On the home front: Australians and the 1914 drought

Ruth Alice Morgan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter focuses on Western Australia, where the 1914 drought contributed to one of the driest years on the state's record and lingers as a meteorological and cultural marker of the severely dry conditions faced in the state's agricultural areas. From as early as 1915, the drought was framed as both an aberration and opportunity, as a defining experience of character and belonging and as a proxy for predicting the weather. Important to this framing process was the contemporary reportage of local newspapers, which provide insight into how the 1914 drought was perceived and subsequently portrayed. Close listening to oral history interviews with wheatbelt farmers and their families reveals the extent to which these reports aligned with personal experiences of drought and climate variability in the region. The chapter examines the ways in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous Western Australians experienced and remembered this drought and how these memories shaped personal and state responses to subsequent periods of water scarcity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Histories, Memories and Extreme Weather
Subtitle of host publicationA Historical Geography Perspective
EditorsGeorgina Endfield, Lucy Veale
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781315461458
ISBN (Print)9781138207653
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Research in Historical Geography

Cite this

Morgan, R. A. (2018). On the home front: Australians and the 1914 drought. In G. Endfield, & L. Veale (Eds.), Cultural Histories, Memories and Extreme Weather: A Historical Geography Perspective (1st ed., pp. 34-54). (Routledge Research in Historical Geography). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315461458-3