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The University of Tasmania and World War One

In 1919 the University of Tasmania’s Chancellor and the MLC for Buckingham Tetley Gant, wanted to ‘perpetuate the memory’ of the graduates, students and University Councillors who had served in World War One. An honour board was designed and made by celebrated Tasmanian woodcarver Ellen Nora Payne.

A final list of 125 names appeared on Chancellor Gant’s Honour Board. The 15 names of those who were killed in action or died as a result of war service were placed in a centre panel. On 5 August 1924 a ceremony was held on the University’s Queen’s Domain campus when Sir John Gellibrand, the Tasmanian who reached the highest military rank in World War One, unveiled what was called ‘a war memorial roll of honour’.

As centenary commemorations of Australian involvement in World War One are now drawing to an end, the University of Tasmania thinks it only fitting to remember the selfless contribution of the men and women whose names appear on Nora Payne’s sensitively carved Honour Board.

Expert Nation Project

Expert Nation: Universities, War and 1920s & 30s Australia, is an ARC funded Discovery Project, led by Dr Tamson Pietsch (University of Technology Sydney), Associate Professor Julia Horne and Professor Stephen Garton (University of Sydney), Professor Kate Darian Smith (University of Tasmania) and Dr James Waghorne (University of Melbourne).

It investigates how Australian university graduates, with World War One experience contributed to the formation of the post-war Australian nation, and theorises the relationship between Australia’s participation in World War One and the production and dissemination of expert knowledge, including the creation of new professions in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Expert Nation database database builds on the success of Beyond 1914—The University of Sydney and the Great War, a community resource developed at the University of Sydney to provide access to digitised records such as photographs, letters and diaries as well as biographical information for over 2,500 men and women who served on foreign soil.

The Expert Nation database, Beyond 1914 and the searches in this website are built using Heurist, an open source knowledge management platform for the Humanities, designed and developed by Dr Ian Johnson, Honorary Associate, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the University of Sydney.

Records for staff and students from the The University of Tasmania have been added to the Expert Nation database. These records are being populated and developed over time as more information and records are added. If you have anything to contribute or would like to know more, please contact

Find out more about University of Tasmania records in the database