Category Archives: World War One

Emmeline Pankhurst to Billy Hughes

Mrs Pankhurst, her daughter and the Prime Minister: the suffragettes and the Great War

The recently released movie Suffragette has introduced a new audience to the extraordinary history of the movement for women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom, in particular its militant wing represented by Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). The movie ends before the declaration of the First World War, but the war was to split […]

“sheets and a bed – glorious”

“sheets and a bed – glorious.” So describes Wilberforce Newton’s delight in his hospital accommodations on 12th November 1915. Plagued by suspected bronchitis whilst serving with the Royal Medical Corps on the Western front, Newton’s simple joy illustrates the conditions that became the new ‘normal’ experienced by servicemen and women during World War One. Newton’s diary […]

Alfred Plumley Derham: soldier, medic, poet, ANZAC

Geoffrey Laurenson – Professional Library Cadet Georgina Ward – Assistant Archivist The story of Alfred Plumley Derham is one of a young medical student who showed great steadfastness in the face of the day-to-day realities of World War One: boredom, tough living conditions, separation from loved ones, crippling injury and illness. The letters and diaries of […]

Swallow and Ariell Patriotic Sewing Bee c. 1916

‘We will help until the war is won’

During the anniversaries of World War One we reflect on the many aspects of war and its impact. As well as diaries and mementos of servicemen, the University of Melbourne Archives holds a range of material relating to work done on the home front to support those serving in the war. This took many guises, from women working, children […]