• The Famous Military Costume Comedy Company, The AUSSIES!

    Tuesday 15 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918.

    Concert parties were one of the ways soldiers were able to entertain themselves during the war. They were created on board troopships, within units, divisions, prisoner of war camps, training and convalescent camps. One example was the Perham Stars who later became known as The Aussies. The Perham Stars (later called The Aussies), c 1918. P11238.001 The Perham Stars was …

    Read on

  • The Adventurous Maud Butler

    Monday 7 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her first attempt to stow away to the war in December 1915.

    In 1915 Maud Butler was a young 18 year old with a bit of an adventurous streak, who wasn’t happy with the type of contribution society decided young ladies could and should make to the war effort. She came to notoriety in the press for her attempts to disguise herself as a soldier and stowaway to Egypt. Maud Butler in uniform (but with the black boots that helped give her away) on her …

    Read on

  • “Gott Strafe England!”: Walter Koch in Holsworthy Camp 1918

    Tuesday 9 February 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Koch's coat on display in 2015 During the First World War several thousand people of “enemy origin” were interned in Australia. This included sailors removed from prize ships and merchant navy vessels,Australian residents born overseas – even some that were naturalised, and others born in Australia of “enemy” background. There were also about 1200 people interned from overseas from places like Singapore,British Indiaand the …

    Read on

  • SS Cumberland’s place in maritime history

    Friday 5 February 2016 by Jennifer Milward.

    If you were compiling a list of maritime “firsts”, you might want to include the SS Cumberland: she has the distinction of being the first civilian ship to be lost in Australian waters due to an enemy mine. The SS Cumberland was a four-masted steamer owned by the British Steam Navigation Company. Early in the First World War, she was being used to transport cargo around Australia and to England. In July 1917 she was heading for …

    Read on

  • Uniforms of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force

    Wednesday 13 January 2016 by Craig Blanch.

    At the outbreak of the First World War Australia immediately pledged a contingent of 20,000 men in support of England. Within days Britain forwarded a request for an additional force to capture and occupy German possessions in the Pacific, particularly the wireless stations instrumental in communications used by the powerful German naval squadron based in the area. Nine days later, on 19 August 1914, a hurriedly equipped force of 1500 …

    Read on

  • The German Officer's Corset

    Monday 4 January 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French troops in Belgium, 1916.

    This corset was worn by an unknown German officer on the Western Front during the First World War. It was removed from him by French troops when he was taken prisoner at Dickiebusch, Belgium in 1916 and collected by Captain Louis de Tournouër, an officer in the 9th Regiment de Chasseurs who served in Marshal Petain's Staff in 1915-1916. Corset taken from a German prisoner of war by French …

    Read on

  • Sabotage!

    Thursday 5 November 2015 by Dianne Rutherford.

    An army marches on its stomach, or so the saying goes. Certainly the supply of food, equipment and weapons was such an important aspect of the First World War that it was targeted by both sides. German ports were blockaded throughout much of the war, leading to a decline in quality and quantity of German clothing, equipment and food as the war progressed. The Germans disrupted the supply of items to Britain through sinking ships bound …

    Read on

  • The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    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 …

    Read on

  • 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 …

    Read on

  • Pattern 1908 Web Equipment

    Tuesday 14 July 2015 by Eleni Holloway. 1 comments

    Pattern 1908 web equipment with water bottle and bayonet frog. The entrenching tool helve which should be positioned next to the bayonet frog is missing. This set of equipment was issued to Private William George Hoffman, 32 Battalion. Private Hoffman wore this web equipment during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt on 29 September to 1 October 1918. He returned to Australia in 1919. RELAWM07759.001

    Pattern 1908 web equipment with water bottle and bayonet frog. The entrenching tool helve which should be positioned next to the bayonet frog is missing. This set of equipment was issued to Private William George Hoffman, 32 Battalion. Private Hoffman wore this web equipment during an attack on the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt on 29 September to 1 October 1918. He returned to Australia in…

    Read on

Pages