• The Iconic Changi Quilts

    Wednesday 16 November 2011 by Sue Ducker.

    The Memorial is interested in making contact with the relatives or contributors to the famous Changi quilts.  If you can provide more information about the women who made these quilts please contact sue.ducker@awm.gov.au.  REL/14235 - Embroidered quilt : Female internees, Changi Prison, "Australian Quilt" REL When Singapore fell on 15 February 1942, 400 women and children were interned. The quilts were the idea of Mrs …

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  • Remembering the first-year battles of the Pacific war

    Tuesday 15 November 2011 by Emma Campbell. 5 comments

    On 7 December 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States’ Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, destroying dozens of ships and planes, and killing thousands of American servicemen. Japan and the United States were at war. Australians were already fighting in Europe and the Middle East, but Prime Minister John Curtin quickly expanded Australia’s Second World War commitments, declaring that we, too, were at war with Japan because …

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  • Curating from Afghanistan : Collecting in Action, February 2011

    Monday 14 November 2011 by Stephanie Boyle. 2 comments

    As senior curator of Film and Sound at the Memorial, I was greatly privileged in February this year to go with the ADF to the Australia’s area of Middle Eastern Operations.   Not only did I meet with and interview an amazing range of ADF members based in or around Al Minhad, Kandahar, Tarin Kot and Kabul, but I found myself in the rare position of being a female civilian, totally immersed in the ADF’s world.   I trained with …

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  • Remember remembering : Oral Histories of the First World War

    Wednesday 9 November 2011 by Stephanie Boyle. 2 comments

    Australian soldiers bringing in the wounded to the dressing station at Hooge Crater near Ypres in Belgium during the battle on 20 September 1917.

    Well, we got wind in the morning that the Armistice was either signed or about to be signed... And the word finally came through and of course there was great excitement... I was only sorry I hadn't arrived there Armistice night because the chaps that got off the train, the girls just formed a ring around them.. and they wouldn't let them out of the ring till they'd kissed every one of them. - Former Corporal Ted Smout, a member of the …

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  • Art in the Records: the illustrations of Bernie Bragg

    Friday 14 October 2011 by Sue Ducker.

    The Memorial’s Research Centre holds original First World War AIF War Diaries [AWM4] that are now available to view on our website.  Hidden among the volumes of these records are some wonderful artworks created by the artist Bernie Bragg. Bernard [Bernie] William Patrick Bragg [Service number 2870] enlisted at 21 years of age on the 16 November 1916 at the Royal Agricultural Show Ground in Sydney.  His service record [held at: …

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  • The Trench Art of Sapper Pearl

    Wednesday 12 October 2011 by Sue Ducker. 3 comments

    The Memorial holds a fantastic collection of First World War trench art made by Sapper Stanley Pearl, who served in the First World War and later worked at the Australian War Memorial. Stanley Keith Pearl [6756] enlisted at 21 years of age on the 9 November 1915 at the Tasmanian town of Ulverstone.  On his service record, [held at: National Archives Australia] when asked about civil convictions, he responds that he was once convicted …

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  • Revisiting the Charge at The Nek

    Tuesday 27 September 2011 by Emma Campbell. 6 comments

    A young man, fit and blond, waits nervously in a trench, clenching his bayonet-fixed rifle across his chest. A whistle sounds and he throws himself over the top of the trench into no man’s land, which is already littered with the bodies of his fellow soldiers. Machine-guns chatter, more of his companions are cut down, and the young man drops his bayonet and runs as hard as he can toward the enemy trenches. Chin up, arms outstretched, …

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  • “Operation Menace”- the story of HMAS Australia in African waters.

    Friday 23 September 2011 by Rebecca Weekes. 1 comments

    The end of September marks the 71 year anniversary of the battle of Dakar. Also known as “Operation Menace”, this operation was endeavoured to be peaceful, with the aim of placing General Charles de Gaulle in leadership at Dakar. It was a significant attempt to set up a Free French government in Dakar (West Africa) by British, French and Australian forces.  The recently digitised Royal Australian Navy Reports of Proceedings …

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  • Tilly Devine: a war bride of ill repute

    Tuesday 13 September 2011 by Emma Campbell. 1 comments

    Where there is war, there is love. Almost 13,000 Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War married during their years of service, mostly to English women they met while on leave or during training stints in country. The Aussie soldiers were an attractive prospect: comparatively well-paid, lively and free-spirited, they offered an escape from bleak surroundings for many young women. Official war historian Charles Bean noted in…

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  • Medals of a Rat

    Wednesday 31 August 2011 by David Gist. 4 comments

    Visitors to the Memorial’s exhibition Rats of Tobruk 1941 will have noticed the unofficial Rats of Tobruk medal presented, according to its engraving, by Lord Haw Haw. Around twenty of these medals were made at Tobruk, which illustrates one of the earliest examples of the town’s defenders reclaiming the title ‘Rat’, bestowed on them by the propaganda radio program ‘Germany Calling’. Visitors may also notice the brasso caked …

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