• "With the heel of my boot I marked the site": the story of the Long Tan Cross

    Wednesday 19 September 2012 by Emma Campbell. 4 comments

    Pipers flank the men who fought in the battle of Long Tan during the dedication ceremony. P04665.798 It’s rough, scarred and made of concrete, but the Long Tan Cross has a beauty and poignancy that transcends its rudimentary  form. Erected in memory of the 18 young men who died in one of the most intense and dramatic actions of the Vietnam War, the cross has been adopted by veterans to symbolise all Australians who …

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  • Thank you and goodbye

    Friday 31 August 2012 by Marylou Pooley. 4 comments

    Steve Gower. Photo courtesy of Silas Brown After more than 16 years as Director of the Australian War Memorial Steve Gower AO AO (Mil) retires on Friday 31 August 2012. “On behalf of the Council, staff and volunteers at the Memorial, I pay tribute to Steve for his visionary and inspirational leadership. His extraordinary talents have guided the Memorial for more than a decade and a half,” said Rear Admiral Ken …

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  • Miss Lynch's Letters

    Wednesday 22 August 2012 by Emma Campbell.

      When war was declared in August 1914, it began a period of great upheaval for the lives of Australians. The young nation of just over 4 million sent 330,000 men to foreign lands such as Turkey, Egypt, France, and Belgium with the newly formed Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Most families had at least one member – or a friend or neighbour – in the fight. These men had volunteered for war; in turn, their families and friends …

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  • 70th Anniversary of the loss of HMAS Canberra

    Thursday 9 August 2012 by Marie Kesina. 8 comments

    Today marks the 70th anniversary of the loss of HMAS Canberra. On 9th August 1942, the cruiser came to a catastrophic end in the Pacific during the Battle of Savo Island. Captain Frank Edmund Getting was in command at the time. He had a long association with the Navy. His story, and that of HMAS Canberra, was uncovered whilst scanning the Reports of Proceedings for HMAS Canberra.   Portrait of Captain Frank Edmund …

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  • Long Tan cross

    Friday 27 July 2012 by Lauren Beckman. 19 comments

    Commemorative service held on the site of the battle of Long Tan, 1969, photographed by Christopher John Bellis EKN On 18 August 1969, soldiers of 6RAR/NZ (ANZAC) erected a cross in the Long Tan rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy province (now Ba Ria–Vung Tau province), South Vietnam.  The cross marked the site where three years earlier, on 18 August 1966, 108 soldiers of D Company, 6RAR, had fought a fierce battle against…

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  • Russells Top Handover Report

    Wednesday 4 July 2012 by Stuart Bennington. 7 comments

    On occasion a totally unexpected document walks in the front door and into Official Records. Recently a report made at Gallipoli was generously donated by Cindy Osborne to the Memorial. The document in question is a handover report from the Commanding Officer 26th Infantry Battalion to the Commanding Officer of the 28th. The Russell Top handover report is a most welcome addition to the Official Records held at the Memorial, for although …

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  • Antony Beevor heads distinguished line-up at Memorial history conference

    Monday 25 June 2012 by Emma Campbell. 2 comments

    Acclaimed British author and Second World War historian Antony Beevor will deliver the keynote address at the Australian War Memorial’s annual history conference to be held in Canberra in September. Beevor, the author of international bestsellers Stalingrad, Berlin and D-Day, is the inaugural Boeing Visiting Fellow to the international conference, titled Kokoda: Beyond the Legend, and convened to mark the 70th anniversary of the Kokoda…

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  • Bougainville’s Hard Slog

    Monday 28 May 2012 by Emma Campbell. 13 comments

    The Pacific war campaign fought by the Australians on Bougainville in 1944–45 has long suffered from a poor reputation: during its first few months, the operation was disparaged by politicians and the media as “mopping-up”; for decades afterwards, it was criticised as “unnecessary”. But in his new book The Hard Slog, Australian War Memorial historian Dr Karl James argues that the arduous fight that involved more than 30,000 …

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  • Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train diary

    Monday 14 May 2012 by Kerrie Leech. 2 comments

    Last month, the Memorial was delighted to accept a Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT) diary, donated by Mr Martin Smee of Port Elliot, South Australia.  Mr Smee made the trip to Canberra to personally deliver the diary, which has been part of his family's valuable family history for many years.  The diary was written by his grandfather, Able Seaman Driver Laurie John Smee.  Born in South Australia, Laurie ran away to sea…

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  • Official war artist to join NORFORCE

    Thursday 10 May 2012 by . 1 comments

    Tony Albert The artist Tony Albert visited the Australian War Memorial this week in preparation for his commission as the Memorial’s official artist attached to the North West Mobile Force (NORFORCE). Albert will be issued with uniform and field equipment on his arrival in Darwin, and then join a group of new recruits on an intensive two-week training course, so that he can observe what it takes to be a soldier in this…

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