By Eleanor Lourey (Simpson Prize winner):
As we ready ourselves to commemorate Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial, we can gain a small insight what it was like at the Gallipoli landing. Personal diaries held by the Memorial describe what it was like landing at Gallipoli on Sunday, 25 April 1915 under the heavy fire of Turkish machine guns. Although the photos accompanying this blog post do not relate directly to the diary entries, they are able to illustrate the stories in a different way.
The Simpson Prize is a competition for high school students from around Australia, with a winner from every state and territory getting the opportunity to travel to Turkey and attend the services on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli.
Among the items held at the Memorial that were issued to air crew serving in Europe, are two pairs of very interesting 1943 Pattern escape boots. The boots were designed so that an airman downed in Europe could remove a small concealed knife and cut off the top section of the boot to reveal a civilian looking shoe.
The sponson on the left hand side of the Mark IV tank was removed last year for inclusion in the Memorial’s exhibition, “1918, Advancing to Victory”.
The tank was relocated to the Memorial’s Large Technology Workshop in order to safely remove the sponson. This provided an excellent opportunity for Conservation to undertake a preservation treatment of the tank which would include a full repaint, back to it’s original colour scheme.
What do a concert pianist, an Indian bandmaster and an Australian militia bandmaster have in common? Each of these individuals composed a march that would eventually be adopted as the regimental march of an Australian Imperial Force infantry battalion during the First World War. Many were popular songs of the period.
When Leonard Walter Jackson of Neutral Bay joined the AIF on the 6th of August 1915, he must have been one of the youngest Australians ever to enlist in our military services. Using the assumed name Richard Walter Mayhew, and claiming to be an 18 year old orphan, young Leonard, who was born on 27th August 1901, was actually 13 years 11 months and 10 days old on the day he "signed up".