• A large monster

    Tuesday 26 November 2013 by Robyn van Dyk. 2 comments

    “Pulled out of bed in the dead of night by a large monster that ultimately turned out to be a man with his gas mask on.” - Captain Robert Grieve of the 37th Battalion. Gas masks saved lives but also caused fatalities. They were extremely uncomfortable and hampered the movement of the men, inducing fatigue, disorientation, and confusion. Corporal Arthur Thomas of 6th Battalion wrote 19 March 1918: “It was terrible there were about …

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  • Collection Detection Answer No. 3

    Monday 18 November 2013 by John Holloway.

    Thanks to everyone who submitted answers to last week's Collection Detection challenge either here on the blog or on our Facebook page. Well done to those who knew the answer! RELAWM00326 Answer Improvised sentry’s warning wires such as this one were often strung along trench lines during the First World War. Made from recycled junk, they provided a quick and easily accessible …

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  • Collection Detection No. 3

    Wednesday 6 November 2013 by John Holloway. 2 comments

    What is it? This length of barbed wire with metal jam tins and lids, and a flattened metal plate attached was found on Pope’s Hill on Gallipoli in 1919. Give us your best guess in the comment box below. The answer will be revealed next week, along with an interesting story you could use in your classroom. Read on

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  • All of them, one of us: the Unknown Australian Soldier

    Monday 4 November 2013 by Emma Campbell. 1 comments

    "He is all of them. And he is one of us.” This Remembrance Day marks two significant anniversaries: it will be 95 years since the end of the First World War and 20 years since the remains of an unknown Australian soldier who died in that conflict were interred in the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory. The entombment of the unknown soldier on 11 November 1993 was a significant and highly emotional occasion for Australians, …

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  • Memorial Box Banter - Part II

    Thursday 3 October 2013 by Kathleen Cusack.

    There are few places in Australia that have been so directly affected by war like north Queensland. Even today, defence remains at the heart of our tropical cities. With the generous assistance of the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville, the Australian War Memorial is fortunate to be able to have a suite of Memorial Boxes available for schools and community organisations in these northern regions. For these borrowers, in …

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  • Dig Deeper - Finding the elusive Count von Spee

    Tuesday 1 October 2013 by Stuart Baines. 1 comments

    Group portrait of unidentified officers of the German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau.

    With what seemed like an inevitable movement towards war in Europe from mid 1914, of great concern to Australia was the presence in the Pacific of the German East Asia Squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Count Maximilian von Spee. He commanded two powerful armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau; three light cruisers, SMS Emden, Nurnberg, and Leipzig; a torpedo boat, and, some small gunboats, but von Spee’s actual …

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  • Royal Australian Navy (RAN) fleet entry of 1913

    Friday 27 September 2013 by Krissy Kraljevic.

    Written by Alexandra Orr The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is hosting an International Fleet Review, to be held in Sydney from 3 to 11 October 2013. This high-profile event, which will showcase ships from some 20 nations, is being held to mark the centenary of the first fleet entry of the fledgling RAN into Sydney in 1913. Why was the arrival of the RAN’s first fleet important? The fleet entry of 1913 meant Australia now had a credible …

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  • Alexander Cyril Ferguson medal donation

    Monday 23 September 2013 by Amanda Rebbeck. 3 comments

    Sixty members of the extended Ferguson family travelled from around Australia to attend a medal donation ceremony this morning at the Australian War Memorial in commemoration of their forebear Alexander Cyril Ferguson. Alexander served in both the First and Second World Wars and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions near Zonnebeke in October 1917where he was a member of the Australian Army Medical Corps, attached to…

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  • Collection Detection answer no. 2

    Monday 16 September 2013 by Stuart Baines.

    We hope we havent kept you in suspense too long. Here is the latest collection detection mystery solved for you. Well done to those who got it correct. REL/00683.006 This is a salt spoon, part of a full silver service made by Wilkins Bremen, originally used by officers and guests in the wardroom of the German inspection ship KGS Komet. KGS stands for Kaiserliches Gouvernement Schiff …

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  • Transportation series dioramas: Consolidation

    Friday 13 September 2013 by Jocelyn Evans. 1 comments

    While Kasi has been working away at those pesky crates, I’ve been tasked with adhering the flaking paint on the painted backdrops. In conservation we call this process ‘consolidation’. While the backdrops of the large dioramas are all in pretty good shape, the two small diorama series (‘Transportation of Supplies’ and ‘Evacuation of the wounded’, each comprising 9 scenes) have not been so lucky. On some of these small …

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