Monday 16 December 2013 by Daniel Eisenberg. No comments.
Collection Film

To celebrate the holiday season, the Film/Sound section of the Australian War Memorial have put together this light hearted Christmas video as our final showreel for the year. Drawing on material from across various conflicts from both home and abroad and items in both our film and sound collections, our video highlights the joy that Christmas brings to young and old.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the team in Film/Sound!

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Thursday 12 December 2013 by Dianne Rutherford. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, ANZAC Voices Gallipoli, Improvisation

Some of the objects on display in the new ANZAC voices exhibition illustrate the ingenuity of the ANZACs when faced with insufficient supplies and equipment at Gallipoli. When the ANZACs landed there on 25 April 1915, they expected a quick advance to Constantinople [Istanbul] so did not carry the equipment or supplies they needed for trench warfare. Although supplies were brought in throughout the campaign by boat, these could be delayed or destroyed through bad weather or Turkish shelling, so the soldiers at Gallipoli had to be industrious and inventive. They made weapons, equipment, board games and stationary from the items they found around them.

G00267 Two soldiers sit beside a pile of empty tins cutting up barbed wire for jam tin bombs. G00267

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This sound reel features Australian soldiers from the First World War recalling memories of recruitment and enlistment.

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Wednesday 27 November 2013 by Cherie Prosser. No comments.
Collection, Collection Highlights

Cartoonist and caricaturist, John Frith (1906-2000) created a daily drawing for the Herald newspaper in Melbourne. 

The 1960s was a turbulent decade politically and Frith created this series of drawings to articulate some of the key international political struggles for an Australian audience. The main actors on Frith’s stage were Australian Prime Ministers, as well as the world leaders who dominated the politics of the period. Frith began his career as a cartoonist in 1929 at the time of the onset of the Great Depression in Australia.


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Monday 25 November 2013 by Dianne Rutherford. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Exhibitions, ANZAC Voices

This article was originally published in ICON Magazine, Issue One November - December 2013. Find our more and suscribe to ICON Magazine here.


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The Sound Collection at the Australian War Memorial consists of over 9,000 oral history interviews with individuals who served during war and peacekeeping efforts. To showcase highlights from this collection the Australian War Memorial will create Sound show reels.

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Friday 25 October 2013 by Jessie Webb. 3 comments.
Collection, Exhibitions


“Knitters get busy!” Poem published in an unknown newspaper in 1918. RC07899“Knitters get busy!” Poem published in an unknown newspaper in 1918. RC07899

It can be difficult to get an idea of what was happening on the home front just by looking at military records. What were the people who weren’t serving doing? How did they feel? What did they do to play their part in Australia’s war effort?

One thing many Australians did during both the First and Second World Wars was knit. Australia-wide, local organisations, schools, church groups, knitting circles, and individuals banded together to undertake the huge task of providing comforts to Australian troops. Comforts included gifts like food, entertainment, recreation facilities, and clothing given to troops to supplement what the military couldprovide.

During the course of the First World War, Australians knitted over 1 million pairs of socks as gifts for the troops. Historican Michael McKernan estimated at 10 hours of work per pair, that would be an extraordinary 10 million hours of work.

In the Second World War, they outdid even that, with over 3 million pairs of socks knitted! Australians also made a variety of other items, like scarves, vests and mittens. 

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To complement the release of the film collection online, the film and sound team are creating a series of show reels to give you a taste of the material that is now readily available at your fingertips!

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Monday 23 September 2013 by Amanda Rebbeck. 3 comments.
Collection, News

Sixty members of the extended Ferguson family travelled from around Australia to attend a medal donation ceremony this morning at the Australian War Memorial in commemoration of their forebear Alexander Cyril Ferguson. Alexander served in both the First and Second World Wars and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions near Zonnebeke in October 1917where he was a member of the Australian Army Medical Corps, attached to 8 Battalion.

The medals were presented to Mr Tim Sullivan, Assistant Director, National Collections by Alexander’s son Mr Ron Ferguson.

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The glass-plate negatives from Vignacourt are significant because they offer insights into the reality of life on the Western Front. There are photos that show the laughter and the mateship among these soldiers, and the general feeling of life away from the line. Like any true portrait, many offer an insight into the character and mood of the subject. None of the soldiers in this post have been identified, but photographs created so close to the battlefields of the Somme means portrait subjects who have witnessed true horrors.


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