On this day: Australians off to war.

Australian Imperial Force's 2nd Infantry Brigade marching through Bourke Street, Melbourne, Friday, 25th September 1914. First World War. World War One.

This photograph – dated the 25th of September, 1914 – shows the Australian Imperial Force’s 2nd Infantry Brigade marching down Bourke Street, Melbourne.

Australia was involved in the First World War from the outset. 38.7 percent of the country’s eligible male population enlisted in the war – a war taking place on the other side of the world. At this point in time Australia considered itself very British.

 

On this day: the Australian Women’s Land Army is formed

AWLA_smoko_timeGroup of women from the Australian Women's Land Army smoking at tea break, seated on dry grass out in the country in the height of summer. Tent, trees and clouds in backgr

 Smoko time with the AWLA

Inspired by Britain’s Women’s Land Army, the Australian Women’s Land Army was created on the 27th of July, 1942. The organisation was formed to combat shortages in the farming industry as the Second World War intensified.

Though Australia had been fighting in the war since 1939, once Japan entered the conflict in 1941, threatening the Pacific, many Australian men were drafted into the army, leaving shortages at home.

A_papier-mache_cow_on_Mrs_Mellor_s_car,_1944A papier-mache cow, used for milking demonstrations at the Werribee experimental farm, Women's Land Army Australia Seconnd World War World W

Field Officer Mrs Mellor ties a papier-mâché cow used in milking demonstrations to the back of her car in Melbourne. 1944.

Women who joined the AWLA took over men’s jobs in the agricultural sector. In order to be eligible for the work women were required to be between eighteen and fifty, and to be either of British origin or to be from a member of the Allied nations.

Women were paid significantly less than men for the same work.

The AWLA was disbanded on the 31st of December, 1945.

The Australian Women’s Land Army

A_papier-mache_cow_on_Mrs_Mellor_s_car,_1944A papier-mache cow, used for milking demonstrations at the Werribee experimental farm, Women's Land Army Australia Seconnd World War World W

Field Officer Mrs Mellor of the Australian Women’s Land Army ties a papier-mâché cow to the back of her car on the 29th of February, 1944 (1944 was a leap year).

The cow was used in milking demonstrations.

The AWLA was formed in 1942 to combat rising labour shortages in Australia’s farming industry as the war in the Pacific intensified. The organisation was disbanded at the end of 1945.

On this day: the demolition of the Old Melbourne Gaol

Australia’s Old Melbourne Gaol photographed while being taken apart on the 19th of April, 1937.

The gaol is most famous for being the place of the execution of bushranger (highwayman) Ned Kelly in 1880.

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On this day: the Brighton Tornado

Three tornadoes hit Brighton in Melbourne, Australia on the 2nd of February, 1918.

Beginning at around 5:45pm, the storm killed a man and a boy. The drowning of a woman swimming at St Kilda Beach is believed to also have been caused by the disaster.

The Hawthorn Methodist Church (in the image below) was destroyed, and later rebuilt.

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Brighton-tornado The Methodist Church, Hawthorn Road, Brighton, Australia, destroyed in the Brighton tornado on February 2nd, 1918.

On this day: the 1934 Melbourne Cup

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In 1934 Australia’s Melbourne Cup, often listed as one of the world’s most important horse races, was held on Tuesday the 6th of November.

The image below is of people in Sydney listening to a radio broadcast of the race.

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That year, the winning horse was Peter Pan, and the jockey was Darby Munro.

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The Melbourne Cup, first held in 1861, is now run every year at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November.

On this day: the last shot of the US Civil War

America’s Civil War ended on the 9th of May, 1865. However, the final shot fired was on the 22nd of June that year.

The shot was fired from the Confederate-operated CSS Shenandoah. The event took place near the Aleutian Islands in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

The Shenandoah was photographed here in Williamstown in Melbourne, Australia in 1865.

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CSS Shenandoah in dry dock in Williamstown, Victoria, Australia, 1865. The last shot fired in the US American Civil War 22nd June.

On this day: Ned Kelly’s execution

Ned Kelly the day before his execution 10th November 1880

Ned Kelly photographed – at his request – the day before his execution.

Notorious Australian bushranger (outlaw), Ned Kelly, was executed at Melbourne Gaol on the 11th of November, 1880. He was twenty-five at the time.

A divisive figure, some saw him as a type of Irish-Australian Robin Hood, while others condemned him for his actions.

Ned Kelly, aged fifteen, photographed in 1871 at Kyneton, Victoria.

Police mug shot of Kelly at fifteen.

While Kelly was convicted of or suspected of committing many crimes over his life, the one that finally led to his hanging was the wilful murder of Constable Lonigan at the infamous shootout at Glenrowan in late of June the same year.

Shows the burnt remains of the Jones's Hotel, the scene of the final confrontation between Ned Kelly and the Victorian Police. A sign still stands The Glenrowan Inn, Ann Jones, best accommodation. 1880.

The burnt remains of the hotel in Glenrowan, shortly after the Kelly Gang’s last stand.

All the other members of the Kelly Gang were killed during the shootout.

Nine people were killed during the Kelly Outbreak, and seven injured, including Kelly himself.

Old-Melbourne-Gaol-in 1861

Melbourne Gaol in 1861. Source.

Kelly’s last words were allegedly, and famously: Such is life.

Melbourne Cup Day

The Melbourne Cup, widely recognised as one of the world’s most significant horse races, is run in Australia on the first Tuesday of November each year.

The race was first run in 1861. This is an engraving of the finish line of the race in 1881.

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Engraving of the finish line at the Melbourne Cup of 1881. Made by S.B. published in the Illustrated Australian News in November 1881.