• Centenary of "3 Squadron" AFC

    Monday 19 September 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    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 .

    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. 7 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 . 4 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. 3 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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  • 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 …

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  • Perth to Fremantle to Fromelles

    Tuesday 19 July 2016 by Craig Blanch. 5 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 …

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  • 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 …

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  • 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 …

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