• Gatenby's blanket: an embroidered service history

    Thursday 7 August 2014 by Tamsin Hong. 4 comments

    A guide to C A Gatenbys embroidered blanket

    Given it’s the final month of another chilly winter here in Canberra, I felt it was fitting to share with you one of the cosiest objects on display at the Memorial: Corporal Clifford Gatenby’s embroidered blanket. Its unique design has captivated visitors with its richly embroidered images from across the globe, as well as the more familiar symbols of Australia. It is also a rare example of an object of its size to have been created …

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  • Australia's link to Colditz

    Monday 17 February 2014 by Tamsin Hong. 8 comments

    Colditz Castle was used as a prisoner of war camp for Allied prisoners who had attempted to escape from their German captors during the Second World War. The castle has captured popular imagination through the film The Colditz Story (1955) based on P.R. Reids book of the same name.

    Colditz Castle was used as a prisoner of war camp for Allied prisoners who had attempted to escape from their German captors during the Second World War. The castle has captured popular imagination through the film The Colditz Story (1955) based on P.R. Reids book of the same name. P01608.012 Unknown to their captors, eight prisoners were huddled in a small office, waiting …

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  • The Not So Great Escape

    Wednesday 12 August 2009 by Alexandra Orr. 9 comments

    On the 19th November 1941, Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney II was lost, with all hands, off the coast of Western Australia after engaging with the German raider HSK Kormoran. The discovery in March 2008 of the final resting place of the Sydney and the Kormoran attracted much attention. Understandably, there has been much discussion over the circumstances surrounding the loss of the Sydney; however the story of the Kormoran’s Commander, …

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  • The Liberation of Colditz Castle

    Friday 17 July 2009 by Dianne Rutherford. 2 comments

    Shrapnel from an American ranging shell, Colditz Castle 1945. REL38251 This 8 cm piece of shrapnel is a souvenir from the liberation of the infamous prisoner of war camp, Oflag IVC - Colditz Castle. It was collected by an Australian soldier, Lieutenant Jack Millett. Millett was an 'incorrigible', one of the prisoners held by the Germans at Colditz for making repeated escape attempts from other camps. In 1942, Millett was…

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  • How to make a POW escape map

    Wednesday 9 July 2008 by Dianne Rutherford. 7 comments

    Prisoners in German POW camps were very resourceful. My favourite items to have come out of POW camps in Europe are the maps they made for escape attempts. Early in the war men would draw their maps by hand, but this took a long time and at the end you would have only one copied map. If many prisoners were trying to escape it would take too long to make all the maps they required - especially for large escapes, like the famous "Great …

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