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Through These Lines – new edition for 2024

Little Gully is pleased to present a new, illustrated edition of Cheryl Ward’s script for Through These Lines, an original play based on the letters and diaries of Australian army nurses.

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A play in 5 acts

Through These Lines was first performed in Sydney in 2010. The play was staged in the underground, stone-vaulted ammunition store of a 19th century fort on Sydney Harbour. General Sir William Bridges, who led the 1st Australian Division at Gallipoli, once commanded the base.

The site, at George Heights (Opens in a new window) on Middle Head, was also home to the third-largest First World War hospital in Australia.

Playwright Cheryl Ward developed the script from first-hand accounts by Australia’s army nurses. Particularly valuable were the nurses’ narratives (Opens in a new window) in the Australian War Memorial, and published accounts by Elsie Tranter, May Tilton, Olive Haynes and Anne Donnell.

Contemporary photographs were another valuable source, among them the remarkable photos of Albert William Savage (Opens in a new window), who served with the 3rd Australian General Hospital at Lemnos, the principal base for the Gallipoli expeditionary force.

Cheryl travelled to Lemnos and the Western Front as part of her research, mapping the location of the various Australian hospitals. On Lemnos, the 1915 photographs of Albert Savage were used to pinpoint the precise location of medical and other facilities on the island.

This photo shows Cheryl matching one of those images, a wartime burial at what is now Portianos Military Cemetery on Lemnos. From this field work, then-and-now images were developed, later displayed in Sydney, Athens and Lemnos.

Photo: A. W. Savage, ‘An Australian funeral, Col. Fiaschi, Col. Dick & other 3rd A.G.H. Officers & Sisters are here seen, Lemnos 1915 – The cemetery at Lemnos, reading the burial service’. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, PXE 698.

First World War centenary

In 2014, a touring production of Through These Lines performed at site-specific venues in NSW, such as soldiers memorial halls, the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum, and the tunnels of Fort Scratchley, Newcastle.

At Trial Bay Gaol, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, performances took place in the ruins of a hospital that housed interned German nationals during WW1.

In 2015, for the centenary of Anzac, a season of Through These Lines was presented at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, with one-off performances in Liverpool for Anzac Day, and at the Greek Festival of Sydney.

Photos: 2014 production of ‘Through These Lines.’

Play script

A new edition of Cheryl Ward’s script is now available in paperback (Opens in a new window) and ebook (Opens in a new window) formats.

The imaginative reader will see a vivid story unfold.

Included is a production history, recommended reading list, and 12 historic photographs that were seminal to Cheryl’s understanding and telling of the nurses’ story, like the one below.

Photo: Troops on board HMAT Euripides prior to departure, 8 May 1915. A group of nurses stand at the rail. Josiah Barnes, Australian War Memorial, PB0381.

Order online from Amazon

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