Anzac Magazine, The Kia Ora Coo-Ee



Cover page and inside pages from one issue of The Kia Ora Coo-Ee, a magazine produced by Australian and New Zealand troops in Egypt and Palestine in 1918. The cover shows one Anzac soldier being assisted by a nurse. The inside covers are advertisements for the Anzac soldiers.


The Kia Ora Coo-Ee was just one of a number of troop magazines written and produced during the course of the First World War. Produced by specific regiments or battalions, these magazines offered an outlet for the cultural outpourings of the serving troops, where their poetry, short stories, articles, sketches, and cartoons could be published. These were accompanied by advertisements for local businesses, as pictured above, giving us a sense of the readership of the magazine and what the troops were purchasing and where they were visiting: in this case, mosquito nets, watches for the desert, and hotel casinos. Often sent home to family members, to accompany or in place of letters home, troop magazines offered a snapshot of communicable experience. The Kia Ora Coo-Ee, named respectively for the recognisable greetings of the New Zealanders and Australians in the Anzac forces, was produced in Egypt and Palestine in 1918 and 1919. Though much of the body of the Anzac troops had moved to the Western Front at the end of 1916, following the withdrawal from Gallipoli, others remained in the Middle East, joined by new arrivals to serve in the campaign there until 1919. This particular issue has as its cover a humorous cartoon of a nurse offering ‘a helping hand’ to a soldier on crutches: although he looks war weary, he retains his ‘Anzac’ liveliness with a cigarette in his mouth and the recognisable ‘lemon squeezer’ hat of New Zealand. Such a cover allows us to not only think about the encounters had by these men, in this case with a white Red Cross nurse in ‘exotic’ Egypt, but also how they maintained their national and colonial identities in these circumstances.