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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Interviewing descendant australasian soldiers


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I need to interview someone for my research paper for school, which is about the contribution of the anzac in the Gallipoli campaign. I would personally find it more important to hear someone talk about their grandfather instead of a historian talk about it while they do not have a connection to the subject. 

Where/ how can I find someone to interview?


And what are some interesting questions to ask?


Thanks in advance!

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I wouldn't discount historians. If you look at the Soldiers & their Units board on this forum, you will see there are all kinds of descendants who don't know much about their relatives' service much less the war itself. So if you're intent on interviewing a descendant, I'd really try to find one who has an interest in the war. Otherwise you might end up with a lot of family stories that are extremely granular and a struggle to fit into the big picture.

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Hi Friso,

I used to know one of the platoon commanders who landed in Gallipoli.  His platoon got further inland than any other Australian unit.  I am still in occasional touch with his granddaughter, who remembers him well and has some of his photos and other mementoes.  She might be able to give you an interview.

Some questions to a relative might be:

  • Did you ever meet them?
  • Did they ever speak of the war?
  • What impact did the war have later in their life? (Some took to alcohol, others like my grandfather, gassed on the Western Front, was remembered by his children as head down on the kitchen table, unable to climb stairs, with a little glass vial of adrenaline for his wife to inject when things got bad).
  • Do you still have photos or other memories?
  • What do you think of every ANZAC Day?

I still remember how spritely Noel was and his rock solid belief they were put on the wrong beach (which is no longer endorsed by military historians).  Also his story that in Adelaide all the officers were told to get their swords sharpened but none of them fancied charging into battle with swords so he claimed they threw them overboard outside Outer Harbour. 

Hope it all goes well.

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Yes I would agree my GF didn't talk and when I did he use to tell us he rode a camel like TEL (the movie had just come out at the time) which we all believe he served with TEL when he served in the ALH and Camel Corps.

He was a reinforcement to the 10th ALH Regt after the slaughter at the Nek, so he didn't say anything, other then the odd swear words in Arabic he picked up in Egypt and Palestine.


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