• First World War unit war diaries - digitising the final page

    Wednesday 6 January 2010 by Theresa Cronk. 20 comments

    There was movement in the Research Centre yesterday afternoon as news spread about a momentous event in the history of the AWM4 First World War unit war diaries digitisation project. For those who have been involved in this project, space was not an issue as we crammed into the digitisation room to witness the scanning of the final page at 2pm on 5 January 2010.   The final page to be scanned for the AWM4 digitisation project The…

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  • Christmas cards

    Wednesday 23 December 2009 by Kerrie Leech.

    At Christmas time most people take the opportunity to stop and think about family and friends and pass on their greetings and well wishes by means of the traditional Christmas card.  The Memorial holds an interesting collection of Christmas cards - different types, various shapes and sizes, and from all conflicts.  One of our earlier and more unusual Christmas cards can be seen below. Christmas card to Frederick Bottomley …

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  • Memorial's digitisation project shortlisted for cultural award

    Friday 18 December 2009 by Robyn van Dyk.

    The Australian War Memorial’s Bean diaries digitisation project was short listed for the Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards – 2009. The Award recognises outstanding contributions to the quality of Australian cultural life in 2009. The digitisation of these fragile bound diaries represented a significant achievement for the Memorial. Personal records are not always presented in a logical or chronological order. The challenge for the …

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  • Conservation Cleaning of a Wedding Dress

    Monday 14 December 2009 by Jessie Firth. 5 comments

    Emma Jones previously mentioned in 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress – a conservation challenge the preparation of Miss Platt-Hepworth’s wedding dress for the exhibition Of Love and War. The decision was made by the curator Rebecca Britt to keep the staining as evidence of use. While the staining is important to keep, the fabric was not as lustrous as it once was. The dress has a pattern of pretty daises made from cream silk woven with …

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  • "Dorothy" the Kitbag

    Friday 11 December 2009 by Bridie Kirkpatrick. 3 comments

    Isn’t it funny how things come about? While working on the textiles component for the exhibition Of Love and War a painted kitbag came to me for treatment. The lovely pin-up painted on the bag looked an awful lot like Dorothy Lamour, a beautiful actress known as the “Sarong Girl” in the 1940’s.  As the exhibition will be travelling I had to chuckle that Dorothy Lamour made a string of Bing Crosby/ Bob Hope “On the Road” films. The …

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  • Evacuation of Gallipoli

    Wednesday 9 December 2009 by Kerrie Leech.

    Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey. 17 December 1915. A view of Watson's Pier. During the last days of the evacuation, Anzac Beach, was utterly deserted, but fortunately Turkish airmen, flew too high to notice this.

    In mid December, 94 years ago, thepreparations to evacuate Gallipoli were well underway.Much has been written about the stealth with whichtheoperationwas undertaken. The Private Record collection at the Memorial has a number ofaccounts of the evacuation writtenby those who participated in it. The account below is from Sergeant Robert Clive Hunterwho was serving with 6th Light Horse Regiment at the time. He recounts his experience in a…

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  • Rock n’ Roll and the first Radio RAAF Butterworth, Malaysia

    Wednesday 9 December 2009 by Pen Roberts. 3 comments

    “’Rock Around the Clock’ took the place by storm,” recalls Doug Lewin. “People in Butterworth and Penang loved it.” This was 1956 and the global hit by “Bill Haley and the Comets” was broadcast through a small radio station set up by the men of RAAF No. 2 Construction Squadron at Butterworth in Malaysia. The squadron was there to construct an airfield strip in Butterworth for the British during the Malayan Emergency. They were …

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  • Wedding Dresses, Part 3

    Thursday 19 November 2009 by Sarah Clayton. 3 comments

    Once we determined that the remaining three wedding dresses, requested for the exhibtion Of Love and War, were able to be safely put on display, the textile conservators worked in collaboration with curators and exhibition staff to determine the dimensions of showcase and, the types and styles of mannequins. To get the most accurate dimensions the dresses were placed on temporary mannequins and the trains were arranged as they will fall on …

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  • A different day at work

    Friday 13 November 2009 by Rebecca Britt. 2 comments

    Preparations for the Memorial’s new travelling exhibition Of love and war are nearly complete. The showcases are being built, all the labels and captions are being printed and we’ve been in the recording studio as well. A large part of the Memorial’s collection relating to love during wartime comes from private records, particularly the letters that were exchanged between lovers separated by conflict. However, an exhibition is a very visual…

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  • 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress - a conservation challenge

    Thursday 12 November 2009 by Emma Jones. 7 comments

    Back in September, I was doing some work out at our Treloar Annex, which is where our conservators work.  I was videoing the construction process of the mannequins being made for the 3 wedding dresses  that are to be included in the “Of love and war” exhibition. During a break in filming I got talking to Jessie Firth, who was working on one of the wedding dresses .  She was applying fake perspiration to material to see what effect it would…

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