Help us Build an Online Light Horse Anthology
A key part of the commemoration of General Sir Harry Chauvel is remembering the men who served with him on Sinai and in Palestine. Many of these men are our forgotten heroes and Chauvel would have wanted his Light Horsemen to be remembered for their service and achievements.
The General Sir Harry Chauvel Foundation wishes to encourage the descendants of Light Horsemen and other interested people to research and write about their ancestors, or perhaps their Light Horseman hero. The aim is to help develop our knowledge and understanding of those who served and of how their values and service informs and help define contemporary Australia. People are already telling their stories, but too many of these do not find the wider readership they deserve. Those who have visited the battlefields where their light horse ancestors served might also reflect on what their journey has meant to them. We hope to attract entries from schools and undergraduates. Equally, we welcome work from postgraduates, service personnel and retirees.
Suggestions for Stories
Some writers may wish to consider the work of accredited war correspondents, photographers and artists and crucially their relationships with military leaders and the public at home. Another avenue of interest is the work of writers such as A B Paterson, Trooper Blue Gum (Oliver Hogue) and Ion Idriess and their impact on their fellow Light Horsemen and wider audiences. Lesser-known contemporary writers might include Charles Barrett and ‘Trooper Gerardy’ (Edwin Field Gerard). Other interested writers might wish to collect and write about the poems written by Light Horsemen and their popular songs. Some writers might reflect on how the Light Horse Story has informed the development of their own values. Others might like to write about how their light horseman ancestor or local hero met his bride. War is not only about dates of key battles, but it touches almost all corners of life, yielding more personal stories of love, adventure, suffering, and of tragedy.
Writers should research their stories, using where possible diaries, correspondence, photographs and sketches in family archives and local museums. They are encouraged to use the Australian War Memorial and National Archives websites and the National Library of Australia’s primary source research tool Trove. To help you, we are compiling a list of references and of regional museums and historical societies which hold relevant archives and artifact assemblages.