Dr David Wetherell will present his paper, titled ‘Sacred Absences: War Memorials in KS Inglis’ Sacred Places’, at this week’s History Seminar Series (Wednesday, 11am).
World War I and ANZAC commemoration has become a lightning rod for contending forces in Australian historiography. One school of thought says that Australia in 1914-18 was fighting ‘other people’s wars’; another that it was a war for Australia. A second is that ‘lest we forget’ mateship is an extension of the bush legend and that remembrance of ANZAC is entirely non religious and secular, while others contend that Christianity is one of a number of leading strands. Using the rules for disciplined historical research as to establish as far as possible ‘how it actually happened’, in the words of the German scholar Leopold von Ranke (d.1884) I look at KS Inglis’ and Bill Gammage’s portrayals to establish what has been put in and what has been left out.