Even Major-Generals die in battle
The sombre 1915 funeral procession of Major-General Sir William Bridges, killed in action at the Dardenelles. Filmed in Melbourne after Bridges’ body arrived home months after his death.
The naming of the capital
Australia’s federal capital was purpose-built from 1909, since neither Sydney nor Melbourne would agree to the other city becoming the capital. The new capital was named ‘Canberra’, apparently from the name of the indigenous people of the area. The capital’s name was kept a secret until it was read out by the Governor-General’s wife, Lady Gertrude Denman.
This film shows the ceremony on 12 March 1913 when the new-born federal capital was formally named. Governor-General Lord Denman and PM Andrew Fisher are seen proceeding to the saluting base where the Australian Light Horse, field battery and lance regiments and Royal Cadets are lined up for inspection. Many of the men in this footage would not return from Gallipoli, the Western Front and other battlefields.
Sheep dogs & medieval knights, Australian Gazette
From a sheepdog trial to a costume parade in support of the French Red Cross – the weekly Australian Gazette newsreel captured a slice of Australian life through the war years.
This example from mid-1915 starts with a sheepdog trial at a showground, followed by shots of the British barque Inverness-Shire, dismasted by wild weather off the coast of Tasmania. The third segment (unfortunately damaged by deterioration of the nitrate film) records a parade heading down Collins St in Melbourne in aid of the French Red Cross. The clip ends with the mammoth funeral procession in Sydney for the great Australian batsman Victor Trumper.