• 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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  • Anzac Christmas hampers

    Tuesday 23 December 2014 by Alison Wishart. 7 comments

    Women distribute Christmas billies to men in Cairo, Egypt, December 1915. Driver Jack (John) O. McKenzie, from the 20th Australian Army Service Corps (AASC), recalls: `Every one was delighted to get one. The one I received was from two Melbourne girls. They distributed over five thousand in our camp amp; as far as I know every soldier in Egypt got one.

    Perhaps you’ve packed, compiled or received a Christmas hamper full of goodies in the last few days. About this time 99 years ago, the Anzacs who had evacuated from Gallipoli were eagerly awaiting their Christmas hampers. Women distribute Christmas billies to men in Cairo, Egypt, December 1915. Driver Jack (John) O. McKenzie, from the 20th Australian Army Service Corps (AASC), recalls: …

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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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  • "With loving Christmas greetings"

    Tuesday 16 December 2014 by Stephanie Hume. 3 comments

    The sending of a traditional Christmas card has diminished in popularity with theadvent of mobile phones, email and social media. TheAustralian WarMemorial has a large collection of postcards and greeting cards sent to and from Australian service personnel engaged in conflicts from the South African War (1898 – 1902) to Afghanistan (2001 – present). During the First World War, a very popular design of greeting card was the woven or …

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  • Les Wasley: Capturing Vietnam

    Monday 8 December 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 1 comments

    “You can’t convey, as I call it, the fear of the unknown”, Les Wasley 1928 - 2014 In this showreel Leslie Martin Wasley describes what it was like to be camera man in a war zone. Inducted into the Cinematographers Hall of Fame in 2013, he was renowned for his evacuation footage shot in war torn Vietnam in April 1975, at the fall of Saigon. Parts of oral interviews, held in the Memorials collection, with Les Wasley and Journalist …

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