• Art of Nation: Mapping field sketches

    Friday 2 December 2016 by Emily Wubben.

    Will Longstaff, Amiens Cathedral, 23 July 1918

    The majority of the artworks included in ‘Art of Nation’ will be field sketches, pinned to the location they depict, so users will be able to follow the journeys of the First World War official war artists and explore the location ‘then and now’ in Google maps. Mapping the field sketches was fascinating; for some it was straightforward but for others in-depth detective work was required. George Benson, Frank Crozier, James Fraser…

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  • Mephisto

    Wednesday 30 November 2016 by Andrew Currey.

    On the morning of 24 April 1918, 13 German A7V tanks in three groups left the town of Marcelcave to attack the British lines in and between the towns of Villers-Bretonneux and Cachy. This was the largest number of A7Vs ever deployed in the one operation in the First World War. Supporting regiments of two German divisions, the attack was mostly successful, though by the following dawn Villers-Bretonneux was in Australian hands. On a day …

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM25 Written Records, 1914-18 War

    Thursday 24 November 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM25 213/7

    Highlight on the official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, whythey exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes.AWM25 213/7Function and provenanceIt was not until the beginning of 1917 that any steps towards the collection of the historical records of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) were taken. From the beginning …

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  • Art of Nation: Latest progress shots

    Wednesday 9 November 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Memorial landscape

    We have just received work-in-progress shots of the next phase of Art of Nation: the landscaping that will surround the building.Image: OrteliaThis immediately ‘grounds’ the building – rather than the ‘heavenly’ atmosphere in an earlier phase, when the building was being created in isolation from the landscape.View from front door, down Anzac Parade, 8 November 2016. Image: OrteliaThe landscape also serves to position the …

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  • Centenary of "3 Squadron" AFC

    Monday 19 September 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    Parachute used to supply soldiers with ammunition during the Battle of Hamel. On display in the First World War 1918 Gallery

    The unit that became knownas 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), was formed at Point Cook, in Victoria on 19 September 1916. However, it was initially designated 2 Squadron AFC. On 31 March 1917 it was re-designated 69 Squadron (Australian) Royal Flying Corps (RFC), before finally being designated 3 Squadron AFC on 20 January 1918. Below is a selection of objects associated with 3 Squadron AFC that are currently on display in the …

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  • "I knew by the screams that someone had caught it"

    Monday 15 August 2016 by . 3 comments

    One hundred years ago, on 14 August 1916, brothers Robert (Bob) and Stephen (Steve) Allen, from A Company, 13th Battalion, AIF, picked their way down Tom’s Cut, a communications trench near Mouquet Farm. Part of a group of 10 men, they had been detailed to carry rations to their company near the front line. It was their second trip of the day.The Allens, from Sydney, were part of a close-knit family, united by hardship. Their mother, …

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  • The Art of Nation and the centenary of the official war art scheme

    Monday 15 August 2016 by Anthea Gunn.

    Chateau St Gratien

    The idea for the Art of Nation emerged from discussions about how to address the centenary of the start of the official war art scheme. Aside from the official portraits commissioned by the Commonwealth Art Advisory Board, the Memorial holds the first significant art collection established by the federal government. It was the start of what is now the oldest, ongoing art commissioning program in Australia. The collection can be roughly …

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  • The Pozieres Victoria Crosses

    Wednesday 10 August 2016 by Craig Blanch. 8 comments

    Twenty three thousand Australian casualties, over six and a half thousand dead. That was the cost to capture Pozieres and nearby Mouquet Farm over 7 bloody weeks in 1916. Now, one hundred years on, we can still wonder at the courage of people like British born John Leak, South Australian Arthur Blackburn, New Zealander Tom Cooke, Englishman Claud Castleton and Ireland’s Martin O’Meara. From across the British Empire they called …

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  • Wounded and missing : Private William Benton

    Friday 5 August 2016 by Eleni Holloway. 6 comments

    Studio portrait of 3775 Private (Pte) William Benton, 9th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of South Richmond, Vic.

    Studio portrait of 3775 Private (Pte) William Benton, 9th Reinforcements, 24th Battalion, of South Richmond, Vic. DA13672 “I saw a man called Benton wounded on August 5th at Pozieres Ridge. A piece of shell cracked his helmet and wounded him in the head… He walked out with other wounded men. They would have about two miles to go to the Dressing Station. There was …

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  • The first guns captured by the Australians on the Western Front – July 1916

    Friday 22 July 2016 by Shane Casey. 4 comments

    Figure 1 An Australian soldier examining a destroyed Belgian howitzer at Pozieres. The howitzer is an ‘Obusier de 15 cm A. Mod. 1887 - 1890 FRC sur affût métallique de siège’.

    Jagged chunks of white-hot metal shrieking through the air, concussive blasts sending shockwaves through the earth, spumes of soil, filthy gore, and dust spreading over the landscape, and the acrid chemical residue of spent explosives. Pockmarked wastelands stripped of vegetation and horribly disfiguring injuries dealt out without discrimination to all classes, ranks and creeds. These were (and still are) horrors that come …

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