• 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 …

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  • The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    Walter Wally Brown

    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 I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material.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 …

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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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  • Pattern 1908 Web Equipment

    Tuesday 14 July 2015 by . 2 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…

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  • Understanding Australian Identity Discs Part 1 : First World War

    Friday 22 May 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 8 comments

    Pattern 1907 identity disc with August 1914 format details stamped.

    OFFICIAL IDENTITY DISCS During the First World War there were threetypes of identity discs issued to those serving in the Australian Imperial Force [AIF]. Those serving in the Royal Australian Navy were not issued with identity discs (excluding members of the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train, who do appear to have been issued with official identity discs), although somewore private purchase or improvised ones and I have come across …

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  • Welcoming Loved Ones Home

    Tuesday 5 May 2015 by Alexandra Biggs.

    The Welcome Home banner made by Jessie and Alice Middleton in 1919 to welcome home Private J.T.B. Elderfield. REL40074.

    This ‘Welcome Home’ banner was made by Jessie Mary Middleton and her mother Alice in 1919 to welcome Jessie’s fiancée John Thomas Bracey Elderfield back to Australia from active service in France. Banners welcoming loved ones home from overseas were common at the end of the First World War (and in conflicts since), but few have survived to this day. While it only has a few ‘Welcome Home’ banners in its First World War …

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  • Exploding like clockwork

    Wednesday 8 April 2015 by Stephanie Boyle. 3 comments

    E00383 It isalways interestingto look atphotographs from WW1besideimages from Afghanistan,butthis casesuggests the truth ofthe old saying, "some things never change". The WW1 photographabove was taken following the retreat ofGerman forcesfromthe French village they so recently occupied.In keeping witha practice typical of the time, explosive booby traps were oftenrigged for unwary allied …

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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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  • Military vehicle records at the AWM

    Monday 19 January 2015 by Dianne Rutherford. 1 comments

    Ford 3 ton F60L (long wheelbase) Cab 12 4x4 GS truck.

    Ford 3 ton F60L (long wheelbase) Cab 12 4x4 GS truck. REL31736 One question we are regularly asked is for information about the history of a particular military vehicle owned by a collector, wanting to know about where the vehicle served and when. Unfortunately, we are generally unable to provide this information as we hold few records relating to specific military …

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  • "With loving Christmas greetings"

    Tuesday 16 December 2014 by Stephanie Hume. 3 comments

    The sending of a traditional Christmas card has diminished in popularity with theadvent of mobile phones, email and social media. TheAustralian WarMemorial has a large collection of postcards and greeting cards sent to and from Australian service personnel engaged in conflicts from the South African War (1898 – 1902) to Afghanistan (2001 – present). During the First World War, a very popular design of greeting card was the woven or …

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