• Captured in paint - a 69 year old mystery solved.

    Monday 7 July 2014 by Garth O'Connell. 22 comments

    Reception desk at Gowrie House, Eastbourne by Australian Official War Artist Stella Bowen.

    The end of armed conflictin the European theatre of the Second World War in May 1945 sawtens of thousands of western Allied Prisoners of War from all over the worldbe repatriated to the United Kingdom for their first steps in their eventualreturn to their families and friends. Among them were several thousand Australians, who in the course of the war in North Africa and Europe,found themselvesin German or Italian run prisoner of war …

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  • The Siege of Elands River

    Friday 27 June 2014 by Cameron Ross. 5 comments

    One battle of the South African War 1899-1902 typifies all the qualities that Australia has come to interpret as synonymous with the Anzac legend, but it occurred almost fifteen years before Australian soldiers ever landed at Gallipoli. This was the Siege of Elands River, a twelve day siege of a supply depot defended by soldiers from five of the six Australian colonies. One item in the Australian War Memorial’s collection relating to …

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  • “Your brothers were laying there, they had been killed…”

    Friday 27 June 2014 by David Heness. 7 comments

    The Allen brothers with their family.

    Privates Stephen Charles Allen and Robert Beattie Allen were literally brothers-in-arms. The brothers from Manly in New South Wales had enlisted within a week of each other in July 1915, both with the 13th Infantry Battalion. After embarking from Australia in September of that year the brothers were first sent to Egypt for several months. Unaware of the conditions that awaited them at the Western Front they, like many others, were …

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  • Wartime records of General John Monash available online

    Thursday 26 June 2014 by Robyn van Dyk. 5 comments

    General John Monash is considered one of the war’s outstanding commanders. Monash was an avid collector, and his papers held at the Memorial give a comprehensive view of his wartime military career: from his command of the 4th Australian Brigade on Gallipoli to the Australian Corps in 1918, and then his role as Director General of Demobilisation and Repatriation of the AIF at war’s end. His handwritten notes, diaries, letters, draft …

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  • First World War archives on Twitter

    Friday 13 June 2014 by Vanessa Wright.

    On June 10 the Memorial participated in a Twitter event as part of International Archives Day, organised by Ask Archivists and Follow an Archive. Archives, museums and libraries from all over the world searched their collections for archive material relating to the First World War and posted it on Twitter using the hashtag #ww1archives. You can read about how the day went on the Ask Archivists blog and read all the tweets here. …

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  • P-39 Airacobras in defence of Australia

    Friday 13 June 2014 by . 7 comments

    Probably Laverton, Vic. C. 1942. A WAAAF technical trainee takes a close look at the nose of a Bell Airacobra fighter aircraft at RAAF Station Laverton.

    When we consider the many aircraft type which defended the skies above Australia and her territories, the P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk in American service) immediately springs to mind. Indeed, the Kittyhawk would arguably be one of the most important fighters in service with the RAAF during the Second World War. Though many veterans who served in the Northern Territory will recall with fondness, the sound of Merlin engines over the top end …

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  • The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) Other ranks uniform 1914-1918

    Friday 23 May 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    Portrait of a soldier wearing a pre-war citizen forces uniform.

    This is thesecond in a series of blogs about First World War uniforms and covers the basic aspects of the Australian Imperial Force other ranksuniform during the First World War. At 11pm, on 4 August 1914, English time, Britain declared war on Germany. Australia immediately pledged her support and offered an initial force of 20,000 men. The offer was quickly accepted. Portrait of a soldier …

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  • Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) 1914 - 15 outdoor dress

    Wednesday 14 May 2014 by Ashleigh Wadman. 9 comments

    Nurses prior to boarding HMAT Orsova. Note the rather useless bonnet of the 1914 outdoor dress and the variations in collars and fabric colour.

    This is the first in a series of blogs that covers the basic aspects of Australian uniforms during the First World War. There is a great diversity between nursing uniforms of the First World War. This variety is due to the fact that nursing uniforms were not centrally manufactured or issued in this war. Instead, nurses were given a uniform allowance to equip themselves and were allowed to make their own uniforms if they chose. This, and …

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  • A Mother's Love

    Friday 9 May 2014 by Eleni Holloway. 10 comments

    Memorial gold brooch presented to John Freeth’s mother, Ethel. The portrait photograph in the pendant was a hand coloured copy of one taken in Piccadilly, London in 1943. Finely engraved on the reverse side of this gold and glass brooch are the words "To dear John Freeth’s Mother, With regard from his friends at Angus Coote. 1944."At the centre of the brooch a hand-painted portrait of the youthful Flight Sergeant John Samuel Freeth …

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  • Autumn Leaves

    Friday 9 May 2014 by Jennifer Surtees. 2 comments

    Portrait of the file room of the general office, Base Records.

    Reading Room, Saturday 17 May 2014, 11.00am. Bookings are essential. Have you ever wondered what happens to the military’s official documents? Have you ever wondered how historians and academics access military documents and files for their research? Now is your chance to take a look behind the scenes at the official records held by the Australian War Memorial as a part of the Autumn Activities program. This tour, led by the official …

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