• The Imperial Camel Corps

    Thursday 31 July 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 3 comments

    In this WW1 themed sound reel four Australian men voice their experiences of the Imperial Camel Corps. After Australian troops withdrew from Gallipoli in December 1915, the Ottoman Empire persuaded the pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen to attack British-occupied Egypt. In January 1916, a Desert Mounted Corps was formed to deal with the revolt. The Imperial Camel Corps formed four battalions: the 1st Battalion was entirely Australian, the …

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  • Stitches in time: rehabilitation embroidery in the AWM collection

    Wednesday 30 July 2014 by Kerry Neale. 5 comments

    Rehabilitation embroidery : Private S A Chivas, 14 Machine Gun Company, AIF

    Many people tend to associate embroidery and needlework with women and the comfort of the homefront, but men are also known to pick up the needle and thread, especially it seems during times of war. Whether stitched as a way to pass the time in a prisoner of war camp, to record events, places and names, or as rehabilitation therapy in military hospitals, embroidered items have many interesting stories to share. To celebrate World …

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  • eX de Medici: exploring camouflage through a Special Forces helmet

    Wednesday 30 July 2014 by Tamsin Hong.

    eX de Medicis

    eX de Medicis "Australia, special forces (everywhere, current), Aust flag 2010", depicts a Special Forces cutaway helmet in its current colour scheme. ART94355 Currently on display are two watercolours by Canberra based artist eX de Medici depicting a helmet used by a member of the Australian Special Forces during his deployment to Afghanistan between 2008-2009. These works…

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  • They had to remember they were soldiers, albeit female

    Tuesday 29 July 2014 by Suzy Nunes. 1 comments

    View looking west showing the compounds of the 12th Australian Prisoner of War Camp at Cowra, with the Group Headquarter buildings in the foreground.

    By August 1944 there were 2,223 Japanese prisoners of war in Australia. Of these 1,104 were housed in Camp B of No. 12 Prisoner of War Compound near Cowra, in the central west of New South Wales. The Italian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean prisoners of war interned at Cowra were treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. But relations between the Japanese prisoners of war and their guards from the 22nd Garrison Battalion were …

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  • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) 1916 outdoor dress

    Tuesday 29 July 2014 by Ashleigh Wadman. 2 comments

    Studio portrait of Sister Lalah Mary Burke in the 1916 outdoor dress.

    This is one in a series of blogs that covers the basic aspects of Australian uniforms during the First World War. There is a great diversity between nursing uniforms of the First World War. This variety is due to the fact that nursing uniforms were not centrally manufactured or issued in this war. Instead, nurses were given a uniform allowance to equip themselves and were allowed to make their own uniforms if they chose. This, and …

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  • Goetz’s gaffe

    Wednesday 23 July 2014 by Ashleigh Wadman. 3 comments

    A British propaganda copy of the Lusitania medallion. The obverse can be viewed by via the link to the catalogue record.

    The National Collection is rich with material and stories relating to wartime propaganda. When thinking about this it is only natural to recall the graphic printed pamphlets and posters depicting strong emotionally charged messages eliciting support for the war and suspicion of the enemy. One vehicle for propaganda which is perhaps less well known is that of the medallion. During the First World War medallions were produced not only as …

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  • The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) headwear 1914-1918

    Friday 18 July 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 8 comments

    First World War slouch hat with wool puggaree and rising Sun badge.

    This is thethird in a series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of the Australian Imperial Force headwear during the First World War. The most distinctive and recognisable article of clothing worn by the Australian soldier was the khaki felt slouch hat. This item of headwear had been worn in Australia for some years before the turn of the century and was also popular elsewhere in the world. A similar hat…

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  • Captured in paint - a 69 year old mystery solved.

    Monday 7 July 2014 by Garth O'Connell. 22 comments

    Reception desk at Gowrie House, Eastbourne by Australian Official War Artist Stella Bowen.

    The end of armed conflictin the European theatre of the Second World War in May 1945 sawtens of thousands of western Allied Prisoners of War from all over the worldbe repatriated to the United Kingdom for their first steps in their eventualreturn to their families and friends. Among them were several thousand Australians, who in the course of the war in North Africa and Europe,found themselvesin German or Italian run prisoner of war …

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  • The Siege of Elands River

    Friday 27 June 2014 by Cameron Ross. 5 comments

    One battle of the South African War 1899-1902 typifies all the qualities that Australia has come to interpret as synonymous with the Anzac legend, but it occurred almost fifteen years before Australian soldiers ever landed at Gallipoli. This was the Siege of Elands River, a twelve day siege of a supply depot defended by soldiers from five of the six Australian colonies. One item in the Australian War Memorial’s collection relating to …

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  • “Your brothers were laying there, they had been killed…”

    Friday 27 June 2014 by . 7 comments

    The Allen brothers with their family.

    Privates Stephen Charles Allen and Robert Beattie Allen were literally brothers-in-arms. The brothers from Manly in New South Wales had enlisted within a week of each other in July 1915, both with the 13th Infantry Battalion. After embarking from Australia in September of that year the brothers were first sent to Egypt for several months. Unaware of the conditions that awaited them at the Western Front they, like many others, were …

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