• 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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  • Digging For Victory For Floriade

    Tuesday 16 August 2011 by Dennis Stockman.

    Do your bit on the Food Front ARTV02452 Floriade (17 September – 16 October) is Australia’s celebration of Spring and Australia’s biggest flower show. This year the Australian War Memorial is creating a Second World War Victory Garden, reminiscent of those grown by Australian families in the Second World War. In 1942 Prime Minister John Curtin launched the “Dig for Victory” campaign, which encouraged Australian …

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  • The bomb: what it meant to Australians

    Friday 5 August 2011 by Emma Campbell.

    The announcement of the dropping of an atomic bomb on Japan brought an uplift of spirit among personnel. The end of the war, hitherto a nebulous source of conjecture, suddenly became a definite possibility within a matter of days, even hours. Crowds imbued with eager anticipation mustered round the unit’s radio sets for each news session and gasped with amazement as statistical information about the potentialities of the bomb were …

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  • Don't forget me, cobber: the battle of Fromelles

    Tuesday 19 July 2011 by Emma Campbell. 4 comments

      It has become known as Australia’s blackest night. On 19 July 1916, the troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions attacked a strong German position, at the centre of which stood the Sugar Loaf salient, near the small French village of Fromelles. The overnight assault – the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front – was mainly intended as a diversion to draw German troops away from the …

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  • 25 000 images online - AWM78 Reports of Proceedings, HMA Ships and Establishments

    Tuesday 12 July 2011 by Theresa Cronk.

    On Saturday 10 July 1911, King George V gave his approval for the Commonwealth Naval Forces to become known as the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). One hundred years have now passed since this event. To celebrate the centenary of the Royal Australian Navy, the reports of proceedings for fifty RAN ships and establishments are being made available online via the Australian War Memorial's website. This is part of an ongoing project to digitise …

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