Monday 7 July 2014 by Garth O'Connell. 22 comments
Art, Collection, Exhibitions, Family history, Personal Stories Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women, Indigenous Australians at war, Prisoners of war
The end of armed conflict in the European theatre of the Second World War in May 1945 saw tens of thousands of western Allied Prisoners of War from all over the world be repatriated to the United Kingdom for their first steps in their eventual return to their families and friends.
In the Norman countryside raged a tank battle. The air was filled with noise, explosions, screeching tracks, collapsing buildings and the smell of cordite. Captain Leslie George Coleman had been in a building on the first floor directing radio traffic between the battalion and brigade HQs. Later moving from his position, a projectile hit the wall above Coleman and in the ensuing maelstrom he was wounded in his shoulder. He was at the tip of the Allied advance in Normandy with the 4th County of London Yeomanry (4CLY), the date 13 June 1944, the location, Villers-Bocage.
One battle of the South African War 1899-1902 typifies all the qualities that Australia has come to interpret as synonymous with the Anzac legend, but it occurred almost fifteen years before Australian soldiers ever landed at Gallipoli. This was the Siege of Elands River, a twelve day siege of a supply depot defended by soldiers from five of the six Australian colonies.
General John Monash is considered one of the war’s outstanding commanders. Monash was an avid collector, and his papers held at the Memorial give a comprehensive view of his wartime military career: from his command of the 4th Australian Brigade on Gallipoli to the Australian Corps in 1918, and then his role as Director General of Demobilisation and Repatriation of the AIF at war’s end.
What is it?
Examine this object and tell us what you think it is - or what it came from - in the comments section below.
We will post the answer and the full story next week!
This is #10 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it.
On June 10 the Memorial participated in a Twitter event as part of International Archives Day, organised by Ask Archivists and Follow an Archive. Archives, museums and libraries from all over the world searched their collections for archive material relating to the First World War and posted it on Twitter using the hashtag #ww1archives.
When we consider the many aircraft type which defended the skies above Australia and her territories, the P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk in American service) immediately springs to mind. Indeed, the Kittyhawk would arguably be one of the most important fighters in service with the RAAF during the Second World War. Though many veterans who served in the Northern Territory will recall with fondness, the sound of Merlin engines over the top end with the arrival of No.
For some readers, it may come as a surprise that war in Papua and New Guinea did not start with fighting on the Kokoda Trail in July of 1942. This is partly due to a plethora of books which cover this important land campaign; yet fail to fully integrate the air war into the story. An exception to that statement is Lex McAulay’s Blood & Iron which made a creditable attempt to inform the reader of what was occurring in the skies above the track.