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History Week 2014


From the heights of hope to the horror of the trenches, the Great War changed the world irrevocably. It separated families and lovers, turned young men into soldiers and young women into nurses, converted friends and neighbours into enemies.

The unusual circumstances of warfare intervened with each aspect of life. In which ways did the conduct of war shape, change and inform those fighting and those remaining on the home front? How have historians approached complex topics surrounding it, such as the scale of violence and women’s involvement in war? What impact did the Great War have on the cultural memory of those involved – allies and enemies? In the aftermath of 1915 Australians elevated the Gallipoli landing into a foundation story, which claims that the nation was born on this battlefield, but there are more layers of remembrance yet to be uncovered and examined. History Week 2014 will explore the impact of World War One abroad and at home.

The History Council of NSW has been running History Week for 17 years to share stories that show history is interesting, relevant and all around us. Across NSW nearly one hundred events will commemorate the beginning of the Great War.

Archives, museums, libraries, universities, historical societies, community groups, councils, will open their doors to present the latest historical perspectives on a vital part of our culture.

Soldiers' Children: Child Welfare, Family Support and the Home Front in World War I

Event Type: Talk / Lecture

Hosted By: Bland Shire Library and The History Council of NSW

The men who fought The Great War often left wives and children behind, and the records of child welfare agencies in New South Wales and Tasmania contain many stories of the clamouring need of those at home. Children were taken into care when their mothers struggled to earn a living or died while their fathers were overseas. Fathers deserted, or were interned as “alien” Germans. Children’s homes raised boys who joined up, only to be listed on Honour Rolls. Mothers struggled when their husbands died, or returned too broken in body and spirit to support their families.

The recognition that this destitution was the result of the sacrifice of husbands and fathers changed much of the thinking about poverty and led to revisions of social support that ultimately benefited all. In her talk Naomi Parry will discuss the effects of World War I on children and social welfare policies.

The presentation will be followed by afternoon tea.

The Speaker Connect Program is presented by the History Council of NSW.

When: 11 September 2014, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM