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Australian Light Horse soldiers celebrating Christmas in Palestine during WWI, 1916

Christmas on the frontline: a WWI experience

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Immerse yourself in the moving history and personal experiences of Queensland soldiers at Christmas during WWI.

Have you ever wondered what the festive season was like for Australian servicemen and women during times of war? Back by popular demand, this talk will feature new personal stories and accounts of Queensland soldiers who spent Christmas at the front. Through the State Library’s digital collection and other sources, this free talk will present some of the unique ways soldiers kept the Christmas spirit alive during WWI despite being far from home, including:

  • the unofficial Christmas truce in 1914 that led to a widespread cease-fire along the Western Front
  • the turkey raised by Australian POWs for Christmas dinner in 1917
  • Private John Bain Moncrief's last Christmas, recounted in a moving letter sent to his mother
  • the delivery of billycans filled with festive treats to frontline troops
  • the exchange of Christmas wishes through silk postcards and handmade cards

After the talk, visitors can stay to explore the Memorial Galleries - embarking on an interactive journey from World War I to today, before taking time to reflect on the remarkable stories of bravery and sacrifice in the tranquil parklands.

Anzac Square Memorial Galleries is located at 285 Ann Street, Brisbane. Entry is through the double brass doors located beneath the Shrine of Remembrance.

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Anzac Square Memorial Galleries

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Sun 3 Dec