• Filming the bombing of Darwin

    Friday 17 February 2012 by Stephanie Boyle. 3 comments

    On the 19th of February seventy years ago, the city of Darwin was bombed. Sustaining heavy damage and civilian casualties in air raids by Japanese forces, this attack was the first of over sixty air raids conducted up until November 1943. For footage of the actual bombing, we today rely on the films of amateur filmmakers who were living or stationed in Darwin at the time. They also took in scenes of destruction, filmed once the danger …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Just ‘ordinary’ days

    Monday 21 March 2011 by Carlie Walker.

    Bryant’s Diary: Friday 21st March 1941 Today was one of the lousiest days I’ve put in anywhere.  The weather was terrible.  The old Sahara Desert can be very nasty when it likes.  Sand is everywhere.  A warning order has arrived ready to move by night.  It might be tomorrow night.  Information has been received that some Wogs* are signalling to aircraft by placing their camels near objectives.  We’ll have to watch them. …

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  • Tobruk Diaries: Preparing to move - Reprimands, Promotions and Confessions

    Monday 14 February 2011 by Carlie Walker.

    Cosgriff's Diary: Friday 14th February 1941 Pro pace [For peace].  Only Horan and Carroll at Mass.  Lecture on Arabic – too hard for me.  Tim and Owen here for lunch.  Visited McCormack and Ronald.  Hours too long at evening meets.  Arthur Amies the only one working.  Horan filling his torch.   Bryant's Diary: Saturday 15th February 1941 Finished the instruction at the 2/15th Bn.   Cosgriff's Diary: Saturday 15th February 1941…

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  • "Any little news I can get"

    Monday 27 October 2008 by Jessie Webb. 7 comments

    In the Research Centre, we receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to know how and where their relatives died in the First World War. Finding out this information can be a difficult task. Quite often families know no more than that their relative died on a particular date in a particular country, and they'd like to know if we can help them narrow that down. With the advent of the Internet and the progress of digitisation …

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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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  • Australia's records: preserved as sacred things

    Tuesday 12 June 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    Australia's records: preserved as sacred things - pictures relics and writings. By C. E. W. Bean, The Anzac Bulletin, Vol 40, 10 October 1917. British Headquarters, France, September 29 [1917]. By C. E. W. BEAN. Bean in northern France, December 1917 E01430 Every country after this war will have its war museums and galleries, and its library of records rendered sacred by the millions of gallant, precious lives laid down …

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  • The Australian War Records Section

    Tuesday 12 June 2007 by Anne-Marie Conde. 9 comments

    Ninety years ago, in May 1917, the Australian War Records Section (AWRS) was formed in London. It is from this date that we trace the formal origins of the Australian War Memorial. Over the next two years the AWRS acquired approximately 25,000 objects, as well as paper records, photographs, film, publications, and works of art. All were brought back to Australia in 1919 and formed the basis of the collection of what would eventually …

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  • Caring for the past

    Tuesday 12 June 2007 by Anne-Marie Conde.

    It is not enough to expect the evidence of the past to be preserved as a matter of chance or accident. Someone has to care. http://cas.awm.gov.au/photograph/D00073 D00073 Evidence of the past comes to us by many means: documents, photographs, books, newspapers, objects, works of art, films, buildings, landscapes, eyewitness accounts. Not everything is kept, however. Time, neglect, destruction and sometimes –perversely …

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  • Further reading: a select bibliography

    Thursday 12 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    The following is not intended to provide an exhaustive bibliography of resources on the AIF campaigns in France and Flanders during 1917. Rather, it identifies some of the more useful and readily available sources for anyone wishing to explore the topic further. Primary source records One of the most useful primary sources for researching the Australian Imperial Force are their unit war diaries. Each unit (usually down …

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  • In Flanders Fields (the poem)

    Wednesday 4 April 2007 by Craig Tibbitts.

    Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, CEF A poem by a Canadian medical officer, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, was first published in the British Punch magazine in December 1915. McCrae later became a casualty of the war, dying in January 1918. However his poem has endured as a symbol of the sacrifice of those who fought during the First World War and is particularly identified with the losses around the Ypres salient. In …

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