• 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 .

    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. The principal objective of this project is to replace the Commemorative Area’s decaying sculptural figures by re-carving them in matching sandstone. …

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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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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Monday 21 March 2016 by Stephanie Hume.

    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, through the digitisation of collections held by the Memorial. The collections are selected from our extensive archive and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses, and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This …

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  • The Famous Military Costume Comedy Company, The AUSSIES!

    Tuesday 15 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918.

    Concert parties were one of the ways soldiers were able to entertain themselves during the war. They were created on board troopships, within units, divisions, prisoner of war camps, training and convalescent camps. One example was the Perham Stars who later became known as The Aussies. The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918. P11238.001 The Perham Stars was established…

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM48 - High Commissioner's Office, London, registry files, 1914-18 War

    Friday 11 March 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM48 1640/14 War correspondents to accompany British forces

    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 1924, Mr T H E Heyes was appointed Australian Representative to the Historical Section (Military Branch) of the Committee of Imperial Defence. His major task was to examine Imperial war …

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  • The Adventurous Maud Butler

    Monday 7 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her first attempt to stow away to the war in December 1915.

    In 1915 Maud Butler was a young 18 year old with a bit of an adventurous streak, who wasn’t happy with the type of contribution society decided young ladies could and should make to the war effort. She came to notoriety in the press for her attempts to disguise herself as a soldier and stowaway to Egypt. Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her first …

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