• Video message from The Director - First World War - battle of the Somme

    Friday 1 July 2016 by .

    More than 100 years ago the Gallipoli campaign ended, leaving 8,700 dead, but the worst was yet to come. Beginning on 1 July, the purpose of the Somme offensive was to bring an end to the deadlock of trench warfare, and to relieve pressure on the French at Verdun. The campaign was massive, and included troops from Britain, Australia, France, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India, and Newfoundland. Later in July the AIF joined …

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  • The Carnage of the Somme

    Monday 27 June 2016 by Aaron Pegram. 3 comments

    Like most Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War, Private James Makin did not fight on Gallipoli. The 22-year-old bank clerk from Middle Park in Melbourne had enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) in July 1915 and left Australia with a reinforcement group for the 21st Battalion two months after the last troops were evacuated from Anzac. Makin’s war began in Egypt, where for months he tramped on pack marches and…

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  • New addition to the digitisation team

    Friday 3 June 2016 by Kathryn Hicks.

    The digitisation team in the Research Centre recently welcomed a new member to our scanning family. Currently our small team is responsible for all of the imaging of Research Centre items which go out to the web. This includes the Reports of Proceedings and Anzac Connections project. Up until now the images have been scanned using only flatbed scanners and a wide format map scanner. One of our A3 Flatbed Scanner One of…

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  • Australians on the Western Front 1916 - 100 years ago

    Thursday 26 May 2016 by . 2 comments

    “We thought we knew something of the horrors of war, but we were mere recruits, and have had our full education in one day.”Ronald Alison McInnis 19 July, 1916 This year marks the centenary of Australia’s first year on the Western Front. It was to become a year of terrible sacrifice. The experiences of some Australians who served in 1916 are preserved in the Memorial’s archive and are now available online. From the battlefield …

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  • Influences on the Music and Lyrics Written by First World War Australian Servicemen

    Friday 20 May 2016 by .

    The following blog post was written by Alison Mountain from the Australian National University whilst completing a research internship at the Australian War Memorial as part of her studies. Music has always played a significant role in war; from the use of bugles and snare drums as forms of communication, to the escapism of writing organised melodies to distract soldiers from the barrage of noise that constitutes traditional warfare, …

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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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  • 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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  • A ‘fine body of men’: the Kurrajongs recruitment march, January 1916

    Thursday 21 January 2016 by . 2 comments

    Kurrajong banner - http://harrowercollection.com

    Recruitment Marches The outbreak of the First World War brought an immediate rush of volunteers wanting to serve their country. In 1915, in the central west of New South Wales, a movement began which became known as the 'Gilgandra snowball'. Under the leadership of 'Captain Bill' Hitchen, 20 or so men who had decided to enlist started off to march to Sydney. Gathering other recruits along the way, they numbered about 300 by the time …

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  • Caterpillars, goldfish and guinea pigs: badges of the (un)lucky clubs of the Second World War

    Monday 18 January 2016 by . 6 comments

    Late Arrivals Club embroidered patch

    Whether walking back to safety from behind enemy lines, parachuting out of a disabled aircraft, crashing into water and being saved by a life raft, or enduring horrible burns from a plane crash, the stories of near misses experienced by aircrew during the Second World War are remarkable. As a symbol of the camaraderie between the men who had experienced these near misses, numerous clubs were formed, each with a distinct badge or patch to…

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  • Lee Kernaghan - “Outstanding Achievement Award” for Spirit of the Anzacs

    Thursday 10 December 2015 by Brendan Nelson.

    It was with absolute pleasure and pride that I had the opportunity to present my good friend Lee Kernaghan the Outstanding Achievement Award for his album Spirit of the Anzacs at the ARIAs on 26 November 2015. It was a wonderful and poignant moment when the large crowd paused and paid their respects to this moving tribute from one of Australia’s great story tellers which puts the words of Australian soldiers to music. Lee and his …

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