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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The Australian Landings at Gallipoli

The weather was calm off the coast of the Gallipoli Peninsula (now part of modern-day Turkey) on the night of 24-25 April. Some 40,000 Ottoman troops were on the peninsula, and another 30,000 were nearby. On that morning the men of the Australian 1st Division’s 3rd Brigade (the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Battalions) were the first to go ashore. Before dawn they left their transport ships, climbed into row boats and were towed towards the shore. At 4.29 am the first of the row boats landed on the shore, and almost immediately the Ottoman’s opened fire. The terrain that greeted them was a narrow beach where steep hills met the water, and the Ottoman forces fired down upon them from these hills. The order was for the troops to push forward towards the third ridge – the target for the first day. Within 15 minutes some had reached the top of the first ridge point. The second wave of Australian soldiers was now arriving onshore, and with the element of surprise now gone, they were met with heavy fire. Upon landing, they too began to fight their way up the hills towards their objective. At 5.30am, the commander of the 3rd Brigade, Sinclair-MacLagan made an assessment that the third ridge was too distant to capture immediately and decided to consolidate his troops on the second ridge. Casualties from the landing and the first day’s fighting were significant. It was difficult to set up casualty clearing stations that were protected from enemy fire and there was enormous pressure on stretcher bearers, who lacked adequate equipment and the suffering of the wounded was significant. About 2000 wounded were evacuated overnight on 25-26 April. Over the following days, the Ottomans launched a number of counter-attacks, but the Anzacs held their positions. On 1 May, four Battalions from the Royal Naval Division had come ashore as reinforcements, and the exhausted Anzacs were about to withdraw and regroup. Meanwhile, the Ottoman forces, under Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) responded with reinforcements and repositioning of artillery. CEW Bean noted that South Australians Arthur Blackburn and Philip Robin probably penetrated further inland than anyone else on that day

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Seager, Alexandrine

In business before the war, Mrs Alexandrine Seager had the administrative and organisational skill required for running the Cheer Up Society, which she founded in, after visiting Morphettville camp to see her son in the Australian Imperial Force in November 1914. With the support of the editor of Adelaide newspaper, The Register, she appealed to South Australian women to join the Society, which aimed to provide 'general comfort, welfare, and entertainment' for soldiers. Initially, they visited camps, arranged entertainments, such as concerts and sent comforts to the front. As the wounded began returning from Gallipoli, they provided comfort and care. From 1915 they were based in a large tent behind the Adelaide Railway Station, which was replaced by the Cheer-Up Hut in nearby Elder Park (opened on 14 November, 1915). The Society had eighty country branches, and a key aspect of their fundraising was the annual Violet Day Appeal (first held on 2 July 1915). She was also instrumental in the foundation of the South Australian Returned Soldiers’ Association. For further information, visit History SA's online resource, Adelaidia

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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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The Plan for the Dardanelles Campaign

The Dardanelles campaign was part of a plan to challenge the Ottoman Empire in a move designed to assist the Russian army and ensure that the Russians could export much needed produce by sea. From the outset, it was a controversial plan, with the geography of the region creating many challenges. In March 1915, a British and French fleet was forced to retreat as it approached the Dardanelles. Rather than abandon the plan, though, British strategists, led by First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George were reluctant to give up an ‘eastern solution’ which might alleviate the stalemate on the Western Front. The Australians and New Zealanders were only one part of the plan, which included British troops landing at the tip of the Peninsula (Cape Hellas) and the French launching an assault on the Asian shore of the entrance to the Dardanelles, opposite the British landing position. The Anzacs were to land along the Aegean coast, about 20 km north of the British. The Australian Government was not part of the planning process, and had no input into the British strategic planning. The campaign was a costly one for the Allies, with estimates of around 45,000 and a further 97,000 wounded (this included approx 8,000 Australians killed and more than 20,000 wounded; while around 21,000 UK and Irish died). By contrast, the Ottoman Empire lost around 87,000.)

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The Advertiser was founded in 1858. Between 1893 and 1929,Sir John Langdon Bonython was its sole proprietor. He also held the post of editor for 45 years, and under his direction the Advertiser became a prominent Australian daily newspaper. It appealed to the growing middle class and was proudly South Australian, although Bonython was determined that its coverage should be as complete as possible. The newspaper prospered, partly thanks to the prominence given to small advertisements. Bonython had been an advocate for Federation, and promoted the cause through his newspaper. Indeed, he represented South Australia in the Federal Parliament for several years from 1901 as a Protectionist. Bonython was also a noted philanthropist, giving significant sums of money to educational institutions, and to the needy during hard times. He also gave a large sum of money towards the completion of Parliament House in Adelaide.

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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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Terrell, Frederick Leopold

After working as an iron moulder, 25 year old Frederick Leopold (Leo) Terrell was frustrated by the lack of work in South Australia and, enlisted for service for the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train at Keswick on 27 March, 1915. After several months of training, Terrell embarked from Australia on 3 June 1915 and served with the AIF at Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay. He later served with the 12th Field Artillery Battery on the Western front in Europe.

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Cooper, Ethel

Caroline Ethel Cooper (1871-1961) was something of an eccentric – for starters, she had a pet crocodile called Cheops which she kept in her apartment, and lived a very independent lifestyle. A proficient musician, she formed her own Women’s Orchestra in Adelaide before the outbreak of the war. A regular visitor to Germany, she was living in Leipzig when the war broke out. She remained in Germany for the duration of the war, writing a letter each week to her sister Emmie in Adelaide. Although these letters could not be posted during the war, the first 52 were smuggled to Switzerland and posted from Interlaken and the remainder were hidden and sent from England in 1918. Although her premises were often raided by police and she was forbidden from leaving several times during the war, she was not detained and had a pass that stated her presence was ‘agreeable to the military authorities’. She returned to Adelaide for a few years after the war, but returned to Europe where she participated in relief work. She settled in Adelaide in 1936, with her then-widowed sister.

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