Historical information

The photograph on the obverse side of the postcard was taken in Egypt on 4 March 1916, during World War I. Depicted are three unidentified Australian soldiers part of the Australian Imperial Force. They are dressed in military uniforms. Each of these men are seated atop a camel's back. All three camels are draped in - what are believed to be - traditional Egyptian textiles, including tassels, carpets and beads. In the background, we can see a triangular pyramid and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were established by the Australian government in August 1914. This announcement marked the beginning of Australia's involvement in World War I. Immediately, men were recruited to serve the British Empire in the Middle East and on the Western Front. The first contingent of the AIF departed Australia by ship in November 1914. England was their destination. Although, their convoy was diverted to Egypt after the Australian High Commissioner in London, Sir George Reid, and the British military authorities unanimously agreed that the overcrowded military camps in England were unsuitable for so many men over winter.

The AIF disembarked in Alexandria, Egypt on 3 December 1914, and the men moved to training camps near Cairo.
It was in Egypt that the AIF and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) formed one united corps - the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). This group of troops trained in the desert beneath the pyramids until March 1915.


The record is historically significant due to its connection to World War I. This conflict is integral to Australian culture as it was the single greatest loss of life and the greatest repatriation of casualties in the country's history.

On 25 April 1915, members of the Australian Imperial Force landed on Gallipoli in Turkey with troops from New Zealand, Britain, and France. This specific event holds very strong significance within Australian history.

The record has strong research potential. This is due to the ongoing public and scholarly interest in war, history, and especially the ANZAC legend, which is commemorated annually on 25 April, known as ANZAC Day.

The record's unique research potential is strengthened by its relationship to a historically significant site: the Egyptian pyramids. Since the postcard was produced in 1916, the record can be used as primary evidence for historians and conservationists studying these sites, or how these sites have evolved over time. The record may also be a useful resource for those interested in the history of Egyptian textiles. Furthermore, it may also provide insight into international relations between Egypt and Australia in the past and present.

Physical description

Sepia rectangular postcard printed on paper.

Inscriptions & markings

172 /

6536 /
4/3/16 /
Rough riders under /
the shadow of the /
pyramids /