• Fromelles's missing

    Friday 18 July 2008 by Peter Burness. 7 comments

    The tragedy of the missing at Fromelles resonates once more 90 years after the battle. In June 2008 a further search for bodies began. It was initiated by a Melbourne school-teacher, Lambis Englezos. He was one in a group who became increasingly convinced that there were Australian and British bodies that had been buried by the Germans in mass graves who had not been recovered and re-interred after the war. Such claims needed to be backed up by …

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  • The worst night in Australian military history: Fromelles

    Friday 18 July 2008 by Peter Burness. 2 comments

    From March 1916 Australian divisions began arriving in France. Initially the troops found a pleasant land and a welcome change from sea voyages, the cliffs of Gallipoli, and the training camps of Egypt. There were four divisions, each about 20,000 men, and they were sent to French Flanders close to the Belgian border. Now, for the first time, the AIF was at the main theatre of the war. Informal outdoors group portrait of soldiers …

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  • Australia's First World War fallen: The stories behind the faces

    Tuesday 15 July 2008 by Aaron Pegram. 4 comments

    Over the past few months the Memorial has been increasing its efforts to acquire photographs of men and women who died on active service whilst serving in the Australian military forces. 102,000 names appear on the Roll of Honour, and where possible, the Memorial has been trying to put faces to names by acquiring photographs of these men and women to link to their online Roll of Honour records. Over the past three months, the Memorial's …

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  • How to make a POW escape map

    Wednesday 9 July 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 7 comments

    Prisoners in German POW camps were very resourceful. My favourite items to have come out of POW camps in Europe are the maps they made for escape attempts. Early in the war men would draw their maps by hand, but this took a long time and at the end you would have only one copied map. If many prisoners were trying to escape it would take too long to make all the maps they required - especially for large escapes, like the famous "Great Escape" from…

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  • Recent acquisitions: DMI records

    Friday 6 June 2008 by Craig Berelle.

    Series AWM347 is a recently acquired collection of historical records of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). Accumulated from 1927 to 1984, these records afford a detailed and often fascinating look into the thinking that characterised Australian and Allied intelligence doctrine for over half a century. Monthly Intelligence Report for November 1950. AWM347, [172]. The collection consists of supplementary documents, …

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  • Can't see the tree for the wood...

    Tuesday 3 June 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 5 comments

    One of my favourite items at the Memorial is a tall steel and iron German camouflage tree from the First World War. During the First World War fake trees were one method used for disguising observation posts on the Western Front. This tree is from Oosttaverne Wood (also sometimes spelt Oostaverne Wood), near Messines in Belgium. We don't know when the tree was erected in the wood, but it could have been used by the Germans up until 7 June 1917,…

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  • Weddings, Bands and Anything!

    Tuesday 27 May 2008 by Pen Roberts. 4 comments

    The Memorial holds a small collection of paper napkin souvenirs from the era of the First World War. Printed on crepe paper from Japan, their fragility defies their survival for over 90 years. Here is a napkin printed for the wedding of Lieutenant Colonel Athelstan Markham Martyn DSO, RAE (Royal Australian Engineers) to Miss Stella Swifte at St Mary Abbot's Church in Kensington, London, on 21 October 1916. Lt Col Markham served at …

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  • Recent acquisitions - Official Records

    Tuesday 20 May 2008 by Craig Tibbitts. 2 comments

    With the Korean coastline in the background, Commander Warwick Seymour Bracegirdle relaxes on the bridge of HMAS Bataan during his inspection of Commonwealth Naval Units in Korean waters. This will be the first in a regular program of blog posts letting people know of recent acquisitions in the Research Centre's Official Records Collection. We hope to provide a few more updates over the next few weeks, before settling into a …

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  • Ypres, the Menin Gate and the Last Post

    Monday 19 May 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 1 comments

    And the last post for the Battlefield Tour Blog 2008! Ypres Passchendaele Three major battles of the First World War were fought around the medieval town of Ypres. The first battle was a three week attack on British positions on the 18 October 1914. Here the British and French forces halted the German advance a few kilometres before the town. The town became a salient and the Germans continued to shell the town. The cloth hall at Ypres, one of …

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  • N’oublions jamais l’Australie - Never Forget Australia

    Friday 16 May 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 5 comments

    Villers-Bretonneux and Bullecourt are two towns on the Western Front that continue to have an ongoing connection with Australia. Due to the warmth and hospitality of the locals in receiving us, the battlefield tour will also not easily forget these towns. The tiny town of Bullecourt includes a pub called Le Canberra and one of the finest private museums in Northern France. The Bullecourt Musée contains a jumble of rare and interesting collection…

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