Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 26, 2020

The good news ANZAC Day story for 2020: the ‘rediscovered’ photos in the Library of Congress.

‘Rediscovered’ because they’ve been available to all and sundry through the Library’s website.

Story by Stephen Hutcheon at the ABC:

A remarkable collection of photographs featuring Australian troops serving overseas during World Wars I and II has been “rediscovered” in the digital archives of the US Library of Congress.

Part of the reason the photographs were so special was because they had not been taken by an official Australian or British war photographer.

The photographer himself is looking at the Australians through a different lens — almost as the soldier-as-a-tourist phenomenon.

All photos below from the story at the link.

Australian soldiers destroying the beer supply at a race meeting in Beersheba, 1940.

Surf carnival, Palestine, WW2.

When you need Vegemite in Jerusalem, where you gonna go?

The photos are part of the Matson Collection. Eric and Edith Matson took over a photographic business established by a religious colony of Americans in 1898, and shared a building with the Australian Soldiers’ Club.

“With a continual presence in Jerusalem from the late 1800s, the American Colony photographers witnessed many important historical events and personages throughout the subsequent five decades,” writes Todd Bolen, professor of biblical studies, at The Master’s University in Santa Clara, California.

Diggers are a small part of that larger collection, but like the Vignacourt images, the Matson photos shed some light on the Australian soldier far from home.


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