Eighty Years Ago: Australia’s Women’s National Emergency Legion is Formed

Horsewoman in the Australian Women’s Emergency Legion. September 1939. X

The Women’s National Emergency Legion, an auxiliary organisation in Australia during the Second World War, was formed in September of 1938.

Based in Brisbane, Queensland, only women of British origin were allowed to join.

Article from The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton. 18 November 1938.

Women considered eligible were provided with training in areas considered necessary to the war effort, such as first aid and truck driving.

Miss Tony Mitchell at Somerville House in Brisbane, 1942. Mitchell drove cars and trucks for the US Army. X

When war broke out in the Pacific at the end of 1941 women were attached to US military units to work as drivers and clerks. They also worked for British and Dutch units based in Australia.

The organisation ceased operations a couple of years after the end of the war.

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On this day: a Charity Concert in Ireland

Tuesday 2nd September 1930,_County_Waterford,_Ireland,_1930sThese girls (fairies wood nymphs) were rehearsing for a charity performance organised by Lady Irene Graham of Mount Congreve,

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This photograph shows girls dressed in costume for a charity performance in the village of Kilmeaden in County Waterford, Ireland. Tuesday 2nd September, 1930.

The performance was organised by Lady Irene Graham of Mount Congreve, a Georgian mansion in the district.

On this day: the King’s official birthday.

This image is of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, on the King’s official birthday on the 19th of May, 1939.

The British monarch has celebrated an official birthday separate to their real birthday since George II began the tradition in 1748. The purpose of the different date was to ensure celebrations could be held in a warmer month, where there was a better chance of the weather being fine.

RoyalVisitLandsdownePark Arrival of Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in the State carriage, in front of grandstand at Lansdowne Park, Ottawa, Canada. 19th May 1939.

On this day: a Queen and a future Queen

Queen Elizabeth with Princess Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after George VI_s coronation. 12th May 1937.

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The 12th of May, 1937 marked the coronation of King George VI and his wife, Queen Elizabeth. This photograph was taken on the balcony of Buckingham Palace afterwards.

The new Queen’s daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth II, stands with her. She had turned eleven a couple of weeks before the coronation.

On this day: a Coronation in London

The Coronation of George VI, The Mall, 12 May 1937. The Royal Coach left for Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of King George and Queen Elizabeth. Picture taken from the roof of Bucki

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This photograph, taken from the rooftop of Buckingham Palace in London, shows the coronation procession of the new king, George VI and his queen Elizabeth on the 12th of May, 1937. The Royal Coach is seen leaving for Westminster Abbey, where the coronation was to happen.

George would be king until his death in 1952. His daughter Elizabeth inherited the throne in February of that year.

Anzac Day in 1937

This image is from the Queensland, Australia town of Canungra on the 25th of April, 1937. People lay wreaths at the Honour Board at the School of Arts on Anzac Day, the day to commemorate Australia’s and New Zealand’s fallen soldiers.

The hall in the picture burnt down during the Second World War.

Honour Board at the School of Arts Hall, Canungra, 1937. Wreaths laid aon Anzac Day 25th April 1937. Inscription on back of photograph reads Dad, Dave Day built this hall. Hall burnt dow

A Chinese suicide bomber prepares.

Chinese_infantry_soldier_preparing_a_suicide_vest_of_Model_24_hand_grenades_at_the_Battle_of_Taierzhuang_against_Japanese_TanksThe Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese

The Battle of Taierzhuang, part of the Second Sino-Japanese War between China and Japan, ran from the 24th of March to the 7th of April, 1938. The first major Chinese victory of the conflict, it was won in part because of the lengths the Chinese soldiers were willing to go to for victory.

This image shows one of China’s suicide bombers putting on a vest made of hand grenades. Some soldiers threw themselves under Japanese tanks and blew themselves – and the vehicles – up.

The Japanese were humiliated by the defeat and denied it in media reports for days after the battle concluded. Chinese victory gave the morale of their people a big boost.

This war ran up until the conclusion of the Second World War, and is considered part of the Pacific Theatre of the worldwide conflict, ending with Japan’s surrender in 1945.