ANZAC exhibition

April 17, 2015 by J-Wire News Service
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To mark the Centenary of ANZAC commemorations, the Sydney Jewish Museum will display a collection of photographs and diary extracts belonging to serviceman and NAJEX founding member, Harold Emanuel Collins.

Harold Collins in the Australian Flying Corps

Harold Collins in the Australian Flying Corps

One of approximately 1,800 Jewish soldiers to enlist in the Australian military, Collins’s extraordinary wartime experience included participation in the Gallipoli landings, where he served until evacuation in 1915 and monitored the skies over France as a member of the Royal Flying Corpse.

In contrast to the official war photography of this period, Collins’s grainy and unauthorised images paint a personal picture of warfare – capturing the adventurer’s delight in his foreign surroundings, the infrastructure of war and everyday life on the battlefield.

Harold Collins near the Mena Camp in Cairo

Harold Collins near the Mena Camp in Cairo

Exhibition co-ordinator, Charles Aronson has been working closely with Harold’s daughter, Julie Eadie Edwards to bring the exhibition to life. He comments “the images have particular resonance as they were taken with loved ones in mind. They offer personal and poignant snapshots of a soldier’s experience of war.”

Images are supported by excerpts from Harold’s detailed 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.” Harold Collins Diary – Tuesday 25th May 1915

Through the lens of Harold Collins will be on display on the ground floor of the Sydney Jewish Museum until early August.

The exhibition was funded by the Federal Government, Anzac Centenary Local Grants Committee and will later be part of a travelling circuit around Australia.

Harold Collins was born in Paddington, Sydney and was an active member of the Sydney community.

The Sydney Jewish Museum has the most in-depth permanent exhibition on Jewish Military History in Australia.


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