Digging up Australian History
Last updated: August 4th, 2013 by admin
One person’s unwanted clutter can be another person’s treasure. Sometimes it can be a society’s treasure. A case in point is the recently-discovered photos taken by digger Private George (Eric) Cherry with a basic Kodak vest camera during his spell in Gallipoli in 1915. His images of day-to-day life during the campaign contrast sharply with pictures taken in the more tranquil surroundings of Egypt. Cherry himself did not even develop the images, but fortunately kept the film, which his family later gave to Michael Lean of the Queensland University of Technology. These were then passed to the Maroochy RSL Museum where they were finally developed.
Even though the images are in black-and-white and show the grain of age and a primitive camera, they are still striking in their portrayal of day-to-day life as seen through the eyes of a front-line service man. In some the soldiers’ tension is clear, but in others people are relaxing, apparently without a care in the world.
Today many amateur photographers are eager to capture meaningful images which will send a message to posterity. Others simply want to have fun with their cameras, although even they can capture special moments. Both groups will find plenty of material in Australia which is visually extraordinary in many ways. For those needing a bit of help finding the right words, it’s best to enlist the help of an experienced NAATI translator.