Australian Screen

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The First World War

The following clips have teachers’ notes related to this topic:

It’s war!

from the television program 1915 (PG)

The recruiting drive is on and throughout the bush there are more than enough young men willing to drop everything for the adventure of war. Billy (Scott Burgess) and Walter (Scott McGregor) have been waiting …

Shaking hands with the enemy

from the television program 1915 (PG)

After only a few weeks at Gallipoli, the overwhelming stench of the dead soldiers strewn around the rocky coast triggered a most unusual event. A ceasefire in order to allow each side to bury their …

Armistice Day, Melbourne

from the newsreel Australasian Gazette – Armistice Day, Melbourne (G)

This silent black-and-white newsreel clip from about 1925 shows a large crowd of people gathered on the steps of Parliament House, Melbourne for an Armistice Day ceremony. The crowd stands for two minutes silence then …

Returned Anzacs

from the newsreel Australasian Gazette – Returned Anzacs (G)

This segment from an Australasian Gazette newsreel shows returned Anzacs marching through Melbourne streets as part of the 'Fill-the-Gap’ recruitment drive. A marching band leads a parade of returned Anzac servicemen holding placards that say …

Over the top

from the documentary Australia in World War 1 (PG)

Australian troops charge out of the trenches, going 'over the top’ to attack the enemy on the Western Front. Bombs explode nearby.

The First World War begins

from the documentary The Battleships (PG)

The clip describes Germany’s military build up prior to WW1, including the widening of the Kiel canal, commenced in 1907, to enable its new fleet of dreadnoughts to be able to enter the North …

German mortar attack

from the feature film Broken Sun (PG)

In this flashback to the First World War, Jack (Jai Koutrae) cowers in his trench as a shell explodes, showering him with debris and dust and temporarily deafening him.

The First World War in cartoons

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – Crown Prince of Death (G)

This clip begins with cartoonist Harry Julius walking into his office reading a newspaper. Some of his cartoons are visible around his desk. Julius puts the newspaper down and begins to draw. This is followed …

The evolution of the skirt

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – German Dove of Peace (G)

This animated clip begins with a white outline, gradually drawn in by the hand of the artist to show a woman dressed in 19th-century costume. A caption says ‘since the Colonial days, skirts have gradually …

The Rushin bear and flying Turk

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – German Dove of Peace (G)

A large bear (representing the Russian forces) carrying a bayonet is accompanied by the caption: ‘I’m out to give Mr Turk a bad time’. In a boat landed nearby, the hand of the artist …

Allied apparel

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – Miss Australasia (G)

This clip begins with the animated title Cartoons of the Moment, then shows political cartoonist Harry Julius sitting at his desk reading a newspaper. He puts the newspaper down and begins to sketch. This cuts …

National service

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – Miss Australasia (G)

This clip begins with text outlining Colonel Cameron’s suggestion on returning from the Dardanelles that Australia should introduce compulsory national service. A white outline of Australia and New Zealand is turned sideways to form …

The Hun’s Xmas wail

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – The Berlin Lokal Anzeiger (G)

This clip begins with the Cartoons of the Moment title card featuring a kangaroo and lion. Cartoonist Harry Julius is shown sketching at his notepad against an ocean background. A headline from the Berlin ??Lokal …

Economy in Germany

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – The Economy in Germany (G)

This clip begins with the title card Cartoons of the Moment followed by a scene of cartoonist Harry Julius sketching at an easel. A group of children run up to him and watch as he …

The Kaiser War

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – The Kaiser War (G)

This clip begins with a cartoon of Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II surrounded by skulls. A caption illustrates the Kaiser’s thoughts, saying that while he wished to fight in the trenches, the almighty ‘willed …

The war zoo

from the newsreel Cartoons of the Moment – The War Zoo (G)

This clip begins with the hand of the artist (Harry Julius) drawing seven animals including a bear, bulldog, turkey and daschund, which surround a title card ‘the war zoo’. Three of the animals are introduced …

Mateship in the army

from the documentary Cenotaph (PG)

Over footage of Remembrance Day ceremonies, and archival footage of soldiers in the First World War, surviving ex-servicemen recall the power of mateship and remember their fallen comrades.

Library of grief

from the documentary Cenotaph (PG)

We see war graves in Europe, and learn about the ongoing responsibilities of the War Graves Commission to maintain the 1,000 cemeteries along the Western Front. Some bodies are still being found from the …

‘They became our sons as well’

from the television program Compass – Embracing the Enemy (G)

The rules of the Returned Servicemen’s League (RSL) originally stated that no group that had fought against Australia could march on Anzac Day. After many years and much persistence by Turkish Australians, the RSL ...

A truce at Gallipoli

from the television program Compass – Embracing the Enemy (PG)

Only a few weeks after the 25th April 1915 landing at Anzac Cove, the troops of both sides organised an unofficial truce in order to pick up their wounded, bury the dead and share a …

The Johnnies and the Mehmets

from the television program Compass – Gallipoli Pilgrimage (PG)

A bus tour of Australians is on its way to Anzac Cove and the guide tells us the story of the Turkish losses. Ninety thousand Turks lost their lives and modern Turkey emerged under the …

Vocational training for returned soldiers

from the documentary The Digger Carries On: Repatriation Illustrated (PG)

In 1919 returned First World War soldiers, accompanied by their wives, inspect various forms of vocational training such as building construction, making Sunshine harvesters, assembling cars and bricklaying.

The clip begins with the three returned …

The Anzac Hostel for returned soldiers

from the documentary The Digger Carries On: Repatriation Illustrated (PG)

This clip from a short documentary shows returned First World War servicemen lying in their beds, attended by nurses at the Anzac Hostel in 1919. They sew, carve decorative wooden pieces, play musical instruments and …

‘What are we fighting for?’

from the feature film Forty Thousand Horsemen (PG)

Red (Grant Taylor) gives his horse some water during a long and tortuous patrol in the desert. An officer tells him to save it for himself. Red, Jim (Chips Rafferty) and Larry (Pat Twohill) cool …

The Australians are coming

from the feature film Forty Thousand Horsemen (M)

The German commander at Beersheba (Eric Reiman) is temporarily befuddled by an artillery barrage that’s designed to throw up dust. Out of this murk come hundreds of Australian Light Horsemen, in a great charge …

Hurley’s composites

from the documentary Frank Hurley: The Man Who Made History (PG)

Photographer Frank Hurley achieved some of his greatest wartime photographs by combining several photos into one. Stephen Burton of the Australian War Memorial shows how it is done. Australia’s official wartime historian, Charles Bean …

‘It’s not our bloody war’

from the feature film Gallipoli (PG)

Lost in the desert, on their way to join up, Archy (Mark Lee) and Frank (Mel Gibson) discuss politics, patriotism and the reasons for war.

‘We haven’t seen a Turk yet!’

from the feature film Gallipoli (PG)

Archy (Mark Lee) and Frank (Mel Gibson), newly arrived on Gallipoli, get a rude education on life and death in the trenches. A human body forms part of the parapet; soldiers take turns at shooting …

‘It’s cold-blooded murder’

from the feature film Gallipoli (PG)

Communications with headquarters have been cut during a disastrous attack at The Nek. As the men of the 10th Light Horse Regiment wait to learn if they too must go over the top, Frank (Mel …

Boys – lay down your lives for the empire

from the television program More Winners – Boy Soldiers (G)

It’s 1914 and Australia is preparing for a war in Europe. In voice-over, Scratch (Lachlan Jeffrey) recites the reasons why Australia’s young men should fight for the King.

When Sydney rabbito Ned Crocker …

Gallipoli boat

from the documentary National Treasures – Gallipoli Boat (PG)

A small lifeboat, retrieved from the shores of Gallipoli, is a direct link to the first Anzacs and the day that helped forge Australia’s identity.

Serving the troops

from the historical Red Cross Activities During and After WWI (G)

This clip shows a range of assistance and relief activities that the Red Cross undertook around the First World War including: preparing linen; serving tea and biscuits to troops; providing relief to convalescing soldiers; and …

Carnival scenes, Melbourne

from the newsreel Richmond Carnival in Aid of Blind Soldiers, May 1918 (G)

This clip includes scenes from a carnival held in aid of blind returned soldiers in May 1918. Consisting of a combination of still and panning shots, the scene captures groups of people in the crowd …

Troops head to the docks

from the historical WWI Troops Embarkation and Charity Bazaars, Sydney (G)

On a damp Sydney morning, during the First World War, lines of Australian cavalry and infantry march down to the docks while others arrive by tram. The bustling crowds – umbrellas in hand – are shown waiting …

Red Cross charity bazaar

from the historical WWI Troops Embarkation and Charity Bazaars, Sydney (G)

Filmed in Sydney during the First World War, this clip shows a Red Cross bazaar held in Martin Place to raise money for the troops at Gallipoli. The camera holds still on a sign which …

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