National Library of Australia

Teachers notes: Photographs of the bombing of Darwin

Time, Continuity and Change

A student:

  • describes the significant ideas, people or events that have contributed to Australian identity.
  • describes the ideas, people or events that have influenced the identity of a country
  • examines and explains how people may think differently about the same event or issue.

The first photographed war was the American Civil War (1861–1865). Advances in war and communications technologies have often developed in unison.


  • How might Lorna’s personal experiences of war, recorded in her diaries, letters and photographs be different to public documents recorded at the time? Which records, public or private, would have greater credibility to you and why?
  • What is the importance of government censorship of the media during times of war? What are the implications of this control during wartimes for civilian populations?
  • Why did so many troops desert after the Darwin bombings? What might the troops overseas have felt when they heard about the Darwin bombings and the fall of Singapore?


  • Research and develop a war and communications technology timeline. Start with World War I and continue through to the war in Iraq. List all the types of communication technologies used to record war through time.
  • Research the other occasion that Australian shores came under fire during World War II. What happened and how many casualties where there?
  • Collect other images of war. Discuss their similarities and differences.


  • List the strengths and weakness of each medium’s form of communication. What impact did each of these media have on the civilian audiences at home and why?