Saturday, 14 March 2015

The Dardanelles - where?

Since about the beginning of March, the Ballarat papers – the Courier and the Star – have been reporting action in some place named “the Dardanelles”, where the combined French and British navies are attempting to force an entrance to Dardanelles Narrows.  I wonder how many Ballarat citizens even knew where this place was; they couldn’t have suspected the significance this name, or the name of the peninsula which lay there, was to have for Australians in the very near future,

Meanwhile in the desert in Egypt, the heat, soft sand and dust storms make conditions difficult for the troops on route marches and during training.  A letter home from one of the troops remarks

“…the heat is much felt out on the sand and one longs for the evening’s cool to come so as to enjoy a rest from it all. We are daily expecting orders to move from here and practically everything is ready whenever they come. I believe we are to go to the Dardanelles which if true should mean some good fighting for us…” *

Remember that many newspapers across Australia have been digitised for the Great War period of 1914-1918, including the Star and the Courier, but also many regional newspapers of the district. They can be found on the TROVE website, where you can browse by date, or search on specific names or events or places.  Next Friday, March 20, our History on the Hub session will be focussing on TROVE and the many treasures to be found there. You can book at the Library 5338 6850.

* Austin, Ron Cobbers in khaki: the history of the 8th Battalion 1914-1918 p. 35

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