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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

Soldiers' Magazines

Soldiers' Magazines.

The life of Australians and New Zealanders on active service is reflected in the regimental magazines published in Egypt, Palestine and France. These little periodicals speak simply and truly; they are unambitious, yet many contain verse, prose arid sketches of high quality. Glancing through them one sometimes detects the professional hand, for the wide net of mobilization swept in artists and authors and scores of journalists. Perhaps the most famous of all Anzac periodicals which has been published since the war began is "The Honk", the official organ of the Australian Heavy Seige Battery, which left Sydney in 1914 The plant used for printing this magazine was presented to the unit by printers' furnishers in New South Wales. The first number appeared shortly after the transport conveying the unit left Australia, and contained a full account (the first) of the pursuit and destruction of the Emden, off Cocos Island. "The Honk" was afterwards issued in England and France, but owing to the unit being transferred to the front line, where there was little time for editing and printing regimental magazines, publication ceased. At Cape Helles, on the inhospitable shores of Gallipoli, a Victorian ex-journalist issued, during the ordeals of campaigning, occasional chromographic copies of a folio sheet called "Dinkum Oil". This magazine was written from beginning to end by soldiers, and served to relieve the tedium of trench life during the long weary months on those rugged slopes. In the latter days of our occupation of Anzac, it was decided to issue a monthly magazine. An appeal to the rank and file for "copy" and drawings met with a splendid response; but owing to the evacuation of Anzac, the idea had to be abandoned. The editor, Captain C.E.W. Bean, afterwards made a selection of the material, which appeared as "The Anzac Book." Back at Tel-el-Kebir Lieut, (now Capt.) Oliver Hogue edited a bright little periodical called "The Mirage", but only two issues appeared. Later on, while stationed at Serapium, Tpr. Boyd Orr produced "'The Desert Dustbin"; like most desert publications, its life was short. Soon after the Australians arrived in England "Sai-eeda" made its appearance; but when the Force was transferred to France, publication was abandoned. Late in 1916 the Australians in France became the proud possessors of an ancient Belgian printing plant and with this they produced several numbers of "The Rising Sun", which was afterwards incorporated with "Aussie", an excellent magazine, which is still being published. Two numbers of "The Stretcher", journal of the Australian Came! Field Ambulance, were published in Victoria; in Palestine it was re-christened "The Cacolet', and an issue appeared last October. One of the editors has joined the "Kia Ora Coo-ee" staff; the other, however. Q.M. Sergeant T. V. Brennan. "carried on," and recently sent another "Cacolet" to press. "Barrak" was produced last year by the Imperial Camel Corns, and gave promise of a lengthy existence, but after the fourth issue it ceased to appear. Complete files of these regimental magazines will be valuable, and those who possess them will be fortunate. Most of the contributors to the journals issued in Egypt and Palestine are now writing or making sketches for the "Kia Ora Coo-ee".