ANZAC materials Letters, stories, maps and cigarette cards

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: 

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

Recorded live on ABC Radio Perth on 23 April 2021.

Last updated on 6 October 2021