• "To win through safely would mean honour and achievement, on the other hand to fall would mean an honourable end."

    Friday 24 April 2015 by Robyn van Dyk.

    Last goodbyes, personal reflections and contemplations on the meaning and reality of war form part of the accounts of Australians on the eve of battle on 24 April, 1915. Brigadier General John Monash was one of many who wrote a last letter home: “In the event of my going out, you are to believe that I do so with only one regret, which is, the grief that this will bring to you and Burt and Mat. – For myself, I am prepared to take my …

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  • First World War diaries digitisation project

    Wednesday 8 April 2015 by Robyn van Dyk. 12 comments

    To mark the centenary of the First World War the UNSW Canberra, Academy Library is digitising original First World War diaries in its collection. The Academy Library is seeking contact with relatives of the persons listed below. If you have any further information about these people, or their descendants, please contact Special Collections Curator Rose Holley via 02 6268 6088 or please contact the Library via library@adfa.edu.au Sir …

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  • Non-Australian civilian Birdwood connections

    Thursday 2 April 2015 by Charis May.

    This section of the Birdwood blog series contains names of non-Australian civilians, politicians, diplomats and businessmen. Some were people in authority, while others are everyday citizens writing to thank Birdwood for his service. One lady, Mrs Phillips, billeted Anzacs in her home in Edinburgh and had developed a high regard for the men. If have any connection to these people, please contact Charis May via PubandDig@awm.gov.au Other …

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  • Non-Australian military Birdwood connections

    Thursday 2 April 2015 by Charis May.

    When we look at all the correspondence in the files of Field Marshal William Riddell Birdwood, it is obvious that he was highly respected by military personnel and civilians alike. Each letter of thanks would have preceded a letter from Birdwood of congratulations. Many others wrote to him congratulating him on his achievements including his awards, military successes and leadership of the Australian Infantry Force. Continuing our …

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  • Non-Australian ex-military Birdwood connections

    Thursday 2 April 2015 by Charis May. 2 comments

    The writers in this Birdwood blog have retired from military service after serving in pre-First World War conflicts. If you have any further information about these people, or their descendants, the Memorial would love to talk to you. Please contact Charis May via PubandDig@awm.gov.au Other blogs relating to Birdwood correspondence can be found here : Australian military Birdwood connections, Unidentified Birdwood connections, …

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  • Australian military Birdwood connections

    Tuesday 24 March 2015 by Charis May. 1 comments

    As part of a wider project to digitise First World War collections, the Memorial is seeking contact with relatives of the persons listed below in connection with the large correspondence within the Field Marshal William Riddell Birdwood collection 3DRL/3376. This blog relates to Australian military personnel who wrote to Birdwood. The general theme of the correspondence was to commend him on his leadership of the Anzacs. If you have any …

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  • Australian Birdwood connections

    Tuesday 24 March 2015 by Charis May.

    The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the Anzacs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as provide full copies …

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  • Unidentified Birdwood connections

    Tuesday 24 March 2015 by Charis May.

    The writers to Birdwood in this blog do not appear to be Australians and are not easily identified. In some cases, it may be due to the difficulty in reading the hand writing. Please contact Charis May via PubandDig@awm.gov.au if you are able to assist with their identities. Other blogs relating to Birdwood correspondence can be found here : Australian military Birdwood connections and Australian Birdwood connections W Bax This is …

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  • "I'm 21 to-day and I've never been 21 before."

    Saturday 21 March 2015 by Meagan Nihill. 6 comments

    How did you celebrate your 21st birthday? Although turning 18 might be the more meaningful legal milestone these days, for many, reaching the age of 21 is still an important rite of passage: a symbolic entrance into true adulthood. As a result, 21st birthdays are usually a big event, celebrated with friends and family, laughter, drinks, and speeches. One hundred years ago today, camped in the desert outside Cairo – half a world away …

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  • So far from home: sending and receiving mail in the trenches

    Wednesday 18 March 2015 by Theresa Cronk. 5 comments

    The arrival of the first AIF mail of 161 bags at Mena, Egypt. The non-appearance of this mail in Egypt caused a great deal of talk and anxiety amongst the Australian troops. It had been labelled to GPO London and subsequently returned from there, 13 January 1915.

    Imagine if you were unable to contact loved ones by telephone, email or via any other communication strategy now available in today’s digital age. No longer is it possible to hop in your car and drive down the road to visit friends and family. Instead, you have sailed for at least 4 weeks aboard a troopship to a foreign land. And there is no indication as to when, or if, you will see loved ones again. In January 1915, an oft-repeated …

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