Dr. Jennifer Wellington

Dr Jennifer Wellington's research focuses on the cultural history of warfare in the first half of the twentieth century. She graduated from the Australian National University with an LLB (Hons) and BA (Hons) in English and the Tillyard Prize. Following this, she completed her PhD in history at Yale University, where her PhD thesis was awarded the Hans Gatzke Prize for Outstanding Dissertation in a Field of European History. Prior to joining UCD, she was a postdoctoral researcher at King's College London. Her monograph, "Exhibiting War: The Great War, Museums, and Memory in Britain, Canada, and Australia" was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.

Each year, thousands of Australians wake before dawn and make a pilgrimage to their local war memorial, RSL, cenotaph or even to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Crowds huddle in the pre-dawn cold, joining in the singing of hymns and echoing the lines of a well-read ode. As the sun rises, silence falls on the crowd. It is in this stillness, minds wander and we reflect on what was given in service to Country, King and Empire. Breaking the silence, a lone bugle player sounds an unmistakeable melody.

A scene familiar to many, but where did this tradition come from?

Historian Dr. Jennifer Wellington explores the similarities and differences of commemorative ceremonies in Australia with the rest of the world and unpacks the question of whether what we are commemorating is based in truth or myth.