My name is Romy Turner. I am a work experience student from Canberra Girls Grammar School at the Memorial for this week. As part of my work experience I had to research an item, a trench sign, from the Memorial's collection.
My name's Sean Limn, and I've been doing work experience at the War Memorial for the past week. One of my tasks whilst at the Memorial was to research a collection item, a piece of an old tent found at Gallipoli in 1919. The tent piece was found at Rest Gully, and is from a hospital tent left during the evacuation in December 1915. The tent was left behind as part of the ruse to prevent the Turks from realising that an evacuation was taking place.
Filet crochet was a popular craft before and during the First World War. Women would make decorative or functional items for the home such as tray cloths, milk jug covers, tea cosies, tablecloths and cushion covers. They also made decorative items for clothing, such as crochet lace collars or cuffs. During the First World War patriotic military themes were popular. Images such as ships, flags, soldiers and medals, along with slogans such as: ‘Success to the Allies’, ‘God bless our brave boys’, 'God bless our khaki boys' and ‘Our hero we're proud of him’ were available.
In January 1919 tattered pieces of uniform were found lying among the bones of the men of the 16th Battalion, who were killed trying to advance at the Bloody Angle on 2 May 1915. These items were recovered by Lieutenant William Hopkin James, who headed a small party to Gallipoli for the Australian War Records Section (the precursor to the Australian War Memorial).
Among the items held at the Memorial that were issued to air crew serving in Europe, are two pairs of very interesting 1943 Pattern escape boots. The boots were designed so that an airman downed in Europe could remove a small concealed knife and cut off the top section of the boot to reveal a civilian looking shoe.