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Yells, Bells and Smells: The ANZACS in Malta during the Great War

Speaker Connect Program


Love military history especially the history of our beloved ANZACS? Do you wish to learn and engage with a fascinating, unknown aspect of their story?

About The Presentation



Please join Bathurst Library & HCNSW Speaker Connect speaker, Diana Sillato for a free, online presentation – ‘Yells, Bells and Smells’: The Anzacs in Malta during the Great War – on Thursday 30 April  2020 at 6pm-7pm.



Hear the stories of over 70 ANZACS from Bathurst & the Central West who were treated in hospitals in Malta during the Gallipoli campaign & about their letters sent to home.

Our Speaker | Diana Sillato

Diana is a postgraduate student at the University of Newcastle researching the Anzac experience in Malta during the Gallipoli campaign.

She has been teaching Modern History and Society and Culture for over twenty years. In 2019 Diana was awarded a grant from the Australian Army Historical Unit to assist with her research.

Wounded soldiers at Ricasoli Hospital, Malta - Christmas 1915. Photo is from a photograph album at the Museum of Military Medicine, Aldershot, England.


Despite the significance of the Gallipoli campaign to the Australian sense of nationhood, little is known of Malta’s critical role during the engagement.


Known as the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’, a hospital base was established on Malta to treat the deluge of sick and wounded troops from the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign.

Australian and British wounded at Bighi Hospital, Malta. Photographer, Richard Ellis. Catalogue No: HU 129304, Courtesy of Imperial War Museums.


More than 10 000 Australian and New Zealand casualties were treated in one of the twenty-seven hospitals, convalescent homes and camps by medical staff from all over the British Empire.

‘Yells, Bells and Smells’ shines a light on this forgotten episode of Anzac history and examines the experiences of convalescing soldiers and their nurses in Malta during 1915 and 1916.

This special online presentation is hosted by Bathurst Library as a part of History Council of NSW’s Speaker Connect Program.
Supported by CreateNSW.

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Image: Four young children, 1932, by Sam Hood, courtesy State Library of NSW.