ANZAC: Letters, stories, maps and cigarette cards

Friday 23 April 2021

Pete Edwards, Heritage Team Librarian, discusses original ANZAC materials from the State Library archives. From maps of the 1915 & 1917 battlefronts to letters written from Gallipoli, a desperate action at Gallipoli that ended in a Victoria Cross & a cigarette card, and snippets of one soldier’s story told via a series of postcards sent to his family on the home front. These archival materials may be old and fragile, but the stories they carry remain loud and strong, and call for quiet contemplation. 


Access to these original ANZAC maps, letters, and postcards—and digitised copies of them—provide everyone with a direct if small window into the lived experience and stories of W.A. soldiers far from home. Pause and consider where they were as they wrote, what were they really thinking and feeling. How did they cope with the unforgiving realities of those times?  

As we reflect on these fragments of our collective Western Australian story, consider how would you have coped, what would you have thought, and done, if you wore the muddied frontline shoes and boots worn by so many from 1914 - 1918? 

Lest We Forget will always ring true as will—as Pete likes to say—Always Remember. 

Here are links to digitised copies of ANZAC materials from Pete and Christine’s discussion: 

Map of Gallipoli - scale 1:20,000. Boghali. 1915 

Map of Gallipoli, c.1908 - 1915 

Trench map, Belgium [Ypres], 1917 

Letter [written on a cigarette packet] from Gallipoli written by Julius Farquhar Wallace MacLeod, June 1915. 

Bravest of the brave [cigarette card]: Captain Hugo Vivian Hope Throssell 

James Leslie Turner World War I postcards collection, 1915 - 1918 

Please search the catalogue using the terms WW1 Centenary Project to find many more ANZAC materials in the State Library collections.  

For more stories from the State Library and the State Records Office, follow @statelibrarywa and @staterecordsofficewa on Facebook and @statelibrarywa on Instagram. 

The bravest of the brave cigarette card, 1918  (slwa_b4108651_

The bravest of the brave cigarette card, 1918  (b4108651)

Do you have diaries and letters or other documentation about W.A. veterans and their participation in the Korean War or Vietnam War, the wars of more recent years? Your State Library would be very interested in hearing from anyone who may be interested in donating original diaries or letters and other items from these conflicts. Adding such items your State Library collections will help preserve them for future generations of Western Australians.  If this interests you, please contact us on 9427 3111 or email:     

Lest We Forget – Always Remember 

Last updated on: 11 May 2021