• They had to remember they were soldiers, albeit female

    Tuesday 29 July 2014 by Suzy Nunes. 1 comments

    View looking west showing the compounds of the 12th Australian Prisoner of War Camp at Cowra, with the Group Headquarter buildings in the foreground.

    By August 1944 there were 2,223 Japanese prisoners of war in Australia. Of these 1,104 were housed in Camp B of No. 12 Prisoner of War Compound near Cowra, in the central west of New South Wales. The Italian, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean prisoners of war interned at Cowra were treated in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. But relations between the Japanese prisoners of war and their guards from the 22nd Garrison Battalion were …

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  • 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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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Thursday 10 October 2013 by Nick Crofts. 2 comments

    WARNING: We wish to advise that this blog may contain names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have passed away. 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 selected for this project will reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians…

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  • Dig Deeper - A Different Story

    Tuesday 27 August 2013 by Stuart Baines.

    Able Seaman William George Vincent Williams was the first recorded Australian casualty of the First World War. Born in Richmond on 24 November 1885, Williams worked for the Melbourne City Council prior to his enlistment.

    So often in the study of history it is easy to get caught up in the “big” events, or the story that has most struck a chord in the social consciousness. Sadly that often means that fascinating people, events and moments in time can go virtually unexplored. Maybe in the mystery or excitement of exploring something that is the lesser known story, we can inspire people and challenge them to get passionate about history. As Europe moved …

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  • A Mother and Her Seven Soldier Sons

    Tuesday 13 August 2013 by Tamsin Hong. 16 comments

    REL46813.001 It seemed like an ordinary day where I was busy researching areas of our collection, when two remarkable badges were offered for donation. They were a Female Relative Badge with seven stars and a Mothers and Widows’ Badge with four stars, both from the Second World War. Some of you will immediately recognise the value and rarity of these badges. However, as I learnt about …

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  • ‘An upright, sterling character’ Sergeant Douglas Bernard Matthew Adams, 10 Battalion, AIF

    Tuesday 12 March 2013 by Michael Kelly. 2 comments

    c March 1915. Sergeant Douglas Bernard Matthew Adams, D Company, 10 Battalion, AIF. Photograph taken just prior to embarkation for service abroad. H06022

    During my first visit to Gallipoli in May 1996, in Beach Cemetery I chanced upon a grave of a 10th Battalion digger who had been a sergeant when he died of wounds at the age of 18 in early July 1915. The epitaph on the grave, A bright young life sacrificed on the altar of duty. So dearly loved, struck a chord with me, as I was only a few years older than he had been. I promised myself then never to forget him and to visit again when I …

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  • Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train diary

    Monday 14 May 2012 by . 2 comments

    Last month, the Memorial was delighted to accept a Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) diary, donated by Mr Martin Smee of Port Elliot, South Australia.  Mr Smee made the trip to Canberra to personally deliver the diary, which has been part of his family's valuable family history for many years.  The diary was written by his grandfather, Able Seaman Driver Laurie John Smee.  Born in South Australia, Laurie ran away to sea…

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  • ANZAC Day at Gallipoli - Simpson Prize 2011

    Monday 25 April 2011 by Stuart Baines. 3 comments

    Wreath ordeley duties Well today was the day, the pinnacle of the experience and certainly a big part of why these students entered the prize. The day started for us with a midnight wake up call. We needed to allow plenty of time to beat the traffic and certainly to get as close as we can to the service. When you consider that our hotel is the closets hotel to the dawn service and that we are only about 8 kms away, you …

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  • WWI letters & diaries at the Memorial.

    Monday 18 April 2011 by Sue Jamesion. 4 comments

    As the Memorial gears up for WWI Centenary commemorations, AWM cataloguer indexer, Sue Jamesion, begins work on a diary from 1914, With the Centenary of the Great War of 1914-1918 only a few years away, staff in the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial are busily working on a variety of special projects aimed at supporting the Australian community's commemoration of this momentous occasion.  One such project …

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  • Close Shaves

    Thursday 3 March 2011 by Andrew Currey.

    “I had a very close shave...” (Pte C H Lester, 1 October 1917) As many soldiers will testify, war can be as much about luck as it is about training and equipment. Luck can take many forms, such as being in the right place at the right time, and the closely related not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The men listed below are a few examples of these places and the sometimes very short distance between them. Lt William Henry…

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