The Aussie and the Mademoiselle from Armentières
Pat Hanna's 1930 recording of the iconic World War One song Mademoiselle from Armentières continued the tradition of adapting the words of this famous song to reflect the different experiences of soldiers during the war. Hanna himself served with the Otago Regiment from New Zealand.
Recorded in Australia on the Vocalion label, this version (with lyrics by Hanna), tells the story of an Australian “Digger” who falls for the French mademoiselle, only to leave her heartbroken when he is killed at Bullecourt (1917) in Northern France. It was a popular number performed as part of Hanna’s “Diggers” vaudeville concert party which toured Australia and New Zealand for many years after the war.
Fundraising for the war effort, Sydney
Various wartime fundraising and recruitment activities are seen in this film from about 1916, shot from outside the General Post Office in Martin Place, Sydney, after rain. In pavilion-style tent stalls, Red Cross workers sell ribbons, flowers and other produce. The top-hatted Governor of NSW, Sir Gerald Strickland, walks among the crowds. Many AIF troops are shown in this clip, their humour in evidence in a shot of a young male civilian being ‘accosted’ and compelled to enlist, while others pretend to take his measurements for a uniform.
‘Australia prepared’ – making ammunition
‘The Amazing Micrometer’, a machine measuring to one 40,000th of an inch, is one star of this 1916 film, made at Australia’s Colonial Ammunition Company. Many of the factory’s workers are women, symbolising a community united in the war effort and highlighting women’s vital contributions on the home front. They are seen making .303 cartridges, packing them in cases, and filling a soldier’s bandolier (ammunition belt). This is an extract from an hour-long documentary showing how Australia ‘made and equipped the expeditionary forces’ to contribute to the Allied cause during the Great War.