• 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. 7 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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  • Copyright Hunter

    Friday 28 November 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey. 14 comments

    A moment of nervous anticipation hits me as I pick up the phone and dial the number. The phone starts to ring and the heart beat picks up a little. A voice on the other end of the line says “Hello?” I ask if she’s the relation of a First World War veteran I have been tracing. The reply is “Yes” and hours of work scouring through databases and the internet have paid off. I have found a relative the Australian War Memorial can …

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  • Brothers: the story of Alec and Goldy Raws

    Thursday 20 November 2014 by . 4 comments

    How does a son tell a father whom they love that they’re about to leave them, possibly forever? How does a father persuade a son not to leave, a son they have watched grow into a fine young man, a son they have nurtured and loved from the moment their boy opened his eyes, a son who they watched as he learnt to walk and now watched again as those same legs prepared to march him to war? The Raws family. As John Alexander …

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  • White’s Turkish Odyssey

    Thursday 13 November 2014 by Daniel McGlinchey.

    “One Arab, whom I mistaken at a distance for a soldier in blue uniform, proved to be a naked fanatical savage…” Captain Thomas Walter White, sitting second from the left, July 1915, Basra. Captain Thomas Walter White, Australian Flying Corps, had just landed, damaging his aircraft in the desert close to the ancient city of Baghdad. His observer, Captain Francis Yeats-Brown, Royal Flying Corps, jumped out to blow the telegraph …

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  • A Last Letter from Gallipoli

    Wednesday 12 November 2014 by Melissa Cadden.

    “I build castles in the air every day about our reunion.” Private Thomas Anderson Whyte, letter to Eileen Wallace Champion, AWM Private Records collection (PR04722). Circular silver frame with velvet backing, the front face of the frame has a decorative pattern running the entire circumference of frame. Displayed inside the frame is a black and white photo of Thomas Anderson Whyte smoking a pipe, dressed in blazer. A blue velvet …

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