• Hero of Ambon

    Friday 27 January 2017 by Kerrie Leech.

    VX35406 Driver William Thomas Doolan, 2/21st Australian Infantry Battalion.

    This week marks the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Ambon. The Japanese landed on the island of Ambon on 30 January 1942. Within a few days the small Australian garrison, overcome by the size of the invading force, had surrendered. The fate of these Australian soldiers was varied, but history records that over three-quarters of them would not survive the war. Some of these men’s stories can be told through the collections of the Australian War …

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  • Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train diary

    Monday 14 May 2012 by Kerrie Leech. 2 comments

    Last month, the Memorial was delighted to accept a Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) diary, donated by Mr Martin Smee of Port Elliot, South Australia.  Mr Smee made the trip to Canberra to personally deliver the diary, which has been part of his family's valuable family history for many years.  The diary was written by his grandfather, Able Seaman Driver Laurie John Smee.  Born in South Australia, Laurie ran away to sea when …

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  • Christmas cards

    Wednesday 23 December 2009 by Kerrie Leech.

    At Christmas time most people take the opportunity to stop and think about family and friends and pass on their greetings and well wishes by means of the traditional Christmas card.  The Memorial holds an interesting collection of Christmas cards - different types, various shapes and sizes, and from all conflicts.  One of our earlier and more unusual Christmas cards can be seen below. Christmas card to Frederick Bottomley …

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  • Evacuation of Gallipoli

    Wednesday 9 December 2009 by Kerrie Leech.

    Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey. 17 December 1915. A view of Watson's Pier. During the last days of the evacuation, Anzac Beach, was utterly deserted, but fortunately Turkish airmen, flew too high to notice this.

    In mid December, 94 years ago, thepreparations to evacuate Gallipoli were well underway.Much has been written about the stealth with whichtheoperationwas undertaken. The Private Record collection at the Memorial has a number ofaccounts of the evacuation writtenby those who participated in it. The account below is from Sergeant Robert Clive Hunterwho was serving with 6th Light Horse Regiment at the time. He recounts his experience in a…

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  • Olympian digger

    Friday 8 August 2008 by Kerrie Leech. 5 comments

    Studio portrait of Tom Richards in 1917 (from Gold, mud 'n' guts by Greg Growden). With Olympics fever upon us, I was prompted to look through the Memorial’s collection to see what material we held on Olympians.  One collection in the Private Records area caught my eye.  It was created by Lieutenant Thomas James Richards, MC who won a gold medal for rugby at the 1908 London Olympics.  Before joining the Army, Richards …

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