Australian Screen

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The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt (c.1916)

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'Australia will be there'

Clip description

This is a 30-second clip from a simulated recording of Australian troops docking in Egypt after their voyage from Australia to take part in the First World War. They are greeted by jovial ‘Tommies’ and a band that plays 'Advance Australia Fair’.

Curator’s notes

This is believed to be the first recording of ‘Advance Australia Fair’, although it may simply be the first that survives. The song had been popular in Australia at least since Federation in 1901.

The second song on the recording (not heard in the clip) is a music hall hit from 1914. Comedian Mark Sheridan made it famous in the early stages of the war. It was described as ‘the British Army’s battle cry’, and Sheridan would conduct endless choruses from the music hall stage, using his umbrella.

The final song in the complete recording is ‘Australia Will Be There’, probably the best-known patriotic song of the war for Australians. It was written in 1915 by Walter W ‘Skipper’ Francis, and used as a marching song by troops leaving Australia. The song quotes from ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in its chorus.

It is possible that this recording is the work of a professional troupe of actors, possibly an early ‘entertainment’ unit. The voices of the soldiers in the clip sound as if they are trained, suggesting professional actors. The chorus of singers are certainly trained, as they sing songs in harmony. The brass band is also well prepared and tight in their playing of ‘Advance Australia Fair’, suggesting that they had played the tune before.

The recording quality is poor by today’s standards, but not by those of 1916.

The Australian troops are singing 'Advance Australia Fair’.
Troops (sings) Advance Australia Fair.
Soldier Hip, hip…
Troops Hooray!
Officer (unclear) Look alive! Open the gangway.
Whistling, followed by shouting and sound effects, can be heard.
Soldier Why, there’s some English Tommies here.
English soldier What ho, mate. How goes it?
Soldier (UNCLEAR) Where’s the blooming kangaroo?

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer 'Australia will be there' from the historical The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt as a download.

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Right click on the link below to download the audio file:

thelandi1_bb.mp3

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions. All rights are reserved.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may save, copy, print, distribute or download materials for your own personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes. Commercial exploitation of materials on this website is prohibited.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

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