• Discovering tradition in post-war Japan

    Wednesday 6 October 2010 by Pen Roberts. 6 comments

    It all began with a small flower arrangement in a Tokyo shop window. Norman Sparnon was working for ATIS (Allied Translator and Interpreter Section), part of the US Department of the Army. This was post-war Japan, and Sparnon was witness to the extraordinary transformation of a traditional society being channelled swiftly into a modern democracy. It was 1949, and Sparnon and Mary, his American wife of one year, had just moved to the suburb of …

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  • The Dinkum Oil

    Thursday 30 September 2010 by . 1 comments

    This afternoon I will be talking about an interesting collection, held in the Memorial's Research Centre, on Canberra's 666 ABC Drive program. (Update: listen to it here) While serving overseas Australian servicemen and women have often produced publications for their own entertainment and the Memorial collects these in the Troopship and Unit Serials collection. The collection is diverse including publications from the Boer War up to the …

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  • Celebrating Spring and new life at the Memorial

    Wednesday 29 September 2010 by LEUT Debra Holland.

    Learning to swim Spring  and new life  came to the Memorial on Tuesday 21 September when our resident mother duck introduced her latest hatching of 11 ducklings to the world. Much to the delight of staff and visitors, the baby ducklings took to the Pool of Reflection in our Commemorative Area to learn to swim, under the close eye of  their mother of course.     By Thursday morning 23 September the ducklings had found …

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  • Lockheed Hudson Mark IV Bomber Conservation begins.

    Tuesday 28 September 2010 by Jamie Croker.

    The conservation of the Lockheed Hudson Bomber A16-105 has begun in the War Memorial's Treloar workshops, the main aim of the work being the refitting of the upper and lower gun positions, as well as internal fitout of equipment and furnishings and application of a paint scheme more representative of that worn by the aircraft during Second World War service.  Hudson A16-105 REL28674 on display in Anzac Hall in 2003…

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  • 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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  • 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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