• In deep respect - Bede Tongs OAM MM

    Wednesday 28 January 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 6 comments

    Captain Bede Tongs (centre) with his wife and his brother Reginald after being presented his Military Medal by the Governor-General in Canberra, July 1947. Reginald was captured in Singapore with the 2/20th Battalion AIF and along with tens of thousands of others suffered under Japanese captivity on the Burma-Thai death railway and at Changi until his release in 1945.

    Yesterday at the Christ Church in Queanbeyan NSW the funeral of a local community stalwart, Bede Tongs OAM MMwas conducted. Amongst the many mourners inside andoutside the Churchwere several current and ex-members of staff and senior management of the Australian War Memorial including yours truly. It is tremendously hard to put into so few words what a positiveimpact Bede had not just on me personally and professionally, but on my …

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  • Perspectives of Parit Sulong

    Thursday 22 January 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 4 comments

    2/19th Battalion 2/29th Battalion AIF Imperial Japanese Guards Parit Sulong Massacre

    Perspectives of Parit Sulong Today marks the 73rd anniversary of a tragic chapter in the history of the Australian Defence Force - thefirst documented massacre of Australian troops by the Imperial Japanese during the Second World Warat Parit Sulong in Malaya on 22 January 1942. In mid January 1942 a small Australian and Indian force was cut off by the Japanese around Bakri and Parit Sulong in Malaya (now known as Malaysia). The …

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  • Daily Digger: Narrating the First World War

    Tuesday 20 January 2015 by Theresa Cronk.

    We all wished everybody the best of luck in the New Year particularly those at home. The above words were penned on 1 January 1915 by Captain Charles Albert Barnes in a letter that he had started to write to his mother on Christmas Day 1914. The letter was continually added to on a daily basis, along the lines of a diary, until the last addition on 17 January 1915. This letter has been digitised as part of the Memorial’s major …

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  • Two of Sydney’s sons identified

    Wednesday 17 December 2014 by David Gist. 5 comments

    The 5th Australian Light Trench Mortar Batterys football team

    The 5th Australian Light Trench Mortar Batterys football team P10550.151 For those of us at the Memorial who have been privileged enough to work with the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier collection, the level of public interest shown in the Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt exhibition each time it visits a new city has always excited us. But the Sydney leg of the …

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  • "With loving Christmas greetings"

    Tuesday 16 December 2014 by Stephanie Hume. 3 comments

    The sending of a traditional Christmas card has diminished in popularity with theadvent of mobile phones, email and social media. TheAustralian WarMemorial has a large collection of postcards and greeting cards sent to and from Australian service personnel engaged in conflicts from the South African War (1898 – 1902) to Afghanistan (2001 – present). During the First World War, a very popular design of greeting card was the woven or …

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  • Les Wasley: Capturing Vietnam

    Monday 8 December 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 1 comments

    “You can’t convey, as I call it, the fear of the unknown”, Les Wasley 1928 - 2014 In this showreel Leslie Martin Wasley describes what it was like to be camera man in a war zone. Inducted into the Cinematographers Hall of Fame in 2013, he was renowned for his evacuation footage shot in war torn Vietnam in April 1975, at the fall of Saigon. Parts of oral interviews, held in the Memorials collection, with Les Wasley and Journalist …

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  • Changi Quilt Copyright for AWM Publication

    Monday 1 December 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 2 comments

    The Australian War Memorial is seeking copyright permission to reproduce in detail the following embroidered squares from the Australian Changi quilt for a publication. Some 400 women and children were taken prisoner after the fall of Singapore in February 1942. The Australian Changi quilt was made by women interned in Changi prison, and is made up of 66 individual squares with different designs and messages. To mark the 70th Anniversary…

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  • Xena: an EDD in Afghanistan

    Wednesday 26 November 2014 by Lenore Heath. 8 comments

    Xena and Sapper T wait in the shade of a wall prior to a route search.

    This year an excellent set of 12 photographs of Xena, an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD), was donated to the Memorial. Following an inauspicious start to life in the military, Xena proved her true worth serving in Afghanistan. A Malinois (Belgian Shepherd), Xena was the runt of the litter in an RAAF breeding program. Deemed too timid to have a future as an attack dog, her future was uncertain. She was allocated to a trainer, however her …

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  • Brothers: the story of Alec and Goldy Raws

    Thursday 20 November 2014 by David Heness. 4 comments

    How does a son tell a father whom they love that they’re about to leave them, possibly forever? How does a father persuade a son not to leave, a son they have watched grow into a fine young man, a son they have nurtured and loved from the moment their boy opened his eyes, a son who they watched as he learnt to walk and now watched again as those same legs prepared to march him to war? The Raws family. As John Alexander …

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  • Vietnam Battle Intelligence Computer data tapes Part 2 of 3

    Wednesday 19 November 2014 by Stuart Bennington. 5 comments

    In part 1 of this Blog I talked about the Vietnam Battle Intelligence Computer which was used by 1 Australian Task Force at Nui Dat in 1971. This had resulted in a set of tapes called DECtapes being used for data storage. In 1987 these tapes were backed up onto a 9 Track tape in Canberra. In this part of the Blog I will be talking about the process of retrieving data from these tapes. A single 9 Track backup tape had ended up with the …

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