Jimmy's War - 1915
It’s 1915 and World War I has been going for over a year, but in Melbourne life for Jimmy and his mum is hard. Jimmy’s brother, Arthur, couldn’t wait to enlist and sail off to fight at Gallipoli, and there’s been no word from him for weeks. Meanwhile, Jimmy’s mum is sick and he’s forced to work in the rail yards to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
Jimmy's War is now part of the Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages exhibition, currently in Brisbane libraries and maybe coming to a library near you.
Here are some of the photos I was able to use that also helped me in my research.
This is how I imagine Jimmy looked going off to school with his lunchbox.
In 1915 much of Yarraville would have looked like this, with some cars but still many carriages and horse-drawn carts.
There are many photos of soldiers embarking for the war, mostly from Princes Pier in Melbourne.
(Thanks to the State Library of Victoria and the Melbourne Museum for use of these photos)
You may know that Jimmy (James) and Arthur in the book are inspired by my grandfather and great-uncle who both went off to fight in WWI. My grandfather came home, but sadly my great-uncle James died in Europe and is buried at the military cemetery in Belgium. This is a photo of his headstone.
Through the Defence Department website in NZ I was able to access both of their war service records.