Wednesday 12 August 2009 by Alexandra Orr. 9 comments.
News, Personal Stories, New acquisitions, Collection, Collection Highlights Prisoner of War, Theodore Detmers, HMAS Sydney, HSK Kormoran, Escape Maps
On the 19th November 1941, Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney II was lost, with all hands, off the coast of Western Australia after engaging with the German raider HSK Kormoran. The discovery in March 2008 of the final resting place of the Sydney and the Kormoran attracted much attention. Understandably, there has been much discussion over the circumstances surrounding the loss of the Sydney; however the story of the Kormoran’s Commander, Theodor Anton Detmers, and that of his crew, continued long after the battle.
The 31st of July 2009 will mark the end of Operation CATALYST. CATALYST began on the 20th of March 2003 and defined the role of the Australian Defence Force in assisting multinational forces in the stabilization and security of Iraq. It also involved ADF support in the implementation of the country’s recovery programs.
The digitisation of the whole series of Australian Imperial Force (AIF) war diaries from the First World War, (Official Records series AWM4), recently passed the 400,000 image mark. Included in the 400,000 images are all the available diaries for the Australian Flying Corps, (AFC) . Digitised versions of the diaries are being regularly uploaded to the Memorial’s website as they are completed.
The Netherland's national archives, Nationaal Archief, has recently completed a research project: Afscheid van Indië (Separation from Indonesia), which includes the web publishing of over 175,000 pages of digitised records. The site tells the story of the separation of the Netherlands from its former colony of Indonesia during the 1940s.
The Simpson Prize students have now been back in Oz for just over two weeks - enough time to re-adjust and reflect on our experiences. Here are some thoughts from most of the gang. This is the final blog entry, so thanks to those who have followed the experiences and for any year 9 or 10 students interested in applying to this year's competition, you can see what sort of experience the winners have on their trip.
As we ready ourselves to commemorate Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial, we can gain a small insight what it was like at the Gallipoli landing. Personal diaries held by the Memorial describe what it was like landing at Gallipoli on Sunday, 25 April 1915 under the heavy fire of Turkish machine guns. Although the photos accompanying this blog post do not relate directly to the diary entries, they are able to illustrate the stories in a different way.
The Memorial recently acquired a mysterious letter. It is beautifully written and decorated, but we don't know much about it. It seems it was written by a French woman to her sweetheart, and we assume he was Australian, as the letter ended up in Australia. We do not know who they were, but we do know that the letter was written on 25 August 1918 and was sent from Saint-Sulpice-les-Feuilles in France. The writer, Martha (or perhaps Marthe) Gylbert, obviously missed her soldier, and went to a great deal of trouble to decorate the letter.