• Close Shaves

    Thursday 3 March 2011 by Andrew Currey.

    “I had a very close shave...” (Pte C H Lester, 1 October 1917) As many soldiers will testify, war can be as much about luck as it is about training and equipment. Luck can take many forms, such as being in the right place at the right time, and the closely related not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The men listed below are a few examples of these places and the sometimes very short distance between them. Lt William Henry Guard …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Illness, Moans and Mutiny

    Monday 28 February 2011 by .

    For information on the locations mentioned in this blog entry, see the Eastern Mediterranean map in chapter 1, page 5 of the Second War official histories: /cms_images/histories/19/chapters/01.pdf Bryant’s Diary: Friday 28th February 1941 We travelled all last night and arrived at East Kantara this morning where we had breakfast.  We crossed the Suez Canal and boarded a train.  We travelled all day for Mersa Matruh.  At a railway station …

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  • Lockheed Hudson - More Holes

    Friday 25 February 2011 by Jamie Croker.

    A second large hole has been cut into the fuselage this week, this being for the lower tunnel gun position.  A large amount of modification to the airframe had been carried out to support flooring, and various large camera mounts thorughout it's time as a geo survey platform.  All these modifications were removed to clear the area, and open up the space ogininally occupied by the tunnel gun.  Post war modifications to tunnel …

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  • World War One treasure trove found

    Friday 25 February 2011 by Peter Burness. 29 comments

    Vignacourt is an old rural village in France, larger than most, 12 kilometres north of the city of Amiens. During the First World War it stood behind the front-line of the Somme fighting, although the action was never far away and soldiers were always present.  For much of the time it was a forward rest area where troops arrived to recover from recent battle and prepare for the next. Men were billeted in the houses, lofts, stables and barns, and…

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  • Governor-General officially opens the Memorial's Hall of Valour

    Thursday 24 February 2011 by LEUT Debra Holland.

    Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, with Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG, in the Hall of Valour, 21 February 2011. Before a gathering that included living Victoria Cross holders Keith Payne VC OAM, Corporal Mark Donaldson VC, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia officially opened the Hall of Valour on Monday…

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  • Tobruk Diaries: They're off: Moving on

    Monday 21 February 2011 by .

    Bryant's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941 Retired back to Wadi Chariar and took up positions in old Turkish trenches.   Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 21st February 1941 Pino Defunctis [For the Dead].  Slept in to 7:15.  Used private fruit knife at breakfast.  Found Byrne Nolee a Catholic.  Photos turned out...O.K.  Sent parcel to Elsa.  Letters to her and Jas Carragher.  Tom Steele back from Nile Boat.  John and Len on getting “stinkin” …

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  • For Valentine’s Day - The airman who married the general’s daughter

    Monday 14 February 2011 by . 4 comments

    Recently, I have been working on the papers of Field Marshal the Lord Birdwood, the First World War British General who commanded the Australian Corps for much of the First World War (including at Gallipoli). Amongst the papers, donated by the Birdwood family in the 1960s, I have found a story I think is suitable for a Valentine’s Day blog entry. My research is continuing but it was the romantic notion of ‘The airman who married the …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Preparing to move - Reprimands, Promotions and Confessions

    Monday 14 February 2011 by .

    Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 14th February 1941 Pro pace [For peace].  Only Horan and Carroll at Mass.  Lecture on Arabic – too hard for me.  Tim and Owen here for lunch.  Visited McCormack and Ronald.  Hours too long at evening meets.  Arthur Amies the only one working.  Horan filling his torch.   Bryant's Diary: Saturday 15th February 1941 Finished the instruction at the 2/15th Bn.   Cosgriff's Diary: Saturday 15th February 1941 Pino …

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  • Japanese Ha-Go tank conservation - Part two

    Thursday 10 February 2011 by John Kemister. 2 comments

    Three months into this phase of the project has seen significant progress on both the external and internal conservation of the tank. Externally, all original armour plate components have been repaired. Replica plating has been fitted to replace inaccurate or missing components, with some plates requiring considerable modification to fit this individual tank, and to correct minor errors in externally supplied fabrications.  All the original …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Doing our jobs...

    Monday 7 February 2011 by .

    Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 7th February 1941 Fallen soldiers.  Letters from Aileen, Elsa, home (2), Dr Pascal. Tom missed out on mail – sent cable.  Pay day 13 pounds short.  Alex this arvo with Len.  Bath in Errington’s bath-room.  Met Sam Johnston at Windsor Hotel.  Found whereabouts of Owen Steele.  Coffee with Campbell and Honils.  Home at 12:30.    Bryant's Diary: Saturday 8th February 1941 Appointed a Bren instructor for a …

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