The glass-plate negatives from Vignacourt are significant because they offer insights into the reality of life on the Western Front. There are photos that show the laughter and the mateship among these soldiers, and the general feeling of life away from the line. Like any true portrait, many offer an insight into the character and mood of the subject. None of the soldiers in this post have been identified, but photographs created so close to the battlefields of the Somme means portrait subjects who have witnessed true horrors.

 

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ART19776 Charles Delacy, The storming of the Mole at Zeebrugger, Belgium, 1916, ART19776

The raid on Zeebrugge to cripple the inland port of Bruges in occupied Belgium in April 1918 lasted a little more than an hour. It cost the lives of over 200 British sailors and marines with hundreds more wounded. Artificer Engineer William Henry Vaughan Edgar, late of HMAS Australia, joined the raid on a Mersey ferry steamer and in the process became the Royal Australian Navy’s only Distinguished Service Cross winner of the First World War.

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Friday 13 September 2013 by Jocelyn Evans. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation, News Dioramas

While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops.  In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’.  While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky.  On some of these small scenes (painted by artist Louis McCubbin) the bonding between the paint film and the curved plaster domes has failed in certain areas, and over time this has

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Tuesday 10 September 2013 by Kasi Albert. No comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation Dioramas

As more building works continue in the Western Front Gallery, the Diorama Conservation Team has moved into the Sinai Palestine Gallery, to take on the treatment of the beautiful Transportation of Supplies series of dioramas. Although much smaller than most of what we have been tackling so far, these nine scenes present their own set of challenges.

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Monday 22 July 2013 by Nick Crofts. No comments.
First World War Centenary, ANZAC Connections

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 during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as provide full copies for research on the Memorial’s website.

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Last month saw the removal of collection items, large and small, from the Western Front and Sinai–Palestine galleries in preparation for major building works in the space. All of these objects will be moved into storage, with the larger ones going into the Treloar Technology Centre at Mitchell, a large purpose-built shed that houses some of Australia’s national treasures.

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Thursday 4 July 2013 by Alana Treasure. 4 comments.
First World War Centenary, Conservation Dioramas

Before beginning conservation treatment on any item in our National Collection (whether it is an artwork, uniform or tank...) the first step is to inspect and document its condition. We look at how the item is made, what materials are used, what state it is in and whether there are any damaged or unstable/fragile areas or components. We can then safely handle/move the item and determine what conservation treatment is required.

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Steel lifeboat from HMT Ascot used in the landings on Gallipoli.
AWM RELAWM05086.001

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Friday 28 June 2013 by Daniel Eisenberg. 2 comments.
First World War Centenary, Collection, Collection Highlights, News Film

The Australian War Memorial is currently in the process of releasing a vast selection of its film collection online as downloadable content through our website. This material, comprising of over 3000 titles, joins items from the Memorial’s sound collection which have been available online for the last few months. Already over 1200 film items have been released to our website. Each title that is available online has a link embedded on its object record page which lets you download a copy of the film to your personal computer.

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