• Healing Wounds You Can’t See

    Friday 27 March 2015 by Gabrielle Considine.

    Group portrait of members of 114 Australian General Hospital

    Group portrait of members of 114 Australian General Hospital P11535.001 Shell Shock, Combat Stress Reaction, War Neuroses, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Regardless of the label, many have suffered psychological trauma as a result of war. During the Second World War psychological trauma was treated with electroshock therapy and formaldehyde. This is described by Neta …

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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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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM8 - Unit Embarkation Rolls

    Monday 16 March 2015 by Craig Berelle. 5 comments

    Highlight on official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, why they exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes. The 9th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. It was the first battalion recruited in Queensland. …

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  • Recent donation of rare watercolours by John Brack

    Wednesday 4 March 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper.

    Recent donation of rare watercolours made by John Brack while in the army during the Second World War. John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper. ART96398 In 2014, the Australian War Memorial received a generous donation of twenty drawings and watercolours by the Australian modernist artist John Brack (1920—1999). This donationis …

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  • Sing us a song...

    Monday 2 March 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    The Australian War Memorial holds a growing collection of sheet music which currently includes over 900 titles. The collection includes both individual pieces, and compilations of sheet music. The date range of this collection extends from the 1850s through to the mid-2000s. Of these approximately 250 pieces relate to the First World War. Some of the music held in the Memorial’s collection was written by service people themselves, …

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  • Jack and the Singapore surrender table

    Sunday 15 February 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 3 comments

    The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial.

    Jack and the Singapore surrender table The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial. RELAWM32783 This simple teak table is one of the most poignant physical reminders of one the darkest chapters of Australian and British military history, the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Along with tens of thousands …

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  • Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 3 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

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  • New Art Acquisition by Eric Thake

    Friday 30 January 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    Eric Thake, Self-portrait in a broken shaving mirror One of only two self-portraits by Eric Thake produced during his Official War Artist commission, 1944-45. Eric Thake (1904-1982) was a Modernist painter with an interest in Surrealism, a style that developed in the early 1920s, best known for its contradictory and illogical scenes, expressing unconscious ideas and concepts. His contemporary approach to art made him an unlikely …

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  • Perspectives of Parit Sulong

    Thursday 22 January 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 4 comments

    2/19th Battalion 2/29th Battalion AIF Imperial Japanese Guards Parit Sulong Massacre

    Perspectives of Parit Sulong Today marks the 73rd anniversary of a tragic chapter in the history of the Australian Defence Force - thefirst documented massacre of Australian troops by the Imperial Japanese during the Second World Warat Parit Sulong in Malaya on 22 January 1942. In mid January 1942 a small Australian and Indian force was cut off by the Japanese around Bakri and Parit Sulong in Malaya (now known as Malaysia). The …

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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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