Late last year the Memorial received a pair of Second World War escape and evasion (E&E) boots as part of a donation.
Today a wreathlaying ceremony will be held at the Sandakan Memorial in the Australian War Memorial’s Sculpture Garden to remember the prisoners of the Sandakan Death Marches of 1945. It seems appropriate to highlight a new Sound Collection acquisition which relates to another group of prisoners of the Japanese.
65 years ago a very special operation began to provide food to the starving civilians in the German occupied Netherlands. During the harsh winter of 1944-1945 the Dutch population endured a major famine. Known as the ‘hungerwinter’ it was concentrated in the densely populated urban areas bounded by Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam and The Hague. By 1945 the daily ration had been reduced to 600 calories – a third of what it had been in 1941.
This ANZAC Day marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaign, when tens of thousands of British, French and Dominion troops landed on the Turkish coast.
To acknowledge this anniversary, the Australian War Memorial’s Research Centre is displaying previously unseen original letters and diaries relating to the campaign. The Research Centre’s collection is a rich source of records that tells the story of Gallipoli in the words of those who experience it.
It has been a year since the first blog entry went up about Marthe Gylbert and her letter. In this time, with the help of some very generous people, I have been able to discover much about Marthe and her wonderful love letter. If you have not seen the previous blog entries, they can be found here and here.
In 1944, Yvonne Jobling was a schoolgirl studying shorthand. Every evening at her home in Geelong, Victoria, she practiced her shorthand by listening to the radio. On Friday, 17 March 1944, she happened to be listening to the short-wave broadcast of Radio Tokyo, and heard messages from Australian prisoners of war.
At Christmas time most people take the opportunity to stop and think about family and friends and pass on their greetings and well wishes by means of the traditional Christmas card. The Memorial holds an interesting collection of Christmas cards - different types, various shapes and sizes, and from all conflicts. One of our earlier and more unusual Christmas cards can be seen below.