape new understandings of the Great War.  It will conclude with a demonstration of the One Hundred Stories Project launched by Monash University, a digital exhibition designed to recover the forgotten stories of 1914-1919 and assess the true cost of war to the whole community.

Professor Bruce Scates is a graduate of Monash University and the University of Melbourne.  His many publications include Return to Gallipoli; A New Australia; the Cambridge History of the Shrine of Remembrance and the recently republished Women and the Great War (co-authored with Raelene Frances).  The last of these won the NSW Premier’s History Award.  Professor Scates has also written a novel, On Dangerous Ground, retracing CEW Bean’s steps across Gallipoli.  His most recent project is a co-authored study of pilgrimages to the memory sites of World War Two (Anzac Journeys).  Professor Scates chaired the Military and Cultural History Panel advising the Anzac Centenary Board; he was a member of an expert panel convened to recover the bodies of men missing from Fromelles and has led several historical tours of the battlefields, including the Premier of Victoria’s ‘Spirit of Anzac’ Tour and Monash University’s Annual Study Tour of Gallipoli.  Professor Scates leads Australian Research Council funded projects on soldier settlement; World War II pilgrimage and heads an international team exploring the history of Anzac Day.  He also serves on the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia.

Date & time

Tue 06 May 2014, 6–7.30pm


Coombs Lecture Theatre Fellows Road ANU


School of History


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