• To queue or not to queue - Simpson Prize 2014

    Monday 21 April 2014 by Stuart Baines.

    Today has been a day of contrasts. This morning we walked down one of the major boulevards in the old city, down towards the Hippodrome and beside the Blue Mosque and Haigia Sophia. A beautiful pink and orange sky accompanied us as well as our usual pack of local dogs. With the exception of our little band the streets were virtually empty, the only consistent presence was the Turkish street sweepers that we came across every 100 or so …

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  • Our first day at Anzac Cove - Simpson Prize 2014

    Monday 21 April 2014 by Stuart Baines.

    Today is always my favourite day of the trip. It is the day that I get to be part of the students' and teachers' first taste of the Gallipoli peninsula. It always reminds me of my first steps here and the enormous and profound effect it had on me. Until that time I had focused my studies on the later action on the Western Front. I never understood why a sideshow campaign with comparatively small losses could be so etched into our …

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  • Underground in Istanbul - Simpson Prize 2014

    Saturday 19 April 2014 by Stuart Baines.

    Day two of this experience and we were lucky enough to visit some of the most amazing sites of Istanbul. One in particular, Chora Church Museum gives a particularly interesting window into the layered history of this city. The more time we spend looking into this city and its treasures the more I hope we can start painting a picture of the Turkish people for the students. These are a people with a much longer and in some respects, more …

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  • Touching Down - Simpson Prize 2014

    Friday 18 April 2014 by Stuart Baines. 1 comments

    For over a decade the Australian War Memorial has supported the Simpson Prize, the premier history based essay writing competition for Australian school students. In the 2014 centenary, the Simpson Prize has once again inspired students across the nation, and eight lucky winners, one from each state and territory, have today touched down in Istanbul for the start of their tour of Turkey and the Gallipoli battlefields. I have the honour …

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  • The Memorial's Hollywood Connection

    Thursday 17 April 2014 by Kerry Neale. 2 comments

    McDonnells medal group.  McDonnells medals can be viewed through our online collection: /collection/REL38409.001/ to /collection/REL38409.007

    What link does the Australian War Memorial have to George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett? In the Memorial’s National Collection is a Second World War medal group belonging to Aeneas John Lindsay McDonnell, born at Toowoomba, Queensland, in 1904. He enlisted for military service in Brisbane in May 1944. McDonnell had already served overseas with the Red Cross in Africa and the Middle East from April 1940 until November 1943, …

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  • Collection Detection #8

    Tuesday 15 April 2014 by Yi Jiang.

    What is it? Examine this object and tell us what you think it is in the comments.(Hint: It was found at Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli, in 1918.) We will post the answer and the full story next week! This is #8 in the Education team's Collection Detection series, where we look at an unusual collection item and the story behind it. Read on

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  • Australian forces to be remembered at international history conference

    Monday 14 April 2014 by Emma Campbell.

    Troops of A Company, 61st Infantry Battalion, move out on patrol at Warapa on Bougainville Island, in February 1945.

    The often criticised role of Australian forces during the final 12 months of the Second World War will be examined at an international conference of leading historians and academics being held on the 70th anniversary of the period. At the conference 1944: seventy years on, convened this month by the respected Second World War journal Global War Studies at Britain’s Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Australian War Memorial senior …

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  • Patrol Bases of Uruzgan

    Friday 11 April 2014 by Stephanie Boyle.

    Patrol Base Samad. Australian soldiers moving resupplies from the landing field

    .. We’ve had seven contacts, and 29 cache finds in the last three to four months.. we’ve killed three insurgents.. so it’s a quite active area. In 2011, the Memorial's official cinematographer John Martinkus travelled from Australia’s base in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, to Patrol Base Samad, a small and simply constructed outpost where Australian troops train and mentor Afghan National Army members, and Patrol Base MirwaisSet the …

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  • The battle for Normandy: 70 years on

    Tuesday 8 April 2014 by Emma Campbell. 2 comments

    Photographer Robert Capas famous image of American troops on Omaha Beach during the Normandy D-Day landings on 6 June 1944.

    Photographer Robert Capas famous image of American troops on Omaha Beach during the Normandy D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. P06125.001 The battle for Normandy was one of the greatest military campaigns of the modern era, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of the fight to liberate Western Europe from Nazi occupation. The Memorial’s Wartime magazine is commemorating …

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  • Collection Detection answer #7

    Tuesday 1 April 2014 by Yi Jiang.

    Thank you to everyone who submitted their guess for this week. As promised, here is the answer: It is a button hook – a popular and necessary item between the 1890s and 1920s, used to pull buttons through buttonholes. They were particularly useful when the garment or footwear was tough and unyielding. This one, remarkably, has been fashioned from pieces of a crashed Zeppelin airship. Items from airships, especially Zeppelins, were …

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