• New galleries opening at the Australian War Memorial

    Wednesday 20 February 2008 by Bob Crawshaw. 22 comments

    On 27 February 2008, the Australian War Memorial’s new Conflicts 1945 to today galleries will open to the public. The galleries combine cutting-edge technology with large iconic objects to tell the stories of Australia’s involvement in conflicts over the past six decades. As well as Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations since 1945, the new galleries cover conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, and, more recently, in Iraq …

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  • No wedding glamour for Clarice

    Tuesday 19 February 2008 by Test User 31.

    Mention is sometimes made of personal events in the war diaries of the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF), currently being digitised by the Research Centre. Of all the activities of members of the First Light Horse Brigade at Gallipoli, one of the more unusual was the wedding of Sergeant Ernest Alfred Lawrence to his bride Clarice Jessie Daley on 21 October 1915 on the Greek island of Lemnos. Clarice and Ernest leaving the tent …

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  • Development of RAAF and Australian Civil Aviation

    Tuesday 19 February 2008 by Peter Burness. 1 comments

    Just a year after the end of the First World War, and only a decade after the short first powered flight in Australia, a twin-engine Vickers Vimy, with a crew of 4, flew from England to Australia.  This 1919 exploit exemplified the progress in world aviation. During the First World War there were men who had never before seen an aeroplane or driven a motor car, who had learned how to fly. Learning to fly at Point Cook, Melbourne, …

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  • Smokin' Aces

    Friday 15 February 2008 by Alexandra Orr.

    It seems one of the most expedient weapons deployed personnel can have these days is a deck of cards. Yes, you read correctly. A common form of ephemera coming into the Memorial from those involved in recent conflicts like Iraq, are playing cards, which have been produced by Australia and the United States to reach beyond mere entertainment value into the realm of Intelligence. Playing cards from Iraq. RC06171, RC05764, RC03703  …

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  • The 1919 Air Race

    Wednesday 13 February 2008 by Peter Burness. 9 comments

    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. There were plenty of war surplus aircraft available and six crews eventually took part. However only two crews finished. The winning team was the …

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  • Gosford Art Gallery and Lambert

    Monday 11 February 2008 by Janda Gooding.

    Edogawa Gardens, Gosford I was in Gosford over the weekend opening the George Lambert exhibition at the Regional Art Gallery. Adjacent to the Gallery are the Edogawa Commemorative Gardens, beautiful restful Japanese-style gardens with lotus ponds, pavilions and a dry stone garden. As I was sitting in the tea house looking across the pond, I was reminded how much the scene resembled a Hokusai Japanese woodcut print as the rain …

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  • Zif's sketchbook

    Monday 11 February 2008 by Yasmin Green.

    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". At the beginning of the book, …

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  • Lucky Charms

    Monday 11 February 2008 by Amanda Rebbeck. 17 comments

    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. 2AM Henry J Marston’s aluminium identity disc and three good …

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  • Sock it to 'em

    Thursday 7 February 2008 by Jennie Norberry. 2 comments

    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." Directions for Knitting two socks at once. Australian Comforts Fund Souvenir …

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  • The Dangers of Flying

    Wednesday 6 February 2008 by Amanda Rebbeck. 1 comments

    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…

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