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Anzac Day - Tweeting the past

(Troops landing at Anzac Cove, Turkey  25 April 1915, Rex Nan Kivell Collection, nla.pic-vn6573047ops) 

How would Australian soldiers, political leaders and the media have tweeted the Anzac experience if they had social media?

Imagine the landing at Gallipoli as it could have been reported by uncensored social media, where soldiers, officers, nurses and the media report what they see, think and feel - if the technology had been available.

The ABC invited the National Library of Australia, along with the Museum of Australian Democracy and the Australian War Memorial to contribute primary sources from our First World War collections to their ABC Gallipoli Twitter Project @ABCNews1915.

The project represents the twitter accounts of over 60 First World War personalities from April 1915. The accounts will tweet in ‘real time’, from historical records of the thoughts and comments from those who were at Gallipoli 100 years ago.

Walter Kudrycz, a First World War historian has sourced quotes from Sir John Monash’s personal diary, Joseph Beeston’s manuscripts and albums, and Merv Higgins’ letters primarily to capture moments from April 1915.There are also snippets from cablegrams from King George V, images from Beeston’s albums and quotes from General William Bridges.

Here are some sample tweets:

by the beginning of April we were fit for anything #Anzac100 @JoBeetson1915

It is going to be a cold, hungry and thirsty business #Anzac100 @Bridges1915

all day on board in blinding rain and heavy sea. In evening receive Operative Order and write my order thereon #Anzac100 @Monash1915

As far as I can learn every officer in that Battn. was hit #Anzac100 @ MervHiggins1915

The project uses the strengths of national collections to become a voice—for those who no longer can tell the story of Gallipoli—to a contemporary audience. These uncensored personal reflections were touching to collate and explore more than the fight, but also the boredom, the humour and the wait.

Follow @ABCNews1915 on Twitter from April 1 to experience Gallipoli 100 years on.


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