Three cheers for the Prince!
A camera positioned opposite Australia House on The Strand in London, captures Australian troops on parade for Anzac Day, 1919. The vast number of Australian troops is some indication of the scale of Australia's contribution to the war effort.
The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) stands on the raised platform, taking the salute. With him are Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig to the right and HRH Prince Albert (later King George VI) further back, next to Lieutenant General Sir William R Birdwood (left). Also featured on the stand are Billy Hughes (Prime Minister of Australia); Andrew Fisher (Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom); Sir Thomas McKenzie (New Zealand High Commissioner to the United Kingdom); Sir Joseph Cook and Senator Pearce (the Australian Minister for Defence).
The parade ends with Australian and New Zealand troops and British citizens pushing forward and mobbing the Prince of Wales with three cheers!
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.
Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour had the largest shipping dock of its kind in the world when this film was made there in 1916. It shows the building HMAS Brisbane, and its launch on 30 September 1915. Margaret Fisher, wife of then-Prime Minister Andrew Fisher breaks a bottle of champagne over the ship’s bow before it slides down the slipway into the harbour.
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.