International war between the Allies (Britain and its dominions, France, Russia, Italy and the USA) and Central Powers (Germany and Austria–Hungary,Turkey and Bulgaria) that was fought mainly in Europe and the Middle East. It began on 28 July 1914 and ended on 11 November 1918. Australia's involvement in the war began on 4 August 1914 when Britain and Germany went to war and Australia, as one of Britain's dominions, pledged full support. Australians fought in the British and Australian armies.

While no battles took place on Australian soil, Australian involvement in the conflict had both immediate and long term impacts on the local community.

Milestone
Date of event
1914 - 11 Nov 1918
Name
Alternate
Great War
Alternate
War to End All Wars
Alternate
First World War
Alternate
WWI
Alternate
WW1
Type

Bankstown Soldier Settlement Milperra

,
2010

Faced with disabled returned soldiers from World War I, the New South Wales government sponsored group settlements on Sydney's fringes, hoping that the ex-soldiers would be able to support their families on small farms. The Bankstown settlement had 30 families by 1918, but for most of them, the experience was not a success.

McGuire, George

,
2010

Born in Mauritius, Albert McGuire became a keen volunteer soldier with the Irish Rifles during the 1910s.

Holsworthy Internment Camp during World War I

,
2014

When the Commonwealth Government assented to the War Precautions Act in 1914, people of German origin or descent, as well as those from countries allied with Germany, were deemed a national security risk and detained. Deprived of their freedom and with limited family visits, the camp men cleared land, constructed roads and worked on the railway, as well as building community enterprises such as shops, cafes, theatre groups and orchestras. Some spent as long as six years in the camp where they faced deportation and an influenza epidemic. What they made of life during their internment says a lot about their spirit.

Religious Opposition to World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

With the exception of a small number of Quakers, Independents and Methodists, religious opposition to World War I and the issue of conscription came from a few, isolated individual voices. The Church of England whole-heartedly supported the war while for the main part, the Catholic Church remained silent.

Socialist Opposition to World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

Most socialist organisations opposed World War I from the beginning, the militant vigour of their opposition fiercely suppressed through government censure and legislation. Their message - that the working classes were mere cannon fodder for the imperialist war machine from which they would not benefit - appealed to many Sydnysiders, especially as the war drew on, and its emotional, social and financial cost became more exhausting.

Women and World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

Women played prominent roles in the anti-war, anti-conscription and peace movements in Sydney between 1914 and 1918, lead rallies and demonstrations and addressed outdoor meetings across the country. As sisters, wives and mothers, women were expected to sacrifice their menfolk in the ultimate act of patriotism yet many opposed the war for that very reason. For others it came down to a sense of moral obligation or issues of class and gender.

World War I and the Peace Society in Sydney

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

The many wartime tensions between members of the New South Wales Peace Society was, in microcosm, one small example of the way in which the World War I split and deeply divided Sydney. Between 1914 and 1918, political, pacifist and patriotic tensions between the Society's members fractured this once united group.

War Memorials for World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

The shocking losses of Australian servicemen and women in the Great War prompted communities across Australia to find ways to memorialise those who died, and honour those who served. As no centralised authority drove or coordinated this task, the form of each memorial reflects the community that raised the funds to build it. Balmain was the first suburb in Australia to erect a war memorial, but in time, the towns, suburbs, workplaces and institutions of Sydney found a way to fulfil the covenant 'we will remember them.'

The beginnings of Anzac Day commemorations in Sydney

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2014

The landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in 1915 was first commemorated in Sydney on 25 April 1916. It took nearly twenty years for Sydney commemorations to take the form that is now considered traditional, of a march from the Cenotaph in Martin Place, through the streets of Sydney to the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

Transcript: Mrs Elsie Collimore remembers scenes from the Liverpool soldiers' riot of 1916

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Mrs Elsie Collimore was born in 1906 and was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960' project. Here she remembers scenes from Liverpool during World War I, including the now famous soldiers' riot of 1916.

Transcript: Mrs Marjorie Gough knitting for the soldiers in WWI and WWII

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Mrs Marjorie Gough was born in 1908 and interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' Here she talks here about her contribution to the war effort in both world wars

Transcript: Miss Elizabeth Killinger talks about anti-German sentiment during World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Miss Elizabeth Killinger was born in 1899 and was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' Her family was of German extraction and she talks here about anti-German sentiment during World War I.

Returned Soldiers on the Ultimo Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

The Ultimo Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, now housed in the Ultimo Community Centre, lists the names of 36 men who served in World War I. We can only be sure 22 came home but their stories reveal the hardships of war service, larrikin behaviour, heroism and injuries that must have been a terrible burden to returned soldiers.

The Fallen on the Ultimo Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

The Ultimo Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour, now housed in the Ultimo Community Centre, lists the names of 36 men. Four of those men died as a result of their war service and were lost to their families and friends - people who openly grieved their passing. Their grief is a reminder of the true cost of war, for the fallen and for their family, friends, and community.

Ultimo Presbyterian Church Roll of Honour

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

The roll of honour from the former Ultimo Presbyterian Church, now located in the Ultimo Community Centre, lists 36 men associated with the Ultimo community who served in the First Australian Imperial Forces in World War I. The board, instigated in 1916 shortly after the arrival of Reverend John Muir, is part of a tradition in which honour rolls were used to memorialise, mobilise, recruit and mourn.

The Red Cross in Sydney in World War One

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2016

A Sydney branch of the British Red Cross was formed in 1913 and it, and a host of new branches, joined the national movement at the outbreak of World War One in August 1914. The earliest activities were training in first aid and home nursing as pre-requisites for membership of Voluntary Aid Detachments. At a local level Red Cross workers undertook sewing, knitting and fundraising, all the while being encouraged to see themselves at 'ministering angels'.

Recruiting for World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2016

As the embarkation point for many World War I soldiers, Sydney was a centre for recruiting volunteers from all over New South Wales, and also strongly affected by the bitter conscription referenda campaigns of 1916 and 1917, and the subsequent political fallout.

Celebrating the end of World War I

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2016

After four long years, the declaration of the Armistice at the end of World War One on 11 November 1918 was celebrated across Sydney. More sombre commemorations, Peace Day, followed after the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919.

The Soldiers Riot of 1916

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2016

On 14 February 1916 soldiers based in the Australian Imperial Force training camps at Casula and Liverpool rioted, first in Liverpool, then at Central Station and in the city. The riot caused widespread damage, the death of one soldier-recruit, injuries to seven, multiple military and criminal convictions and contributed to the introduction of six o'clock closing across New South Wales.