• Who was the Accordion Man?

    Friday 24 September 2010 by LEUT Debra Holland.

    An unidentified Australian ex prisoner of war playing his accordion at "Bicycle" Camp We are seeking your help to identify a former Australian prisoner of war who will appear in the next edition of our quarterly journal Wartime. Dubbed ‘The Accordion Man’ by Memorial historians, the Digger is pictured smiling to the camera and holding a small battered accordion. The photograph was taken 65 years ago on 24 September 1945. …

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  • RAAF Biographical Files from the Second World War

    Friday 17 September 2010 by Jessie Webb. 5 comments

    At the outbreak of the Second World War, there were some 450 Australians serving with the Royal Air Force (RAF) on short-term commissions. Once the Empire Air Training Scheme got underway, thousands more Australians arrived in Britain. Many of them were posted to Royal Air Force squadrons, even though they were members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). As these Australians were serving with the RAF, many of the important records …

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  • New National Service memorial fountain dedicated

    Sunday 12 September 2010 by LEUT Debra Holland. 5 comments

    The National Service Memorial Thousands of former National Servicemen and their families came together in Canberra last week to take part in the official dedication by the Governor- General on 8 September of their new memorial fountain located in the Eastern Precinct of  the  Australian War Memorial. Beneath sunny skies old mates gathered together to laugh and shed a few tears, swap yarns and remember absent friends in what …

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  • New Second World War galleries open

    Monday 6 September 2010 by . 2 comments

    The Second World War galleries recently opened to the public after a re-development that puts never-before-seen objects alongside some remodeled existing exhibits. The Dingo Scout car. The new items include a rare Australian armoured vehicle, the Dingo scout car; a captured German Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun still in its original desert camouflage; and a unique Chevrolet lorry and Breda anti-aircraft gun combination used by …

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  • Undercover POW

    Friday 3 September 2010 by Daniel McGlinchey. 3 comments

    As a curator cataloguing objects in the Memorial’s collections, I have had the chance to discover and research many interesting war time stories and experiences of Australian service personnel. One such interesting story that I found was of Sergeant Rolstyn Nicholas Tonkin. As a prisoner of the Germans during the Second World War, Tonkin risked severe punishment to provide intelligence for the Allied war effort. 1940. GROUP …

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  • Curator's favourites

    Wednesday 1 September 2010 by . 1 comments

    One of the questions asked today on Ask a Curator day on Twitter was: Q: Interested to know if the curators have a favourite piece, or does it change with each new exhibition? Our curators came up with a lot of different answers: Jessie:  I love Middleton VC’s service dress uniform for the personal connection. He was a family friend prior to the war and trained in my hometown. (You can read more about R. H  Middleton over here.) Another …

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  • Is there an overall index to colonial defence personnel pre 1900?

    Wednesday 1 September 2010 by . 4 comments

    Today, 1 September, is Ask a Curator day on Twitter.  One of the first questions we had was this one: Q: Is there an overall index to colonial defence personnel pre 1900 either for each state or together? The answer is, not really, but there are some starting places.  Because there is too much information to put on Twitter, we have written a blog post to list these sources.  There are a some books: Donohoe, James Hugh, 1941-;    The British…

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  • English sculptor Gladys Blaiberg (1882-1969)

    Monday 30 August 2010 by Cherie Prosser.

      English sculptor Gladys Blaiberg (1882-1969) created paper sculptures of Australian troops in London during the First World War. In 1917, Blaiberg volunteered to work in the Australian Forces canteen in London where her interest in the Australian presence became a source of inspiration for her paper figures. Largely caricaturing the Australian troops, she became fascinated with their spirited sense of humour and irreverence for authority. In …

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  • The War on Malaria

    Friday 27 August 2010 by Cherie Prosser. 1 comments

    There were grave fears for the strength of Australians fighting in the malaria prone regions of the Pacific during the Second World War. By June 1943, it was estimated 25,000 Australians in Papua and New Guinea had contracted malaria. Supplies of quinine, used to treat malaria since the First World War, and the synthetic drug atebrin were inadequate to meet demand. The Land Headquarters Medical Research Unit was quickly established in Cairns, …

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  • Diary of HV Reynolds - Epilogue

    Thursday 12 August 2010 by Janice Farrer. 32 comments

    Anzac leave Rosette : Private H V Reynolds 1 Field Ambulance, AIF REL41499 Herbert spent the next 10 days in very poor condition.  He was unable to eat or drink let alone write. He was evacuated off the peninsula and spent time at Lemnos Field Hospital before being invalided back to England. Though he returned to his unit in Egypt and continued on to serve on the Western Front until the end of the war he never fully recovered …

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