We are commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Armistice this year, which presents a timely opportunity to look at what soldiers were doing on the 11th of November throughout the duration of the First World War. The soldiers go about their duties not knowing that in the future, it would be the special day to remember those who fought and died for our country in war and armed conflict.
Blog: Personal Stories
Almost a century ago this Saturday, a Welcome Home function was held at the Sydney Town Hall for members of the NSW Cadets Coronation Contingent. The cadets, part of the Australian Coronation Contingent, had just returned from attending the London coronation of King George V, held on 22 June 1911.
What does a twenty-three year old wag of a soldier say in his defence, when facing yet another court martial for going AWOL during the First World War?
If you're Private Albert Stipek, the words come easily: "I met some friends and went away with them. I had no idea the Battalion was going to the Line. I thought it was going out for a spell". Nevertheless, he had absented himself from the 51st Battalion for nearly two months.
Captain Cedric Howell was one of Australia’s greatest fighter pilots. Initially serving as a sniper with No. 46 Battalion he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917; part of the original group of 200 Australians recruited from the AIF. He joined No. 45 Squadron, RFC and saw active service with this unit in France and Italy.
Forty years ago, in May/June 1968 Australian soldiers fought their largest, most sustained and arguably most hazardous battles of the Vietnam War. Units of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) confronted regimental-sized formations of the North Vietnamese regular army in fierce actions around Fire Support Patrol Bases (FSPB) Coral and Balmoral in what was then known as Bien Hoa province.
When searching through the Memorial's Private Records collection this item was found.
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.