Dominion Geordies of WW1 is a short documentary film which accompanies a regional research project focusing on the men of the North East of England who fought in the land forces of Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, and Canada during the First World War, known as the “Dominion Geordies”.
The project considers not only the complexities of individual ‘migration histories’ but also the way that individuals and communities saw their identities (as ‘Geordies’ and Britons, but also as Australians, Canadians, or New Zealanders); how they understood ‘Geordie’ migration more generally, and how people came to see the empire in new ways through this migration.
In terms of the film, we have focused on three individual men identified by the researchers; John Collinson who migrated to Australia, George Burdon McKean who left for Canada and John George Huntly Wood who ventured to New Zealand. Each of these men’s lives tells us a fascinating and complex story about national identity and helps us to better understand an important aspect of the First World War that has been almost completely been forgotten.
As the film shows, the lives of our three men, like so many of their kin, would be irrevocably transformed by the War.
You can read more about the project at the following link: