In March 1919, four months after the war was over, the Australian government announced that it would give a £10,000 prize for the first successful flight from England to Australia. Despite the obvious dangers, this appealed to some airmen, not yet discharged, who were awaiting repatriation home.
Monday 11 February 2008 by Janda Gooding.
George Lambert: Gallipoli and Palestine Landscapes Exhibition, Exhibition Tour
A sketchbook of humorous pre-First World War caricatures has recently been acquired by the Australian War Memorial. Members of the Royal Australian Artillery (RAA), located at Queenscliff, Victoria, are depicted in this work dating from 1909-1910. Referred to as the "budget" of the regiment and located in what once appeared to be an accounting book, the works were created by an anonymous artist using the name "Zif".
It is not unusual for servicemen and women to carry with them good luck charms while on overseas service. However one particularly superstitious serviceman was Aircraft Mechanic 2nd Class Henry James Marston, of No. 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Marston wore a wrist chain with an identity tag and three lucky charms – a boomerang, a black cat and a doll.
It's one of those questions that doesn't get asked everyday, but when it is, the enquirer doesn't usually have to finish their question before we can help them. They usually start with
"I don't know if you can help me, I was in the World War 1 section and noticed a knitting pattern for..."
At this point I can jump in with:
"Knitting two socks at once."
The aircraft of the 1914-18 period were visibly frail and delicate and quite unlike the capable machines we know today. First World War aircraft were prone to structural or mechanical failures and could easily catch fire. Armament was limited to rifle-calibre machine guns and protection for the crew through armour and parachutes were only beginning to be used in the closing stages of the war. Aircrew operated with few aids to navigation, and were usually exposed to the elements while in flight.
In war there has always been the need to see the enemy behind the hill; reconnaissance became a role of cavalry. Eventually observation balloons played a part as well. By the First World War, it was apparent that aircraft, being able to get above and well behind the enemy’s lines, could do it so much better.
Escape maps, medals and military insignia from an infamous German prisoner of war camp are among the latest additions to the Australian War Memorial's collection.
I now have a better set of images of the exhibition taken by one of our professional photographers, Kerry Alchin. I had thought that I might just replace some of my terribly dark and grainy images, but after talking to our web team, we thought we might upload this new set as a slide show.
You can stop the slideshow (by double clicking an image) to view more information or you can look at the previous posts, or even post a question in a comment. Here we go, mind the step ...