GREAT WAR

DIARIES

This amazing collection of pennies and diary entries builds to tell the story of Australia in the Great War years through the eyes of would-be journalist, aspiring artist and young soldier, John Murray. The diaries accurately capture the history, events and experiences as new instalments add to each year’s quality binder (1914-1918) to tell the story of Australia’s journey from peacetime through to war’s end. There are four instalments every year of the centenary, each with six antique copper memory pennies created from diary illustrations.

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Follow events at home and in the war with this educational and entertaining account created to help all Australians understand the significance of the Centenary of the Great War. Deliberately started in the pre war months, the diary and the beautifully crafted pennies help readers understand life at home before they embark on a journey through the battlefields of Gallipoli, Europe and the Middle East. Share battle maps, images and mementos, and read news from home as you join Murray on his journey.

Read an excerpt from the diary

 

With your support in the Anzac Centenary AGW has raised $400,000 for Soldier On and their work with today's diggers. Together we will do more.

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1917 Great War Diary Binder

House your 1917 John Murray Penny Diary inserts in the stunning leatherette binder. The story of John's experience of the Great War in 1917 is published in four separately available installments, released across the centenary year.

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The Great War Diary 1917 Part One

For Australians on the Western Front the start of 1917 was bitter cold, such that the dreaded trench foot gave way to frostbite. Men rotated between support trenches and the front line as both sides in the war launched raids and counter raids up and down the lines. Follow the events and be part of their story in this inspiring, educational and entertaining journal created for all Australians.

Add this installment to your 1917 binder. Includes six new Memory Pennies; map of the world conflicts, news from home and more.

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The Great War Diary 1917 Part Two

With the introduction of the Mk.1 Landship in late 1916 it was hoped the trench stalemate could be broken but when Australians attacked Bullecourt on the Hindenburg Line on 11 April the tanks failed and Australia suffered dearly. 1917 would prove a costly year. Follow events as Australia settled into its fourth year of the war in this inspiring, educational and entertaining journal created for all Australians.

The history, events and experiences of Australians in the Great War are captured in each year's diary (1914-1918) as they tell the story of his John's journey through to war's end. Six new Memory Pennies; 1917 diary instalment part 2; newspaper clippings and more are included.

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The Great War Diary 1917 Parts 3 & 4

John Murray's experience with the 1st A.I.F. on the Western Front continues. Available February 2018

1916 Great War Diary Binder

This exquisite binder is specially created to house the John Murray Memory Penny Diary inserts for 1916. Each of the four inserts are available separately and include John's stories of Australia's passage through the war; memorabilia of the time; and six unique antique-finished memory pennies.

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The Great War Diary 1916 Part One

The story of John Murray and Australia in the Great War continues in this first installment for 1916. The troops rested in Egypt after Gallipoli in preparation for the Western Front. John undertakes officer training and men are absorbed in training with new weaponry and tactics. They are soon en-route to Europe and the waiting horrors of the longest battle front in history.

Add this installment to your 1916 binder. Includes six new Memory Pennies; map of the world conflicts, news from home and more.

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The Great War Diary 1916 Part Two

After preparing for the Western Front in Egypt John Murray and his men find themselves at the Western Front in an area dubbed the "nursery". Away from the hard fighting elsewhere on the Front John appreciates the change of scenery, and is granted leave to London with his brother Albert. They will return to the trenches soon enough.

John's diaries are created to capture the history, events and experiences of Australians in the Great War as each year's diary (1914-1918) builds to tell the story of his journey through to war's end. Included is the first months of John's 1916 diary; six new Memory Pennies; sketched maps; replicas of 1916 leave documents and more.

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The Great War Diary 1916 Part Three

After relative quiet for the Australian Imperial Force on the Western Front in the first half of 1916 - although losses still amounted to hundreds of men - the tempo changed dramatically in July. Australia was drawn into the Somme offensive with attacks at Fromelles and Pozieres. In these two battles alone Australian losses accounted for almost the entire number on men lost during the eight month Gallipoli campaign. The naturally high water table in the French countryside, combined with the onset of rains, turned trenches into mud-filled gullies. For John Murray and all in the A.I.F., life was getting harder with every passing day.

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The Great War Diary 1916 Part Four

After Fromelles and Pozieres Australia had no illusions as to the cost of the fight on the Western Front. John Murry lauded men like 'Fighting Mac' McKenzie, who worked tirelessly for the wellbeing of men. Like many John cast his vote on the October referendum on conscription. Most in the A.I.F. voted 'Yes' but the vote was narrowly defeated in Australia. By year's end some 40,000 Australians had been killed or wounded on the Western Front.

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The Great War Diary 1915 Part One

The story of Australia in the Great War spills into 1915 in this latest installment of John Murray’s diary. In January the camps at Egypt spread like sprawling tent cities and the intensity of training increases. Men found unfit for service are sent home and the first men of the A.I.F to join the fight do so at the Suez Canal. But for John, and most others, the tedium of training continues. Share his insights as the mood in Cairo changes with speculation of a Turkish invasion in Egypt.

John’s diaries are created to capture the history, events and experiences of Australians in the Great War as each year’s diary (1914-1918) builds to tell the story of his journey through to war’s end. Included in your 1915 binder are the first months of John’s 1915 diary, six new Memory Pennies; his map of the action at the Canal, news from home and more.

Read an excerpt from the diary.

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The Great War Diary 1915 Part Two

In this latest installment of John Murray’s diary he leaves Egypt for Lemnos and final preparations for the landing at the Dardanelles Peninsula on 25 April. Despite his training, nothing could prepare John for Gallipoli and the realities of war. His insights paint a dramatic picture of life at Gallipoli.

Add this installment to your 1915 binder. Includes six new Memory Pennies; maps of Lemnos and the attack at Gallipoli.

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The Great War Diary 1915 Part Three

Join John Murray in the 1st Brigade's assault at LONE PINE as the A.N.Z.A.C. try to break the Gallipoli stalemate. John's Gallipoli chapters recount the realities of life before and after the "August Offensive" and share his personal recollections of the impacts of war on those around him in an educational and engaging journal created for all Australians in the 2014-2018 Centenary of the Great War.

Add this installment to your 1915 binder. Includes six new Memory Pennies.

Order yours now.

The Great War Diary 1915 Part Four

Share John Murray’s thoughts and experiences after the failed August Offensive. Follow the now young Officer into a harsh Turkish winter and join him in one of the greatest withdrawals in military history. Prepare for 1916 with John in Egypt as we follow the journey of Australia in the Great War in the 2014-2018 Centenary. An inspiring, educational and entertaining journal created for all Australians.

Add this installment to your 1915 binder. Includes six new Memory Pennies.

Order yours now.

The Great War Diary 1914 Part One

The Great War Diary 1914 Part One includes a stunning leather-look binder and the first of four 1914 instalments of Murray's story. Meet the Murray family and share John's observations on life in peacetime Australia. By his next entry the dominos to war will start to fall. Soon he'll be at war. Understand life at home before you embark on a journey through the battlefields of Gallipoli, Europe and the Middle East. When war comes you'll share battle maps, images and mementos, and read news from home.

Also featured is a set of six pennies. The antique copper finished pennies reflect elements of the story told in Murray's diary entries and are presented in an attractive printed card which is designed to be stored in the binder.

Read an excerpt from the diary.

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The Great War Diary 1914 Part Two

John Murray's 1914 diary and the story of Australia in the Great War continue in this scene-setting pre-war instalment. While young Murray's focus is on matters of home, by late July 1914 the events which would set the world to war were well underway. As Europe's power brokers stumbled toward war Australia faced its first double dissolution election, and drought ravaged the lands. An ordinary Australian family living in extraordinary times would be drawn into a conflict that would reshape the world. These events are captured in the six antique copper finish 1914 Memory Pennies.

Additional inclusions in this issue: Australian Population map 1914; Sydney real estate clipping; adhesive corners.

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The Great War Diary 1914 Part Three

In the third instalment of John Murray's 1914 Memory Penny Diary events overseas finally reach home. When Britain declares war with Germany on 4 August Australia loyally follows. In the weeks following Australians rally to support the Mother Country and John is no exception. The Murray family's attention is on the war. John's passion for the new submarines and service with the RAN is foiled and he turns instead to the army. Meanwhile Gordon returns from New Guinea and immediately signs on. Albert joins the force to take German territory in New Guinea while Walter's ambitions for officer training at Duntroon takes a war footing with the enrolment cancelled. John and thousands of men converge on Randwick Racecourse for basic training under the newly formed Australian Imperial Forces. The Australian Red Cross is formed and immediately starts raising funds. Lizzie and mother want to do their bit. Father believes the motor car will be a big part of the war effort and gives the boys a lesson in 'hard' driving in the Model T. Includes six especially minted and presented Memory Pennies.

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The Great War Diary 1914 Part Four

In the final 1914 instalment John is ready for war. The troops depart Sydney for the rally point at Albany in WA before joining the massive convoy of ships for Europe. Despite weeks on end aboard the ships and relentless sea sickness there is an air of excitement which is only heightened when HMAS Sydney breaks away from the convoy to engage the infamous German cruiser, SMS Emden near the Cocos Islands. But excitement about reaching England is dashed when the boys instead disembark at Egypt for training. The wonders of Egypt are enlightening but the boys have to build the training facilities and life is hard going. The New Zealanders and the Australians are joined as the Australian New Zealand Army Corps. At home the economy is feeling the effects of the war and the store needs careful management. While father enrols to serve at home, mother must contest with customers' openly challenging Australia's part in the war. Includes six especially minted and presented Memory Pennies.

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