A series of portraits depicting the impact of war on the family members of Australian servicemen and servicewomen was launched today at the Australian War Memorial.
Painted by Australian official war artist Ben Quilty, these portraits focus on the partners, children, and parents of Australian soldiers who served in Afghanistan. While family members have always played a vital role in Australian military history, their stories are often little known.
The Victoria Cross awarded to Corporal Lawrence Carthage Weathers during the First World War will go on permanent display at the Australian War Memorial, bringing the total number of VCs on display in the Memorial’s galleries to 79.
A new permanent display at the Australian War Memorial presents the story of Australia’s military involvement in the Middle East, and will open to the public on 6 October 2016.
The 150-square-metre display extends the current Conflicts 1945 to today galleries. It covers the First Gulf War, Operation Habitat, the Maritime Interception Force, UN weapons inspections, as well as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Today the family of Richard Braithwaite, one of only six survivors of the Sandakan death marches of 1945, donated a collection of rare personal documents to the Australian War Memorial.
The material was donated by Braithwaite’s son, Professor John Braithwaite, and includes a map of the Sandakan camp, letters and photographs, postwar medical reports, and witness reports.
Today the parents of Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG were present as the Australian War Memorial welcomed a new display of equipment worn by their son during the action for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for Australia.
Speaking on behalf of the Baird family, Cameron’s father, Doug, said it was appropriate for his son’s equipment to be held at the Australian War Memorial as it honours both Cameron and the 2nd Commando Regiment.