• Gatenby's blanket: an embroidered service history

    Thursday 7 August 2014 by Tamsin Hong. 4 comments

    A guide to C A Gatenbys embroidered blanket

    Given it’s the final month of another chilly winter here in Canberra, I felt it was fitting to share with you one of the cosiest objects on display at the Memorial: Corporal Clifford Gatenby’s embroidered blanket. Its unique design has captivated visitors with its richly embroidered images from across the globe, as well as the more familiar symbols of Australia. It is also a rare example of an object of its size to have been created in a …

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  • The messages - Commemorative Crosses Project

    Wednesday 6 August 2014 by Jayne Simpson.

    Children writing messages on Commemorative Crosses

    “Your spirit astounds us Your bravery inspires us Your courage awes us Your sacrifice strengthens us...” These words are inscribed by an Australian school aged child upon a simple wooden cross to be laid at a war grave of a fallen Australian serviceperson. Messages of hope and thanks have been written on thousands of crosses that have been placed on the graves where Australian Servicemen and women are buried. These include countries…

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  • Some notes on Farewell and Welcome Home jewellery from the First World War

    Tuesday 5 August 2014 by Chris Goddard. 2 comments

    Engraved jewellery was frequently presented to departing and returning soldiers by local shire councils and ‘Farewell’ or ‘Welcome Home’ committees during the First World War. Also known as ‘Tribute’ jewellery, these were presented in public ceremonies or dinners and often reported in the local press. With some diligent searching, these reports can be located by searching newspaper databases such as ‘Trove’. As the jewellery was …

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  • Behind the scenes - Roll of Honour Soundscape Project

    Monday 4 August 2014 by Jayne Simpson. 6 comments

    Sound file for the Roll of Honour Soundscape during an editing process

    Over a very busy week in the middle of June 130 schools from all across Australia participated in the Australian War Memorials Roll of Honour Soundscape Project. This project is a part of the commemoration of the Centenary of the First World War and just one of many ways the Memorial is involving children in the commemoration. This Project was launched on 4 August with the schools recording around 6,500 of the 62,000 names that appear on the …

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  • SS Warilda: troopship, hospital ship, ambulance transport, wreck

    Friday 1 August 2014 by Jennifer Milward. 8 comments

    Warilda in camouflage paint added in 1917 after Germany stated all vessels operating in the English Channel would be attacked.

    In August 1915, the SS Warilda was requisitioned by the Commonwealth and fitted out as a transport ship. HMAT Warilda made two trips to Egypt and one to England, carrying more than 7,000 troops. Following the Warilda’s conversion to a hospital ship in July 1916, she spent a few months stationed in the Mediterranean, before being put to work transporting patients across the English Channel. Between late 1916 and August 1918 she made over 180 …

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  • The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) badges 1914-1918

    Friday 1 August 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 11 comments

    This isone ofa series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of badges seen on Australian Imperial Force uniforms. It does not cover unofficial unit badges, or qualification or proficiency badges. These may be covered at a later date. RC10118 Lance Corporal Albany Varney, 12th Light Horse Regiment, showing location of badges on his uniform RISING SUN BADGE, 'AUSTRALIA' UNIT TITLES Australia, unlike most other …

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  • The Imperial Camel Corps

    Thursday 31 July 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 3 comments

    In this WW1 themed sound reel four Australian men voice their experiences of the Imperial Camel Corps. After Australian troops withdrew from Gallipoli in December 1915, the Ottoman Empire persuaded the pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen to attack British-occupied Egypt. In January 1916, a Desert Mounted Corps was formed to deal with the revolt. The Imperial Camel Corps formed four battalions: the 1st Battalion was entirely Australian, the 2nd …

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  • eX de Medici: exploring camouflage through a Special Forces helmet

    Wednesday 30 July 2014 by Tamsin Hong.

    eX de Medicis "Australia, special forces (everywhere, current), Aust flag 2010", depicts a Special Forces cutaway helmet in its current colour scheme. ART94355 Currently on display are two watercolours by Canberra based artist eX de Medici depicting a helmet used by a member of the Australian Special Forces during his deployment to Afghanistan between 2008-2009. These works were two…

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  • Stitches in time: rehabilitation embroidery in the AWM collection

    Wednesday 30 July 2014 by Kerry Neale. 5 comments

     Private S A Chivas, 14 Machine Gun Company, AIF

    Many people tend to associate embroidery and needlework with women and the comfort of the homefront, but men are also known to pick up the needle and thread, especially it seems during times of war. Whether stitched as a way to pass the time in a prisoner of war camp, to record events, places and names, or as rehabilitation therapy in military hospitals, embroidered items have many interesting stories to share. To celebrate World Embroidery Day, …

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  • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) 1916 outdoor dress

    Tuesday 29 July 2014 by Ashleigh Wadman. 2 comments

    Studio portrait of Sister Lalah Mary Burke in the 1916 outdoor dress.

    This is one in a series of blogs that covers the basic aspects of Australian uniforms during the First World War. There is a great diversity between nursing uniforms of the First World War. This variety is due to the fact that nursing uniforms were not centrally manufactured or issued in this war. Instead, nurses were given a uniform allowance to equip themselves and were allowed to make their own uniforms if they chose. This, and tailoring …

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