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.
Can you imagine receiving a message that signified a momentous event in living history?
Crashes and fires were everyday hazards for the First World War flier. Second Lieutenant Frederick Gulley suffered both when trying to land his aircraft in England on 17 October 1918. Gulley was on a cross country flight and struck a post whilst attempting to land in a field close to Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire. In the resulting fire Gulley’s clothes, harness, face and hands were burnt. He was taken to Tidworth Hospital with superficial burns to his face, neck and both hands, including all fingers.
Found at a Canberra book fair, was a beautiful yet worn, leather bound, gold-embossed volume. The inside inscription reads, ‘From Civilian Library Changi Camp 1942-1945.'
While the words "Changi Camp" are familiar to many Australians, "Civilian Library" might bring some surprise. Further inscriptions, two date stamps and pencilled date ranges, confirm the book's use as a library book. "P188" is probably a collection number.
The Official Records series AWM 95! A three year project consisting of 47 shelves, 234 boxes and 2575 files. AWM 95s are the Commanders' Diaries of the Australian Army ranging from 1948 to 1975, covering the Malayan Emergency, Malay Peninsula and the Vietnam War. Most diaries consist of a cover with an index, a daily narrative of events, and annexes. The AWM 95 series is the latest digitisation project to be completed by the Australian War Memorial.
It was 10 March 1919, and readers of the London Daily Mail were asked to help solve a wartime puzzle.
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.
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.
It is not unusual for servicemen and women to carry with them good luck charms while on overseas service. However one particularly superstitious serviceman was Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class Henry James Marston, of No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Marston wore a wrist chain with an identity tag and three lucky charms – a boomerang, a black cat and a doll.
It's one of those questions that doesn't get asked everyday, but when it is, the enquirer doesn't usually have to finish their question before we can help them. They usually start with
"I don't know if you can help me, I was in the World War 1 section and noticed a knitting pattern for..."
At this point I can jump in with:
"Knitting two socks at once."