• Unidentified Birdwood connections

    Tuesday 24 March 2015 by Charis May.

    The writers to Birdwood in this blog do not appear to be Australians and are not easily identified. In some cases, it may be due to the difficulty in reading the hand writing. Please contact Charis May via PubandDig@awm.gov.au if you are able to assist with their identities. Other blogs relating to Birdwood correspondence can be found here : Australian military Birdwood connections and Australian Birdwood connections W Bax This is …

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  • So far from home: sending and receiving mail in the trenches

    Wednesday 18 March 2015 by Theresa Cronk. 5 comments

    The arrival of the first AIF mail of 161 bags at Mena, Egypt. The non-appearance of this mail in Egypt caused a great deal of talk and anxiety amongst the Australian troops. It had been labelled to GPO London and subsequently returned from there, 13 January 1915.

    Imagine if you were unable to contact loved ones by telephone, email or via any other communication strategy now available in today’s digital age. No longer is it possible to hop in your car and drive down the road to visit friends and family. Instead, you have sailed for at least 4 weeks aboard a troopship to a foreign land. And there is no indication as to when, or if, you will see loved ones again. In January 1915, an oft-repeated …

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  • Highlight on official records of the First World War: AWM8 - Unit Embarkation Rolls

    Monday 16 March 2015 by Craig Berelle. 5 comments

    Highlight on official records of the First World War is a centenary program of posts highlighting those records created 100 years ago, why they exist and how we can help make these essential records available for research purposes. The 9th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. It was the first battalion recruited in Queensland. …

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  • Establishing Gallipoli's Graves

    Wednesday 11 March 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 14 comments

    The Beach Cemetery 1915.

    The recent film, The Water Diviner has focused attention on the amazing work of the Graves Registration Unit (GRU) and Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC - now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) from late 1918 to the mid-1920s at Gallipoli. The Beach Cemetery 1915. H03479 During the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign, the recording of burials was haphazard but …

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  • Sing us a song...

    Monday 2 March 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    The Australian War Memorial holds a growing collection of sheet music which currently includes over 900 titles. The collection includes both individual pieces, and compilations of sheet music. The date range of this collection extends from the 1850s through to the mid-2000s. Of these approximately 250 pieces relate to the First World War. Some of the music held in the Memorial’s collection was written by service people themselves, …

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  • Building Butts and Bayonets; A guide to moulding and casting replica rifles for the FWW dioramas

    Wednesday 4 February 2015 by Emily Mulvihill. 3 comments

    Peeling two halves of the mould

    A large component of the conservation process and the overall rejuvenation of the First World War dioramas at the AWM has been to create new rifles and bayonets for missing or non-original rifles (suspected to be from previous interventions).Assessing the materialsthey were constructed fromalong with images from the initial diorama displays in the 1930’s we were able to identify original rifles and to hence find appropriate examples …

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  • Daily Digger: Narrating the First World War

    Tuesday 20 January 2015 by Theresa Cronk.

    We all wished everybody the best of luck in the New Year particularly those at home. The above words were penned on 1 January 1915 by Captain Charles Albert Barnes in a letter that he had started to write to his mother on Christmas Day 1914. The letter was continually added to on a daily basis, along the lines of a diary, until the last addition on 17 January 1915. This letter has been digitised as part of the Memorial’s major …

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  • Anzac Christmas hampers

    Tuesday 23 December 2014 by Alison Wishart. 8 comments

    Women distribute Christmas billies to men in Cairo, Egypt, December 1915. Driver Jack (John) O. McKenzie, from the 20th Australian Army Service Corps (AASC), recalls: `Every one was delighted to get one. The one I received was from two Melbourne girls. They distributed over five thousand in our camp amp; as far as I know every soldier in Egypt got one.

    Perhaps you’ve packed, compiled or received a Christmas hamper full of goodies in the last few days. About this time 99 years ago, the Anzacs who had evacuated from Gallipoli were eagerly awaiting their Christmas hampers. Women distribute Christmas billies to men in Cairo, Egypt, December 1915. Driver Jack (John) O. McKenzie, from the 20th Australian Army Service Corps (AASC), recalls: …

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  • Christmas at Templeux-la-Fosse, France, 25 December 1917

    Thursday 18 December 2014 by Theresa Cronk.

    You wouldn’t think it possible to have a Merry Xmas in a place like this, would you? Well forget it...Thanks to a good lot of fellows du vin and the Almighty spreading a fog over the landscape we had Peace, Goodwill and a good time. Captain Reginald Harriman Heywood, 4th Infantry Brigade Headquarters, 25 December 1917 25 December 1917 dawned at Templeux-la-Fosse, France as another wintry day. It was a day that was reportedly not so …

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  • Two of Sydney’s sons identified

    Wednesday 17 December 2014 by David Gist. 5 comments

    The 5th Australian Light Trench Mortar Batterys football team

    The 5th Australian Light Trench Mortar Batterys football team P10550.151 For those of us at the Memorial who have been privileged enough to work with the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier collection, the level of public interest shown in the Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt exhibition each time it visits a new city has always excited us. But the Sydney leg of the …

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