• The merchant and the butcher: A Western Front story

    Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Craig Blanch. 1 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 I would like to thank Wally’s daughter, Pamela Gould, for the previously unpublished material.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 butcher and the grocer: A Western Front story.

    Friday 28 August 2009 by Craig Blanch. 12 comments

    Walter 'Wally' Brown

    This blog post has been revised and updated – please seewww.awm.gov.au/blog/2015/11/04/butcher-and-merchant-western-front-story 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 war. Inthe horror, friendships were forged that endured even through death.This is the story of one such friendship... Wally Brown was a grocer. He did not necessarily want…

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  • The flag on Anzac House by Joe Maxwell

    Friday 16 November 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 18 comments

    Joseph Maxwell (1896 - 1967) P03390.001 I found this article last night in an old Reveille journal from June 1930.  Apart from the photos which I've added, the text remains as published.  The author was Joe Maxwell, the very same who won a DCM as a warrant officer near Westhoek, just a few days after the action described below.  The following year he would win the Military Cross twice, and just before the end of the …

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  • One who fell at Ypres: Private Pegram's story

    Thursday 15 November 2007 by Aaron Pegram. 12 comments

    Private Albert George Pegram, 55th Battalion AIF P04810.001 The Battle of Polygon Wood was one of the most successful engagements Australian troops participated in during the Passchendaele campaign. On 26 September 1917, the 5th Australian Division successfully captured the German-held positions surrounding the Butte de Polygone, an earth mound that before the war had been the butt-stop of a rifle range.  By 1917 with …

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  • The Seabrook brothers: all three killed at Passchendaele

    Tuesday 13 November 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 34 comments

    Seabrook brothers. L-R: Theo, William and George Seabrook, 17th Infantry Battalion H05568 As haunting as any image of the ghosts of Passchendaele is this studio portrait photo of the Seabrook brothers, the sons of William and Fanny Seabrook of Five Dock in Sydney NSW. Theo (age 25) and George (age 24) were both privates, while their younger brother William (age 20), with his previous military experience, soon made it to …

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  • Pillbox fighting in the Ypres Salient

    Monday 22 October 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 5 comments

    Australian troops resting behind a conspicuous pillbox, south east of Anzac Ridge in the Ypres sector, 26 September 1917 E00898 A key feature of the battlefield between Ypres and Passchendaele in 1917 was the pillbox.  Along with the dreadful conditions and intense artillery bombardments, pillboxes forced a particularly grim situation upon the combatants that led to very bitter and costly fighting. The Germans had begun …

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  • Passchendaele: an almost universal experience

    Saturday 6 October 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 1 comments

    Australian troops with German prisoners E00754 Along with the intensity of the fighting, the horrendous conditions and the heavy losses of Passchendaele, there is another reason why this campaign universally symbolises such great loss, tragedy and futility above others of the First World War.  This is simply because such a high percentage of men experienced it.  During the three and a half months it lasted, just over …

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  • 56th Battalion at Polygon Wood: a unit and a family's sad loss

    Tuesday 14 August 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 21 comments

    Infantry attack in Polygon Wood by Fred Leist ART02927 The Third Battle of Ypres (a.k.a the Battle of Passchendaele) that began on 31 July 1917 was a series of pushes from the Ypres Salient eastwards to the village of Passchendaele atop the final ridge. The Australian infantry first became involved on 20 September in the Battle of Menin Road, spearheaded by the 1st and 2nd Australian Divisions in the centre, with five …

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  • The Drivers

    Friday 3 August 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 4 comments

    The following extract is from C. E. W. Bean’s Official History, Volume IV, pp 729-730.  It highlights an often overlooked branch of the AIF during their most gruelling trial at Ypres during 1917. Going into action by H. Septimus Power ART03329 From the August fighting [at Ypres in 1917], the Australian infantry was so fortunate as to be spared, but the detached artillery bore its share. That of the 2nd Division, whose …

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  • Rain and Mud: the Ypres - Passchendaele Offensive

    Wednesday 1 August 2007 by Craig Tibbitts. 3 comments

    Swamp around Zonnebeke, Oct 1917 (E01200) E01200 When considering the Battle of Passchendaele in 1917, what immediately springs to mind is a desolate, shattered landscape of mud.  So when looking through the photographs of this battle here on the blog, and in the exhibition, it may be puzzling that some depict this morass with men and horses up to their waists in mud, yet many others show a rather dry and dusty …

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