On this day: the Battle of Magdhaba

Australian_Lewis_gunner_MagdhabaAustralian War Memorial image P00812.011. An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the Battle of Magdhaba 23rd December 1916 First World War One

An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the battle.

The Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The Battle of Magdhaba, officially known in Britain as the Affair of Magdhaba, was a First World War battle fought between the British and Ottoman Empires on the 23rd of December, 1916.

9th_Light_Horse_Regiment_MagdhabaThe advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade) at Battle of Magdhaba, 23 December 1916. First World War One

The advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment.

British Empire forces, consisting of British, Australian, Indian and New Zealand soldiers, defeated the Turks on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in a day of fierce fighting.

On this day: Australian Soldiers in Egypt

Group portrait of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza on 10 January 1915, prior to the

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10th January 1915: Members of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force pose for a group photograph on the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The Australians did a lot of their training in the country.

In April of the same year they would take part in the infamous landings at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). 378 men in this battalion were amongst the 26 111 Australian casualties, which included 8141 deaths.

Australian Troops in December 1914

Australian troops at the Mena Camp in Egypt in December, 1914. One soldier plays with a kangaroo. It was common for troops to take native animals with them when they went to war, and many of these animals were then left in the care of the Cairo Zoological Gardens.

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Slavery in Africa

This picture’s caption says it is of an Egyptian slavemaster and a female Waswahili (Swahili) slave in Cairo c.1864

Slavery was so widespread throughout history. When I found this picture I’d sat down to read a “brief summary”, which was just silly. We tend to be taught a very limited version of the history of slavery in school (if we’re taught it at all – Australia does an abysmal job of teaching anything other than Anzac Day – and our current government wants to put more emphasis on that moment and little else!).

Egyptian_Slavemaster_and_SlaveEgyptian slavemaster and Waswahili (Swahili) slave.