• The Cessation of Operation CATALYST

    Tuesday 28 July 2009 by Alexandra Orr. 4 comments

    The 31st of July 2009 will mark the end of Operation CATALYST. CATALYST began on the 20th of March 2003 and defined the role of the Australian Defence Force in assisting multinational forces in the stabilization and security of Iraq. It also involved ADF support in the implementation of the country’s recovery programs. Boatswains Mates, HMAS Parramatta, 2009 During the course of this operation, the Australian War …

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  • "There is a sunny land far, far away ..."

    Tuesday 13 January 2009 by Pen Roberts. 4 comments

    When Kevin Wakefield found himself in an icy Canadian landscape, many miles from sunny Australia, he wrote a poem to express his feelings of homesickness. Sixty years later, one of the original hand-written copies of ‘My Home Land Far Away' has now been donated to the Memorial.   Poem written by Kevin Wakefield while on the Empire Training Scheme in Canada. He was there from October 1943 to February 1944. (Souvenirs: …

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  • Making a Silk Postcard

    Wednesday 3 September 2008 by Annette Gaykema. 5 comments

    Embroidered silk postcards were first made in 1900 with popularity peaking during the First World War. Cards were generally embroidered on strips of silk mesh by French women. They were then cut and mounted on postcards. Since the completion of a project to get the silk postcard images (all 700+) onto the database, I have been interested in seeing how well the process could be replicated. Having some experience in cross-stitch, I …

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  • To my dear father

    Monday 1 September 2008 by .

    Embroidered silk postcard from the First World War. The above silk postcard could well be considered a forerunner of greeting cards now available for Father's Day. The simple greeting conveys appropriate sentiments for Father's Day today, although it was sent home from the trenches of France and Belgium during the First World War. Embroidered silk postcards reached the peak of their popularity during the First World …

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  • Weddings, Bands and Anything!

    Tuesday 27 May 2008 by Pen Roberts. 4 comments

    The Memorial holds a small collection of paper napkin souvenirs from the era of the First World War. Printed on crepe paper from Japan, their fragility defies their survival for over 90 years. Here is a napkin printed for the wedding of Lieutenant Colonel Athelstan Markham Martyn DSO, RAE (Royal Australian Engineers) to Miss Stella Swifte at St Mary Abbot's Church in Kensington, London, on 21 October 1916. Lt Col Markham …

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  • 1,100 signatures

    Wednesday 9 April 2008 by Mel Hunt. 1 comments

    Honour Roll: Autographs and Colours of soldiers and nurses who have taken part in the Great War and of sailors of the Grand Fleet, 1914-1919

    This honour roll was recently rediscovered in the Memorial's Research Centre during a cataloguing project focusing on documenting our oversize maps and souvenirs. Almost two metres in height and one metre in width, the honour roll consists of over 1,100 signatures, unit names, and hand drawn colour patches, insignia and medals of World War I veteran sailors, soldiers and nurses of all ranks.…

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  • The Signal of a Lifetime

    Wednesday 19 March 2008 by Alexandra Orr.

    Can you imagine receiving a message that signified a momentous event in living history? Teleprinter Signal RC06417 That is exactly what happened to a team of RAAF personnel at North-West Area Headquarters in Darwin, on August 14th, 1945. The Teleprinter Operator, Telegraphist and like personnel were on duty that fateful day when they received an emergency teleprinter signal issuing instructions to: "Cancel all operations…

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  • Smokin' Aces

    Friday 15 February 2008 by Alexandra Orr.

    It seems one of the most expedient weapons deployed personnel can have these days is a deck of cards. Yes, you read correctly. A common form of ephemera coming into the Memorial from those involved in recent conflicts like Iraq, are playing cards, which have been produced by Australia and the United States to reach beyond mere entertainment value into the realm of Intelligence. Playing cards from Iraq. RC06171, RC05764, …

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  • Sock it to 'em

    Thursday 7 February 2008 by . 2 comments

    It's one of those questions that doesn't get asked everyday, but when it is, the enquirer doesn't usually have to finish their question before we can help them. They usually start with "I don't know if you can help me, I was in the World War 1 section and noticed a knitting pattern for..." At this point I can jump in with: "Knitting two socks at once." Directions for Knitting two socks at once. Australian Comforts Fund …

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