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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Friday 29 November 2013 by Craig Tibbitts. 3 comments.
First World War Centenary, Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices, Personal Stories

ANZAC Voices is the Memorial’s new special exhibition on the First World War, which opened to the public today. It features treasures from the Memorial’s written archives; the voices of the ANZACs presented through their letters and diaries, and supported by a variety of other official documents, photographs, artworks and historical artefacts.

Theme image

The curators chose the above photo to be the exhibition’s theme image for obvious reasons, given it’s built around the written record.  We also thought it was a good strong image that could carry off the important exhibition ‘branding’ role.  Who knows what he’s writing – we might imagine it’s a letter home to the family, but it could just as easily be some routine administrative paperwork.

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Tuesday 26 November 2013 by Robyn Van Dyk. 2 comments.
Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices, News, Personal Stories

 “Pulled out of bed in the dead of night by a large monster that ultimately turned out to be a man with his gas mask on.” - Captain Robert Grieve of the 37th Battalion.

Gas masks saved lives but also caused fatalities. They were extremely uncomfortable and hampered the movement of the men, inducing fatigue, disorientation, and confusion.

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Monday 25 November 2013 by Robyn Van Dyk. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices

 ANZAC Voices, the Memorial’s new First World War exhibition, is currently being installed. The exhibition will open this Friday, 29 November 2013 and represents a rare opportunity to view original accounts of the First World War - letters to a sweetheart; a diary account of a hard-fought battle; postcards scrawled in the trenches and battlefields of war.

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Monday 25 November 2013 by Dianne Rutherford. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices

This article was originally published in ICON Magazine, Issue One November - December 2013. Find our more and suscribe to ICON Magazine here.


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Friday 25 October 2013 by Jessie Webb. 3 comments.
Collection, Exhibitions


“Knitters get busy!” Poem published in an unknown newspaper in 1918. RC07899“Knitters get busy!” Poem published in an unknown newspaper in 1918. RC07899

It can be difficult to get an idea of what was happening on the home front just by looking at military records. What were the people who weren’t serving doing? How did they feel? What did they do to play their part in Australia’s war effort?

One thing many Australians did during both the First and Second World Wars was knit. Australia-wide, local organisations, schools, church groups, knitting circles, and individuals banded together to undertake the huge task of providing comforts to Australian troops. Comforts included gifts like food, entertainment, recreation facilities, and clothing given to troops to supplement what the military couldprovide.

During the course of the First World War, Australians knitted over 1 million pairs of socks as gifts for the troops. Historican Michael McKernan estimated at 10 hours of work per pair, that would be an extraordinary 10 million hours of work.

In the Second World War, they outdid even that, with over 3 million pairs of socks knitted! Australians also made a variety of other items, like scarves, vests and mittens. 

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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.


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Monday 16 April 2012 by Dennis Stockman. 2 comments.
First World War Centenary, Exhibitions, News First World War

Prime Minister Gillard announces funding support for the First World War Galleries

The Australian War Memorial will mark the Centenary of the First World War through a vibrant four year cultural program including changing our First World War galleries. 

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Wednesday 31 August 2011 by David Gist. 4 comments.
News, Personal Stories, Collection, Exhibitions, 1941, Tobruk Exhibition, Second World War, Rats of Tobruk

Visitors to the Memorial’s exhibition Rats of Tobruk 1941 will have noticed the unofficial Rats of Tobruk medal presented, according to its engraving, by Lord Haw Haw. Around twenty of these medals were made at Tobruk, which illustrates one of the earliest examples of the town’s defenders reclaiming the title ‘Rat’, bestowed on them by the propaganda radio program ‘Germany Calling’. Visitors may also notice the brasso caked around the small copper rat on this medal, the result of many years of cleaning.

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Tuesday 19 April 2011 by Robyn Siers. 2 comments.
Exhibitions, Nurses: from Zululand to Afghanistan

Question: What’s the definition of “tough”?

Answer: Australian service nurses

In early April 1941, the nurses and physiotherapists of 2/5th and 2/6th Australian General Hospitals (AGH), were transported to Greece with the men of the 6th Division. They were moved around frequently, often at short notice, as the Germans advanced down the Greek peninsula. Hospital supplies and food were in short supply, and many of the incoming wounded were suffering from frostbite.

Sister Nalder wrote of a new group of patients on 17 April;

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