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Conference: Australian Olympians during the First World War

The start of the second relay in the swimming relay race which was held at the Bois de Boulogne, during the Inter-Allied Games, 1919. In the water is Bombardier Ivan Cuthbert Stedman who won a silver medal at the 1920 Olympic Games (AWM E05362)


Posted on June 10 2021

The Sir John Monash Centre is pleased to invite you on 2 August to an online conference dedicated to the journey of Australian Olympians during the First World War.

Cecil Healy, Keith Heritage, Claude Ross, these three Australian athletes made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefields of the First World War. All three were part of the Australian Olympic team for the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games. In total nine Australian Olympic medallists at the Stockholm Games fought in the conflict.

Six members of the Wallabies, the gold medal-winning rugby team at the 1908 London Games fought in the First World War. And in total, 16 men who had served in the conflict participated in the post-war Olympic Games: in Antwerp in 1920, Paris in 1924 and Amsterdam in 1928.

Sylvestre Bresson (left) and Pete Smith (right) will be hosting the conference

As part of the Australia now France 2021-22 program, the Sir John Monash Centre is hosting a free online conference open to 500 participants on Monday 2 August 2021 to discover the backgrounds and stories of some of these Australian Olympians who served in the First World War.

The conference, offered in English and French will be hosted by Peter Smith, former member of the Royal Marines commando and battlefield guide, and Sylvestre Bresson, battlefield guide and co-author of the Michelin Guide to the Battlefields of the Somme.

The conference will be followed by a question time with the speakers.

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