On 20 December 1915, Private John Kingsley Gammage of the 1st Infantry Battalion wrote in his diary, This concludes a real experience that money could not buy with an enemy that fought fairly and clean. Gammage was one of the last 10 000 Australian troops remaining at Anzac Cove. These men departed Anzac Cove during the night of Sunday 19 December through into the early hours of Monday 20 December 1915. The preparations for their departure had been carefully planned down to the finest details.
“Pulled out of bed in the dead of night by a large monster that ultimately turned out to be a man with his gas mask on.” - Captain Robert Grieve of the 37th Battalion.
Gas masks saved lives but also caused fatalities. They were extremely uncomfortable and hampered the movement of the men, inducing fatigue, disorientation, and confusion.
Corporal Arthur Thomas of 6th Battalion wrote 19 March 1918:
Thanks to everyone who submitted answers to last week's Collection Detection challenge either here on the blog or on our Facebook page. Well done to those who knew the answer!
What is it?
This length of barbed wire with metal jam tins and lids, and a flattened metal plate attached was found on Pope’s Hill on Gallipoli in 1919.
Give us your best guess in the comment box below. The answer will be revealed next week, along with an interesting story you could use in your classroom.
"He is all of them. And he is one of us.”
This Remembrance Day marks two significant anniversaries: it will be 95 years since the end of the First World War and 20 years since the remains of an unknown Australian soldier who died in that conflict were interred in the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory.
There are few places in Australia that have been so directly affected by war like north Queensland. Even today, defence remains at the heart of our tropical cities.
With the generous assistance of the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville, the Australian War Memorial is fortunate to be able to have a suite of Memorial Boxes available for schools and community organisations in these northern regions. For these borrowers, in particular, the Memorial Box contents are often deeply moving and thought-provoking.
With what seemed like an inevitable movement towards war in Europe from mid 1914, of great concern to Australia was the presence in the Pacific of the German East Asia Squadron under the command of Vice Admiral Count Maximilian von Spee. He commanded two powerful armoured cruisers, SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau; three light cruisers, SMS Emden, Nurnberg, and Leipzig; a torpedo boat, and, some small gunboats, but von Spee’s actual whereabouts in the vast Pacific Ocean were a mystery.
Written by Alexandra Orr
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is hosting an International Fleet Review, to be held in Sydney from 3 to 11 October 2013. This high-profile event, which will showcase ships from some 20 nations, is being held to mark the centenary of the first fleet entry of the fledgling RAN into Sydney in 1913.
Why was the arrival of the RAN’s first fleet important?
Sixty members of the extended Ferguson family travelled from around Australia to attend a medal donation ceremony this morning at the Australian War Memorial in commemoration of their forebear Alexander Cyril Ferguson. Alexander served in both the First and Second World Wars and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions near Zonnebeke in October 1917where he was a member of the Australian Army Medical Corps, attached to 8 Battalion.
The medals were presented to Mr Tim Sullivan, Assistant Director, National Collections by Alexander’s son Mr Ron Ferguson.