Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty was barely able to stand. Exhausted from the intense fighting of the previous two days, he used a brief period of respite to pen his experiences of the past few days to paper. Cecil had written in his diary every day since he had left Australia. When he had completely filled his first diary he began a second, writing on whatever scraps of paper he could find and often using the backs of envelopes sent from home. For many soldiers writing helped them make sense of what was happening.
Two days earlier, on the afternoon of 6 August 1915, Cecil had been one of the nearly two thousand men of the 1st Australian Infantry Brigade to charge the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine. He had waited anxiously as the Turkish shells exploded before them, the fumes suffocating and the shrapnel deadly. The whistle had blown three times and Cecil and the others had charged towards the formidable and entrenched Turkish line. He was in the thick of it now. In what he described as a trance, Cecil pushed through the heavy machine gun and rifle fire with shrapnel shells bursting around him. Having crossed the nearly one hundred metre wide gap to the Turkish lines he found himself in an extremely exposed position along with several other Australians. “This is only suicide, boys,” Cecil exclaimed to them. “I’m going to make a jump for it.” Cecil’s account of what happened next ends mid-sentence with the words: “I sprang to my feet in one jump…” There are no further entries after that.
What link does the Australian War Memorial have to George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett?
In the Memorial’s National Collection is a Second World War medal group belonging to Aeneas John Lindsay McDonnell, born at Toowoomba, Queensland, in 1904. He enlisted for military service in Brisbane in May 1944. McDonnell had already served overseas with the Red Cross in Africa and the Middle East from April 1940 until November 1943, and enlisted with the AIF at the rank of lieutenant.
Bringing historic documents from the Australian War Memorial’s archive to all Australians
The first 150 collections of private records related to individuals who served in the First World War are now online and hold a wealth of stories. In the centenary year of the First World War, the Memorial has launched one of its major commemorative projects to make available the rare historic personal records of Australians who served.
In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at auction in New York. The posters are notable additions to the Memorial’s world class poster collection not only for their aesthetic and historic values but also for their extraordinary provenance. All the posters were once part of the fabled Dr Hans Sachs poster collection. Over the coming weeks the art section will mark this important acquisition via this blog – highlighting individual posters and giving insights into the legacy of Dr Hans Sachs.
The Dr Hans Sachs poster collection
What is it?
Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments. (Hint: It was found at Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli, in 1918.)
We will post the answer and the full story next week!
Monday 14 April 2014 by Emma Campbell. No comments.
The often criticised role of Australian forces during the final 12 months of the Second World War will be examined at an international conference of leading historians and academics being held on the 70th anniversary of the period.
Friday 11 April 2014 by Lucy Robertson. No comments.
Collection Second World War; Internment Camp; China; Embroidery; Lunghwa
On a slow news day in Perth in 1950, an article appeared in The Daily News with the eye-catching title of ‘The Woman Who Threw Japs’. The Daily News reported of a Russian woman who had tackled and ‘thrown’ three Japanese prison guards while interned in Lunghwa internment camp, near Shanghai, during the Second World War. Alexandra Fowles (née Kavlessnekoff) had recently immigrated to Australia with her third husband, Raymond Fowles, and the reporter described her as being ‘a fine-looking, keen-eyed woman… of Cossack descent and proud of the flashing temperament she inherited’. Whatever provoked Alexandra to tackle three Japanese guards has not been recorded, however, she created her own unique record of internment at Lunghwa.
Friday 11 April 2014 by Stephanie Boyle. No comments.
Collection Highlights, News, Opinion, views and commentary, Personal Stories Afghanistan, Uruzgan, ADF, cinematography, film commission, patrol, Taliban, IED, ANA
.. We’ve had seven contacts, and 29 cache finds in the last three to four months.. we’ve killed three insurgents.. so it’s a quite active area.