• 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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  • Daily Digger: Narrating the First World War

    Tuesday 20 January 2015 by Theresa Cronk.

    We all wished everybody the best of luck in the New Year particularly those at home. The above words were penned on 1 January 1915 by Captain Charles Albert Barnes in a letter that he had started to write to his mother on Christmas Day 1914. The letter was continually added to on a daily basis, along the lines of a diary, until the last addition on 17 January 1915. This letter has been digitised as part of the Memorial’s major …

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  • Christmas at Templeux-la-Fosse, France, 25 December 1917

    Thursday 18 December 2014 by Theresa Cronk.

    You wouldn’t think it possible to have a Merry Xmas in a place like this, would you? Well forget it...Thanks to a good lot of fellows du vin and the Almighty spreading a fog over the landscape we had Peace, Goodwill and a good time. Captain Reginald Harriman Heywood, 4th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, 25 December 1917 25 December 1917 dawned at Templeux-la-Fosse, France as another wintry day. It was a day that was reportedly not so …

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  • Copyright and Anzac Connections

    Tuesday 9 December 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey.

    After my blog “Copyright Hunter” I had several questions and comments regarding copyright and how it affects the Memorial. In this blog I will cover the basics of copyright in Australia. In Australia copyright law is governed by the Copyright Act 1968, court decisions and the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) of 1 January 2005. The AUSFTA effects Australian copyright by extending the copyright period of published “literary…

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  • When digitisation meets the galleries

    Monday 1 December 2014 by Theresa Cronk. 2 comments

    Unobtrusively and steadily for the last three months, from its corner of the office, a sole flatbed scanner has continually issued a high pitched whirring as page after page has been placed face down on a glass plate and the “Scan Now” button selected. Nearby computers have hummed whilst catalogue records have been diligently prepared for the purpose of releasing digitised pages online. The sharing of stories and quotes contained …

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  • Copyright Hunter

    Friday 28 November 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey. 14 comments

    A moment of nervous anticipation hits me as I pick up the phone and dial the number. The phone starts to ring and the heart beat picks up a little. A voice on the other end of the line says “Hello?” I ask if she’s the relation of a First World War veteran I have been tracing. The reply is “Yes” and hours of work scouring through databases and the internet have paid off. I have found a relative the Australian War Memorial can …

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  • Brothers: the story of Alec and Goldy Raws

    Thursday 20 November 2014 by David Heness. 4 comments

    How does a son tell a father whom they love that they’re about to leave them, possibly forever? How does a father persuade a son not to leave, a son they have watched grow into a fine young man, a son they have nurtured and loved from the moment their boy opened his eyes, a son who they watched as he learnt to walk and now watched again as those same legs prepared to march him to war? The Raws family. As John Alexander …

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  • White’s Turkish Odyssey

    Thursday 13 November 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey.

    “One Arab, whom I mistaken at a distance for a soldier in blue uniform, proved to be a naked fanatical savage…” Captain Thomas Walter White, sitting second from the left, July 1915, Basra. Captain Thomas Walter White, Australian Flying Corps, had just landed, damaging his aircraft in the desert close to the ancient city of Baghdad. His observer, Captain Francis Yeats-Brown, Royal Flying Corps, jumped out to blow the telegraph …

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  • A sombre duty.

    Wednesday 5 November 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey. 1 comments

    Graves Registration Detachment, Australian section, of the Imperial War Graves Unit

    “We will be a hard headed crowd when we get back, after the sights we see…” This is a line from a letter written by Henry George Whiting, who volunteered for the grisly but vitally important task of exhuming dead allied soldiers, identifying them and reburying them into organised cemeteries. Whiting was born on 27 March 1889 at Adelong, New South Wales, one of eighteen children born to James and Annie Elizabeth Whiting (née …

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  • "He taught us all how to die..."

    Monday 3 November 2014 by David Heness. 1 comments

    Douglas Barrett-Lennard and the Western Australians of the 8th Australian Field Artillery Battery Of such mettle were the men who, under the most insuperable difficulties of Anzac, fought their guns throughout the campaign. C. E. W. Bean in The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918: Volume II, The Story of Anzac: from 4 May, 1915 to the Evacuation When Charles Bean, Australia’s official First World War historian, …

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