• A Last Letter from Gallipoli

    Wednesday 12 November 2014 by Melissa Cadden.

    “I build castles in the air every day about our reunion.” Private Thomas Anderson Whyte, letter to Eileen Wallace Champion, AWM Private Records collection (PR04722). Circular silver frame with velvet backing, the front face of the frame has a decorative pattern running the entire circumference of frame. Displayed inside the frame is a black and white photo of Thomas Anderson Whyte smoking a pipe, dressed in blazer. A blue velvet …

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  • WWI letters & diaries at the Memorial.

    Monday 18 April 2011 by Sue Jamesion. 4 comments

    As the Memorial gears up for WWI Centenary commemorations, AWM cataloguer indexer, Sue Jamesion, begins work on a diary from 1914, With the Centenary of the Great War of 1914-1918 only a few years away, staff in the Research Centre at the Australian War Memorial are busily working on a variety of special projects aimed at supporting the Australian community's commemoration of this momentous occasion.  One such project …

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  • 95th Anniversary of Gallipoli Campaign

    Friday 23 April 2010 by Nicholas Schmidt. 1 comments

    This ANZAC Day marks the 95th anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli campaign, when tens of thousands of British, French and Dominion troops landed on the Turkish coast. To acknowledge this anniversary, the Australian War Memorial’s Research Centre is displaying previously unseen original letters and diaries relating to the campaign. The Research Centre’s collection is a rich source of records that tells the story of Gallipoli …

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  • Love Letter Update for Valentine's Day

    Saturday 13 February 2010 by Nicholas Schmidt. 6 comments

    It has been a year since the first blog entry went up about Marthe Gylbert and her letter. In this time, with the help of some very generous people, I have been able to discover much about Marthe and her wonderful love letter. If you have not seen the previous blog entries, they can be found here and here. Marthe‘s nephew Jean Marc Gylbert has been very helpful and interested. He has provided much information about his family and …

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  • Christmas cards

    Wednesday 23 December 2009 by .

    At Christmas time most people take the opportunity to stop and think about family and friends and pass on their greetings and well wishes by means of the traditional Christmas card.  The Memorial holds an interesting collection of Christmas cards - different types, various shapes and sizes, and from all conflicts.  One of our earlier and more unusual Christmas cards can be seen below. Christmas card to Frederick …

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  • WWI - For this Sydney family it was "on for young and old".

    Wednesday 18 March 2009 by Sue Jamesion. 23 comments

    When Leonard Walter Jackson of Neutral Bay joined the AIF on the 6th of August 1915, he must have been one of the youngest Australians ever to enlist in our military services. Using the assumed name Richard Walter Mayhew, and claiming to be an 18 year old orphan, young Leonard, who was born on 27th August 1901, was actually 13 years 11 months and 10 days old on the day he "signed up". Len's older brother, Harry Melville Jackson, had …

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  • Valentine’s Day Love Letter

    Friday 13 February 2009 by Nicholas Schmidt. 13 comments

    The Memorial recently acquired a mysterious letter. It is beautifully written and decorated, but we don't know much about it. It seems it was written by a French woman to her sweetheart, and we assume he was Australian, as the letter ended up in Australia. We do not know who they were, but we do know that the letter was written on 25 August 1918 and was sent from Saint-Sulpice-les-Feuilles in France. The writer, Martha (or perhaps …

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  • Olympian digger

    Friday 8 August 2008 by . 5 comments

    Studio portrait of Tom Richards in 1917 (from Gold, mud 'n' guts by Greg Growden). With Olympics fever upon us, I was prompted to look through the Memorial’s collection to see what material we held on Olympians.  One collection in the Private Records area caught my eye.  It was created by Lieutenant Thomas James Richards, MC who won a gold medal for rugby at the 1908 London Olympics.  Before joining the Army, …

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  • The battles of Coral & Balmoral: May-June 1968

    Monday 12 May 2008 by Mal Booth. 1 comments

    Forty years ago, in May/June 1968 Australian soldiers fought their largest, most sustained and arguably most hazardous battles of the Vietnam War. Units of the 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) confronted regimental-sized formations of the North Vietnamese regular army in fierce actions around Fire Support Patrol Bases (FSPB) Coral and Balmoral in what was then known as Bien Hoa province. The location of FSPBs Coral and Balmoral are …

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  • Mother’s day message from a crew member of HMAS Sydney

    Wednesday 7 May 2008 by Kathryn Hicks. 5 comments

    PR01950

    When searching through the Memorial's Private Records collection this item was found. The telegram was sent from Able Seaman Rex Cooper to his mother on Mother's Day 1941. Born in 1920, Rex Cooper joined the RAN in March 1938. He became part of the crew of HMAS Sydney as an Ordinary Seaman in September 1938. He was promoted to Able Seaman in 1939 and served on the Sydney until his death in 1941. Also held in the collection is a diary …

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