• Wartime Inspired Christmas Decorations

    Tuesday 22 December 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Since I started work in Military Heraldry Technology (MHT) I have enjoyed learning the techniques used to make some of the items in our collection to gain a better understanding of their constructionand the effort it took to make them. I have used what I learned to make some Christmas decorations in my spare time, inspired by items held in the Memorial’s collection. Christmas tree decorated with items inspired by the collection …

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  • An Australian in the Air Transport Auxiliary

    Tuesday 15 December 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Some members of the Air Transport Auxiliary

    The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) played an important role in the air war in Europe during the Second World War and the Memorial is pleased to add to the collection the uniform of an Australian, First Officer Ian Robert Llewellyn, who served in the ATA from 1943. Some members of the Air Transport Auxiliary 006308 A civilian organisation, the ATA was responsible for ferrying…

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  • How to make a "Butterfly" belt

    Tuesday 24 November 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Butterfly belt made in New Guinea late in the war.

    Butterfly belt made in New Guinea late in the war. REL/21579.002 One thing I like to try and do with items held in the Memorial's collection is to get an understanding of how they were made or how they were used. So thought I would investigate how Australian soldiers made the beautiful butterfly belts we hold in our collection. Made from pieces of butterfly wing, cigarette …

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  • Preliminary stage of the evacuation from Anzac Cove: narrative from battalion war diaries

    Monday 23 November 2015 by . 4 comments

    Map of Gallipoli

    Map of Gallipoli SC02009 Theevacuation ofGallipoli began on 22 November 1915, when a plan was adopted during a conference at General Headquarters, Mudros. This was after Lord Kitchener's visit to Gallipoli in early November, during which he told General Birdwood to start thinking about how to evacuate, and before the recommendation was approved by British Parliament. …

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  • A godsent Christmas box for the world

    Tuesday 10 November 2015 by . 1 comments

    Compiègne, France.  A postcard of  French and English representatives beside a train carriage after the German representatives signed the Armistice documents which signalled the end of the First ...

    It was at 11 o'clock on the morning of Monday 11th November 1918 thatthat day finally came. Soldiers, from both sides, had hung onby clinging to the promise of that day. It meant the chance to embrace their families and friends once more after years apart. It meant the chance to be clean and dry, rather than knee deep in mud and infested with lice. It meant the chance to return to a place where the air was filled with things other than …

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  • Sabotage!

    Thursday 5 November 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    An army marches on its stomach, or so the saying goes. Certainly the supply of food, equipment and weapons was such an important aspect of the First World War that it was targeted by both sides. German ports were blockaded throughout much of the war, leading to a decline in quality and quantity of German clothing, equipment and food as the war progressed. The Germans disrupted the supply of items to Britain through sinking ships bound …

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  • The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    Walter Wally Brown

    This is a revised blog first published in 2009 as “The butcher and the grocer: A Western Front story”. The revision covers Wally Brown VC’s pre-war employment and, additionally, his eventual fate. I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material. The Western Front was epitomised by the brute force of men against machine and each other. Tens of thousands were lost in the maelstrom of …

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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Monday 2 November 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s …

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  • A fashionable end to Frocktober

    Friday 30 October 2015 by Eleni Holloway. 1 comments

    With the month of Frocktober* coming to an end tomorrow, the opportunity to survey the Memorial’s collection of “frocks” has presented itself. What follows is a pictorial overview of just some of our favourite dresses in the collection. REL/01748.001 This dress was made and embroidered by double amputees Private Joseph Allan Baillie, Private Malcolm Brown and Private Frederick Trice…

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  • The German Aviator's Leg

    Monday 26 October 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 11 comments

    Luck can sometimes be a researcher’s most valuable asset. This is certainly the case for one item held by the Memorial that has fascinated many of the staff in my section – an artificial right leg worn by a German aviator during the First World War. RELAWM07698 The German pilot's artificial leg The fact someone managed to continue on active service during the war after losing a limb is fascinating and fairly rare. There were only a …

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