Today, 1 September, is Ask a Curator day on Twitter. One of the first questions we had was this one:
Q: Is there an overall index to colonial defence personnel pre 1900 either for each state or together?
The answer is, not really, but there are some starting places. Because there is too much information to put on Twitter, we have written a blog post to list these sources.
There are a some books:
Recently while cataloguing battlefield relics from Fromelles I came across an item I had not seen before, a German ersatz (substitute) sandbag made from paper. A search on the Memorial's database shows that this was not the only item that used substitute material; there are many items in the collection, including an ersatz felt pickelhaube (spiked helmet) and a packet of ersatz 'coffee'. As with France and Britain during the First World War, Germany brought in measures to save resources for the war effort, these shortages of material and food affected civilians and military alike.
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.