The Memorial's annual battlefield tour commences this Sunday with several members of the Memorial preparing to set off for the trip. Ashley Ekins, Head of the Military History Section will lead our Gallipoli tour and Nick Fletcher, Senior Curator in Heraldry and Technology will lead the Western Front tour. We will be walking many of the historic battle sites and commemorating Anzac Day with the Dawn Service at Gallipoli and the Australian National Ceremony at Lone Pine. This year is the 90th anniversary of many major battles fought in 1918.
This honour roll was recently rediscovered in the Memorial's Research Centre during a cataloguing project focusing on documenting our oversize maps and souvenirs. Almost two metres in height and one metre in width, the honour roll consists of over 1,100 signatures, unit names, and hand drawn colour patches, insignia and medals of World War I veteran sailors, soldiers and nurses of all ranks.
These tours are advertised elsewhere on our website, but just in case you've not seen them, either Robyn or myself are running tours of the exhibition at 10.45 am on the following dates:
14, 21, 24 and 27 February
5, 10, 12, 19 and 26 March
2, 9, 16, 23, 24* and 30 April
7, 14, 21, and 24 May
They usually last around an hour, unless we get carried away. Of course you can always download the audio tour and bring it with you on an MP3 player.
Work is underway to clean and repair the fuselage of the Albatros.
During the course of the last nine decades, a significant amount of grease, dust and general grime has built up inside the fuselage of the Albatros, particularly in the engine bay.
The Large Technology Conservation Section are currently working on five aircraft for the upcoming First World War exhibition "Over The Front" due to open in November 2008.
The Albatros D.Va was last restored in the mid 1960s and there are a number of areas which need attention.
On display in the Memorial's First World War Gallery is this damaged trench mortar barrel. The explosion that damaged this Stokes 3" trench mortar barrel in 1918 also sadly killed two young men from the 6th Australian Light Trench Mortar Battery.
On Tuesday 18 March, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs announced the winners of the Simpson Prize for 2008. The Simpson Prize is a national competition for year 9 and 10 students which sees eight students, one from each State and Territory, accompanied by two teachers, flown to Gallipoli to attend the Dawn Service and other ANZAC Day ceremonies. The students travelling to Turkey will be contributing to the Memorial blog to share the experiences of their trip.
The discovery of HMAS Sydney
The recent reported discoveries of the wrecks of HMAS Sydney and the German raider Kormoran off the coast of Western Australia have fulfilled the hopes of many people who for years have grieved, waited and wondered about exactly what happened to these two ill-fated naval ships.