• "I knew by the screams that someone had caught it"

    Monday 15 August 2016 by . 3 comments

    One hundred years ago, on 14 August 1916, brothers Robert (Bob) and Stephen (Steve) Allen, from A Company, 13th Battalion, AIF, picked their way down Tom’s Cut, a communications trench near Mouquet Farm. Part of a group of 10 men, they had been detailed to carry rations to their company near the front line. It was their second trip of the day.The Allens, from Sydney, were part of a close-knit family, united by hardship. Their mother, Hester, …

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  • Building Bean’s memorial museum

    Monday 15 August 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Art of Nation development

    Initial construction – front façade, as at 27 June 2016, Image: Ortelia “This is the most fun thing anyone has ever paid me to do!” has become something of a refrain for me in recent months. The Art of Nation will present an online, interactive interpretation of Charles Bean’s 1919 drawing of the Memorial building. Taking a fairly simple sketch and translating it into a navigable, 3D space has resulted in seemingly endless questions …

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  • The Art of Nation and the centenary of the official war art scheme

    Monday 15 August 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Chateau St Gratien

    The idea for the Art of Nation emerged from discussions about how to address the centenary of the start of the official war art scheme. Aside from the official portraits commissioned by the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, the Memorial holds the first significant art collection established by the federal government. It was the start of what is now the oldest, ongoing art commissioning program in Australia. The collection can be roughly divided …

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  • Enemy weapons captured at Long Tan

    Friday 12 August 2016 by .

    Figure 1 	Flying Officer John Tyrrell (left) and FO Alan Stephens (right) inspect captured Viet Cong weapons at the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat. The men are handling a Goryunov machine gun.  Behind them are some of the enemy small arms captured. In the background is a 60mm mortar, light machine guns on bipods and two 57mm recoilless rifles.

    On 18th August 1966 a force of up to 2000 Viet Cong advancing through a rain-swept rubber plantation encountered infantrymen from D Company 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. Standing their ground against impossible odds, the Australians prevailed, killing at least 245 enemy, but losing 18 of their comrades in action. Left behind on the chaotic battlefield the next morning was a considerable quantity of enemy equipment – personal …

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  • Simpson Prize Vietnam Day 1, 12 August 2016

    Friday 12 August 2016 by .

    22 Gia Long Street, 12 August 2016

    Simpson Prize BackgroundThe Simpson Prize, named after John Simpson Kirkpatrick, is a long-running national competition for year 9 and 10 students. The competition is funded by the Federal Government’s Department of Education and is run by the History Teachers’ Association of Australia. Each year students submit either an essay (of between 1,200 -1,500 words with appropriate citations) or a 10 minute audio visual presentation accompanied by a…

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  • The Pozieres Victoria Crosses

    Wednesday 10 August 2016 by Craig Blanch. 8 comments

    Twenty three thousand Australian casualties, over six and a half thousand dead. That was the cost to capture Pozieres and nearby Mouquet Farm over 7 bloody weeks in 1916. Now, one hundred years on, we can still wonder at the courage of people like British born John Leak, South Australian Arthur Blackburn, New Zealander Tom Cooke, Englishman Claud Castleton and Ireland’s Martin O’Meara. From across the British Empire they called Australia …

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  • Wounded and missing : Private William Benton

    Friday 5 August 2016 by Eleni Holloway. 6 comments

    Studio portrait of 3775 Private (Pte) William Benton, 9th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of South Richmond, Vic.

    Studio portrait of 3775 Private (Pte) William Benton, 9th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of South Richmond, Vic. DA13672 “I saw a man called Benton wounded on August 5th at Pozieres Ridge. A piece of shell cracked his helmet and wounded him in the head… He walked out with other wounded men. They would have about two miles to go to the Dressing Station. There was heavy …

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  • Relics from Romani

    Thursday 4 August 2016 by Kerry Neale. 1 comments

    A view of Romani. One of a series of images relating to the service of Lieutenant Fred Harold Tomlins, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment.

    A view of Romani. One of a series of images relating to the service of Lieutenant Fred Harold Tomlins, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment. P00153.019 The battle of Romani, fought between 3 and 5 August 1916, put a stop to the Turkish threat to the Suez Canal and marked the beginning of the British forces' drive out of Egypt and into Palestine. The British defences were located in …

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  • Recording the music of the First World War - do you know these musicians?

    Friday 22 July 2016 by Meagan Nihill. 4 comments

    As part of the commemorations of the centenary of the First World War, the Memorial is undertaking a project to record selections of sheet music held in the collection. These selections are representative of the music that was performed at concerts attended by soldiers during the First World War, referenced in diaries and letters, written by soldiers themselves or indicative of home front songs. These recordings will be attached as a sound file …

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  • The first guns captured by the Australians on the Western Front – July 1916

    Friday 22 July 2016 by . 4 comments

    Figure 1 An Australian soldier examining a destroyed Belgian howitzer at Pozieres. The howitzer is an ‘Obusier de 15 cm A. Mod. 1887 - 1890 FRC sur affût métallique de siège’.

    Jagged chunks of white-hot metal shrieking through the air, concussive blasts sending shockwaves through the earth, spumes of soil, filthy gore, and dust spreading over the landscape, and the acrid chemical residue of spent explosives. Pockmarked wastelands stripped of vegetation and horribly disfiguring injuries dealt out without discrimination to all classes, ranks and creeds. These were (and still are) horrors that come hand-in-glove with …

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