Abstracts – JRAHS Volume 101 Part 2 December 2015

Australian women and the Armenian relief movement

Vicken Babkenian

While the Anzacs were landing at Gallipoli in April 1915, another event of historical importance was taking place in the same geographic setting. The Ottoman Empire’s indigenous Christian Armenian population was suffering widespread persecution. Australia, along with many other nations, participated in the international humanitarian relief movement to provide aid to the survivors. Australian women were at the forefront of this movement but their stories remain largely excluded from Australia’s World War I historiography. This article reveals their voices and provides a fresh perspective on Australia’s wider role during the war and its aftermath.

‘The Thiefdom’: Bushrangers, supporters and social banditry in 1860s New South Wales

Susan West

The NSW goldrushes of 1860s provided impetus for bushranging crime, but the nature, and extent, of the outbreak makes it likely that other important forces were at work. Rural discontent is the foremost of these. Attitudes to the rural working class continued to echo those of the convict era. A small group of élite bushrangers inspired others to take to the roads, and attracted supporters in relatively large numbers, while the nature of the new police force represented an irresistible challenge to elements of the rural working class.

Crooks in khaki: German New Guinea 1914-1915 – a case study

Michael Tyquin

Like any other military force, the history of the Australian military has its less meritorious moments — the Anzac myth notwithstanding. This should surprise no-one as the Army and Navy reflected the society from which its members were drawn. This article looks briefly at theft and fraud in the military during World War I, describing several of the more prominent crimes that shook the establishment and fascinated the public during the period of the war. The article also examines the damaging effects of ill-informed gossip, which threatened the reputation of the Defence Department and was willingly disseminated by a public hungry for salacious titbits.

Perpetual Motion? – Mobility in a frontier railway town: Nyngan, 1881-1891

Terry Kass

Little research appears to have been undertaken on social mobility on the ‘frontier’ in Australia. The first decade of the history of Nyngan created on the railway line from Dubbo to Bourke provides a rare opportunity to chart social mobility measured through the acquisition of town property as a new town evolved from a railway construction camp. Many railway construction workers settled temporarily in Nyngan along with petty traders but not all used the opportunity to acquire freehold land.

Surgeons’ Journals: An underused source for Australian convict history, 1817-1843

Kathrine M Reynolds [RAHS Treasurer]

The ships’ surgeons were obliged to keep detailed reports about the convicts’ voyages to Australia. Information about the conditions convicts experienced prior to embarkation and their medical condition, as well as the rigors of the long voyage and the weather encountered, are often listed. Life on board such as diet, illnesses, prayers, ship’s crew, reading and writing, births and deaths are some of the many areas covered. Many journals are available through Ancestry as UK Royal Navy Medical Journal, 1817-1857, and are listed by name of ship. Many convicts are listed by name, especially as they became ill.