Colin Douglas McCowan Collection Digitised@SLQ

The young Australian soldier above, Colin Douglas McCowan, was killed almost 100 years ago in the aftermath of the Battle of Messines (June 7-14, 1917) in Belgium.  The John Oxley Library has recently digitised photographs, correspondence, postcards, and ephemera relating to this brave soldier, which were kindly donated to us by his descendants. Colin Douglas McCowan (service no. 167) was born … Read more

Indigenous recruits rejected at camp

In May 1917, the Australian Government issued a Military Order (No. 200) which relaxed the Defence Act (1903) provisions around indigenous enlistment. A resounding ‘No’ vote in the 1916 conscription referendum, heavy losses on the Western Front, and a decreasing number of willing recruits, prompted authorities to consider other strategies to fulfill the recruiting quota. … Read more

Discovering Anzacs: The Descendants of James Josey

The Discovering Anzacs volunteers have been working with the digitised portraits of 15,000 Queensland soldiers of the First World War and their digitised enlistment records in a joint project between the State Library and the National Archives of Australia. In creating digital profiles for these soldiers they also come across connections between stories of family … Read more

Anzac Day 1917

Anzac Day procession in Brisbane 1917. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Neg: 22996.

One hundred years ago, thousands of people turned out all over Australia to commemorate Anzac Day, 25 April. In Queensland, processions were held in towns across the state. In regional areas, Friendly Societies, scouts, cadets, the fire brigade, the ambulance and all sorts of other local organisations joined together to process down main streets and … Read more

Duty and Care: Queensland women of the First World War exhibition

Items in the Duty and Care exhibition, Treasures Wall, Level 4, State Library of Queensland

With limited opportunity for active service, how did women contribute during the tumultuous years of the First World War? State Library of Queensland’s new exhibition Duty and Care explores items from the First World War collections, preserved as powerful examples of women’s wartime involvement and experiences. Now on display in the Talbot Family Treasures Wall on Level 4 … Read more