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

    Friday 22 July 2016 by .

    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 …

    Read on

  • On the Eve of Battle: Documents introducing the AIF to the Western Front - V: The town that was Pozieres

    Friday 22 July 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM26 39/1 [/3]

    In June and early July 100 years ago, the newly arrived Australian Imperial Force moved into their allocated positions for the coming British offensives on the Western Front. On The Eve of Battle presents a select group of documents highlighting the grim and the curious as the Australian and New Zealanders organised to be battle-ready. The final blog in this series provides a background into the town whose attack by soldiers of the 1st …

    Read on

  • Perth to Fremantle to Fromelles

    Tuesday 19 July 2016 by Craig Blanch. 3 comments

    The Battle of Fromelles by Charles Wheeler

    In the late afternoon of the 19th of July 1916 near the small German held village of Fromelles, Australians advanced across 300 metres of open ground in broad daylight toward the enemy. By the next afternoon over 5500 Australians were dead, wounded, or missing. Over 1000 of those killed have no known grave. It is regarded by many as the single largest disaster in Australian history. With 24 sets of brothers and at least one father and …

    Read on

  • On the Eve of Battle: Documents introducing the AIF to the Western Front - IV: Patrols and Raids

    Friday 15 July 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    AWM26 39/1 [/3] image 1

    In June and early July 100 years ago, the newly arrived Australian Imperial Force moved into their allocated positions for the coming British offensives on the Western Front. On The Eve of Battle presents a select group of documents highlighting the grim and the curious as the Australian and New Zealanders organised to be battle-ready. Patrols and raids Trench raids were a common feature of the fighting on the Western Front. Usually …

    Read on

  • On the Eve of Battle: Documents introducing the AIF to the Western Front - III: Eavesdropping

    Friday 1 July 2016 by Craig Berelle.

    Source: AWM26 38/4

    In June and early July nearly 100 years ago, the newly arrived Australian Imperial Force moved into their allocated positions for the coming British offensives on the Western Front. On The Eve of Battle presents a select group of documents highlighting the grim and the curious as the Australian and New Zealanders organised to be battle-ready. Eavesdropping The provision of special telephone wires began at an early stage in trench …

    Read on

  • Video message from The Director - First World War - battle of the Somme

    Friday 1 July 2016 by . 1 comments

    More than 100 years ago the Gallipoli campaign ended, leaving 8,700 dead, but the worst was yet to come. Beginning on 1 July, the purpose of the Somme offensive was to bring an end to the deadlock of trench warfare, and to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun. The campaign was massive, and included troops from Britain, Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Newfoundland. Later in July the AIF joined …

    Read on

  • Rothberg the Spy: Rumours in the 24th Battalion, 1916

    Thursday 30 June 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Cloth patch for the 24th Battalion - all participants in the raid removed their cloth patches, identity discs and any other identification before taking part.

    On the night of 29/30 June 1916, 2456 Private Albert Roth, 24th Battalion AIF went missing while taking part in a trench raid near Armentieres. This was one of a series of raids Australians undertook in late June /early July 1916, before the AIF fought at Fromelles and Pozieres. His mysterious disappearance led to a rumour spreading through the battalion - that he was a German spy! Cloth …

    Read on

  • The Carnage of the Somme

    Monday 27 June 2016 by Aaron Pegram. 6 comments

    Like most Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War, Private James Makin did not fight on Gallipoli. The 22-year-old bank clerk from Middle Park in Melbourne had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in July 1915 and left Australia with a reinforcement group for the 21st Battalion two months after the last troops were evacuated from Anzac. Makin’s war began in Egypt, where for months he tramped on pack marches and…

    Read on

  • The Anzacs of Brightlingsea

    Thursday 23 June 2016 by Amanda Rebbeck.

    On Friday 17 June 2016 a three-day ANZAC Centenary weekend will begin in Brightlingsea, Essex, England. This ancient maritime town, located at the mouth of the River Colne, was the location of an Australian Engineers Training Depot (AETD) during the First World War. It housed up to ten thousand Australian and New Zealand soldiers between 1916 and 1919. The establishment of the AETD, grew out of the need to find additional locations for …

    Read on

  • A hundred years of the RSL – a history in badges

    Thursday 16 June 2016 by . 2 comments

    Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League Badge: Lieutenant Colonel J F Donnelly DSO, 1 Pioneer Battalion, AIF

    In June 1916, a conference of state-based returned soldiers associations recommended the formation of The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (RSSILA). The RSSILA was founded by returning soldiers from the First World War with the aim of continuing to provide the camaraderie, concern, and mateship shown among Australian troops while they were at war. Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria were the …

    Read on

Pages