Thursday 17 April 2014 by David Heness. No comments.
First World War Centenary, ANZAC Connections, Collection, Personal Stories

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.

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Wednesday 16 April 2014 by Alex Torrens. No comments.
Collection, Collection Highlights

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

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Friday 11 April 2014 by Lucy Robertson. No comments.
Collection Second World War; Internment Camp; China; Embroidery; Lunghwa

RELAWM32380 The embroidered Lunghwa tablecloth which depicts a map of the internment camp, surrounded by approximately 800 signatures. RELAWM32380 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.

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P01608.012 Colditz Castle was used as a prisoner of war camp for Allied prisoners who had attempted to escape from their German captors during the Second World War. The castle has captured popular imagination through the film 'The Colditz Story' (1955) based on P.R. Reid's book of the same name. P01608.012

Unknown to their captors, eight prisoners were huddled in a small office, waiting for the moment when they would finish the tunnel and escape from Colditz. They had been planning for this moment for over a month. But now their chance was slipping. It was midnight, 9 September 1942 and an alarm echoed throughout the castle. They could hear the footsteps of German officers approaching.

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Tuesday 4 February 2014 by Craig Tibbitts. 6 comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Collection Highlights, ANZAC Voices, Personal Stories

This article was originally published in Inside History Magazine, Issue 20, Jan - Feb 2014. Find out more and subscribe to Inside History here.

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Monday 3 February 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Collection Highlights Sound Collection Online

The Australian War Memorial has remarkable hidden stories in its sound collection. This compilation of interview extracts reveals the lucky escapes of five men that served during the First World War. These men suffered wounds, sickness and witnessed the horrific casualties of war. They describe themselves to be the lucky ones.

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Friday 10 January 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments.
Collection, ANZAC Voices Pheasant Wood, Fromelles, ANZAC voices

The ANZAC voices exhibition features a number of rare documents displayed for the first time, such as some of Frederick Tubb’s diaries and John Simpson Kirkpatrick’s letters. It is also the first time the Memorial has displayed relics recovered from the Pheasant Wood mass grave at Fromelles.

They are a combination of personal and military issued items. Five of the six items are associated with unidentified remains, the sixth item, a scrap of gas goggles, is associated with Ray Pflaum who died of wounds as a prisoner of war on 19 July 1916 and who is featured in the exhibition. The goggles are very fragile and it is amazing that any part of them survived. You can still see one of the yellowed celluloid eye pieces and the holes where stitching has come undone.

REL44989 the remains of Ray Pflaum's gas goggles

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Thursday 19 December 2013 by Robyn Van Dyk. No comments.
First World War Centenary, ANZAC Connections, Collection, Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices

 I would not have joined this contingent if I had known that they were not going to England.

                                           Private John Simpson, 3rd Field Ambulance, Christmas Day 1914


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Tuesday 17 December 2013 by Paul Taylor. 2 comments.
Collection, Collection Highlights, News

Tuesday 17 December 2013 by Vick Gwyn. 9 comments.
Collection LGBTI, DEFGLIS, Mardi Gras


In December 2012, the Australian Defence Force (ADF) announced that for the very first time, ADF members would be allowed to march in uniform at Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade in 2013. This momentous announcement coincided with the ADF’s 20th anniversary of the removal of the ban on homosexuals serving in the armed forces. The march would also fall on the 35th anniversary of the parade, making the inaugural uniformed march all the more historic.

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