Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial by Nathan Wise

By Nathan Wise

Anzac Labour explores the horror, frustration and exhaustion surrounding operating lifestyles within the Australian Imperial strength through the First global warfare. in response to letters and diaries of Australian infantrymen, it lines the historical past of labor and office cultures via Australia, the seashores of Gallipoli, the fields of France and Belgium, and the close to East.

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Extra info for Anzac Labour: Workplace Cultures in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War

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We have been placed under another Sergt a class further up. He is a very decent chap and a good instructor. 61 The two entries reveal a significant contrast between the ‘disagreeable’ Sergeant French, and the new, yet ‘very decent’, unnamed sergeant. These entries also suggest that a disagreeable leader could easily be targeted for criticism, while an agreeable leader was rarely singled out for praise. The unnamed sergeant is simply a ‘decent chap and a good instructor’, by contrast, Sergeant French stands out for his disagreeable nature and ‘idiotic’ behaviour.

Thus, while men were still required to work and train in accordance with a set military routine, they were also provided with additional free time. ’93 Similarly Arthur Miller gave brief details of the daily routine on the journey: On Sat. 11th we had competitions and sports. It is the usual custom to hold sports on Wed. and Sat. afternoone. 20 Lights out 10 min. 94 Life aboard the troopships was thus regulated in the same way that training in Australia had been. 32 Anzac Labour The nature of this daily routine differed from ship to ship and largely depended upon the type of officers on board.

Other officers were promoted from the ranks and they treated their men as they had once wanted to be treated themselves. 60 The above entries also demonstrate that the rank-and-file did not necessarily hate all officers; rather, their attitude depended upon the nature of the officer and, in particular, how the officer treated the men under their command. This can be seen in two consecutive entries about non-commissioned officers written by Hector Brewer when in an instructional school in France: Civilian to Soldier 25 14/8/16 15/8/16 Our Class Sergeant (French by name) has made himself very disagreeable by ‘bawling out’ anyone who does not do exactly as he is told.

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