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This is the "War begins for Australia" page of the "World War I and Australia" guide.
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War begins for Australia Print Page

War begins for Australia

Australia was in the middle of a double-dissolution election when Britain declared war against Germany in August 1914. With Britain now at war, all dominions of the British Empire were also at war with Germany — including Australia. The Prime Minister, Joseph Cook as well as opposition leader, Andrew Fisher — who would win the election and become the Prime Minister — both pledged Australia’s full support. The campaign to recruit volunteers for the Australian Imperial Force began straightaway.

We have a number of recently published books about the beginning of the war. Visit us to read these books.

Some of the first Bega men to enlist during World War I, 1914, on Tathra Wharf ten miles from Bega. Waiting to embark on ship Merimbula – Tathra, NSW

Digital order number: bcp_02079



Sydney Mail

We have digitised all the Sydney Mail covers for the period of the War. You can view the covers via the Library's catalogue.

Digital order number: a9609005



Digital order number: a7871113



Search Trove to find Australian newspaper articles relating to the outbreak of the war.

Trove includes major Australian metropolitan and regional newspapers. You can search by keyword across all newspapers or narrow your search to a specific newspaper.

View a list of the newspapers available on Trove.


Copying, publishing or purchasing digital copies

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Find out more about copying, purchasing digital copies and publishing.


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