Personal insight into Anzacs

After 100 years, a collection of private images of Australia’s First World War servicemen and women are being viewed in public for the first time.

Photographer Michael Silver has uncovered and digitised hundreds of photos belonging to the families of those who served.

The images are the social media of the time – taken by amateurs and rich with personal and revealing clues.

About 50 of the best are presented in a collection called Grief and Glory, and are on display at Magnet Gallery at Level 2, 640 Bourke St until May 2.

They offer an insight into a bygone era when thousands of young people volunteered to fight and die for their brand new country.

In launching the exhibition, former Australian chief of defence, Sir Angus Houston, pointed out that almost a third of the nation’s dead (19,000) were Victorians.

“This photographic collection goes a long way to giving people an idea of what life must have been like,” Sir Angus said.

Sir Angus said that, after 100 years, much of the photographic material had severely deteriorated and was on the brink of being lost.

“I wish I’d done this 20 years ago,” Mr Silver said of his trips through country Victoria to digitise family photographic collections.

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