• Decoration from Destruction: the First World War Trench Art of Sapper Pearl

    Thursday 28 April 2016 by Kerry Neale.

    A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd Divisional Artillery, during the battle of Zonnebeke, 20 September 1917, when these shells were used. Photographer: Frank Hurley.

    During the battles that raged between 1914 and 1918, millions of shells were blasted between the fighting forces, leaving the people and the ground around them mutilated. This was a new type of war, yet there was an unexpected by-product of these used shell cases: trench art. A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd …

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  • The Famous Military Costume Comedy Company, The AUSSIES!

    Tuesday 15 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918.

    Concert parties were one of the ways soldiers were able to entertain themselves during the war. They were created on board troopships, within units, divisions, prisoner of war camps, training and convalescent camps. One example was the Perham Stars who later became known as The Aussies. The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918. P11238.001 The Perham Stars was …

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  • The mystery comforter

    Thursday 3 March 2016 by Eleni Holloway. 4 comments

    We need your help! Do you know what a comforter is? We would like to hear from you if you have any information about how to arrange this knitted comforter from the First World War. The Memorial acquired this hand-knitted wool comforter in 1981. It was worn by Sergeant Leslie Wilson Thompson during his service on the Western Front with 22 and 24 Battalion. He enlisted for service on 6 April 1915 and returned to Australia in early April …

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  • Welcoming home HMAS Sydney from the Gulf War, 1991

    Friday 26 February 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    HMAS Sydney IV crew February 1991.

    This year marks the 25th anniversary of the end of the Gulf war on 28 February 1991. One of the Australian vessels who served during the Gulf War was HMAS Sydney IV. On 3 December 1990 HMA ships Sydney and Brisbane arrived in the Persian Gulf to relieve the Adelaide and Darwin as part of Operation Damask. They participated in surveillance and boarding operations and after Operation Desert Storm began, Sydney was assigned to the escort …

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  • “Gott Strafe England!”: Walter Koch in Holsworthy Camp 1918

    Tuesday 9 February 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Koch's coat on display in 2015 During the First World War several thousand people of “enemy origin” were interned in Australia. This included sailors removed from prize ships and merchant navy vessels,Australian residents born overseas – even some that were naturalised, and others born in Australia of “enemy” background. There were also about 1200 people interned from overseas from places like Singapore,British Indiaand the …

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  • Wearing patriotism

    Friday 29 January 2016 by Eleni Holloway. 2 comments

    Elsie Myra (Judy) Richards of Newcastle, pictured here in September, 1942, is operating a lathe in a munitions factory. A row of 20-pounder anti-tank shells sit in the foreground.

    Elsie Myra (Judy) Richards of Newcastle, pictured here in September, 1942, is operating a lathe in a munitions factory. A row of 20-pounder anti-tank shells sit in the foreground. 013178 The needs of the factory worker In Britain and Australia during the Second World War, the head scarf worn by the munitions worker was adopted for pragmatic reasons, more than fashionable …

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  • Uniforms of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force

    Wednesday 13 January 2016 by Craig Blanch.

    Cadets in Universal Training Pattern uniform circa 1913.

    At the outbreak of the First World War Australia immediately pledged a contingent of 20,000 men in support of England. Within days Britain forwarded a request for an additional force to capture and occupy German possessions in the Pacific, particularly the wireless stations instrumental in communications used bythe powerful German naval squadron based in the area. Nine days later, on 19 August 1914,a hurriedly equipped force of 1500 …

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  • The German Officer's Corset

    Monday 4 January 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French troops in Belgium, 1916.

    This corset was worn by an unknown German officer on the Western Front during the First World War. It was removed from him by French troops when he was taken prisoner at Dickiebusch, Belgium in 1916 and collected by Captain Louis de Tournouër, an officer in the 9th Regiment de Chasseurs who served in Marshal Petain's Staff in 1915-1916. Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French …

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  • Capturing the Albatros

    Wednesday 23 December 2015 by Amanda Rebbeck. 3 comments

    Albatros D.Va D5390/17 on display in the Australian War Memorials Over the Front exhibition

    The remarkable events that resulted in the first enemy aircraft to be brought down intact by the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) were marred by the news that two of their own had disappeared in the aftermath of the fierce and fiery battle. Albatros D.Va D5390/17 on display in the Australian War Memorials Over the Front exhibition RELAWM04806 The story begins in the early …

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  • Wartime Inspired Christmas Decorations

    Tuesday 22 December 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Since I started work in Military Heraldry Technology (MHT) I have enjoyed learning the techniques used to make some of the items in our collection to gain a better understanding of their constructionand the effort it took to make them. I have used what I learned to make some Christmas decorations in my spare time, inspired by items held in the Memorial’s collection. Christmas tree decorated with items inspired by the collection …

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