• First Aboriginal commissioned officer – Reginald Saunders

    Friday 13 February 2009 by Garth O'Connell. 4 comments

    Many thousands of Australian Aboriginals have enlisted and served in Australia’s defence forces since 1901, and several have won decorations, but the first to be promoted to a commissioned rank was Reg Saunders of Victoria. Reginald Walter Saunders was born a member of the Gunditjmara people, just outside Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve in the western district of Victoria on 7 August 1920. His …

    Read on

  • Lockheed Hudson A16-105 and Ray Kelly

    Friday 13 February 2009 by Chris Goddard.

    Early in 2001, the Australian War Memorial acquired a Second World War Lockheed Hudson (A16-105). Since then, curatorial staff have been trying to contact crew members they had identified as having been associated with this aircraft during its war service. In November 2001, they discovered that Canberra resident Flying Officer Ray Kelly, who trained with No. 1 Operational Training Unit (OTU) …

    Read on

  • Happy Valentine's Day from ‘The Love Controller'!

    Thursday 12 February 2009 by Alexandra Orr. 4 comments

    As with other special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, having to spend Valentine's Day apart from loved ones would have been sad and distressing for many serving men and women, and for those at home eagerly awaiting the safe return of their sweethearts and friends. Fortunately, there is little that can stand in the way of love and many people overcame distance and time to send messages of love and admiration, not only for Valentine's …

    Read on

  • The Victoria Cross

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 20 comments

    Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in time of war The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria's Royal warrant in 1856, and the first examples were presented by her in June 1857.  These first 62 awards were retrospective, for gallant actions by sailors and soldiers during the Crimean War of 1854-56.  Throughout its life, the Cross has been manufactured by Hancocks and Co, Jewellers of London.  Famously, they …

    Read on

  • Trooper Mark Donaldson loans his Victoria Cross to the Australian War Memorial

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 6 comments

    Trooper Donaldson VC with the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Major General Steve Gower In a ceremony this morning, Trooper Mark Donaldson VC loaned his newly awarded medal to the Australian War Memorial for public display.  Trooper Donaldson, who on Friday became the first Australian serviceman in almost 40 years to be awarded the famous medal, is also the first to receive it under the title of 'The Victoria Cross for …

    Read on

  • Australian Engineers in the First World War

    Wednesday 21 January 2009 by Alessandro Antonello. 21 comments

    The First World War unit war diaries (AWM4) of the Australian Engineers have been digitised and are now available on the Australian War Memorial’s website. The diaries provide a wonderful testimony to the ingenuity and initiative of Australian engineers during the War, and the daily difficulty of building and maintaining structures and machines to ensure the success of the war effort. Engineers, also known as sappers, were essential to the …

    Read on

  • Research Centre display: Sailor art and the Second World War

    Friday 16 January 2009 by Craig Berelle. 1 comments

      A new display of art by sailors of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is now on show in the Memorial's Research Centre. These pieces were prepared for inclusion in the RAN Christmas Annual, H.M.A.S. Mk IV, and in most cases, never used. H.M.A.S. Mk IV  was one of a series of Christmas books published for the RAN by the Australian War Memorial between 1942 and 1957. The purpose of these books was to help honour those who …

    Read on

  • Nancy Bird Walton, Aviation Pioneer and Wartime Volunteer Leader

    Thursday 15 January 2009 by Alessandro Antonello. 2 comments

    Nancy Bird Walton, a pioneer of Australian aviation died on Tuesday 13 January, aged 93.  In addition to her life’s work promoting the place of women in civil aviation, she was a major force in leading the women’s volunteer effort on the home front during the Second World War.  Walton was New South Wales and Australian Commandant of the Women’s Air Training Corps (WATC), a volunteer organisation that preceded the formation of the …

    Read on

  • "There is a sunny land far, far away ..."

    Tuesday 13 January 2009 by Pen Roberts. 4 comments

    When Kevin Wakefield found himself in an icy Canadian landscape, many miles from sunny Australia, he wrote a poem to express his feelings of homesickness. Sixty years later, one of the original hand-written copies of ‘My Home Land Far Away' has now been donated to the Memorial.   Poem written by Kevin Wakefield while on the Empire Training Scheme in Canada. He was there from October 1943 to February 1944. (Souvenirs: Poetry: …

    Read on

  • Mrs Rattigan and the Anzac Buffet London

    Tuesday 30 December 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 7 comments

    Recently I have been researching collection items relating to an interesting woman who helped feed and entertain soldiers on leave in London during the First World War. Her name was Minnie Augusta Rattigan.   Mrs Rattigan wearing the patriotic fancy dress outfit made by three double amputees. P01441.001 Mrs Rattigan was born Minnie Augusta McFarland at Barooga Station near Tocumwal, NSW on 23 July 1870. She travelled to England …

    Read on

Pages