• Australians on the Western Front 1916 - 100 years ago

    Thursday 26 May 2016 by . 1 comments

    “We thought we knew something of the horrors of war, but we were mere recruits, and have had our full education in one day.”Ronald Alison McInnis 19 July, 1916 This year marks the centenary of Australia’s first year on the Western Front. It was to become a year of terrible sacrifice. The experiences of some Australians who served in 1916 are preserved in the Memorial’s archive and are now available online. From the battlefield of …

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM251 &AWM256 AIF Administrative Headquarters, 1914-18 War

    Wednesday 25 May 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM256 17_1_197 page 1.jpg 2/Lt F M Barry, 10th Battalion

    Highlight on the official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, whythey exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes. Function and provenance In May 1916, the AIF Intermediate Base moved from Cairo to London and amalgamated with existing infrastructure there to form Administrative Headquarters, AIF (under the control of the …

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  • “What does AMR&O 253A (1)(n) mean?”

    Wednesday 25 May 2016 by Jennifer Milward.

    No. 3 Military Discharge Depot, Royal Park, Victoria. 27 August 1946

    We occasionally get asked this question by family historians researching military service during the Second World War. The abbreviation appears in Second World War personal service records on the Proceedings for Discharge form, and could have anything from an (a) to an (n) at the end. No. 3 Military Discharge Depot, Royal Park, Victoria. 27 August 1946 131261 AMRO stands for …

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  • Influences on the Music and Lyrics Written by First World War Australian Servicemen

    Friday 20 May 2016 by .

    The following blog post was written by Alison Mountain from the Australian National University whilst completing a research internship at the Australian War Memorial as part of her studies. Music has always played a significant role in war; from the use of bugles and snare drums as forms of communication, to the escapism of writing organised melodies to distract soldiers from the barrage of noise that constitutes traditional warfare, and to …

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  • Cold case: What has become of Murphy the donkey?

    Friday 13 May 2016 by Craig Berelle. 2 comments

    [1] AWM255 95.jpg

    A volunteer with the Research Centre's official records section recently came across a document in the collection relating to a search for "Murphy" the donkey in the weeks following the Gallipoli campaign. This post traces the original documentary record, many presented as electronic images for the first time. Charles Bean, Australia's official war correspondent in 1916, was interested in circulating an item of news seeking the whereabouts of …

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  • On the Eve of Battle: Documents introducing the AIF to the Western Front - I: Offensive spirit

    Tuesday 10 May 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM26 38/4

    In June and early July nearly 100 years ago, the newly arrived Australian Imperial Force moved into their allocated positions for the coming British offensives on the Western Front. On The Eve of Battle presents a select group of documentshighlighting the grim and the curious as the Australian and New Zealanders organised to be battle-ready. Offensive spirit The tremendous emphasis the Commander in Chief placed on "offensive spirit" informs the …

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  • Decoration from Destruction: the First World War Trench Art of Sapper Pearl

    Thursday 28 April 2016 by Kerry Neale.

    A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd Divisional Artillery, during the battle of Zonnebeke, 20 September 1917, when these shells were used. Photographer: Frank Hurley.

    During the battles that raged between 1914 and 1918, millions of shells were blasted between the fighting forces, leaving the people and the ground around them mutilated. This was a new type of war, yet there was an unexpected by-product of these used shell cases: trench art. A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd Divisional…

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  • Trooper Francis Arthur Groom DCM

    Wednesday 20 April 2016 by Cameron Ross.

    Medals of Trooper Francis Arthur Groom

    The Memorial has recently received a donation that provides us with an important link to Tasmanian involvement in the Boer War. Included in this donation is the Distinguished Conduct Medal that Trooper Francis Arthur Groom received for this battle, one of only five received by Tasmanian forces in the war. Francis Groom was born in the Argentine Republic in 1874 to Francis Charles and Mitty Groom. When he was twelve he settled with his family in…

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  • Major refurbishment of the Memorial's Commemorative Area

    Friday 15 April 2016 by .

    In accordance with the Australian War Memorial’s Heritage Management Plan, and facilitated by a $1 million grant from the Department of the Environment’s Protecting National Historic Sites program for 2014–17, the Memorial’s Commemorative Area is undergoing a major refurbishment. Work will take place in two stages: Stage 1 (western cloister) between February and March 2016. Stage 2 (eastern cloister) between February and March 2017.…

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM352 Miscellaneous records of the 2nd Pioneer Battalion, AIF, 1914-18 War

    Thursday 31 March 2016 by Craig Berelle. 5 comments

    AWM352 [7]

    Highlight on the official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, whythey exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes. AWM352 [7] Function and Provenance A Pioneer Battalion was created for each division in the AIF (Australian Imperial Force). On 10 March 1916, the 2nd Pioneer Battalion (Western Australia) was formed in Egypt. …

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