• Valentine’s Day Love Letter

    Friday 13 February 2009 by Nicholas Schmidt. 13 comments

    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 …

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  • Happy Valentine's Day from ‘The Love Controller'!

    Thursday 12 February 2009 by Alexandra Orr. 4 comments

    As with other special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays, having to spend Valentine's Day apart from loved ones would have been sad and distressing for many serving men and women, and for those at home eagerly awaiting the safe return of their sweethearts and friends. Fortunately, there is little that can stand in the way of love and many people overcame distance and time to send messages of love and admiration, not only for …

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  • The Victoria Cross

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 20 comments

    Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in time of war The Victoria Cross was instituted by Queen Victoria's Royal warrant in 1856, and the first examples were presented by her in June 1857.  These first 62 awards were retrospective, for gallant actions by sailors and soldiers during the Crimean War of 1854-56.  Throughout its life, the Cross has been manufactured by Hancocks and Co, Jewellers of London.  …

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  • Trooper Mark Donaldson loans his Victoria Cross to the Australian War Memorial

    Thursday 22 January 2009 by Nick Fletcher. 6 comments

    Trooper Donaldson VC with the Director of the Australian War Memorial, Major General Steve Gower In a ceremony this morning, Trooper Mark Donaldson VC loaned his newly awarded medal to the Australian War Memorial for public display.  Trooper Donaldson, who on Friday became the first Australian serviceman in almost 40 years to be awarded the famous medal, is also the first to receive it under the title of 'The Victoria …

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  • Australian Engineers in the First World War

    Wednesday 21 January 2009 by Alessandro Antonello. 21 comments

    The First World War unit war diaries (AWM4) of the Australian Engineers have been digitised and are now available on the Australian War Memorial’s website. The diaries provide a wonderful testimony to the ingenuity and initiative of Australian engineers during the War, and the daily difficulty of building and maintaining structures and machines to ensure the success of the war effort. Engineers, also known as sappers, were essential …

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  • An Unexpected Guest joins Christmas Dinner

    Tuesday 23 December 2008 by Pen Roberts. 6 comments

    On Christmas Day 1918 the Air-Mechanics of No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corp, sat down to a Christmas dinner. Their quarters, located at the Bickendorf aerodrome, just outside Cologne, had been transformed with Xmas decorations. The Squadron was there as part of the Army of Occupation in Germany. Food for the meal had been sourced by members of the squadron from local supply depots and canteens. A German orchestra had been booked to…

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  • Anniversary of the sinking of HMAS <em>Parramatta</em>

    Thursday 27 November 2008 by Nicholas Schmidt.

     One of the lesser known tragedies of the Second World War is the sinking of the Grimsby class sloop HMAS Parramatta. At the time, Parramatta was serving in the Mediterranean assisting with supplying the Allied garrison at Tobruk, which was under siege by German and Italian forces.   HMAS Parramatta in camouflage c. 1941  In the early hours of the 27th November 1941 while escorting a convoy, Parramatta was hit by a …

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  • AWM on Flickr Commons

    Tuesday 11 November 2008 by Joanne Smedley. 22 comments

    The Memorial's photograph collection contains almost 1 million images. Not all of these are publically available but every day new images and descriptions are added. Flickr commons is a way of highlighting sets of images and we hope people can tell us something about them, or simply enjoy the selection. The series of portraits, particularly those selected from the Korean War series, are a wonderful study of faces and we would love to …

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  • Recent acquisitions: Centurion tank log books

    Monday 10 November 2008 by Craig Berelle. 19 comments

    A log book can reveal performance characteristics, reveal battle damage and document repairs made during each vehicle's period of service. The Memorial's Research Centre has acquired log books of six Centurion tanks that served in the Vietnam War, including vehicle No. 169056, proudly on display adjacent to Anzac Hall.  The log books are in Official Records Series AWM350, and can be viewed in the Memorial's Research Centre.…

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  • First World War Unit Diaries - 300,000 images and counting!

    Friday 31 October 2008 by Alana Thurecht. 10 comments

    The Research Centre recently marked, with much celebration, the scanning of 300,000 images for the current major digitisation project involving AWM4, First World War Unit Diaries. These diaries document the daily activities of military units on active service in the First World War and supplement the existing diaries available online. Image of 36th Australian Heavy Artillery Brigade in May, 1918. AWM4 13/127/7 …

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