• "I knew by the screams that someone had caught it"

    Monday 15 August 2016 by .

    One hundred years ago, on 14 August 1916, brothers Robert (Bob) and Stephen (Steve) Allen, from A Company, 13th Battalion, AIF, picked their way down Tom’s Cut, a communications trench near Mouquet Farm. Part of a group of 10 men, they had been detailed to carry rations to their company near the front line. It was their second trip of the day.The Allens, from Sydney, were part of a close-knit family, united by hardship. Their mother, …

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  • The German Aviator's Leg

    Monday 26 October 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 11 comments

    Luck can sometimes be a researcher’s most valuable asset. This is certainly the case for one item held by the Memorial that has fascinated many of the staff in my section – an artificial right leg worn by a German aviator during the First World War. RELAWM07698 The German pilot's artificial leg The fact someone managed to continue on active service during the war after losing a limb is fascinating and fairly rare. There were only a …

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  • Establishing Gallipoli's Graves

    Wednesday 11 March 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 14 comments

    The Beach Cemetery 1915.

    The recent film, The Water Diviner has focused attention on the amazing work of the Graves Registration Unit (GRU) and Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC - now Commonwealth War Graves Commission) from late 1918 to the mid-1920s at Gallipoli. The Beach Cemetery 1915. H03479 During the early stages of the Gallipoli campaign, the recording of burials was haphazard but …

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  • Rescuing the De Gaulles

    Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    A Supermarine Walrus (also known as the Seagull V) amphibious biplane being taxied by John Napier Bell in 1939.

    In the early hours of 18 June 1940, Supermarine Walrus L2312, an amphibious aircraft, took off from Mount Batten, near Plymouth, England. It contained a crew of three, an Australian pilot, Flight Lieutenant John Napier Bell; an Australian observer (acting as an air gunner for this flight), Sergeant Charles William Harris and a British wireless electrical mechanic, Corporal Bernard Nowell. In addition to this was a special passenger, …

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  • "The Last Halifax"

    Friday 21 June 2013 by Jacob Lessmann. 6 comments

    One of the 462 Squadron Halifax crew members.

    One of the 462 Squadron Halifax crew members. P01523.012 My name is Jacob Lessmann. I am 15 years old and had the opportunity to work in Military Heraldry Technology section for a week. On the night of 16/17 April 1945, Halifax MZ467 of 462 Squadron, RAAF, embarked from the RAF base at Foulsham, UK at 2358 hours [11:58pm] to carry out a flight over Augsburg, Germany. Ten …

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  • Relics of the 16th Battalion at the Bloody Angle, Gallipoli, 1919

    Wednesday 14 October 2009 by Dianne Rutherford. 7 comments

    In January 1919 tattered pieces of uniform were found lying among the bones of the men of the 16th Battalion, who were killed trying to advance at the Bloody Angle on 2 May 1915. These items were recovered by Lieutenant William Hopkin James, who headed a small party to Gallipoli for the Australian War Records Section (the precursor to the Australian War Memorial). They arrived at Gallipoli in mid December 1918, and remained there until…

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