• Cirkut Panoramas

    Tuesday 15 May 2007 by Shaune Lakin.

    Cirkut panoramas Officers, NCOs and men of the 1st Australian Mechanical Transport Company with civilians at Hainaut Chatelet, Belgium, April 1919 (AWM E05297) E05297 Given their application to the fields of reconnaissance, surveillance and the gathering of intelligence, the course of the First World War was in many ways dependent on the production and circulation of panoramic photographs. Panoramas were regularly …

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  • Maps of the battles

    Wednesday 2 May 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    These four basic maps are from Bean's Official History (Vol. IV) and are just a quick and handy reference for anyone reading about the four battles featured on this blog.  Soon we hope to also feature some really great-looking original 1917 AIF maps, some of which will appear in the exhibition. Map: Bapaume to Bullecourt from the Official History Vol IV, p 156 Map: Bullecourt from the Official History Vol IV, p 310 Map: Messines from …

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  • Roll of Honour

    Thursday 12 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    Roll of Honour bronze panel at the Australian War Memorial Tens of thousands of British and Empire troops remain ‘missing’ in France and Belgium. The bodies of many of them were located after the war and placed in war cemeteries where they lie in nameless graves. The remains of others have never been found. The Menin Gate at Ypres records the names of 55,000 of those killed in Belgium who have no known grave and a …

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  • Further reading: a select bibliography

    Thursday 12 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    The following is not intended to provide an exhaustive bibliography of resources on the AIF campaigns in France and Flanders during 1917. Rather, it identifies some of the more useful and readily available sources for anyone wishing to explore the topic further. Primary source records One of the most useful primary sources for researching the Australian Imperial Force are their unit war diaries. Each unit (usually down …

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  • Battle of Passchendaele (Third Ypres)

    Wednesday 11 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 24 comments

    Overview After mid-1917, and following mutinies in the over-strained French Army, the British Forces had to assume an even greater role in the war on the Western Front. For Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, the British commander-in-chief, this provided an opportunity to launch an offensive that he had long wanted. Attacking from Ypres in Belgium, he planned to drive the Germans from the surrounding dominant ridges and even hoped to reach …

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  • Battle of Messines

    Wednesday 11 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 5 comments

    The battle of Messines fought on 7 June 1917 was the first large-scale action involving Australian troops in Belgium and it also marked the entry of the 3rd Division into a major battle. Messines was an important success for the British Army leading up to the beginning of the Third Battle of Ypres several weeks later. At 3.10 am on 7 June 1917 nineteen powerful mines exploded under the German trenches along the Wytschaete – Messines …

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  • In Flanders Fields (the poem)

    Wednesday 4 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, CEF A poem by a Canadian medical officer, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, was first published in the British Punch magazine in December 1915. McCrae later became a casualty of the war, dying in January 1918. However his poem has endured as a symbol of the sacrifice of those who fought during the First World War and is particularly identified with the losses around the Ypres salient. In …

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  • Private Francis Joseph Mackey

    Wednesday 4 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    P05435.001 Wedding portrait of Private Francis Joseph Mackey, No. 3147, of 40th Battalion (AIF), with his bride Cecilia Agnes. A barman of Huonville Tasmania, Mackey enlisted on 30 October 1916 and sailed with the 7th Reinforcements aboard HMAT Seang Bee on 10 February 1917. He was killed in action, aged 37 on 5 October 1917 at Broodseinde and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium. View Mackey's personal …

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  • The Ypres lions

    Wednesday 4 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 3 comments

    The Menin Gate lions at the entrance of the Australian War Memorial In medieval times two stone lions bearing the coat-of-arms of Ypres stood at the entrance to the Cloth Hall, the town’s civic and commercial centre. Centuries passed and the town’s glory faded. The lions were moved to the Menin Gate and stood there during the war while Ypres was reduced to ruins by German artillery fire. The lions, broken and …

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  • Private Walter Henry Chibnall

    Wednesday 4 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 1 comments

    Private Walter Henry Chibnall son (AWM P05483.001) Studio portrait of Private Walter Henry Chibnall, No. 1626 of 10th Light Trench Mortar Battery, with his son Billy. A miner of Beaufort Victoria, Chibnall enlisted on 15 March 1916 and embarked on HMAT Ascanius with the 1st Reinforcements on 27 May 1916. He was transferred to the 10th Light Trench Mortar Battery on 7 August 1916 where he was promoted to Corporal on 15 …

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