Today marks an important event in the annals of the Australian War Memorial’s centenary digitisation project, Anzac Connections. 50 000 pages have now been scanned for online access by all Australians and international researchers. This milestone comes as we celebrate the release of another thirty-eight personal collections to supplement the 153 collections already available online.
Monday 15 September 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. No comments.
Collection, Military Heraldry and Technology Second World War; Sweetheart Jewellery; Trench Art
While most people imagine that ‘trench art’ items, including sweetheart jewellery, were each individually, handmade by a soldier, sailor or airman for his loved ones far away. While some was made this way, the reality is often a little bit different. Large quantities of trench art were made in small cottage industries during the First and Second World War. Known also as the ‘foreigner’ trade during the Second World War, the items were made by men with access to specialist equipment, such as drills, vices and metal cutting equipment, often from units such as engineers, RAAF ground crew, dental units and the like.
The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to make available online its collection of Changi Concert Party programs. This collection of programs was created by prisoners of war for performances by the Changi Concert Party during the Second World War. The project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collection of these programs as well as provide full colour reference copies on the Memorial’s website for research and study purposes.
Seventy years ago this week, on 12 September 1944, two Japanese ships transporting Australian and British prisoners of war from Singapore to Japan were sunk, resulting in the loss of 1,559 Australian and British lives.
One thing we often get asked about is jewellery made during the First and Second World War. This blog will look at some exmaples of sweetheart jewellery produced by commercial companies and jewellers. Trench art sweetheart jewellery will be examined at a later date.
This type of jewellery was often worn by female relatives, including girlfriends, wives or mothers as a symbol of pride, support and affection for a loved one serving in the armed forces. They were given as a gift or purchased by the women themselves. Some jewellery was mass produced to a type or pattern, varying in quality and materials; while other jewellery was specifically commissioned from jewellers and made to personal requirements. Unless the piece of jewellery has a makers mark or is on its original card or in an original box, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine what company or jewellers made the item.
Brooches were very popular in both world wars and make up the bulk of the Memorial's collection of sweetheart jewellery but other militray themed items, such as lockets, pendants and rings were also made and purchased.
At the battle of Bitapaka, the ANMEF were the first Australians in combat.
On 6 August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Australia agreed to a request by the British government to seize German wireless stations in the south-west Pacific, namely German New Guinea. Australia was also required to occupy the territory under the British flag and establish a military administration. For the first time, Britain called upon Australia to train, supply and command her own forces in defence of the empire. Consequently, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was born.
The war that shaped Australia
“My Dear Mother … I entered this war with the knowledge that I had a rather small chance of coming out of it alive. I was under no false impression – I knew I had to kill – and perhaps be killed. Since I commenced flying I have spent probably the happiest time of my life … Above all, Mother dear, I have proved to my satisfaction that I was, at least, a man.”
Friday 5 September 2014 by Michael Kelly. No comments.
Applications are now open for the 2015 Australian War Memorial Summer Vacation Scholarship Scheme. They are awarded to history students who are undertaking postgraduate studies or are in the third or fourth year of an undergraduate course. The scholarships are also open to students enrolled in museum or public history courses. Applications should be received by 10 October 2014; the scholarships are tenable at the Memorial between 12 January and 20 February 2015.