• Forgotten star

    Friday 22 January 2016 by Stephanie Hume. 6 comments

    Robert Chisholm was born William Leslie Chisholm on 18 April 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria. He was one of six children, born to Annie (née Absalom) and Robert Chisholm. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 23 November 1915, joining the Australian Army Service Corps as a driver. He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Persic on 22 December 1916. Upon arrival in France he was attached to the 2nd Australian Divisional Supply Column …

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  • Our Furry Recruits : Cats of War

    Thursday 21 January 2016 by Stephanie Boyle. 2 comments


    Image : The ship's cat off duty, aboard armed merchant ship HMAS Kanimbla, circa 1941 AWM .300848 When people went to war, cats went too. Its a little known fact that cats and even kittens accompanied men and women into the fields of battle, both at sea and on land. "War cats" had two important roles: “official mascot” for the regiment, squadron or ship; and “rat catcher”, a less glamorous, though no less essential duty. But …

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  • A ‘fine body of men’: the Kurrajongs recruitment march, January 1916

    Thursday 21 January 2016 by Kerry Neale. 3 comments

    Kurrajong banner - http://harrowercollection.com

    Recruitment Marches The outbreak of the First World War brought an immediate rush of volunteers wanting to serve their country. In 1915, in the central west of New South Wales, a movement began which became known as the 'Gilgandra snowball'. Under the leadership of 'Captain Bill' Hitchen, 20 or so men who had decided to enlist started off to march to Sydney. Gathering other recruits along the way, they numbered about 300 by the time they reached…

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  • Caterpillars, goldfish and guinea pigs: badges of the (un)lucky clubs of the Second World War

    Monday 18 January 2016 by Kerry Neale. 6 comments

    Late Arrivals Club embroidered patch

    Whether walking back to safety from behind enemy lines, parachuting out of a disabled aircraft, crashing into water and being saved by a life raft, or enduring horrible burns from a plane crash, the stories of near misses experienced by aircrew during the Second World War are remarkable. As a symbol of the camaraderie between the men who had experienced these near misses, numerous clubs were formed, each with a distinct badge or patch to …

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  • Uniforms of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force

    Wednesday 13 January 2016 by Craig Blanch.

    Cadets in Universal Training Pattern uniform circa 1913.

    At the outbreak of the First World War Australia immediately pledged a contingent of 20,000 men in support of England. Within days Britain forwarded a request for an additional force to capture and occupy German possessions in the Pacific, particularly the wireless stations instrumental in communications used bythe powerful German naval squadron based in the area. Nine days later, on 19 August 1914,a hurriedly equipped force of 1500 infantry, …

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM22 - Australian Imperial Force Headquarters (Egypt), Central registry files, 1914-18 War

    Saturday 9 January 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM22 134/1/2000

    Highlight on the official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, whythey exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes. Function and provenance The establishment of an Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Intermediate Base in Cairo, Egypt was recommended in December 1914, and took effect from 15 January 1915 with Col V C M Sellheim as …

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  • Royal Australian Navy records of the First Gulf War

    Monday 4 January 2016 by Stuart Bennington. 1 comments

    Back in 1990 as I was flying back to Australia after a month in England I noticed the flight path took the plane over the Middle East. I didn’t think much of it at the time, as the Earth usually does from 20,000 feet, the area looked serene. Little did I know that in less than two weeks this serenity would be broken on 2 August 1990 when Saddam Hussein’s armies rolled into Kuwait and started what was to become the First Gulf War 1990-1991. …

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  • The German Officer's Corset

    Monday 4 January 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French troops in Belgium, 1916.

    This corset was worn by an unknown German officer on the Western Front during the First World War. It was removed from him by French troops when he was taken prisoner at Dickiebusch, Belgium in 1916 and collected by Captain Louis de Tournouër, an officer in the 9th Regiment de Chasseurs who served in Marshal Petain's Staff in 1915-1916. Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French troops in …

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  • Capturing the Albatros

    Wednesday 23 December 2015 by Amanda Rebbeck. 3 comments

    Albatros D.Va D5390/17 on display in the Australian War Memorials Over the Front exhibition

    The remarkable events that resulted in the first enemy aircraft to be brought down intact by the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) were marred by the news that two of their own had disappeared in the aftermath of the fierce and fiery battle. Albatros D.Va D5390/17 on display in the Australian War Memorials Over the Front exhibition RELAWM04806 The story begins in the early afternoon of…

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  • Wartime Inspired Christmas Decorations

    Tuesday 22 December 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Since I started work in Military Heraldry Technology (MHT) I have enjoyed learning the techniques used to make some of the items in our collection to gain a better understanding of their constructionand the effort it took to make them. I have used what I learned to make some Christmas decorations in my spare time, inspired by items held in the Memorial’s collection. Christmas tree decorated with items inspired by the collection “Butterfly …

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