• Food from Heaven - 460 Squadron and Operation Manna, 1945

    Thursday 29 April 2010 by Dianne Rutherford. 14 comments

    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 …

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  • 95th Anniversary of Gallipoli Campaign

    Friday 23 April 2010 by Nicholas Schmidt. 1 comments

    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 …

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  • Hospital Ship Centaur

    Friday 5 March 2010 by Dianne Rutherford. 5 comments

    Model of the Hospital Ship Centaur, currently on display in the Second World War gallery. The Memorial holds a small, but important, collection associated with the sinking of the Hospital Ship Centaur, whose wreck site was discovered in December 2009. Many of the survivors had little or no clothing after the ship sank. One, NX33029 Driver George McGrath, was in his underwear, which he lost when he leapt overboard …

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  • Love Letter Update for Valentine's Day

    Saturday 13 February 2010 by Nicholas Schmidt. 6 comments

    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. Marthe‘s nephew Jean Marc Gylbert has been very helpful and interested. He has provided much information about his family and …

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  • Recent acquisition: new Private Records relating to ‘G for George’

    Wednesday 3 February 2010 by Alessandro Antonello. 3 comments

    Detail of navigation map kept by William Gourlay, showing Nuremberg (PR04522) The Australian War Memorial has recently received important documents relating to the Nuremberg bombing raid of 30-31 March 1944 and the iconic Lancaster bomber ‘G for George’.  Through a generous donation, the navigation log and map made by William Albert Gourlay, navigator on board ‘G for George’ for the fateful raid, have been …

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  • Radio propaganda and the kindness of strangers

    Friday 15 January 2010 by Alessandro Antonello. 1 comments

    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.  Collection of letters sent to Yvonne Jobling, March 1944 (PR04494). Jobling took the messages of five …

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  • Christmas cards

    Wednesday 23 December 2009 by .

    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. Christmas card to Frederick …

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  • Memorial's digitisation project shortlisted for cultural award

    Friday 18 December 2009 by Robyn van Dyk.

    The Australian War Memorial’s Bean diaries digitisation project was short listed for the Manning Clark House National Cultural Awards – 2009. The Award recognises outstanding contributions to the quality of Australian cultural life in 2009. The digitisation of these fragile bound diaries represented a significant achievement for the Memorial. Personal records are not always presented in a logical or chronological order. The challenge…

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  • Conservation Cleaning of a Wedding Dress

    Monday 14 December 2009 by Jessie Firth. 5 comments

    Emma Jones previously mentioned in 60 year old sweat on a wedding dress – a conservation challenge the preparation of Miss Platt-Hepworth’s wedding dress for the exhibition Of Love and War. The decision was made by the curator Rebecca Britt to keep the staining as evidence of use. While the staining is important to keep, the fabric was not as lustrous as it once was. The dress has a pattern of pretty daises made from cream silk …

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  • "Dorothy" the Kitbag

    Friday 11 December 2009 by Bridie Kirkpatrick. 3 comments

    Isn’t it funny how things come about? While working on the textiles component for the exhibition Of Love and War a painted kitbag came to me for treatment. The lovely pin-up painted on the bag looked an awful lot like Dorothy Lamour, a beautiful actress known as the “Sarong Girl” in the 1940’s.  As the exhibition will be travelling I had to chuckle that Dorothy Lamour made a string of Bing Crosby/ Bob Hope “On the Road” …

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