Avery, Louis Willyama

Louis Willyama Avery was born on July 15, 1891, and moved to Adelaide from Broken Hill for his education. He attended St Peter’s College and later the SA School of Mines, where he studied Engineering. He was working in Broken Hill when war was declared, and he decided to enlist for service in August 1914. He was a member of the 3rd Field Engineers, A.I.F, 1st Australian Division, 3rd Brigade, and landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915. Later in the war he fought in Europe, being awarded a Military Medal in 1917. Following his time in the Dardanelles, Avery was hospitalised suffering from typhoid fever, and letters from his father to military administration show how difficult it was for families in Australia to find out information about the health of soldiers overseas.

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10th Battalion

The 10th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. The battalion was recruited in South Australia, and together with the 9th, 11th and 12th Battalions, formed the 3rd Brigade. The battalion was raised within weeks of the declaration of war in August 1914 and embarked for overseas just two months later. After a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving in early December.

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HMAT Ascanius

Originally known as the SS Ascanius and part of the British-owned Ocean Steamship Company or Blue Funnel Line (so called because of their distinctive black topped blue funnels), this passenger liner was requisitioned by the Commonweath in 1914 as a troop ship, becoming His Majesty’s Australian Transport (HMAT). It was one of a fleet of 28 Australian and 10 New Zealand transports under a convoy of warships that left Albany, Western Australia on 1 November 1914 carrying the First Detachment of the Australian and New Zealand Imperial Expeditionary Forces.

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Lady Galway

Lady Marie Carola Franciska Roselyne Galway (1876-1963) was the wife of South Australia’s 17th Governor Sir Henry Galway. Newly married in August 1913, they arrived in Adelaide to take up office the following April. Within four months war was declared. Lady Galway became a tireless and compassionate charity worker, travelling widely, writing numerous letters and raising over a million pounds during the First World War. As well as founding the South Australian division of the Red Cross, she also directed the Belgian Relief Fund and was the founding president of the League of Loyal Women, an organisation that supplied comforts for servicemen. She did much to raise the status of women in public life. Her husband’s opinions and often tactless remarks were sometimes controversial throughout his governorship but by contrast, Lady Galway was popularly received. Charming, well read and an excellent public speaker, she received many accolades from South Australians prior to her return to England in 1919. This is remarkable considering she was half German - her mother being a Bavarian countess, her father an Irish baronet – and also a Catholic living in what was then Australia’s most Protestant state.

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Red Cross

Australian branches of the Red Cross formed in 1914 within days of the outbreak of the war. They were all branches of the British Red Cross Society, reflecting the close bonds with the ‘Mother Country’. Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, the wife of Australia's Governor General, established the Red Cross in Melbourne, and encouraged state governors' wives to do the same. In South Australia, Lady Marie Carola Galway convened the inaugural meeting at Adelaide Town Hall on 14 August, 1914. Thousands of South Australians, predominantly women, joined the ranks of the Red Cross, raising funds to support the soldiers and putting traditional skills to use, knitting, sewing and baking for the war effort. Branches sprang up all around the state, based on suburbs, towns, religious congregations and workplaces. Later in the war the Red Cross opened an Information Bureau to help families search for missing soldiers.

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Torrens Island Internment Camp

Torrens Island Internment Camp opened on 9 October 1914. Hundreds of men – ‘enemy aliens’ – were interned on Torrens Island, in the Port River estuary near Adelaide. Sailors taken off enemy ships, foreign nationals living in South Australia, and even some naturalised British subjects found themselves behind barbed wire. Wartime censorship meant people outside knew next to nothing about internment or life in the camp. Initially life in the Camp was uncomfortable, but not harsh. However, a new commanding officer was appointed in early 1915, and treatment of the internees became more brutal. An investigation into conditions resulted in the camp being closed in August 1915, with many internees being released, while others were transferred to a camp at Holsworthy in new South Wales.

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War Precautions Act 1914

The War Precautions Act of 1914 gave the Federal Government special powers for the duration of the war and for six months after it concluded. The Act allowed the Federal Government to make laws about anything that related to the war effort.

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Eight Hours Day

Eight Hours Day or Labor Day is an annual public holiday celebrating the union victories around creating a reasonable working day for workers. In South Australia, the day involved a street procession of Unions in the morning from Victoria Square, races at Morphettville, carnival at the Oval, children’s sports, grand football match between Port Adelaide (season’s premiers) and team drawn from other league clubs, Whippet Races, Annual Goat Derby, Grand Vaudeville and Picture Show at Exhibition building in evening. Special deals for the holiday like boat excursions, railway timetables, menus. Many visited the art gallery/museum. There were also celebrations in the regions, often involving a procession, carnival, sports events/racing.

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