Nearly a century has passed since the First World War began. It has been almost seventy five years since the Second World War and over fifty years since the arrival of Australian troops in Vietnam. It is little wonder that it can be challenging for students today to understand the contribution Australians have made in wartime.
What is it?
Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments.
We will post the answer and the full story next week!
This is #9 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it.
In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at the auction of the Dr Hans Sachs collection in New York. As part of my research into the collector Dr Hans Sachs (1882-1974) I discovered that, his passion for the graphic arts led to a German U-boat becoming an unlikely exhibition venue for posters at the height of the First World War.
Last Thursday the Photograph Section was given the opportunity to host two recently returned veterans of the war in Afghanistan, as part of an ongoing Soldiers in Residence program. The program is designed to familiarize soldiers with the work of the Memorial, at the same time exposing Memorial staff to aspects of ADF culture and practices that might enhance staff’s understanding of the modern Defence members’ experiences in war and other operations.
Lack of sleep and the enormity of the day yesterday has prevented the blog going up earlier. It is always a unique experience when taking a bunch of teenagers to an event like this. Each year they critically examine their experience and all bring their own perspective. Commemoration is powerful but it also resonates in different ways for people. I am always fascinated to see how our Simpson Prize winners react, and even more so the ensuing debates on the long bus ride to Istanbul.
Today is a day where we try to experience the peninsula as much as we can the way the soldiers did. Cruising the waters off the Anzac area of operations gives the students a perspective of where the major actions of the campaign happened and maybe a sense of what the men saw as they rowed ashore. Walking the front line, a little surprise for the students that will give them a taste of how these men lived, and then on to a walk through the New Zealand area down to the beach. Always a long day but I have found it a rewarding one.
On the eve of landing at Gallipoli, 99 years ago, Sergeant Apcar De Vine of the 4th battalion took pen to paper to write of his preparations for the landing. Under orders to sail at 12am he records a meal of tea, bully beef and eggs. He describes packing iron rations for three days. “Two tins of Bully Beef, tea, sugar, biscuits, 2 cubes of Bovril, also rations for the first day of landing, bully-beef and biscuits, we had to rearrange our packs to get all the food in, also an extra ration of water ... in an empty lemonade bottle”. He also packed a billy to boil water for tea.
After a long day looking at the campaign, today was an opportunity for us to look further into Ottoman history and look beyond the Australian perspective. It is important to remember that the Gallipoli campaign was not an Australian campaign and that the ANZAC commitment was just one part of a broader allied force. The British and French commitment particularly was far greater in number than that of the Australians and New Zealanders. I always hope with this part of the itinerary that the students can walk away with greater perspective and a desire to look more deeply.
Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer:
It is a wooden sign, which reads “English burying place”, made from a section of packing case.