On 6 August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Australia agreed to a request by the British government to seize German wireless stations in the south-west Pacific, namely German New Guinea. Australia was also required to occupy the territory under the British flag and establish a military administration. For the first time, Britain called upon Australia to train, supply and command her own forces in defence of the empire. Consequently, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) was born.
The war that shaped Australia
“My Dear Mother … I entered this war with the knowledge that I had a rather small chance of coming out of it alive. I was under no false impression – I knew I had to kill – and perhaps be killed. Since I commenced flying I have spent probably the happiest time of my life … Above all, Mother dear, I have proved to my satisfaction that I was, at least, a man.”
Friday 5 September 2014 by Michael Kelly. No comments.
Applications are now open for the 2015 Australian War Memorial Summer Vacation Scholarship Scheme. They are awarded to history students who are undertaking postgraduate studies or are in the third or fourth year of an undergraduate course. The scholarships are also open to students enrolled in museum or public history courses. Applications should be received by 10 October 2014; the scholarships are tenable at the Memorial between 12 January and 20 February 2015.
What is it?
Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments section below.
We will post the answer and the full story next week!
This is #12 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it.
It is often asserted that it is somehow disrespectful, or otherwise inappropriate, to speak of someone “winning a VC”. This is not so. It is, in fact, perfectly permissible – and sometimes unavoidable – to say that someone has won a Victoria Cross or some other bravery award.
Among the first casulties of the First World War were Australians fighting in the British Army.
“…it is simply rotten here in the bad weather up to our knees in mud and water and no chance of getting dry …”
How would you measure up?
With the outbreak of war in August 1914, Australia began an official recruiting effort to raise an army to send overseas. However, the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), as it was named, would not take just anyone. It was intended to be a force of skilled, experienced soldiers, chosen from “the fittest, strongest, and most ardent in the land”.1
The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as provide full copies for research on the Memorial’s website.