• Understanding Australian Identity Discs Part 2 : Second World War, Royal Australian Navy

    Tuesday 28 July 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) in the First World War were not officially issued with identity discs. However, they were in the Second World War. In June 1939 Commonwealth Navy Order (CNO) 97 ordered that the RAN would follow the Royal Navy procedure laid down in Confidential Admiralty Fleet Order (AFO) 805/1939 that a single red circular compressed fibre disc would be issued to all naval personnel. Not everyone used the red …

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  • Military helmets - an introduction

    Monday 27 July 2015 by Amanda Rebbeck. 1 comments

    External and internal views of a Helmet, Steel, Mark I

    This blog covers the basic aspects and some variants of helmets worn by the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) during the First World War and the Second AIF during the Second World War. First World War Between 1916 and 1918, on the Western Front, Australians wore the British issue steel helmet as head protection. This helmet was called The Helmet, Steel, Mark I but is also sometimes referred to as the Brodie steel helmet or the Brodie Mark…

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  • Pattern 1908 Web Equipment

    Tuesday 14 July 2015 by Eleni Holloway. 1 comments

    Pattern 1908 web equipment with water bottle and bayonet frog. The entrenching tool helve which should be positioned next to the bayonet frog is missing. This set of equipment was issued to Private William George Hoffman, 32 Battalion. Private Hoffman wore this web equipment during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt on 29 September to 1 October 1918. He returned to Australia in 1919. RELAWM07759.001

    Pattern 1908 web equipment with water bottle and bayonet frog. The entrenching tool helve which should be positioned next to the bayonet frog is missing. This set of equipment was issued to Private William George Hoffman, 32 Battalion. Private Hoffman wore this web equipment during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt on 29 September to 1 October 1918. He returned to Australia in…

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  • Second World War Escape and Evasion compasses

    Friday 10 July 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Continuing from the blog about Escape Evasion mapsissued during the Second World War, escape compasses were the next important piece of equipment to be developed by MI9. These compasses were produced in a vast variety and were issued as part of escape kits, hidden in uniforms, in buttons or inside innocent looking everyday items. Below are examples of the main types of escape compasses issued during the Second World War. Swinger …

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  • Second World War Escape and Evasion maps

    Wednesday 8 July 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Lamp shade made from MI9 maps.

    Quite a few people have examples of Second World War Escape Evasion (EE) maps in their homes. This document covers some of the basic aspects of the creation and issuing of EE maps during the Second World War. It is not a definitive history but is a starting point for those who hold or are interested in Second World War EE equipment. Lamp shade made from MI9 maps. REL34276…

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  • Re-uniting families with lost medals and other items

    Friday 12 June 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    First World War trio.

    The Memorial is sometimes contacted by people wishing to return items they have found – often medals – to the family of the original recipients or users who served in the Australian Forces. Unfortunately, this can be quite a challenging and time consuming process and the Memorial does not have the resources to undertake such in-depth research for the public, nor do we have easy access to information about service people’s …

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  • Understanding Australian Identity Discs Part 1 : First World War

    Friday 22 May 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 5 comments

    Pattern 1907 identity disc with August 1914 format details stamped.

    OFFICIAL IDENTITY DISCS During the First World War there were threetypes of identity discs issued to those serving in the Australian Imperial Force [AIF]. Those serving in the Royal Australian Navy were not issued with identity discs (excluding members of the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train, who do appear to have been issued with official identity discs), although somewore private purchase or improvised ones and I have come across …

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  • Gallipoli Highlights: the Ottoman Collection

    Tuesday 19 May 2015 by Alexandra Biggs. 1 comments

    Turkish War Medal (1915)

    As Australia commemorates the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, it is a timely opportunity to look at the objects in the collection of the Australian War Memorial relating to the Ottoman forces at Gallipoli. As part of an internship at the Australian War Memorial, I have been investigating the representation of the Ottoman forces at the Memorial, through looking at the acquisition and display of Ottoman objects from the Gallipoli …

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  • Welcoming Loved Ones Home

    Tuesday 5 May 2015 by Alexandra Biggs.

    The Welcome Home banner made by Jessie and Alice Middleton in 1919 to welcome home Private J.T.B. Elderfield. REL40074.

    This ‘Welcome Home’ banner was made by Jessie Mary Middleton and her mother Alice in 1919 to welcome Jessie’s fiancée John Thomas Bracey Elderfield back to Australia from active service in France. Banners welcoming loved ones home from overseas were common at the end of the First World War (and in conflicts since), but few have survived to this day. While it only has a few ‘Welcome Home’ banners in its First World War …

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  • Jack and the Singapore surrender table

    Sunday 15 February 2015 by Garth O'Connell. 3 comments

    The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial.

    Jack and the Singapore surrender table The Singapore surrender table as on display in the Second World War gallery of the Australian War Memorial. RELAWM32783 This simple teak table is one of the most poignant physical reminders of one the darkest chapters of Australian and British military history, the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. Along with tens of thousands …

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