Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial by Nathan Wise

By Nathan Wise

Anzac Labour explores the horror, frustration and exhaustion surrounding operating lifestyles within the Australian Imperial strength through the First global battle. in response to letters and diaries of Australian infantrymen, it lines the historical past of labor and place of work cultures via Australia, the shorelines of Gallipoli, the fields of France and Belgium, and the close to East.

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Extra resources for Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War

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Industrial action in the AIF The belief that military service was a job of work was accompanied by the belief amongst men of the rank-and-file that civilian industrial Civilian to Soldier 27 action methods could be utilised to manage workplace complaints. In the minds of recruits, refusals to follow orders and protests against officers were often simple methods of industrial action and behaviour that they had utilised in their civilian workplaces before the war. 66 The evidence for this in the AIF is clear in the industrial actions taken, and is made further evident by the language of industrial action employed within the diaries and letters of soldiers.

26 Even the officers supported Wyatt’s belief, as Sir Ian Hamilton revealed in a letter written to Sir John French: Everyone here is under fire, and really and truly the front trenches are safer, or at least fully as safe, as the Corps Commander’s dug-out. 27 Wyatt’s entry was not an attempt to assert his masculine bravery at wanting to be back with his unit in a dangerous situation; rather, it was a desire to escape the feeling of vulnerability and to find shelter in the trenches and dug-outs that were constantly being improved up the line.

Along this narrow ridge the trenches that Lalor’s men dug so early on that first day ensured the Ottoman troops could not penetrate to positions at the top of the ‘Sphinx’ overlooking the landing beaches. Throughout the first day men sought similar positions to dig safely without risk of being cut off or shot at. 10 Bean described this task as such: The practice was in the first place to scrape with the entrenching tool small separate coffin-shaped pits to shelter the head and body. When these were two feet in depth, with the excavated earth thrown up on their left front as a parapet, a man would be under fair cover.

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