• Research Centre display: Sailor art and the Second World War

    Friday 16 January 2009 by Craig Berelle. 1 comments

      A new display of art by sailors of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is now on show in the Memorial's Research Centre. These pieces were prepared for inclusion in the RAN Christmas Annual, H.M.A.S. Mk IV, and in most cases, never used. H.M.A.S. Mk IV  was one of a series of Christmas books published for the RAN by the Australian War Memorial between 1942 and 1957. The purpose of these books was to help honour those who …

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  • Nancy Bird Walton, Aviation Pioneer and Wartime Volunteer Leader

    Thursday 15 January 2009 by Alessandro Antonello. 2 comments

    Nancy Bird Walton, a pioneer of Australian aviation died on Tuesday 13 January, aged 93.  In addition to her life’s work promoting the place of women in civil aviation, she was a major force in leading the women’s volunteer effort on the home front during the Second World War.  Walton was New South Wales and Australian Commandant of the Women’s Air Training Corps (WATC), a volunteer organisation that preceded the formation of the …

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  • "There is a sunny land far, far away ..."

    Tuesday 13 January 2009 by Pen Roberts. 4 comments

    When Kevin Wakefield found himself in an icy Canadian landscape, many miles from sunny Australia, he wrote a poem to express his feelings of homesickness. Sixty years later, one of the original hand-written copies of ‘My Home Land Far Away' has now been donated to the Memorial.   Poem written by Kevin Wakefield while on the Empire Training Scheme in Canada. He was there from October 1943 to February 1944. (Souvenirs: Poetry: …

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  • Mrs Rattigan and the Anzac Buffet London

    Tuesday 30 December 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 7 comments

    Recently I have been researching collection items relating to an interesting woman who helped feed and entertain soldiers on leave in London during the First World War. Her name was Minnie Augusta Rattigan.   Mrs Rattigan wearing the patriotic fancy dress outfit made by three double amputees. P01441.001 Mrs Rattigan was born Minnie Augusta McFarland at Barooga Station near Tocumwal, NSW on 23 July 1870. She travelled to England …

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  • An Unexpected Guest joins Christmas Dinner

    Tuesday 23 December 2008 by Pen Roberts. 6 comments

    On Christmas Day 1918 the Air-Mechanics of No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corp, sat down to a Christmas dinner. Their quarters, located at the Bickendorf aerodrome, just outside Cologne, had been transformed with Xmas decorations. The Squadron was there as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Food for the meal had been sourced by members of the squadron from local supply depots and canteens. A German orchestra had been booked to play …

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  • Anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Parramatta

    Thursday 27 November 2008 by .

    HMAS Parramatta in camouflage c. 1941

    One of the lesser known tragedies of the Second World War is the sinking of the Grimsby class sloop HMAS Parramatta. At the time, Parramatta was serving in the Mediterranean assisting with supplying the Allied garrison at Tobruk, which was under siege by German and Italian forces. In the early hours of the 27th November 1941 while escorting a convoy, Parramatta was hit by a torpedo fired from German submarine U559. The torpedo caused the …

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  • AWM on Flickr Commons

    Tuesday 11 November 2008 by Joanne Smedley. 22 comments

    The Memorial's photograph collection contains almost 1 million images. Not all of these are publically available but every day new images and descriptions are added. Flickr commons is a way of highlighting sets of images and we hope people can tell us something about them, or simply enjoy the selection. The series of portraits, particularly those selected from the Korean War series, are a wonderful study of faces and we would love to know who …

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  • Recent acquisitions: Centurion tank log books

    Monday 10 November 2008 by Craig Berelle. 19 comments

    A log book can reveal performance characteristics, reveal battle damage and document repairs made during each vehicle's period of service. The Memorial's Research Centre has acquired log books of six Centurion tanks that served in the Vietnam War, including vehicle No. 169056, proudly on display adjacent to Anzac Hall.  The log books are in Official Records Series AWM350, and can be viewed in the Memorial's Research Centre. …

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  • First World War Unit Diaries - 300,000 images and counting!

    Friday 31 October 2008 by Alana Thurecht. 10 comments

    The Research Centre recently marked, with much celebration, the scanning of 300,000 images for the current major digitisation project involving AWM4, First World War Unit Diaries. These diaries document the daily activities of military units on active service in the First World War and supplement the existing diaries available online. Image of 36th Australian Heavy Artillery Brigade in May, 1918. AWM4 13/127/7 Planning for …

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  • Bill Reynolds MBE

    Thursday 30 October 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 5 comments

    A recent inquiry from a member of the public brought to my attention an interesting collection item held by the Memorial. It relates to Captain William Roy 'Bill' Reynolds from Victoria, who had served with the Merchant Navy, as well as working for a number of companies through Southeast Asia in the lead up to the Second World War. The piece of the door frame on which Reynolds scratched information of his incarceration. The …

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