• 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 is always interesting to look at photographs from WW1 beside images from Afghanistan, but this case suggests the truth of the old saying, "some things never change".  The WW1 photograph                          above was taken following the retreat of German forces from the French village they so recently occupied. In keeping …

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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.

    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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  • Dig Deeper - Recruitment standards

    Wednesday 20 August 2014 by My Testing. 1 comments

    How would you measure up? With the outbreak of war in August 1914, Australia began an official recruiting effort to raise an army to send overseas. However, the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), as it was named, would not take just anyone. It was intended to be a force of skilled, experienced soldiers, chosen from "the fittest, strongest, and most ardent in the land".1 Recruits being medical examined at Victoria Barracks.…

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  • Some notes on Farewell and Welcome Home jewellery from the First World War

    Tuesday 5 August 2014 by Chris Goddard. 2 comments

    Engraved jewellery was frequently presented to departing and returning soldiers by local shire councils and ‘Farewell’ or ‘Welcome Home’ committees during the First World War. Also known as ‘Tribute’ jewellery, these were presented in public ceremonies or dinners and often reported in the local press. With some diligent searching, these reports can be located by searching newspaper databases such as ‘Trove’. As the …

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  • SS Warilda: troopship, hospital ship, ambulance transport, wreck

    Friday 1 August 2014 by Jennifer Milward. 8 comments

    In August 1915, the SS Warilda was requisitioned by the Commonwealth and fitted out as a transport ship. HMAT Warilda made two trips to Egypt and one to England, carrying more than 7,000 troops. Following the Warilda’s conversion to a hospital ship in July 1916, she spent a few months stationed in the Mediterranean, before being put to work transporting patients across the English Channel. Between late 1916 and August 1918 she made …

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  • The Imperial Camel Corps

    Thursday 31 July 2014 by Gabrielle Considine. 3 comments

    In this WW1 themed sound reel four Australian men voice their experiences of the Imperial Camel Corps. After Australian troops withdrew from Gallipoli in December 1915, the Ottoman Empire persuaded the pro-Turkish Senussi tribesmen to attack British-occupied Egypt. In January 1916, a Desert Mounted Corps was formed to deal with the revolt. The Imperial Camel Corps formed four battalions: the 1st Battalion was entirely Australian, the …

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