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Alternative title: Aussie : The Cheerful Monthly; Aussie : The National Monthly; Aussie : The Australian Soldiers' Magazine
Issue Details: First known date: 1918... 1918 Aussie
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In November 1914 Phillip Harris boarded a troopship bound for the battlefields of Europe, taking with him a Platen printing press and other accessories provided by several firms in Sydney and Melbourne. During the voyage, the press was used on board to print a small regimental paper. After arrival in Europe, it was put to administrative use for some time before the Rising Sun, edited by C. E. W. Bean, was set in December and January 1916. In November 1917, Harris began planning to print a magazine for the troops. Two months later the first issue of Aussie was ready for distribution.

The first issue of Aussie was printed in the field at Flêtre. Ten thousand copies were printed and the magazine sold for ten centimes. Orders were soon received from many parts of Europe, but the Platen printer was too small for the increased number of issues and paper was scarce, forcing Harris to search for a more suitable press and a greater supply of paper. A damaged press was soon found in a shell-shocked building and repaired. Paper was acquired from a nearby paper mill or salvaged from printeries near the front line. Finding suitable paper and securing reliable type remained a problem, but supplies from London and the installation of a stereotyping plant enabled Harris to print 100,000 copies for the third issue.

Except for Harris's series of biographies and selected work of Australian poets, most contributions were received from soldiers in the field. Many of these items were collected by Harris who often travelled by truck or train in search of contributions. Comprising jokes, anecdotes, poems and drawings, Aussie reflects the character (most likely censored) of the Australian soldier in World War One. With the assistance of Bill Littleton, G. B. Gye and Jack Reid, and using contributions from artists Stuart Shaw and Lance Mattison, Aussie ran for the final sixteen months of the war. Run at a small profit, the venture enabled Harris to donate £429 to the AIF Trust Fund after the last issue of Aussie was set at Marchienne-au-Pont, Belgium.

In 1920, a reprint of Aussie was produced and the magazine was revived in a 'civilian' form. The humour of the first series was maintained, but the work of many established writers and artists was employed. Contributors to the second series of Aussie included Roderic Quinn, A. G. Stephens, Fred Bloomfield, Les Robinson, Myra Morris and Will Lawson. The most frequent contributing artists included Hugh McCrae, Emile Mercier, Cecil 'Unk' White, Percy Lindsay, Esther and Betty Paterson and Mick Armstrong. A flyer is included in the reprint volume that announces that 'Aussie is now in Civvies' and gives details of the envisioned changes.

Attempting to transfer the camaraderie of the trenches to the development of an Australian nation, the 'civilian' Aussie often attacked sectarianism influenced by religion, capitalism and party politics. The issues of Aussie produced in 1920-21 frequently show the plight of the returned soldier amidst such social division, but in subsequent years, the magazine's connection to the war slowly waned. Nevertheless, Aussie maintained its position between political extremes, addressing the views of a predominantly middle-class audience. Claiming up to 67,000 in sales on its front page, the new series of Aussie ran until 1931.

Contents

* Contents derived from the
c
France,
c
Western Europe, Europe,
:
1918-1919 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Aussie Verse and Verse-Writers, Phillip L. Harris , series - author criticism
* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,: 1920-1931 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
An Aussie in Wooden Shoes, J. H. Dawkins , series - author autobiography war literature
Painless History, Kodak , series - author prose satire

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1918
      c
      France,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      1918-1919 .
      Note/s:
      • Produced in Flêtre, and later Fauquembergues, France (Jan. 18, 1918-Jan. 1919)
      • Printed in the field by the A.I.F. Printing Section
      Belgium, Western Europe, Europe,: 1919 .
      Note/s:
      • Produced in Marchienne-au-Pont, Belgium (Feb. 1919-Apr. 1919)
      • Printed in the field by the A.I.F. Printing Section

Works about this Work

The Comfort of Reading in WWI : The Bibliotherapy of Trench and Hospital Magazines Véronique Duché , Amanda Laugesen , 2021 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 23 April 2021;

'Modern warfare produces both trauma and boredom in equal measure. During the first world war, one way troops found solace was by writing and reading magazines created by soldiers, for soldiers.' (Introduction)

'Esprit de Nation' and Popular Modernity : Aussie Magazine 1920-1931 David Carter , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: History Australia , December vol. 5 no. 3 2008; (p. 74.1-74.22) Always Almost Modern : Australian Print Cultures and Modernity 2013; (p. 67-80)

'This article examines the intersection of the populist nationalism and popular modernity in Aussie (1920-1931), a commercial magazine of opinion, review and entertainment that flourished in Sydney between the wars. Aussie has been overlooked in comparison to its better-known contemporaries Smith's Weekly and the Bulletin, despite occupying the same public-commercial sphere and same discursive space as those magazines.

Aussie had a significant past as the main soldiers' paper of the First World War; in its post-war format it built a sizeable circulation on both sides of the Tasman; and for more than a decade it published the major Australian writers and cartoonists of the day. This article seeks not only to restore the magazine to its position as a significant player in the print culture of its period but also to use this case study to explore methodological questions about the historical interpretation of magazines as complex texts and the nature of Australian modernity. In particular it explores the gap between the nationalist editorial platform of the magazine and the investment in new forms of consumer and gender modernity found elsewhere in its pages. The magazine's ambivalence towards the modern was institutional, not merely ideological, a function of its position in a modernising print marketplace'. Source: David Carter.

Aussie Magazine and the Making of Digger Culture During the Great War Amanda Laugesen , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: National Library of Australia News , November vol. 14 no. 2 2003; (p. 15-18)
Aussie Words : The Tail of a Dag Fred Ludowyk , 2000 single work column
— Appears in: Ozwords , October vol. 6 no. 2 2000; (p. 7-8)
Aussie Words : Furphy Fred Ludowyk , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Ozwords , November vol. 3 no. 2 1997; (p. 7)
The Aussie Magazine 1920 single work review
— Appears in: Northern Territory Times and Gazette , 14 September 1920; (p. 1)

— Review of Aussie 1918 periodical (97 issues)
The all-round Australian focus of Aussie receives a hearty endorsement.
Aussie Magazine and the Making of Digger Culture During the Great War Amanda Laugesen , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: National Library of Australia News , November vol. 14 no. 2 2003; (p. 15-18)
Foreward C. C. B. White , 1920 single work prose
— Appears in: Aussie : A Reprint of all the Numbers of the Diggers' Own Paper of the Battlefield, Wholly Written, Illustrated and Printed in the Field by Members of the A.I.F. 1920; (p. n.p.)
The Story of Aussie Phillip L. Harris , 1920 single work prose
— Appears in: Aussie : A Reprint of all the Numbers of the Diggers' Own Paper of the Battlefield, Wholly Written, Illustrated and Printed in the Field by Members of the A.I.F. 1920; (p. n.p.)
Taken on Strength : "Aussie" Phillip L. Harris , 1918 single work prose
— Appears in: Aussie : The Australian Soldiers Magazine , 18 January no. 1 1918; (p. 1)
'Aussie' Carries On Phillip L. Harris , 1918 single work prose
— Appears in: Aussie : The Australian Soldiers Magazine , 16 February no. 2 1918; (p. 1)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

Subtitle:
From 1920 has subtitles : The Cheerful Monthly and later The National Monthly
Frequency:
Monthly
Range:
No. 1 (Jan. 18, 1918)-no. 154 (Dec. 1931); Not issued May 1919-Mar. 1920
Price:
three centimes (1918-1919); eightpence (1920-1931); sixpence (1931)
Advertising:
Back cover 'advertising' often a satire.
Note:
Vol.1, 1918/19 originally issued in France, reprinted in 1920 with title: Aussie: the Australian Soldier's Magazine.

Has serialised

A Digger's Bible, E. A. Tardent , single work short story humour war literature
Last amended 22 Mar 2018 15:43:31
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