The Aussie and the Mademoiselle from Armentières
Pat Hanna's 1930 recording of the iconic World War One song Mademoiselle from Armentières continued the tradition of adapting the words of this famous song to reflect the different experiences of soldiers during the war. Hanna himself served with the Otago Regiment from New Zealand.
Recorded in Australia on the Vocalion label, this version (with lyrics by Hanna), tells the story of an Australian “Digger” who falls for the French mademoiselle, only to leave her heartbroken when he is killed at Bullecourt (1917) in Northern France. It was a popular number performed as part of Hanna’s “Diggers” vaudeville concert party which toured Australia and New Zealand for many years after the war.
Direct to Aussie
This footage shows Australian troops boarding a train in France after the battle of the Somme and some of the worst fighting of World War One. One carriage has ‘Direct to Aussie’ on the side, suggesting the troops are returning home – or perhaps just wishing they were!
"Shine, Sir?" Kiwi Boot Polish advertisment
In this groundbreaking early cinema ad, Boot Room staff at London’s Imperial Hotel depart to join the Army, leaving the hotel short-staffed. Two boys offer to tackle the guests’ footwear. Thanks to the Kiwi Polish bought for them by a kind Australian soldier, they polish and buff their way into employment.
12,000 Aussies send their love to ‘Little Mary’
Canadian-American silent film star Mary Pickford was one of the world’s most popular movie stars during the First World War. In 1914 12,000 Australian fans signed an autograph book for her and contributed to a presentation silver cup. This film clip shows her reacting with bashful charm as she receives these tributes while filming in Hollywood.