• How to make a "Butterfly" belt

    Tuesday 24 November 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Butterfly belt made in New Guinea late in the war.

    Butterfly belt made in New Guinea late in the war. REL/21579.002 One thing I like to try and do with items held in the Memorial's collection is to get an understanding of how they were made or how they were used. So thought I would investigate how Australian soldiers made the beautiful butterfly belts we hold in our collection. Made from pieces of butterfly wing, cigarette packet …

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  • Preliminary stage of the evacuation from Anzac Cove: narrative from battalion war diaries

    Monday 23 November 2015 by Theresa Cronk. 4 comments

    Map of Gallipoli

    Map of Gallipoli SC02009 Theevacuation ofGallipoli began on 22 November 1915, when a plan was adopted during a conference at General Headquarters, Mudros. This was after Lord Kitchener's visit to Gallipoli in early November, during which he told General Birdwood to start thinking about how to evacuate, and before the recommendation was approved by British Parliament. Charles Bean, …

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  • Claustrophobia in the Desert

    Tuesday 17 November 2015 by Melissa Cadden.

    View from Patrol Base (PB) Wali.

    As one of our Soldier in Resident program participants, James Fowler, a veteran of Afghanistan who is now based in Townsville, spent some time with The Memorial’s collection of Afghanistan photographs. The following images resonated with James when recalling his own time in Afghanistan. In James’ words, a peaceful patrol through the “stark beauty” of a wide Afghan dasht (or desert plain) can turn “in an instant” to “claustrophobia …

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  • A godsent Christmas box for the world

    Tuesday 10 November 2015 by . 1 comments

    Compiègne, France.  A postcard of  French and English representatives beside a train carriage after the German representatives signed the Armistice documents which signalled the end of the First ...

    It was at 11 o'clock on the morning of Monday 11th November 1918 thatthat day finally came. Soldiers, from both sides, had hung onby clinging to the promise of that day. It meant the chance to embrace their families and friends once more after years apart. It meant the chance to be clean and dry, rather than knee deep in mud and infested with lice. It meant the chance to return to a place where the air was filled with things other than bullets …

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  • Sabotage!

    Thursday 5 November 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    An army marches on its stomach, or so the saying goes. Certainly the supply of food, equipment and weapons was such an important aspect of the First World War that it was targeted by both sides. German ports were blockaded throughout much of the war, leading to a decline in quality and quantity of German clothing, equipment and food as the war progressed. The Germans disrupted the supply of items to Britain through sinking ships bound for their …

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  • The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    Walter Wally Brown

    This is a revised blog first published in 2009 as “The butcher and the grocer: A Western Front story”. The revision covers Wally Brown VC’s pre-war employment and, additionally, his eventual fate. I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material. The Western Front was epitomised by the brute force of men against machine and each other. Tens of thousands were lost in the maelstrom of war. Inthe…

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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Monday 2 November 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as …

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  • A fashionable end to Frocktober

    Friday 30 October 2015 by Eleni Holloway. 1 comments

    With the month of Frocktober* coming to an end tomorrow, the opportunity to survey the Memorial’s collection of “frocks” has presented itself. What follows is a pictorial overview of just some of our favourite dresses in the collection. REL/01748.001 This dress was made and embroidered by double amputees Private Joseph Allan Baillie, Private Malcolm Brown and Private Frederick Trice for Mrs …

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  • The German Aviator's Leg

    Monday 26 October 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 9 comments

    Luck can sometimes be a researcher’s most valuable asset. This is certainly the case for one item held by the Memorial that has fascinated many of the staff in my section – an artificial right leg worn by a German aviator during the First World War. RELAWM07698 The German pilots artificial leg The fact someone managed to continue on active service during the war after losing a limb is fascinating and fairly rare. There were only a small …

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  • A serendipitous journey through the archive

    Monday 26 October 2015 by Theresa Cronk. 4 comments

    Growing up, I was always told that my great-grandfather, Frank Cronk, had served in the First World War, along with his best friend, Tom, and that Tom had asked Frank to look after his sister should he not make it through the war. I was told also that this promise was honoured when Frank returned to Australia and later married Toms's sister. Sadly, Tom did not make it through the war and died on the battlefields of Belgium in 1917. Both men …

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