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WW1 Digger History Podcast
40 minutes | Oct 19, 2021
Episode 8.6 Cop it in The Nek Bluegum Part 6
In this episode Oliver describes actions in the Battles of Lone Pine and The Nek, as well as profiles of a cook named George and three brave sergeants. There is an 'N' word warning for this one.
30 minutes | Aug 17, 2021
Episode 8.5 Gravel Crushers Bluegum Part 5
In this one the 2nd Light Horse Brigade take their place in the front line trenches at Gallipoli and have their first cracks at 'Johnny Turk.' Here is a bit of it: "The day after the big attack General Birdwood asked one of the 1st Light Horse Regiment if he had killed many Turks, and he answered, "Yes, miles of the cows." As a matter of fact the Australians were almost quarrelling for positions in the firing-line that night. When the fight was at its hottest, men in the supports were offering bribes of tobacco and cigarettes to the men in the firing-line to swap places with them just for ten minutes."
54 minutes | Aug 5, 2021
Episode 8.4 In Egypt Bluegum Part 4
In this one, Oliver and the men of the Light Horse are in Egypt when the Infantry go to Gallipoli. The men get restless and some rip the bad part of Cairo up in a brawl known as The Battle of The Wazzir. Finally the men get the word, they are going to Gallipoli.... without their beloved horses!
30 minutes | May 30, 2021
Episode 8.3 Its not the Love Boat Bluegum Part 3
Do you fancy a cruise? Do you like travelling with pets? What was life like on a cruise liner with nearly 500 horses on board. Oliver and the Light Horse travel to Egypt on the SS Suevic. Don't worry, it's not as boring as it may sound. So wrap yourself up in some tarpaulin ... never mind, just come aboard!
6 minutes | Apr 24, 2021
Episode 6.6 The ode
In September 1914, English author and poet, Laurence Binyon was so appalled by the casualty lists coming out of France that he penned the 7 stanza poem, "For the fallen". Little did he know that the middle, 4th stanza, would become the most remembered and solemnly cited verses in at least 4 countries. From 1921 this stanza became known as "The ode" and an integral part of remembrance services on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
37 minutes | Apr 24, 2021
Episode 6.5 The desert columnist Ion Idriess
Ion Idriess was arguably the greatest adventure novelist Australia has produced, writing 53 books in a 40 year career. As a young man in the iconic Australian Light Horse he kept a diary which he later turned into his most enduring book, "The Desert Column". This is his story.
29 minutes | Mar 14, 2021
Episode 8.2 Bluegum and Frantic Bluegum Part 2
Well, who is the future famous star of stage and film that stole a soldier's heart before he went to war? Find out in this second episode on the life of Trooper Bluegum, Oliver Hogue!
22 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
Episode 8.1 Oliver Hogue The Great War Blogger
Trooper Bluegum became a household name in Australia during The Great War, a journalist for the Sydney Morning Herald he wrote numerous articles widely published in the press, turning these into 2 books after his semi-fictional "Love Letters of an Anzac". These letters were fake but his real love interest would become a Broadway Star and Oscar nominee. Follow him through Gallipoli and the Battles in the Holyland. But this man's fate has a modern irony and I give you a spoiler alert part way through. Oliver Hogue was an interesting man, take the time to hear the first part a look at his life and works.
79 minutes | Dec 19, 2020
Episode 6.4 Billy Sing Gallipoli sniper
Billy Sing was arguably the greatest sniper ever produced by Australia but as a Chinese Australian he was nearly denied enlistment and after the war almost forgotten. Billy died almost a pauper and alone at the age of 57. Here is his story. The Ballad of Billy Sing is presented with the permission of Mr Jeff Brown.
51 minutes | Oct 26, 2020
Episode 7.7 The return of the Verdi Part 7
The 7th and final part to the WW1 memoirs of Verdi Schwinghammer, who fought in the battles of Broodseinde and St Quentin Canal. There is no fighting in this one with Verdi sight seeing in Paris, Brussels, England and Ireland with some great observations of the immediate post era. Verdi returns home to his folks and we follow a little of his post war life.
38 minutes | Sep 11, 2020
Episode 7.6 The Empire strikes back Verdi Part 6
In this one, Verdi and 3rd Division take us through the Battle of St Quentin Canal with the Americans of the 27th & 30th Divisions, through Armistice and on to the early post war period. Of particular interest is the episode where Verdi treks through the old battlefields to find his cousin's grave and on his Aunt's request....
46 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Episode 7.5 A new hope Verdi Part 5
When some of our men went to bury the dead after the Battle of Mont St Quentin, when they were lifting up some of the dead bodies, bombs would explode and many of our men were killed this way. He laid these traps for us – placing a bomb under a dead soldier and when the body was lifted the catch from bomb would be released and the bomb exploded. That night enemy planes came over all night long dropping bombs, and several of the men at the rear of us were killed and wounded, by long-range shells..... Sometimes one was safer in the front-line trench than in the back areas!
40 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Episode 7.4 The German Spring Offensive Verdi part 4
The Australian 3rd Division Memorial sits above the town of Sailly-le-Sec for a good reason.... "We eventually arrived at Heilly. Passed a few stragglers – Tommies – the remnants of Gough’s British Fifth Army, which had been overtaken by disaster. The citizens had evacuated Heilly before we arrived. Here we dumped our packs and belongings and got into battle order."
28 minutes | May 30, 2020
Episode 7.3 In and out of the line Verdi Part 3
We were each given a tin of fruit and a tin of preserved sausages for our Christmas dinner. My pal and I were hungry, so we both opened our tins and ate half the contents for breakfast, putting the remainder in the tin on a shelf in our dugout – covering them with a board with a stone on it. The rats were very bad in the trenches and dugouts. As we were off duty, we went to sleep for a couple of hours and on waking and going to get our dinner found that the rats had knocked off the coverings while we were asleep and had eaten everything. So we had dry biscuits for our Christmas dinner of 1917.
33 minutes | May 9, 2020
Episode 7.2 The Battle of Broodseinde
"Men do not go into battle sad and gloomy (as many civilian people wrongly imagine). They are quite the opposite, even though they know the dreadful things they have to face and that some of them are going to their death," Verdi Schwinghammer describes the Battle of Broodseinde, part of 3rd Ypres in this, the second part of his memoirs.
46 minutes | Apr 23, 2020
Episode 7.1 The Memoirs of Verdi Schwinghammer Part 1
An ANZAC Day Special .... well kind of! The first part of a 7 part series from the memoirs of Verdi Schwinghammer. Here is a taste of it, "That night a big air raid took place and we enjoyed watching our guns shooting at the German planes – which were caught and held in the searchlights – several close hits being secured. No bombs fell on us but one fell on the horse lines close by, killing and wounding several horses and mules." The episode covers his enlistment, training, voyage to Europe, more training and his initial days in the 42nd Battalion AIF.
52 minutes | Feb 28, 2020
Episode 6.3 The man with the donkey
Simpson was the most famous 'Anzac' of all. On the second day of the Gallipoli Campaign, Jack found a small donkey, wrapped a red cross band around its forehead and started ferrying wounded men down to the beach. For three weeks he did this, slogging through the bullet and shrapnel wrapped gullies until finally... But who was John Simpson Kirkpatrick? Listen to his letters home and descriptions of his exploits from other men at Anzac Cove.
7 minutes | Dec 23, 2019
Episode 5.6 The Battle of Fromelles Part 6 Lambs to the slaughter
This is a very short episode on the Glosters and their part at Fromelles. Short because? Well, unfortunately I can't find any written accounts of the battle by these boys. Famous war poet Ivor Gurney was in their sister battalion over to the right and one of his poems sounds just like Fromelles.
41 minutes | Nov 14, 2019
Episode 6.2 The Lost Warrior SG Pearse VC
100 years after winning the Victoria Cross in North Russia, the remains of Welsh born Aussie soldier, Samuel George Pearse are thought to have been rediscovered in a scrap yard at Archangel. At the time of his death, recently married Pearse, was already a war hero with a Military Medal won at Glencorse Wood 2 years earlier.
19 minutes | Sep 9, 2019
Episode 6.1 Leon Gellert Gallipoli Poet
Leon Gellert, a 23 year old Physical Education Teacher from Leabrook, South Australia is considered to be the best Great War poet from Australia. This episode focuses on his war experience and his poems. I watched the place where they had scaled the height, The height whereon they bled so bitterly Throughout each day and through each blistered night I sat there long, and listened - all things listened too I heard the epics of a thousand trees, A thousand waves I heard; and then I knew The waves were very old, the trees were wise: The dead would be remembered evermore- The valiant dead that gazed upon the skies, And slept in great battalions by the shore.
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