• Close Shaves

    Thursday 3 March 2011 by Andrew Currey.

    “I had a very close shave...” (Pte C H Lester, 1 October 1917) As many soldiers will testify, war can be as much about luck as it is about training and equipment. Luck can take many forms, such as being in the right place at the right time, and the closely related not being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The men listed below are a few examples of these places and the sometimes very short distance between them. Lt William Henry…

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  • For Valentine’s Day - The airman who married the general’s daughter

    Monday 14 February 2011 by Nicholas Schmidt. 4 comments

    Recently, I have been working on the papers of Field Marshal the Lord Birdwood, the First World War British General who commanded the Australian Corps for much of the First World War (including at Gallipoli). Amongst the papers, donated by the Birdwood family in the 1960s, I have found a story I think is suitable for a Valentine’s Day blog entry. My research is continuing but it was the romantic notion of ‘The airman who married the …

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  • Christmas Dinner During War

    Thursday 23 December 2010 by Kathryn Hicks. 2 comments

    When we think of Christmas we think of presents, decorations and most importantly Christmas dinner. What was Christmas dinner like for those at war? Private Charles Bennett (PR04245) writes in his letters home about the Christmas dinner he had in an English camp in 1916. He had: Turkey, Ham, Roast Potato, Peas, Parsnips, Xmas pudding, Café au Lait, apples, orange, bananas, saffron cakes, mince pies Lieutenant Donald Armstrong …

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  • Discovering Private Walker: Using new technologies to catalogue old relics

    Friday 19 November 2010 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Mess tin found at Lone Pine, Gallipoli in 1919 RELAWM07799.004 There is a mess tin on display in the Gallipoli gallery that is rusted and full of holes. It was found over 90 years ago scattered with dozens of other pieces of kit around the Lone Pine position at Gallipoli in January 1919 by staff from the Australian War Records Section. The ground over which the 1st Battalion advanced to attack Lone Pine …

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  • Experiences of a Prisoner of War in Turkey : the Captain White story

    Wednesday 20 October 2010 by Amanda Rebbeck. 2 comments

    In preparation for the upcoming 100 year anniversaries of the First World War, curatorial sections at the Memorial have begun concentrated cataloguing projects for objects relating to the Great War. Having taken a particular interest in the Australian Flying Corps after working on the Memorial's First World War aircraft exhibition - Over the front: the Great War in the air I took great pleasure in researching the war time story of …

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  • RAAF Biographical Files from the Second World War

    Friday 17 September 2010 by Jessie Webb. 5 comments

    At the outbreak of the Second World War, there were some 450 Australians serving with the Royal Air Force (RAF) on short-term commissions. Once the Empire Air Training Scheme got underway, thousands more Australians arrived in Britain. Many of them were posted to Royal Air Force squadrons, even though they were members of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). As these Australians were serving with the RAF, many of the important …

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  • Undercover POW

    Friday 3 September 2010 by Daniel McGlinchey. 3 comments

    As a curator cataloguing objects in the Memorial’s collections, I have had the chance to discover and research many interesting war time stories and experiences of Australian service personnel. One such interesting story that I found was of Sergeant Rolstyn Nicholas Tonkin. As a prisoner of the Germans during the Second World War, Tonkin risked severe punishment to provide intelligence for the Allied war effort. 1940. …

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  • 95th Anniversary of Gallipoli Campaign

    Friday 23 April 2010 by Nicholas Schmidt. 1 comments

    This ANZAC Day marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaign, when tens of thousands of British, French and Dominion troops landed on the Turkish coast. To acknowledge this anniversary, the Australian War Memorial’s Research Centre is displaying previously unseen original letters and diaries relating to the campaign. The Research Centre’s collection is a rich source of records that tells the story of Gallipoli …

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  • Private Leonard Granrott in the battle at Messines

    Monday 19 April 2010 by Robyn van Dyk. 7 comments

    In the lead up to Anzac Day on 25 April, the thoughts of many Australians  often turn to members of their own family who served during the First World War. The Australian War Memorial's databases hold a rich source of detail for  families who may want to learn more about the service of their relative. I was asked recently by ABC radio about what can be found online and in the Memorial's collections to help tell us the story of …

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  • Hospital Ship Centaur

    Friday 5 March 2010 by Dianne Rutherford. 5 comments

    Model of the Hospital Ship Centaur, currently on display in the Second World War gallery. The Memorial holds a small, but important, collection associated with the sinking of the Hospital Ship Centaur, whose wreck site was discovered in December 2009. Many of the survivors had little or no clothing after the ship sank. One, NX33029 Driver George McGrath, was in his underwear, which he lost when he leapt overboard …

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