• "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 Yi Jiang. 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. With 820,000 …

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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. 9 comments

    Warilda in camouflage paint added in 1917 after Germany stated all vessels operating in the English Channel would be attacked.

    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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  • Sound Collection Online: Recruitment recollections

    Wednesday 4 December 2013 by Gabrielle Considine.

    This sound reel brings together five Australian soldiers from the First World War. They recall their memories of recruitment and enlistment into the first Australian Imperial Force (AIF), 1914 - 1919. When war was declared in 1914, Australia needed to raise a military force to fight overseas and calling for volunteers, raised the AIF. Australian men enlisted enthusiastically at the start of the war, however, with the high number of …

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  • Sound Collection Online: First World War Experiences

    Monday 11 November 2013 by Jeffrey Wray.

    The Sound Collection at the Australian War Memorial consists of over 9,000 oral history interviews with individuals who served during war and peacekeeping efforts. To showcase highlights from this collection the Australian War Memorial will create Sound show reels. This debut Sound show reel gives us insight into the lives and experiences of three men who served during the First World War. Recorded in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, these men …

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  • ANZAC Biscuits but not as you know them…

    Friday 9 August 2013 by Dianne Rutherford.

    We all know what ANZAC biscuits are – delicious treats chock full of rolled oats and golden syrup. However, I recently found that the name“ANZAC Biscuit” was used for (at least) two other published biscuit recipes during the First World War. These biscuits do not resemble the ANZAC biscuit we know and love today. To see what these biscuits were like I did some home bakingand held a taste test with some of my colleagues. "ANZAC …

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  • A not so ancient 'antiquity'

    Wednesday 31 July 2013 by Dianne Rutherford.

    RELAWM09776 Sphinx/Scarab from Egypt

    A little while back I blogged about an ancientcuneiform tabletcollected by a member of the AIF in Mesopotamia and whether it was genuine or not. Recently, while looking atsouvenirs collected by soldiers training in Egypt I came across a wonderfulEgyptian scarab. This scarab has the head of sphinx and heiroglyphs on its base. While it initially appeared to be stone from parts that had chipped awayit turned out it is made from clay with…

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  • The 'Souvenir of Egypt' and the 'Souvenir of Palestine'

    Monday 15 April 2013 by Dianne Rutherford.

    REL37729 One type of souvenir we often get asked about at the Memorial is an embroidereditem known as a 'Souvenir of Egypt". These were very popular during the First World War due to their colourful nature and the fact they were easy to fold and post home.Soldiers bought them while travelling to or from the Western Front (via Egypt) or while they were serving or training in Egypt. Very …

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