As the documentary only dealt with the outbreak of war on the Western Front, John then led the class through the events that led to the Ottoman Turks allying themselves with the Central Powers of Germany and Austro-Hungary. He then explained why the Australians and New Zealanders ended up landing in the Dardanelles.
John also sought details of class members’ family members who had served in the Great War. This raised issues like enlistment of Australians in Britain and the disaster of Kut during the Mesopotamia campaign, both of which John hopes to explore in the next class. He will also cover the work of local Recruitment Committees and the experience of British Pals Battalions.
At our next session, after exploring war strategies of the various powers, John anticipates playing the first in a series of French Canadian documentaries that show the Great War as we have never seen it – in colour and with people moving at normal speed. These documentaries, based on French film, also show a different aspect to the Great War.