• Why it is not incorrect to speak of winning a Victoria Cross

    Wednesday 3 September 2014 by Robert Nichols. 6 comments

    Neville Howse

    It is often asserted that it is somehow disrespectful, or otherwise inappropriate, to speak of someone “winning a VC”. This is not so. It is, in fact, perfectly permissible – and sometimes unavoidable – to say that someone has won a Victoria Cross or some other bravery award. But why does this make some people uncomfortable? The reason seems to be because they see the term “win” as reserved for the outcomes of prizes or …

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  • The first to fall

    Wednesday 27 August 2014 by Aaron Pegram. 5 comments

    Chisholm

    Among the first casulties of the First World War were Australians fighting in the British Army. On 26 August 1914, two weeks before the first action undertaken by Australian troops in the First World War, a 22-year-old lieutenant of the 1st Battalion East Lancashire Regiment lay mortally wounded by shrapnel in a cornfield outside the village of Ligny-en-Cambrésis. He had been in France for just three days. British and French troops had …

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  • Stitches in time: rehabilitation embroidery in the AWM collection

    Wednesday 30 July 2014 by Kerry Neale. 5 comments

    Rehabilitation embroidery : Private S A Chivas, 14 Machine Gun Company, AIF

    Many people tend to associate embroidery and needlework with women and the comfort of the homefront, but men are also known to pick up the needle and thread, especially it seems during times of war. Whether stitched as a way to pass the time in a prisoner of war camp, to record events, places and names, or as rehabilitation therapy in military hospitals, embroidered items have many interesting stories to share. To celebrate World …

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  • P-39 Airacobras in defence of Australia

    Friday 13 June 2014 by . 7 comments

    Probably Laverton, Vic. C. 1942. A WAAAF technical trainee takes a close look at the nose of a Bell Airacobra fighter aircraft at RAAF Station Laverton.

    When we consider the many aircraft type which defended the skies above Australia and her territories, the P-40 Kittyhawk (Warhawk in American service) immediately springs to mind. Indeed, the Kittyhawk would arguably be one of the most important fighters in service with the RAAF during the Second World War. Though many veterans who served in the Northern Territory will recall with fondness, the sound of Merlin engines over the top end …

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  • They also served: why D-Day matters to Australia

    Friday 6 June 2014 by Lachlan Grant. 1 comments

    Flight Sergeant Fred Wood with the chief gendarme in a Norman village. A fitter with the RAAF, Wood was in charge of maintenance of the Spitfires of No. 453 Squadron and was Mentioned in Despatches for his service in Normandy.

    Flight Sergeant Fred Wood with the chief gendarme in a Norman village. A fitter with the RAAF, Wood was in charge of maintenance of the Spitfires of No. 453 Squadron and was Mentioned in Despatches for his service in Normandy. 042284 Seventy years ago this week, the largest invasion force in history sailed towards the shores of Normandy in France. D-Day, June 6, 1944, has …

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  • An unlikely wartime poster gallery

    Thursday 1 May 2014 by .

    Karl Josef Gollrad, [Subscribe to the War Loan...], 1914-1918

    In November 2013 the Memorial purchased 13 First World War (FWW) posters at the auction of the Dr Hans Sachs collection in New York. As part of my research into the collector Dr Hans Sachs (1882-1974) I discovered that, his passion for the graphic arts led to a German U-boat becoming an unlikely exhibition venue for posters at the height of the First World War. A friend and fellow poster enthusiast of Dr Sachs, Mr Hans Paasche, served as…

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  • Patrol Bases of Uruzgan

    Friday 11 April 2014 by Stephanie Boyle.

    .. 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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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 27

    Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Tigger and a purple monkey cling to the medical flagpole at AMAB

    Day 27: Under her wings Our one hour flight from Bahrain to Dubai turned into an 11 hour endurance test. After spending most of the night in the air waiting for a freak cyclone to ease and in the Bahrain transit lounge, we finally made it back to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) safely. Rain is rare in the Middle East, but it has rained in every place we have visited. We seem to be taking it with us. I wonder if it will be raining in Canberra …

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 28

    Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Vanilla slice

    Day 28: Decompression My room mate said to me at 9pm last night: "I feel like I should be doing something, that I should be working! I'm allfidgetyand I can't sit still". She keeps checking her right hip for her pistol and her left hip for her military ID that she had to carry at all times on base. She has just returned to AMAB (Al Minhad Air Base) after spending six busy months working on logistics in Kabul. She worked 12 hour days that…

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  • Deploying to the MEAO - Day 29

    Monday 7 April 2014 by Alison Wishart.

    Discarded, dusty boots at AMAB

    Day 29: homecoming rituals Today was our final day in the MEAO (Middle East Area of Operations) - tomorrow we start the trek home on a chartered A340. One of the homecoming rituals is sorting through your kit and cleaning off the dust of Afghanistan. The laundry whirs as people wash and scrub everything so that it will pass the quarantine inspection. Some boots are too down-trodden to be taken home. Discarded, dusty boots at AMAB …

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