• 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 I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material.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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  • 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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  • Launch of The Changi Book

    Tuesday 18 August 2015 by Lachlan Grant. 3 comments

    The Changi Book

    Seventy years ago on 5 September 1945 the Japanese occupation of Singapore came to an end. After a harrowing three and a half years of captivity, thousands of Allied prisoners of war were finally free. Among them was Australian soldier Sergeant C. DavidGriffin, who during his time in Changi had worked tirelessly to compile a collection of stories by fellow prisoners about life in the camp. It was hoped that these stories would form a …

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  • This week at the Last Post Ceremony

    Tuesday 11 August 2015 by Jodi Hammond. 1 comments

    This week the Last Post Ceremony commemorates two significant anniversaries from the Second World War. 13 August 2015 General Sir Cyril Brudenell Bingham White Last Post Ceremony Canberra Air Disaster 002590 Seventy-five years ago, on the 13 August 1940, a Royal Australian Air Force Hudson bomber crashed into a hill on approach to the Canberra aerodrome. The four man crew and all six …

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  • August at the Last Post Ceremony

    Monday 3 August 2015 by Jodi Hammond. 2 comments

    There are some significant anniversaries to be commemorated at the Last Post Ceremony during the month of August, particularly related to the centenary of the August Offensive. For further information about the ceremonies, please view the Last Post Ceremony Calendar. Australia’s Federation Guard will be in attendance on the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 15th and 19th August. At 4.00 pm on those dates, a catafalque party will mount a vigil …

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  • Healing Wounds You Can’t See

    Friday 27 March 2015 by Gabrielle Considine.

    Group portrait of members of 114 Australian General Hospital

    Group portrait of members of 114 Australian General Hospital P11535.001 Shell Shock, Combat Stress Reaction, War Neuroses, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Regardless of the label, many have suffered psychological trauma as a result of war. During the Second World War psychological trauma was treated with electroshock therapy and formaldehyde. This is described by Neta …

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  • "I'm 21 to-day and I've never been 21 before."

    Saturday 21 March 2015 by Meagan Nihill. 6 comments

    How did you celebrate your 21st birthday? Although turning 18 might be the more meaningful legal milestone these days, for many, reaching the age of 21 is still an important rite of passage: a symbolic entrance into true adulthood. As a result, 21st birthdays are usually a big event, celebrated with friends and family, laughter, drinks, and speeches. One hundred years ago today, camped in the desert outside Cairo – half a world away …

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  • So far from home: sending and receiving mail in the trenches

    Wednesday 18 March 2015 by . 5 comments

    The arrival of the first AIF mail of 161 bags at Mena, Egypt. The non-appearance of this mail in Egypt caused a great deal of talk and anxiety amongst the Australian troops. It had been labelled to GPO London and subsequently returned from there, 13 January 1915.

    Imagine if you were unable to contact loved ones by telephone, email or via any other communication strategy now available in today’s digital age. No longer is it possible to hop in your car and drive down the road to visit friends and family. Instead, you have sailed for at least 4 weeks aboard a troopship to a foreign land. And there is no indication as to when, or if, you will see loved ones again. In January 1915, an oft-repeated …

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