Digital Commonwealth

5th Australian Division (1917)

Item Information

5th Australian Division (1917)
This lantern slide, “5th Australian Division,” shows a soldier posed in the doorway of a dugout. To his left is the Y.M.C.A. emblem. The background shows a war-ravaged landscape and wooden blockade. The 5th Division suffered least severely of the Australian divisions during the war. Their commander, General Hobbs, was “intensely sensitive to the feeling of his men, quick to sense an injustice, and apprehensive of the possible effects.” This image was likely taken around the Messines-Wytschaete Ridge in Belgium, part of the Western Front the AIF held. Trench warfare was a grueling form of battle in which the defender held the advantage.
Springfield College Archives and Special Collections
Collection (local):
College Archives Digital Collections
Lantern Slide Collection
International Young Men's Christian Association
World War, 1914-1918
Lantern slides
Trench warfare
3.25x3.25 in
Link to Item:
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Springfield College
In World War I, both sides constructed elaborate trench and dugout systems opposing each other along a front, protected from assault by barbed wire. The area between opposing trench lines (known as "no man's land") was fully exposed to artillery fire from both sides. Attacks, even if successful, often sustained severe casualties as a matter of course. This slide is part of Springfield College’s collection of lantern slides depicting Australian Y.M.C.A. war work during World War I.
Text on border reads, "Australian Y.M.C.A. Historical Record Section; Messines 5th Aust. Y.M.C.A.;" Other writing has faded and is illegible.
Part of the Australian Y.M.C.A. WWI Lantern Slide Series