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How our youth has changed: Photos of Gallipoli's front-line

Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins
Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins

WHILE images of today's young people are likely to feature a selfie showing off some fancy food or fashion this collection of images is a timely reminder of the sacrifice which forged the Australian nation. 

From April 19 to May 13 the Aspire Gallery in Paddington, Brisbane will host a World War l photographic exhibition featuring the photos taken by Australian Jewish soldier Harold Emanuel Collins. 

Collins participated in the Gallipoli landings on April 25, 1915 and remained on the peninsula right through until evacuation. 

He was on the front line for most of that period. 

Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins
Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins

Brisbane resident Sharryn Goldman, Collins' great niece, recollects some of the family stories of his adventures, as well as his humane view of war.

"Uncle Harold was a founding member of the Returned Servicemen's Association of New South Wales and was very proud to have shaken hands with Edward VIII, as well as being honoured to have met Sir John Monash, General Birdwood, General Bridges and Sir Charles Kingsford Smith," Ms Goldman said. 

"He also had a humanitarian approach to battles. He never belittled the enemy, but saw they were simply 'doing their job'.

"His life on the front line was obviously a harsh one. One of his tasks was as stretcher bearer, taking the wounded from the war zone to the hospital ships off Gallipoli. For a bed he created a dugout with a base of leaves that he used as a mattress, using three overcoats to cover him and keep him warm."

Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins
Photo from the front at Gallipoli by Harold Collins

The photos used in the exhibition accompany excerpts fro Collins' wartime diary. 

"I saw a terrible sight today. A submarine sank HMS Triumph… I have seen dead men lying about by the hundred, have seen men's arms and legs torn off, but nothing has made me feel like crying as I did when I saw that stately and majestic battleship go down," he wrote on May 25, 1915. 

Collins would go on to serve in several theatres throughout the war before returning home in October 1919. 

Topics:  anzac brisbane editors picks general-seniors-news gold coast history


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