• "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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  • Vale Peter Anthony Ward

    Wednesday 18 March 2015 by David Gist. 11 comments

    Yesterday afternoon, Peter Ward passed away after a long illness. Peter is best known for his work as an official army photographer, both film and still, in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. The Photographs, Film and Sound Section of the Australian War Memorial offer a small sample of his work from the National Collection. WAR/70/0018/VN During this period of the centenary of Anzac, it is easy …

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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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  • Establishing Gallipoli's Graves

    Wednesday 11 March 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 12 comments

    The Beach Cemetery 1915.

    The recent film, The Water Diviner has focused attention on the amazing work of the Graves Registration Unit (GRU) and Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC - now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) from late 1918 to the mid-1920s at Gallipoli. The Beach Cemetery 1915. H03479 During the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign, the recording of burials was haphazard but …

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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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  • In deep respect - Bede Tongs OAM MM

    Wednesday 28 January 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 6 comments

    Captain Bede Tongs (centre) with his wife and his brother Reginald after being presented his Military Medal by the Governor-General in Canberra, July 1947. Reginald was captured in Singapore with the 2/20th Battalion AIF and along with tens of thousands of others suffered under Japanese captivity on the Burma-Thai death railway and at Changi until his release in 1945.

    Yesterday at the Christ Church in Queanbeyan NSW the funeral of a local community stalwart, Bede Tongs OAM MMwas conducted. Amongst the many mourners inside andoutside the Churchwere several current and ex-members of staff and senior management of the Australian War Memorial including yours truly. It is tremendously hard to put into so few words what a positiveimpact Bede had not just on me personally and professionally, but on my …

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