• Dr Stening's dental instruments

    Sunday 17 July 2016 by Amanda Rebbeck.

    Three improvised dental instruments used during the Second World War in Taisho Prisoner of War Camp.

    On display in the Australian War Memorial’s Second World War Gallery are three objects that at first glance seem quite small and unassuming. After just a little digging however, you find that they help to illustrate the extremely harrowing conditions experienced by Second World War prisoners of the Japanese and one man’s near impossible task of trying to provide hismen with basic medical and dental care.…

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  • Rothberg the Spy: Rumours in the 24th Battalion, 1916

    Thursday 30 June 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Cloth patch for the 24th Battalion - all participants in the raid removed their cloth patches, identity discs and any other identification before taking part.

    On the night of 29/30 June 1916, 2456 Private Albert Roth, 24th Battalion AIF went missing while taking part in a trench raid near Armentieres. This was one of a series of raids Australians undertook in late June /early July 1916, before the AIF fought at Fromelles and Pozieres. His mysterious disappearance led to a rumour spreading through the battalion - that he was a German spy! Cloth …

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  • A Bush hospital in the heart of England

    Tuesday 7 June 2016 by Craig Blanch. 4 comments

    Bishops Knoll

    The Great War had already entered its third year by the time the first edition of Coo-ee!, the magazine of one of the most remarkable “Australian” military hospitals of the war, was released. Coo-ee!, first published in England on 10 November 1916, was the journal of the Bishop’s Knoll War Hospital. The inaugural edition was dedicated “to the first thousand sick and wounded Australian soldiers who were patients at Bishop’s …

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  • Australians on the Western Front 1916 - 100 years ago

    Thursday 26 May 2016 by . 3 comments

    “We thought we knew something of the horrors of war, but we were mere recruits, and have had our full education in one day.”Ronald Alison McInnis 19 July, 1916 This year marks the centenary of Australia’s first year on the Western Front. It was to become a year of terrible sacrifice. The experiences of some Australians who served in 1916 are preserved in the Memorial’s archive and are now available online. From the battlefield …

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  • Influences on the Music and Lyrics Written by First World War Australian Servicemen

    Friday 20 May 2016 by .

    The following blog post was written by Alison Mountain from the Australian National University whilst completing a research internship at the Australian War Memorial as part of her studies. Music has always played a significant role in war; from the use of bugles and snare drums as forms of communication, to the escapism of writing organised melodies to distract soldiers from the barrage of noise that constitutes traditional warfare, …

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  • Decoration from Destruction: the First World War Trench Art of Sapper Pearl

    Thursday 28 April 2016 by .

    A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd Divisional Artillery, during the battle of Zonnebeke, 20 September 1917, when these shells were used. Photographer: Frank Hurley.

    During the battles that raged between 1914 and 1918, millions of shells were blasted between the fighting forces, leaving the people and the ground around them mutilated. This was a new type of war, yet there was an unexpected by-product of these used shell cases: trench art. A dump of 18 pounder shell cases at Birr Cross Roads, in the Ypres Sector, where positions were occupied by the 2nd …

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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Monday 21 March 2016 by Stephanie Hume.

    The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war, through the digitisation of collections held by the Memorial. The collections are selected from our extensive archive and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses, and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. …

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  • The Adventurous Maud Butler

    Monday 7 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her first attempt to stow away to the war in December 1915.

    In 1915 Maud Butler was a young 18 year old with a bit of an adventurous streak, who wasn’t happy with the type of contribution society decided young ladies could and should make to the war effort. She came to notoriety in the press for her attempts to disguise herself as a soldier and stowaway to Egypt. Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her …

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  • Forgotten star

    Friday 22 January 2016 by Stephanie Hume. 6 comments

    Robert Chisholm was born William Leslie Chisholm on 18 April 1894 in Melbourne, Victoria. He was one of six children, born to Annie (née Absalom) and Robert Chisholm. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 23 November 1915, joining the Australian Army Service Corps as a driver. He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT Persic on 22 December 1916. Upon arrival in France he was attached to the 2nd Australian Divisional …

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  • A ‘fine body of men’: the Kurrajongs recruitment march, January 1916

    Thursday 21 January 2016 by . 2 comments

    Kurrajong banner - http://harrowercollection.com

    Recruitment Marches The outbreak of the First World War brought an immediate rush of volunteers wanting to serve their country. In 1915, in the central west of New South Wales, a movement began which became known as the 'Gilgandra snowball'. Under the leadership of 'Captain Bill' Hitchen, 20 or so men who had decided to enlist started off to march to Sydney. Gathering other recruits along the way, they numbered about 300 by the time …

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