That terrible track which is now known as the Kokoda Trail.
George Johnston, New Guinea diary, 1943
The digitisation of the whole series of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) war diaries from the First World War, (Official Records series AWM4), recently passed the 400,000 image mark. Included in the 400,000 images are all the available diaries for the Australian Flying Corps, (AFC) . Digitised versions of the diaries are being regularly uploaded to the Memorial’s website as they are completed.
Valour is a special human quality, usually demonstrated in the performance of extraordinary and unselfish deeds in the face of great peril. It is represented in a variety of words: bravery, boldness, courage, gallantry, and heroism. It can be observed in both peace and war. However, valour is particularly evident in wartime, where the risk to one's life in the service of others is more likely to be observed.
A donation came to my desk in the days following Anzac Day that caught my attention. It was a maroon and white identification badge that featured the image of a young girl, her name, an I.D. number and the words, 'C.S.I.R. Radiophysics Division'
Fortunately the depositor of the badge provided details of the original owner and I was soon speaking to Valerie Briggs who at 79 years of age still possessed all of the enthusiasm and intelligence that I saw in the eyes of the girl on the badge.
The Netherland's national archives, Nationaal Archief, has recently completed a research project: Afscheid van Indië (Separation from Indonesia), which includes the web publishing of over 175,000 pages of digitised records. The site tells the story of the separation of the Netherlands from its former colony of Indonesia during the 1940s.
As an assistant curator at the Australian War Memorial, I deal with many personal stories of Australians and other nations during war time. One story has really inspired me lately, that of Ludwig Marx.
The Simpson Prize students have now been back in Oz for just over two weeks - enough time to re-adjust and reflect on our experiences. Here are some thoughts from most of the gang. This is the final blog entry, so thanks to those who have followed the experiences and for any year 9 or 10 students interested in applying to this year's competition, you can see what sort of experience the winners have on their trip.