Outdoor collection display updated

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The outdoor exhibits at the Australian War Memorial are being updated with three historic First World War guns placed on display in early 2015 to be returned to storage for conservation.

The Deck Gun from HMQS Gayundah, the 9.2 inch Howitzer and the German 15 cm Heavy Field Gun were first placed on display outside the Memorial's main building as part of Centenary of the First World War commemorative activities. They were intended to be displayed for up to five years, and the time has come for them to be removed for scheduled maintenance.

These large artillery pieces have been removed from their positions along the western side of the Memorial, and returned to storage at the Memorial’s Treloar Conservation Centre in Mitchell.

Three military vehicles currently on outdoor display at the Memorial will be installed in place of the First World War artillery.

The Centurion Mk 5/1 Main Battle Tank, Bushmaster Protected Mobility Vehicle (PMV) and LAV-25 armoured vehicle will be moved from their positions adjacent to Anzac Hall and placed onto the exisiting plinths alongside the Memorial's main building, with reinforcement of one plinth possibly required to accommodate the weight of the Centurion tank.

The Centurion tank, the Bushmaster and LAV-25 armoured vehicle will be in place on the western access road by 15 June.

Assistant Director National Collection Major General (Retired) Brian Dawson said the First World War guns' return to storage was necessary in preserving them in the long term.

"It has been wonderful to give Australians the opportunity to see these rare objects up close; artillery which was used both by and against Australians over 100 years ago," Major General Dawson said.

“They have been exposed to the elements for more than five years now, and will return to storage in Mitchell for further conservation and long-term preservation.

Major General Dawson added it made practical sense for the Memorial to utilise the existing concrete plinths to display military equipment from more contemporary operations having been in use during the last 20-50 years. 


Further information:

Centurion Mk 5/1 Main Battle Tank

This Centurion arrived in Australia as a Mark 3 in early 1952 and was part of the initial purchase of sixty vehicles that arrived progressively from 1951. It was converted to Mk5 standard in 1960 and was further upgraded to Mk5/1 (Aust) standard prior to deployment to South Vietnam in October 1970.

In June 1971, it received battle damage during Operation Hermit Park when the barrel was struck by a Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG). This vehicle returned to Australia in September 1971 aboard the transport ship 'Harima Maru'. The damaged gun barrel was sectioned and displayed by the 1st Armoured Regiment in Darwin. The Memorial acquired the vehicle in 2007.

Bushmaster PMV

This vehicle was introduced into ADF service on 09 September 2005. It saw operational service in Iraq between 30 September 2005 and 14 September 2006; service with the Reconstruction Task Force (RTF) in Afghanistan between 23 September 2006 and 05 July2007; and operational operational service with the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG), Afghanistan between 05 Jul 2007 and 27 May 2010. It sustained an engine fire in 2010 which gutted the entire interior, and was transported to Australia.

In 2015 the vehicle was externally remediated by Thales Australia to an 'as new' appearance, before being donated by the ADF to the Australian War Memorial in December 2015.

LAV-25 armoured vehicle

The Memorial's vehicle was a former United States Marine Corps (USMC) vehicle, obtained to conduct trials of the vehicle's capabilities. In service in Australia, it would have worn its original USMC camouflage. Prior to delivery to the Memorial in 2004, however, the vehicle was cosmetically configured by General Dynamics Land Systems Darwin with assistance from 2nd Cavalry Regiment to resemble one of the ASLAV 25 vehicles that had served in East Timor with INTERFET.  

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