With what seemed like an inevitable movement towards war in Europe from mid 1914, of great concern to Australia was the presence in the Pacific of the German East Asia Squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Count Maximilian von Spee. He commanded two powerful armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau; three light cruisers, SMS Emden, Nurnberg, and Leipzig; a torpedo boat, and, some small gunboats, but von Spee’s actual whereabouts in the vast Pacific Ocean were a mystery.
To complement the release of the film collection online, the film and sound team are creating a series of show reels to give you a taste of the material that is now readily available at your fingertips!
Written by Alexandra Orr
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is hosting an International Fleet Review, to be held in Sydney from 3 to 11 October 2013. This high-profile event, which will showcase ships from some 20 nations, is being held to mark the centenary of the first fleet entry of the fledgling RAN into Sydney in 1913.
Sixty members of the extended Ferguson family travelled from around Australia to attend a medal donation ceremony this morning at the Australian War Memorial in commemoration of their forebear Alexander Cyril Ferguson. Alexander served in both the First and Second World Wars and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions near Zonnebeke in October 1917where he was a member of the Australian Army Medical Corps, attached to 8 Battalion.
The medals were presented to Mr Tim Sullivan, Assistant Director, National Collections by Alexander’s son Mr Ron Ferguson.
The glass-plate negatives from Vignacourt are significant because they offer insights into the reality of life on the Western Front. There are photos that show the laughter and the mateship among these soldiers, and the general feeling of life away from the line. Like any true portrait, many offer an insight into the character and mood of the subject. None of the soldiers in this post have been identified, but photographs created so close to the battlefields of the Somme means portrait subjects who have witnessed true horrors.
Friday 20 September 2013 by Craig Blanch. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Collection Highlights, Personal Stories Zeebrugge, Distinguished Service Cross, HMS Iris II, HMAS Australia
The raid on Zeebrugge to cripple the inland port of Bruges in occupied Belgium in April 1918 lasted a little more than an hour. It cost the lives of over 200 British sailors and marines with hundreds more wounded. Artificer Engineer William Henry Vaughan Edgar, late of HMAS Australia, joined the raid on a Mersey ferry steamer and in the process became the Royal Australian Navy’s only Distinguished Service Cross winner of the First World War.
We hope we havent kept you in suspense too long. Here is the latest collection detection mystery solved for you. Well done to those who got it correct.
While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops. In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’. While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky. On some of these small scenes (painted by artist Louis McCubbin) the bonding between the paint film and the curved plaster domes has failed in certain areas, and over time this has
If not for the work of the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) during the First World War, the Australian Army’s access to fresh water in the desert would have been very limited, and they would have struggled to cross any body of water they came across. Amongst other things, the Engineers were in charge of designing and building well systems, as well as both fixed and swing bridges to assist the Australian armed forces in their travel throughout the Middle East.
As more building works continue in the Western Front Gallery, the Diorama Conservation Team has moved into the Sinai Palestine Gallery, to take on the treatment of the beautiful Transportation of Supplies series of dioramas. Although much smaller than most of what we have been tackling so far, these nine scenes present their own set of challenges.