• An Anzac Biscuit Bakeoff!

    Tuesday 1 November 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    A few years back I looked at two First World War “Anzac Biscuits” recipes that never made the grade and thought I would look at other early Anzac Biscuit recipes.The Anzac Biscuit (also called “Anzac Crispies” or sometimes just “Anzacs” - there's also a similar biscuit called "Nutties") is one of the most iconic pieces of Australia’s food heritage, along with the pavlova, and the lamington. While these days what makes an …

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  • Centenary of "3 Squadron" AFC

    Monday 19 September 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 3 comments

    Parachute used to supply soldiers with ammunition during the Battle of Hamel. On display in the First World War 1918 Gallery

    The unit that became knownas 3 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), was formed at Point Cook, in Victoria on 19 September 1916. However, it was initially designated 2 Squadron AFC. On 31 March 1917 it was re-designated 69 Squadron (Australian) Royal Flying Corps (RFC), before finally being designated 3 Squadron AFC on 20 January 1918. Below is a selection of objects associated with 3 Squadron AFC that are currently on display in the …

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

    Monday 15 August 2016 by . 3 comments

    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 first guns captured by the Australians on the Western Front – July 1916

    Friday 22 July 2016 by Shane Casey. 4 comments

    Figure 1 An Australian soldier examining a destroyed Belgian howitzer at Pozieres. The howitzer is an ‘Obusier de 15 cm A. Mod. 1887 - 1890 FRC sur affût métallique de siège’.

    Jagged chunks of white-hot metal shrieking through the air, concussive blasts sending shockwaves through the earth, spumes of soil, filthy gore, and dust spreading over the landscape, and the acrid chemical residue of spent explosives. Pockmarked wastelands stripped of vegetation and horribly disfiguring injuries dealt out without discrimination to all classes, ranks and creeds. These were (and still are) horrors that come …

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  • Rothberg the Spy: Rumours in the 24th Battalion, 1916

    Thursday 30 June 2016 by Dianne Rutherford.

    Cloth patch for the 24th Battalion - all participants in the raid removed their cloth patches, identity discs and any other identification before taking part.

    On the night of 29/30 June 1916, 2456 Private Albert Roth, 24th Battalion AIF went missing while taking part in a trench raid near Armentieres. This was one of a series of raids Australians undertook in late June /early July 1916, before the AIF fought at Fromelles and Pozieres. His mysterious disappearance led to a rumour spreading through the battalion - that he was a German spy! Cloth …

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  • The Famous Military Costume Comedy Company, The AUSSIES!

    Tuesday 15 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    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 …

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  • The Adventurous Maud Butler

    Monday 7 March 2016 by Dianne Rutherford. 4 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 …

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  • “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 …

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  • SS Cumberland’s place in maritime history

    Friday 5 February 2016 by Jennifer Milward.

    Wreckage of SS Cumberland off Gabo Island,7 July 1917

    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 …

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  • Uniforms of the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force

    Wednesday 13 January 2016 by Craig Blanch.

    Cadets in Universal Training Pattern uniform circa 1913.

    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 bythe powerful German naval squadron based in the area. Nine days later, on 19 August 1914,a hurriedly equipped force of 1500 …

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