• The Victoria Cross

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 20 comments

    Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in time of war The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria's Royal warrant in 1856, and the first examples were presented by her in June 1857.  These first 62 awards were retrospective, for gallant actions by sailors and soldiers during the Crimean War of 1854-56.  Throughout its life, the Cross has been manufactured by Hancocks and Co, Jewellers of London.  Famously, they …

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  • Trooper Mark Donaldson loans his Victoria Cross to the Australian War Memorial

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 6 comments

    Trooper Donaldson VC with the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Major General Steve Gower In a ceremony this morning, Trooper Mark Donaldson VC loaned his newly awarded medal to the Australian War Memorial for public display.  Trooper Donaldson, who on Friday became the first Australian serviceman in almost 40 years to be awarded the famous medal, is also the first to receive it under the title of 'The Victoria Cross for …

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  • Australian Engineers in the First World War

    Wednesday 21 January 2009 by Alessandro Antonello. 21 comments

    The First World War unit war diaries (AWM4) of the Australian Engineers have been digitised and are now available on the Australian War Memorial’s website. The diaries provide a wonderful testimony to the ingenuity and initiative of Australian engineers during the War, and the daily difficulty of building and maintaining structures and machines to ensure the success of the war effort. Engineers, also known as sappers, were essential to the …

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

    Friday 16 January 2009 by . 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. Mrs Rattigan was born Minnie Augusta McFarland at Barooga Station near Tocumwal, NSW on 23 July 1870. She travelled to England with her …

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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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