• Caterpillars, goldfish and guinea pigs: badges of the (un)lucky clubs of the Second World War

    Monday 18 January 2016 by . 6 comments

    Late Arrivals Club embroidered patch

    Whether walking back to safety from behind enemy lines, parachuting out of a disabled aircraft, crashing into water and being saved by a life raft, or enduring horrible burns from a plane crash, the stories of near misses experienced by aircrew during the Second World War are remarkable. As a symbol of the camaraderie between the men who had experienced these near misses, numerous clubs were formed, each with a distinct badge or patch to…

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  • Final stage of the evacuation from Anzac Cove: narrative from battalion war diaries

    Friday 18 December 2015 by . 3 comments

    The evacuation of Anzac – position at 1.30am, 20th December 1915, immediately before the departure of the “C” parties

    Part 3 in a series of three blog posts about the evacuation from Gallipoli The evacuation of Gallipoli began on 22 November 1915, when a plan was adopted during a conference at General Headquarters, Mudros. This was after Lord Kitchener's visit to Gallipoli in early November, during which he told General Birdwood to start thinking about how to evacuate, and before the recommendation was approved by British Parliament. Charles Bean, the …

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  • Preliminary stage of the evacuation from Anzac Cove: narrative from battalion war diaries

    Monday 23 November 2015 by . 4 comments

    Map of Gallipoli

    Map of Gallipoli SC02009 Theevacuation ofGallipoli began on 22 November 1915, when a plan was adopted during a conference at General Headquarters, Mudros. This was after Lord Kitchener's visit to Gallipoli in early November, during which he told General Birdwood to start thinking about how to evacuate, and before the recommendation was approved by British Parliament. …

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  • Claustrophobia in the Desert

    Tuesday 17 November 2015 by Melissa Cadden. 1 comments

    View from Patrol Base (PB) Wali.

    As one of our Soldier in Resident program participants, James Fowler, a veteran of Afghanistan who is now based in Townsville, spent some time with The Memorial’s collection of Afghanistan photographs. The following images resonated with James when recalling his own time in Afghanistan. In James’ words, a peaceful patrol through the “stark beauty” of a wide Afghan dasht (or desert plain) can turn “in an instant” to …

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  • A godsent Christmas box for the world

    Tuesday 10 November 2015 by . 1 comments

    Compiègne, France.  A postcard of  French and English representatives beside a train carriage after the German representatives signed the Armistice documents which signalled the end of the First ...

    It was at 11 o'clock on the morning of Monday 11th November 1918 thatthat day finally came. Soldiers, from both sides, had hung onby clinging to the promise of that day. It meant the chance to embrace their families and friends once more after years apart. It meant the chance to be clean and dry, rather than knee deep in mud and infested with lice. It meant the chance to return to a place where the air was filled with things other than …

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  • The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    Walter Wally Brown

    This is a revised blog first published in 2009 as “The butcher and the grocer: A Western Front story”. The revision covers Wally Brown VC’s pre-war employment and, additionally, his eventual fate. I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material. The Western Front was epitomised by the brute force of men against machine and each other. Tens of thousands were lost in the maelstrom of …

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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Monday 2 November 2015 by Stephanie Hume. 1 comments

    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. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s …

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  • ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

    Friday 30 October 2015 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. The collections are selected from our extensive archives and reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s …

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  • A serendipitous journey through the archive

    Monday 26 October 2015 by . 4 comments

    Growing up, I was always told that my great-grandfather, Frank Cronk, had served in the First World War, along with his best friend, Tom, and that Tom had asked Frank to look after his sister should he not make it through the war. I was told also that this promise was honoured when Frank returned to Australia and later married Toms's sister. Sadly, Tom did not make it through the war and died on the battlefields of Belgium in 1917. Both …

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  • 7th Infantry Brigade Band: Bandsmen who owned their own instruments

    Monday 14 September 2015 by .

    The Australian War Memorial is currently involved in a project to find stories related to music during the First World War and the individuals who were involved in contributing to musical performances within the AIF at this time. The followingisa listof selected members of the 7th Infantry Brigade Band who were known to be musicians and also took their own instruments with them when they enlisted. The instruments are recorded as …

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