Beyond 1914 - The University of Sydney and the Great War

Beyond 1914 - The University of Sydney and the Great War is an extensive, searchable database of biographies and archival information of members of the University community involved in the First World War.

The initiative - built on information provided to the University by more than 2000 former staff, students, graduates and their families (originally published in the University’s Book of Remembrance) - offers a unique insight into the lives of University men and women before, during and after the war.

From personal diaries, war service records and photographs, to letters, postcards, songbooks and Christmas and condolence cards, the resource includes a diverse range of archival material and curated insights.

The site will launch on Tuesday 9 September. Following the launch you can also get involved and help to build an even more comprehensive resource by sharing your stories, transcribing letters or identifying unknown soldiers on the Beyond 1914 blog and social networking website.

Register for the launch of Beyond 1914

Beyond 1914 - The University of Sydney and the Great War will be launched by Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales on 9 September 2014. The launch will be followed by an expert panel discussion and Q&A. Register for the free event.

Top image: letter extract from Bennett’s mother to Hermes editor, 1917. Bottom image: Dalyell


Lieutenant Vyvyan Christopher Bennett graduated from the University in 1904 with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mining and Metallurgy. After gaining practical experience in underground mining work and surface milling operations in Broken Hill, he moved to Mexico. Bennett worked for the El Oro Mining Company for six years before returning to Australia “tired of the unsettled conditions of Mexican affairs.” After several years in Melbourne where he wrote for the Sydney Bulletin and Lone Hand on his experiences, he joined Professor T. W. Edgeworth David’s Australian Mining Battalion in 1915 and went on to fight on the front line in France as part of the 5th Tunnelling Corps.

Dr Elsie Jean Dalyell was one of the University’s first female graduates in Medicine. Completing university in 1910, Dalyell was a pioneer female resident medical officer at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before relocating to the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London in 1912, as the first Australian woman elected to a Beit Scholarship. During the war she served in Serbia helping to deal with the 1915 typhus epidemic and later in Malta, Salonika and Constantinople. After the war she travelled to Vienna to study deficiency diseases in children, travelling home to Sydney in March 1923 via a speaking tour of America. Back in Sydney, she worked for the Department of Public Health specialising in venereal diseases.

For more information about Beyond 1914, email Jo Higgins, World War One Centenary Project Officer.

The Beyond 1914 project receives generous support from the University of Sydney’s Chancellor’s Committee, Women’s College, St Paul’s College and St Andrew’s College.