• Recent donation of rare watercolours by John Brack

    Wednesday 4 March 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper.

    Recent donation of rare watercolours made by John Brack while in the army during the Second World War. John Brack, [Map instruction], 1945, pencil and watercolour on paper. ART96398 In 2014, the Australian War Memorial received a generous donation of twenty drawings and watercolours by the Australian modernist artist John Brack (1920—1999). This donationis …

    Read on

  • Sing us a song...

    Monday 2 March 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    The Australian War Memorial holds a growing collection of sheet music which currently includes over 900 titles. The collection includes both individual pieces, and compilations of sheet music. The date range of this collection extends from the 1850s through to the mid-2000s. Of these approximately 250 pieces relate to the First World War. Some of the music held in the Memorial’s collection was written by service people themselves, …

    Read on

  • Jack and the Singapore surrender table

    Sunday 15 February 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 3 comments

    The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial.

    Jack and the Singapore surrender table The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial. RELAWM32783 This simple teak table is one of the most poignant physical reminders of one the darkest chapters of Australian and British military history, the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Along with tens of thousands …

    Read on

  • Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 3 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

    Read on

  • New Art Acquisition by Eric Thake

    Friday 30 January 2015 by Cherie Prosser.

    Eric Thake, Self-portrait in a broken shaving mirror One of only two self-portraits by Eric Thake produced during his Official War Artist commission, 1944-45. Eric Thake (1904-1982) was a Modernist painter with an interest in Surrealism, a style that developed in the early 1920s, best known for its contradictory and illogical scenes, expressing unconscious ideas and concepts. His contemporary approach to art made him an unlikely …

    Read on

  • 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 …

    Read on

  • 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 …

    Read on

  • 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 …

    Read on

  • 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 …

    Read on

  • "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 …

    Read on