• Can't see the tree for the wood... part II : The Baumbeobachter

    Thursday 18 September 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 8 comments

    An example of an observation post disguised as a tree. This one was used by Australian troops during the Battle of Messines on 7 June 1917 at Hill 63.   Since first blogging about the Memorial's German observation post camouflage tree  (called a "Baumbeobachter" by the Germans, literally meaning "tree observer") I have had a chance to take some photographs of parts of the tree I thought I would share, especially as some …

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  • Making a Silk Postcard

    Wednesday 3 September 2008 by Annette Gaykema. 5 comments

    Embroidered silk postcards were first made in 1900 with popularity peaking during the First World War. Cards were generally embroidered on strips of silk mesh by French women. They were then cut and mounted on postcards. Since the completion of a project to get the silk postcard images (all 700+) onto the database, I have been interested in seeing how well the process could be replicated. Having some experience in cross-stitch, I decided to have…

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  • To my dear father

    Monday 1 September 2008 by .

    Embroidered silk postcard from the First World War. The above silk postcard could well be considered a forerunner of greeting cards now available for Father's Day. The simple greeting conveys appropriate sentiments for Father's Day today, although it was sent home from the trenches of France and Belgium during the First World War. Embroidered silk postcards reached the peak of their popularity during the First World War. The …

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  • Going out for a spell...

    Thursday 21 August 2008 by Ann Penhallow.

    What does a twenty-three year old wag of a soldier say in his defence, when facing yet another court martial for going AWOL during the First World War?  If you're Private Albert Stipek, the words come easily: "I met some friends and went away with them. I had no idea the Battalion was going to the Line. I thought it was going out for a spell".  Nevertheless, he had absented himself from the 51st Battalion for nearly two months. We can only …

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  • Tourist souvenirs - Crested China and the First World War

    Wednesday 20 August 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    Most people like to bring home a souvenir from their travels and soldiers in the First World War were no exceptions. The First World War led to great movements of people across the world, but especially through Europe. Many of these people ended up in Great Britain at one time or another. Despite difficulties in wartime, British companies still managed to produce a myriad of souvenirs for the visitors as reminders of their time in Britain, or …

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  • Recent acquisitions: To points unknown...

    Wednesday 20 August 2008 by Mel Hunt. 2 comments

    'To points unknown: the First Al Muthanna Task Group' is a striking example of the type of modern unit history which is being produced by Australian soldiers. It is a largely pictorial record of the tour to Iraq by the 1st Al Muthanna Task Group from April to November 2005. Lt. Col. Roger Noble, Commanding Officer of Al Muthanna Task group One, notes in the introduction that the aim was to 'record our tour as it was, with an…

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  • Over the Front: the Great War in the air

    Tuesday 19 August 2008 by Amanda Rebbeck. 23 comments

    A new permanent exhibition, Over the Front: the Great War in the air, will open on 28 November 2008 at the eastern end of ANZAC Hall. The story of military flight and aerial combat during the First World War will be brought to life through the Memorial’s collection of five original and extraordinary aircraft and an exciting sound-and-light show. Australians played a distinct part in aviation’s remarkable advances during the war. Four …

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  • Charging Home

    Tuesday 19 August 2008 by Ann Penhallow. 4 comments

    This week the Research Centre received a call from a fan of Sandy, Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges' favourite charger.  November this year sees the 90th anniversary of Sandy's return to Australia, after a tour of duty which included the coast of Gallipoli, Egypt and France.  Sandy's fan wished to confirm the information the Research Centre has about this much-loved animal in preparation for a ceremony to mark the anniversary. Although…

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  • Captain Cedric Howell

    Tuesday 19 August 2008 by Amanda Rebbeck. 2 comments

    Captain Cedric Howell was one of Australia’s greatest fighter pilots. Initially serving as a sniper with No. 46 Battalion he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917; part of the original group of 200 Australians recruited from the AIF. He joined No. 45 Squadron, RFC and saw active service with this unit in France and Italy. Howell claimed nineteen victories during his active service and received the Distinguished Service Order, …

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  • Vietnam Veterans Day

    Friday 15 August 2008 by Libby Stewart. 5 comments

    Vietnam Veterans Day is commemorated on 18 August every year. The day was originally known as Long Tan Day, chosen to commemorate the men of D Company, 6RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966. On that day, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan. The Australians prevailed, but only after …

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