I received an email today from Charles Kenny of Essex in the UK. He has given me permission to post it here and I've put in some relevant links where I could.
Reading about your exhibition, I thought you might be interested in a little known connection.
As valentine's day was only last week, I thought some would like a glimpse at one of the love letters we hold in our Private Records collection. Lieutenant Colin Douglas Simper of the 2/48 Australian Infantry Battalion met Irene at a dance in South Australian and were married at short notice at her family home in Blackwood on 12 December 1941. Often posted away, Colin regularly wrote to his wife, pouring his emotions, feelings, hopes and fears into his letters.
On 27 February 2008, the Australian War Memorial’s new Conflicts 1945 to today galleries will open to the public. The galleries combine cutting-edge technology with large iconic objects to tell the stories of Australia’s involvement in conflicts over the past six decades.
As well as Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations since 1945, the new galleries cover conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, and, more recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mention is sometimes made of personal events in the war diaries of the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF), currently being digitised by the Research Centre.
Just a year after the end of the First World War, and only a decade after the short first powered flight in Australia, a twin-engine Vickers Vimy, with a crew of 4, flew from England to Australia. This 1919 exploit exemplified the progress in world aviation. During the First World War there were men who had never before seen an aeroplane or driven a motor car, who had learned how to fly.
It seems one of the most expedient weapons deployed personnel can have these days is a deck of cards. Yes, you read correctly. A common form of ephemera coming into the Memorial from those involved in recent conflicts like Iraq, are playing cards, which have been produced by Australia and the United States to reach beyond mere entertainment value into the realm of Intelligence.
In March 1919, four months after the war was over, the Australian government announced that it would give a £10,000 prize for the first successful flight from England to Australia. Despite the obvious dangers, this appealed to some airmen, not yet discharged, who were awaiting repatriation home.
A sketchbook of humorous pre-First World War caricatures has recently been acquired by the Australian War Memorial. Members of the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), located at Queenscliff, Victoria, are depicted in this work dating from 1909-1910. Referred to as the "budget" of the regiment and located in what once appeared to be an accounting book, the works were created by an anonymous artist using the name "Zif".