• Thoughts from our two days in Istanbul

    Thursday 23 April 2009 by Andrew Gray.

    Simpson students and teachers in front of the Blue Mosque Heading down to Gallipoli we had a chance to reflect on our introduction to Turkey from our two days in Istanbul.  The hotel in Taxim Square was a great location - busy, chaotic and full of life.  It's a very cosmopolitan part of the city with thousands of people moving through the square and down Istiklal Street. In this area are plenty of familiar brand-name shops you …

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  • The Simpson Prize trip 2009

    Tuesday 21 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 7 comments

    The Simpson Prize is a competition for high school students from around Australia, with a winner from every state and territory getting the opportunity to travel to Turkey and attend the services on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli. The students this year are Varun Sundar (ACT), Lauren Tang (NSW), Madeleine Foote (TAS), Johanna Stott-Williams (SA), Megan Proutt (QLD), Nicholas Dyer (WA), Eleanor Lourey (VIC) and Erin Moriarty (NT).  The accompanying …

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  • These boots are made for walking...

    Tuesday 14 April 2009 by Dianne Rutherford. 9 comments

    Among the items held at the Memorial that were issued to air crew serving in Europe, are two pairs of very interesting 1943 Patternescape boots. Theboots weredesigned so that an airman downed in Europe could remove a small concealed knifeand cut off the top section of the boot to reveal a civilian looking shoe. The 1943 Pattern escape boot was designed in response to reports received from returned airmen who had baled out over occupied Europe …

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  • Conservation of the Mark IV tank

    Wednesday 1 April 2009 by Laura Kennedy. 3 comments

    The sponson on the left hand side of the Mark IV tank was removed last year for inclusion in the Memorial’s exhibition, “1918, Advancing to Victory”. The tank was relocated to the Memorial’s Large Technology Workshop in order to safely remove the sponson.  This provided an excellent opportunity for Conservation to undertake a preservation treatment of the tank which would include a full repaint, back to it’s original colour scheme. One…

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  • Infantry Battalion Regimental Marches

    Thursday 19 March 2009 by . 7 comments

    What do a concert pianist, an Indian bandmaster and an Australian militia bandmaster have in common? Each of these individuals composed a march that would eventually be adopted as the regimental march of an Australian Imperial Force infantry battalion during the First World War. Many were popular songs of the period. The 23rd Battalion March was composed during the First World War by Miss Una Bourne at the request of Mrs Doris Carter. Una Bourne …

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  • WWI - For this Sydney family it was "on for young and old".

    Wednesday 18 March 2009 by Sue Jamesion. 23 comments

    When Leonard Walter Jackson of Neutral Bay joined the AIF on the 6th of August 1915, he must have been one of the youngest Australians ever to enlist in our military services. Using the assumed name Richard Walter Mayhew, and claiming to be an 18 year old orphan, young Leonard, who was born on 27th August 1901, was actually 13 years 11 months and 10 days old on the day he "signed up". Len's older brother, Harry Melville Jackson, had enlisted in …

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  • Red Cross Records from the First World War

    Monday 16 March 2009 by Craig Tibbitts. 1 comments

    In the last few days has come news of an important discovery for First World War historians (especially family historians), in the archives of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.  British historian Peter Barton, commissioned by the Australian government to conduct further research into a mass grave at Fromelles in France, made the find.  The records consist of ‘card indexes and registers compiled between 1914 and 1918; …

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  • The Coronation Contingent of 1953

    Wednesday 11 March 2009 by Annette Gaykema. 7 comments

      Cover of "Coronation Cruise of HMAS Sydney" (RC07761)   After the death of King George VI in February 1952, planning for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth began. Tradition demanded a procession of all the Queen’s troops be present and so plans were put in place to form an Australian contingent. There were 250 official representatives from the armed forces sent to the festivities. These official delegates, along with their …

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  • The Indefatigable Florence MacDowell

    Thursday 5 March 2009 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

      Florence MacDowell in 1912 (from Private Records collection 2DRL/1138) Florence MacDowell was born in the mid 1870s, the daughter of Swanston Hay MacDowell and Kathleen Champ. She trained as a nurse at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Victoria and the Queens Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. She opened her own hospital called ‘Windarra' at Toorak in Victoria, but later moved abroad, living mostly in Italy. She was …

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  • More wings for the Raj: RAAF in India during Second World War

    Friday 27 February 2009 by Tim Roberts. 6 comments

    Although outside main combat areas during the Second World War, India became an important region for the RAAF, and for many RAAF personnel attached to RAF units. In some RAF squadrons, ten percent of the crews were Australians, many of them transferred from training or bomber units based in England. Most RAAF and RAF activity happened in the northern half of India. The Eastern division of Bomber Command used various bases in Bengal (now …

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