What is Beyond 1914?

Beyond 1914 — The University of Sydney and the Great War is an extensive, searchable database of biographies and archival information about members of the University community involved in the First World War.

Built on the legacy of information provided to the University between 1915 and 1938 by more than 2000 former staff, students, graduates and their families (later published in the University’s Book of Remembrance), Beyond 1914 features insights into the lives of these men and women before, during and after the war.

This short film takes you behind-the-scenes at the University Archives. It explains how the Book of Remembrance was created back in 1939 and reveals just a handful of the thousands of stories that can now be found on Beyond 1914.

Mapping lives

During the war, as well as before its outbreak and after Armistice was declared, much of the University community travelled, worked and lived abroad.

You can trace these movements on the Beyond 1914 map. Discover individual journeys or explore the many connections to important locations, such as London, Gallipoli or Cairo.

Start exploring the map

Walter Lawry Waterhouse writes from the front line of Pozieres in 1916

"On Saturday 22 July word came that we were to attack the village that night and during the day we were kept busy perfecting plans as far as possible. We each wore a patch of pink cloth on the back of the coat collar and went over in the charge with coat sleeve rolled up - small precautions against Fritz trying to pass himself off as an Australian. In addition, a distinctive coloured ribbon was worn on the shoulder by those detailed for 1st line or wave, 2nd and 3rd wave, the object of these being to indicate whether or not a man was shirking or hanging back. All officers were dressed like a private and carried rifles. .... Many cases of splendid bravery came to light, wounded men digging for all they were worth and so on; in one case the opposite occurred and I had to draw my revolver on a man (a stranger) sneaking away to the rear. I was glad at last to get into touch with Capt. Herrod, and find that he had the boys in his vicinity digging with a will. It was fairly uncertain work in the dim light, but, as it afterwards turned out, our line of trenches was correctly situated, and our company (what was left) exactly in position. The 4th Battalion went over beyond us, and took up a position along the main road – what proved afterwards more or less a deathtrap owing to the German guns being accurately ranged on it. …"

Click through to see the letters of Waterhouse and much more

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