C. W. Bean – Official War Historian

April 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Charles Edwin Woodrow (C E W) Bean

Charles Edwin Woodrow (C E W) Bean. A05389 

Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean was Australia’s official war correspondent during the First World War and was later appointed official historian for that conflict.

“Here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved; and here we guard the record which they themselves made.”

–         Charles Bean, 1948

Some interesting facts about Charles Bean (1879 – 1968)

  • Bean wrote six volumes of the Official War History 1914-18 and edited the remainder.
  • He studied classics and law at Oxford where he was later admitted to the New South Wales Bar on his return to Australia in 1904.
  • When the First World War began, Bean won an Australian Journalists Association ballot and became official correspondent to the AIF
  • He accompanied the first convoy to Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 and began to make his name as a tireless, thorough and brave correspondent.
  • He was wounded in August but remained in Gallipoli for most of the campaign, leaving just a few days before the last troops.
  •  Bean was very much involved with creating the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and present when the building opened on 11 November 1941.  He became Chairman of the Memorial’s board in 1952, maintaining a close association with the institution for the rest of his life.
  • Bean received a number of honorary degrees and declined a knighthood. 

  • Bean went ashore at Anzac Cove about 10.15 A.M. on 25 April, not quite six hours after the first Australian had landed

Bean, C.W. Volume XII – Photographic History of the War 1914- 1918

There are 12 Volumes in the Bean series.  It is often said Volume XII. Photographic Record of the War is the hardest to obtain in the set.

Currently Novel Lines Bookshop has the full set of Bean’s available.  POA.
Click HERE to be taken to more information on the digitised volumes of The Official History of the War 1914-18.

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