Canberra Skeptics Lecture: Tilting at Windmills: A Sceptic’s Look at Some Entrenched Myths of Australia’s First World War History

Speaker: Graham Wilson
Date: Monday, 15 September 2014
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Location: Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Ave, Ainslie ACT 2602

Free Admission

Bully Beef and Balderdash: Some Myths of the AIF Examined and Debunked, published in 2012, casts a sceptical eye over a number of supposedly “historical facts” connected with the story of the First World War Australian Imperial Force – the natural born soldier from the bush; the only all-volunteer army of the war; the Australian light horse saving the day at Beersheba; Alfred Gaby, VC’s “posthumous photograph” and others – and finds these to be wanting. This presentation provides an overview of a sceptical historian’s look at the AIF’s “history” and will examine and debunk the entrenched claims that the light horse charge at Beersheba “saved the day” and that this charge was either “the last great cavalry charge” or “the last cavalry charge” in history.

Graham Wilson spent 26 years in the Australian Regular Army, retiring in 1996 as a Warrant Officer Intelligence Analyst. Following five years as a civilian intelligence officer in the Department of Defence he transferred to the Department’s Directorate of Honours and Awards where he worked, originally as an administrative officer and then as an historian in the Policy Section, before retiring in 2011. Graham is active in a number of historical and militaria societies, is a prolific author of historical articles and has received a number of awards for military history writing. Graham currently divides hist time between his own writing projects and part-time consulting. He lives in Canberra with his wife Sharon, a retired Chief Petty Officer, Royal Australian Navy; their favourite pastime is spoiling their grandchildren.

Dinner will follow the lecture in the Ainslie Football Club restaurant. To RSVP for the dinner please email

Canberra Skeptics Inc. is a non-profit association incorporated in the Australian Capital Territory for the purpose of promoting critical thinking. For further information about Canberra Skeptics please visit our website: