As senior curator of Film and Sound at the Memorial, I was greatly privileged in February this year to go with the ADF to the Australia’s area of Middle Eastern Operations. Not only did I meet with and interview an amazing range of ADF members based in or around Al Minhad, Kandahar, Tarin Kot and Kabul, but I found myself in the rare position of being a female civilian, totally immersed in the ADF’s world. I trained with ADF. I wore body armour. I travelled by armoured convoy and by Hercules aircraft.
Bryant’s diary: Friday 14th November 1941
Despite a slow and tiring train trip we arrived in Cairo at 2 in the afternoon. Ted Taylor and I got into some strife with some Kiwis and were done over properly. We were badly outnumbered and I finished up with a couple of black eyes and a busted lip.
Cosgriff’s diary: Friday 14 November 1941
Well, we got wind in the morning that the Armistice was either signed or about to be signed... And the word finally came through and of course there was great excitement... I was only sorry I hadn't arrived there Armistice night because the chaps that got off the train, the girls just formed a ring around them..
Bryant’s diary: Friday 7th November 1941
The shooting with the Bren was rotten and on the whole I had a cow of a day as an instructor. I heard that the rifle shooting was pretty good.
Cosgriff’s diary: Friday 7 November 1941
Bryant’s diary: Friday 31st October 1941
The Colonel inspected us and was anything but complimentary and didn’t even mention our job in Tobruk. A big draft of reinforcements and enlist men arrived in the afternoon and amongst them was Ted Taylor. That makes 3 corporals for the section.
Bryant’s diary: Saturday 1st November 1941
Just a usual day of organised mucking around.
Cosgriff’s diary: Friday 24th October 1941 – 6 November
Bryant’s diary: Friday 17th October 1941
The day was reasonably quiet, but our patrol duties are still very heavy.
Cosgriff’s diary: Friday 17th October 1941
The Australian War Memorial's Heraldry collection contains a number of commemorative badges and brooches which display a high level of beauty and craftsmanship combined with poignant individual stories. A recently donated brooch demonstrates these characteristics excellently.