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 had passed. Though mostly black and white, faded, scratched and lacking a sound track, the films clearly convey the devastating effects of the attacks : masses of smoke rise against a clear sky, out of which a shot fighter plane drops to earth; ships stream plumes of smoke, and the wreckage of homes and more is seen.

Here are a few selections from the Memorial’s film collection of Darwin in 1942. See our YouTube channel to view the clips.

http://youtu.be/LIn695k9QiU

1. Bombing of Darwin , by Roy Wheeler. Title no. F04605.

Aboard the hospital ship Manunda moored in Darwin Harbour on February 19, Lieutenant Roy Wheeler filmed smoke rising from the USS Peary and the SS Zealandia, hit by Japanese aircraft. In other scenes, army personnel in tin hats and life jackets watch the bombing as it occurs, and the camera surveys damage done to the Manunda's rigging, deck and windows.

2. The bombing of Darwin and aftermath February-March 1942 by Francis Sheldon-Collins . Title no. F04775

Sheldon-Collins, Captain and Commodore's cook at Darwin's Naval Headquarters, had ample opportunity to follow the bombing and its effects. In the first scene, smoke from bombs bursting on Darwin's RAAF Station can be seen. These shots were taken from a rooftop at Myilly Point. In the second scene, Members of the 2/14th Field Regiment are seen proceeding to slit trenches for defence. Then the camera races to keep up as bombs rapidly fall across the landscape, hitting the Naval Barracks at Myilly Point, the hospital beach, the Naval Supply stores and the Naval Paymaster’s office. In the third scene, the camera follows the course of an aircraft shot from the sky. The film donor thought it was a P-40 Kittyhawk, which, he later observed , was not a craft to match the speed of the Japanese Zeros. In the fourth scene, we see a bomb crater by the hospital, while officer’s cook, N.J. Phillips, stands within to give an idea of the depth. Then follows scenes of damage to the town including the Supreme Court, the Administrator’s Residence, a block of flats nearby, the Post Office, and the Darwin Pier, damaged in the first air raid. Behind it, lying on its side, is the wrecked freighter Neptuna , lost when her cargo of depth charges was exploded by a bomb.

Read more about the bombing of Darwin here

Look here for more Darwin bombing content in the Memorial's collection.

Soldier,  drawn in Albury, NSW, 1942, oil on hardboard

To mark the centenary of the birth of one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, a new exhibition Russell Drysdale at war is being held at the Australian War Memorial. Exhibiting a collection of 15 of his wartime artworks, it presents a haunting account of the Australian home front during the Second World War.

Drysdale was not an official war artist, yet felt compelled to document his experience to provide future generations with a visual account of the period. His imagery was inspired by a period he spent living in Albury, New South Wales and explores the loneliness and isolation of war and the displacement experienced by those involved.  

 

Study for “Exercise near Hume Camp, NSW”, drawn in Albury, NSW, 1942, pen, brush and ink, and watercolour on paper

Experimenting with new techniques and mediums, his wartime imagery marks an important prelude to his much loved imagery of the Australian outback. In works such as Study of ‘Exercise new Hume Camp NSW’ the agitated application of ink and coloured washes show an important shift from the formalist approach he had learnt at art school.  It creates a scene replete with a sense of restlessness and eerie tension. 

The exhibition includes iconic works such as the painting Soldier as well as a collection of less-known illustrations that Drysdale was commissioned to produce for the wartime publications The Australian Soldier by John Hetherington and Soldier Superb by Allan Dawes.  It will be on display until February 2013.

Documents supporting the award of the Victoria Cross are now on display at the Reading Room of the Australian War Memorial. The display is arranged to show three themes associated with Australia's highest award for gallantry. These include official records produced leading to the award of the Victoria Cross; the ceremony of the award, which includes VC memorials and reunions; and items of commemoration, which are often autographed, such as invitations and correspondence between VC recipients, their communities and clubs.

 

Item of correspondence relating to Sgt Tom Derrick, 2/48 Bn

The sovereign traditionally reserves the right to make the award in person, at a ceremony called an investiture. The Governor-General of Australia invested Trp Mark Donaldson with the Victoria Cross for Australia in 2009, and Cpl Benjamin Roberts-Smith in 2011. The programs of their investiture are displayed. The sovereign may honour recipients of the award with memorials and services. On display are tickets and programs of the VC Centenary, held in London in 1954. In 1992 Queen Elizabeth II unveiled a display at Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building. The three living Australian VC recipients at the time autographed the souvenir program.

Program cover for the investiture of Tpr Mark Donaldson, SAS

Australia has a tradition of exhibiting the achievements of its VC recipients. A popular way of doing this is through commemorative issues of everyday products, such envelopes, stamps, and even cigarette cards. Recipients were also given first-class rail travel or memberships of clubs by a grateful nation. Acts of commemoration helped perpetuate the memory of those who died performing the actions for which they received the VC.  On occasions where VC recipients gathered for a journey or reunion, menu cards and theatre programs were often autographed, exchanged or presented to the host.

As a duty curator in the Military Heraldry and Technology section, you discover some unexpected stories when items are donated to the Memorial. One such story was that of Sergeant Daniel Gallogly of the 6th Field Company Engineers and the embroidered souvenir from Egypt that he purchased in 1916.

Gallogly's souvenir from Egypt

 The souvenir was found recently at the 5th Combat Engineer Regiment’s facilities but nothing was known about how it had come to be there. The souvenir was originally purple, representing the engineer’s colour patch but has faded significantly. The only clue to its history was embroidered on the souvenir, ‘6th Field Coy Eng, 1916, 2nd Division, Souvenir of Egypt, To Mimmie from Dan’. A search of the nominal roll of the 6th Field Company Engineers from the First World War revealed only one Daniel who had served in the unit. Confirmation was found in a letter written by Miss Mary ‘Mimmie’ McMahon in Daniel Gallogly’s service record.

Gallogly's message to Mimmie

 Gallogly was born in Darlington, Durham, England in 1883 and arrived in Brisbane on the ship SS Perthshire on 28 June 1909. At the start of the First World War he was living in Toowoomba, Queensland, working as a bricklaying contractor. He enlisted on 24 July 1915, aged thirty two. Four months later the 6th Field Company Engineers embarked at Sydney on board HMAT A40 Ceramic.

The reverse on the souvenir and the original colour.

 The unit arrived in Egypt on 18 December and started training at Ferry Post. In the first three months of 1916 unit life consisted of training and surveying of railway lines and the Australian trench systems east of the Suez Canal. These were reinforced in case of any Turkish attack. Gallogly gained promotion to second corporal and in March Australian troops started to make their way to the Western Front in France.

A small ship passing Ferry Post on the Suez Canal.

6th Field Company engineers arrived in Marseilles on 26 March 1916 and were training at Warne north of Paris by the end of the month. With a promotion to sergeant, Gallogly and his unit were introduced to trench life on the Western Front in the Fleurbaix sector in April. They surveyed the trenches and constructed everything from observation posts to detention enclosures. The next few months followed a similar pattern, with the unit moving to Messines sector in mid June. At the beginning of July they were moved south in preparation to Australia’s contribution to the Somme Offensive.

The Remains of the French village of Pozieres as it appeared shortly after capture by the Australians.

As part of the Somme offensive of 1916 Australian troops of the 1st Division attacked the village of Pozieres, France between 23rd and 27th of July. The division took heavy casualties before being relieved by the 2nd Division. On 29 July, the division began its attack. Gallogly and his unit were consolidating positions taken by the 28th Battalion and constructing a medical dressing station when he was wounded. According to his service records he sustained multiple shrapnel and gunshot wounds to his face, back and right foot.

By the beginning of January 1917 Gallogly had recovered sufficiently from his wounds to attend a rifle course in Sidmouth, Devon, England. He attained a first class qualification and passed Lewis gun training with a ‘fair knowledge’ of the weapon. After spending the next seven months in a training battalion he was deemed unfit for front line duties and returned to Australia in August.

In Gallogly’s service record, Mary ‘Mimmie’ McMahon wrote in September 1917 to the Officer in Charge of the Base Records in Melbourne to know when she could expect him home. He was discharged by the end of November 1917. Mimmie and Daniel reunited and were married on the 16 January 1918 in Queensland. They had three children Vincent, Felix and Kathleen.

After the war Gallogly continued his building work and constructed buildings around Queensland, though this was not without problems as his industrial dispute with the United Operative Brick- layers' Society of Queensland (Toowoomba branch) would suggest. Some of the buildings he built were the Harrison Home, Toowoomba, St James’s Catholic Church and school at Coorparoo in 1925, the Marist Brothers' Monastery at Rosalie in the late 1920s. His tender for the erection of the Commonwealth Bank in Gympie was accepted in 1927.

St James’s Catholic Church and school at Coorparoo.

The Depression years affected Gallogly’s business and a newspaper article in the The Brisbane Courier suggests that he was declared bankrupt in 1931. The Second World War was not kind to the Gallogly family. Mary died in 1940 and the eldest son, Vincent, was killed while serving as a flight Sergeant in Bomber Command’s 103 Squadron RAF on 23 June 1942 over Germany.

The electoral roll of 1943 has the surviving family living in the Brisbane suburb of Albion, with Daniel listed as a public servant. He appears to have lived at this address until 1963. His date of death is unknown but he was buried in Nudgee cemetery, Brisbane, along with his wife and two of his children, Felix and his daughter Kathleen who died in 2008.

From the limited information provided by the donor of the souvenir, the Memorial through the use of digitised records, has discovered Daniel Gallogly’s story and recounted it. His narrative just one of the many that are uncovered by the Memorial during its work to remember the Australians who have served for this country.

After months of work treating and reproducing individual pieces, the complex structure which supports the Boulton Paul turret has been trial fitted.  It was great to see all the separate items come together.  These parts, after final undercoating, will now be riveted into the airframe permanently.  Rear fuselage skins can then be rolled, and the Boulton Paul turret fitted.

Delighted to be home: four of the six Australian army nurses arrive in Sydney on 13 September, 1945. Left to right: Captain Kay Parker, Lieutenant (Lt) Lorna Whyte; Lt Daisy 'Tootie' Keast; Lt Mavis Cullen.

Fried shrimps and scallops, ham “a la King” and lemon sponge: these were the dishes that six Australian Army nurses would dream of while they were held captive in Japan during the Second World War.

Instead, the prisoners received a monotonous diet consisting mostly of rice and soya bean soup, and stew with questionable pieces of meat. On the eighth day of each month – known as “degradation” or “humiliation” day – the meagre vegetables that were issued were thrown into a cesspit and the women made to retrieve them; occasionally they were made to eat scraps from a pig bucket.

The nurses’ ordeal, which was to last three years and seven months, began 70 years ago when they surrendered to the Japanese after the invasion of Rabaul on 23 January 1942. Rabaul was the administrative capital of Australia’s Mandated Territory of New Guinea. It had a strategically important, deep-water harbour and airfields that were well-positioned for reconnaissance and bombing sorties over the Japanese naval bases in the Caroline Islands. But few resources were allocated to the protection of the garrison, and the men who tried gallantly to protect it from attack were overwhelmed by a much larger invading force.

The Australian army nurses were mostly country girls who had sailed from Sydney on the converted troopship Zealandia in April 1941. The nurses were the only servicewomen on the island and served with the 2/10th Field Ambulance, which consisted of two doctors and 20 male orderlies.

The army hospital in Rabaul had been evacuated on 22 January and transferred to the Roman Catholic mission at Vunapope. The army doctors didn’t stay on and took with them the ambulances, most of the medical supplies and the orderlies. The head nurse, Sister Kathleen Parker, and an Anglican chaplain surrendered on behalf of the hospital when the Japanese arrived.

The nurses were made to stand for hours in the blazing sun with Japanese machine-guns trained on them. That day the Japanese killed about 20 patients, as well as the chaplain. The army nurses expected to be killed too; instead they were imprisoned in a convent within the mission until July 1942, along with a small number of missionary and administrative nurses and one civilian woman. Some Australian soldiers were also imprisoned in the mission.

In early July the nurses and other internees – including the Australian soldiers -- were taken by ship to Yokohama, Japan. The women spent most of the next two years under guard in the Yokohama Amateur Rowing Club, not allowed to write to their families. At first, the conditions were tolerable: they had clean toilets and cold showers were always available; hot baths were occasionally allowed. There were ping-pong sets, badminton and cards, and during the warmer months they swam in the club pool. But conditions declined after the first year in captivity: the women were regularly slapped and occasionally they were lined up at gunpoint. Red Cross officials were stopped from visiting them. They suffered greatly in the extreme cold of the winter months: their bed coverings were flimsy and heating within the building was poor or non-existent, so to stay warm they slept two to a bed.

Food was always on their minds, and a recipe book compiled by Sister Eileen Callaghan and held at the Australian War Memorial reveals just what they desired: cheese dishes, hearty roasts, fresh salads, luscious desserts, and cakes.

Nurse Daisy Keast recalled that after her release, her first letter home to her parents demanded that her first meal when she arrived home be roast pork and steamed date pudding.

“That’s all we thought about and talked about,” she said. “My family said we never talked to them at all, all we talked about was food.”

The women were moved in April 1944 to a farmhouse at Totsuka, about 50 kilometres from Yokohama and with a view of Mount Fuji. The house had no heating or showers so they washed from buckets. They were made dig air-raid trenches for the Japanese, and in winter had to shovel paths in the snow. They grew weaker from hunger and suffered deficiency diseases such as beri-beri.

The women had scant news from the outside world, but by 1945 they could tell the war was going badly for the Japanese. They watched the bombing raids over Yokohama and Tokyo. On 17 August, 1945, the internees were told that peace had been declared. The women were free, but afraid of reprisals, they remained in the compound. Food suddenly improved, a doctor visited and gave them medicine, and they also received coats to cover their tattered nurses’ uniforms.

On 31 August, after three years and seven months of imprisonment, two of the army nurses intercepted an American convoy and were finally rescued from Totsuka. They were flown to Okinawa Island and then to Manila. They were among the first prisoners of war to arrive home, most of them arriving in Australia on 13 September 1945. Sister Callaghan, who had contracted tuberculosis and received no treatment, arrived back in Australia one month later. She died in March 1954 from continuing problems related to the disease.

The nurses had survived because of a determination to not let the Japanese defeat them. “If we had given up we wouldn’t have come back, it’s as simple as that,” said Sister Marjory Anderson. “If we gave up hope we’d have just died.”

Sources and further reading

Catherine Kenny, Captives : Australian army nurses in Japanese prison camps (University of Queensland Press, 1986)

Second World War Official Histories, Volume VI – The New Guinea Offensives (1st edition, 1961)

Rupert Goodman, Our War Nurses: The History of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps 1902-1988 (Boolarong Publications, 1988)

Michael (Mike) Coleridge will always be remembered for the photograph he took on 26 August 1967 of a group of soldiers of 5 Platoon, B Company, 7RAR, waiting for an Iroquois helicopter to land and take them back to Nui Dat at the end of Operation Ulmarra. This photograph has become an Australian icon of the Vietnam War and is graphically featured on the Vietnam National Memorial on ANZAC Parade in Canberra. But this is just one of 558 still photographs and 54 films taken in Vietnam by Mike Coleridge in the Australian War Memorial's collection.

Coleridge was born in Slovenia on 11 July 1933. At the end of the Second World War his parents' marriage failed, and he accompanied his mother to Austria, before migrating to Australia as an unaccompanied 16-year-old. As a young man, he worked in a range of manual jobs in Sydney, always struggling to make his junior wages cover his expenses. At 18 he found work on a property in rural New South Wales, where his circumstances improved and his life assumed some degree of normality. A young man looking for adventure, he eventually found his way to Darwin. Life in the Northern Territory was exciting, and during this time he learnt to fly and was awarded a private pilot's license.

Vietnam. 1967. Private Peter Harding of Ballina (NSW), paddles out from the bank of a tributary

In 1957 Coleridge enlisted in the Australian Army, hoping to enter the fledgling Army Aviation Corps. Believing the recruiting sergeant's assurances that he could transfer after completing his recruit training, he signed up; however, his lack of formal education proved a barrier to army pilot training and he found himself a gunner in the Royal Australian Artillery Corps. He never realised his ambition to fly. Gunner Coleridge was posted to Malaysia in 1961, and during his tour he privately made films for the British Army using his own cameras.

On his return to Australia in 1963, Coleridge sought a transfer to the Royal Australian Army Education Corps as a public relations photographer. During this time he married and had two children. But his marriage failed, leaving him with his two children of his own and another his wife had brought to the marriage. Coleridge, now a single father, was posted to Vietnam. With much difficulty, and without any support from the army, he arranged for a family in Melbourne to care for his children. Sergeant Coleridge arrived in Vietnam on 19 November 1966, and although posted to Headquarters in Saigon, he spent most of his time at the new 1st Australian Task Force (1ATF) base at Nui Dat. Over the next 12 months he recorded the activities of 5RAR, 6RAR and 7RAR and other elements of 1ATF. There were no facilities at the 1ATF base for a photographer, so he constructed a makeshift darkroom, in which he developed his own films.

A digger with his dog and gun watch for the Viet Cong during Operation Paddington. Tiber

Vietnam. 1967. On top of Nui Dat hill, the highest point in the Australian Task Force area,

Coleridge operated independently, accompanying soldiers on operations, seeking out images to satisfy the needs of the Public Relations Officer in Saigon and taking many photographs in response to the conflict that surrounded him, including many shots of Australian soldiers moving through the Vietnamese landscape. Like many photographers of the time, he always carried a number of cameras, including 35 mm and 120 still cameras and frequently a 16 mm Bell and Howell movie camera. Using his own initiative, Coleridge started using colour film in both his still and movie cameras. However, the army was geared to providing the print media and TV with black-and-white images, and so initially it didn't support Coleridge's use of colour. Because the army only supplied black-and-white film, colour film and colour stock either had to be traded with other photographers or purchased privately. Colour film had to be processed privately in Saigon, and as most of his salary was spent supporting his three children back in Australia this must have been very difficult for him. Many of Coleridge's colour film stills, and the colour films of the photographers who followed him, were duplicated in black-and-white for use in the media. Coleridge's persistence was eventually rewarded by the Army Public Relations Directorate in Canberra: a signal sent to Saigon in September 1967 acknowledged both the high standard of the colour footage and the fact that Coleridge had provided the colour stock personally, and advised that replacement stock would be dispatched from Canberra.

After completing his tour of Vietnam on 21 November 1967, Coleridge was posted to Melbourne. His period of enlistment had expired and he resisted the army's efforts to keep him, realising how difficult it would be to continue serving as a single father.

Vietnam. 1967. During operation Broken Hill in Phuoc Tuy Province

Vietnam. 1967. The tracks of armoured personnel carriers of A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, ...

Over the decades that followed the war, Mike Coleridge traveled the countryside, finding work wherever he could. He worked for a time as a photographer for the Melbourne Truth and at other jobs, always supporting his two children. He moved to Darwin and then, in the early 1970s, to North Queensland, where he drove steam locos in the cane fields; from there it was on to Western Australia, where he mined gold, before moving to New South Wales. He and his children settled in Canberra in 1984, where he worked for a time as an attendant at the Australian War Memorial. With his children now grown up, he found some relief from his responsibilities and began growing walnuts on a small property at Jerangle, New South Wales. His final move was to a property on the outskirts of Braidwood, where he raised Angus cattle. 

 

Identity discs Sergeant M Coleridge, Army Public Relations Photographer, Headquarters Australian Force, Vietnam

Like many Vietnam veterans, Coleridge experienced a range of health issues, including first cancer of the bladder and more recently lung cancer. Just before Christmas 2011 he had a bad fall in his house and was taken by ambulance to the Braidwood Hospital. He was transferred to hospital in Canberra, where an X-ray revealed he had two fractured vertebrae in his lower back.

Michael Coleridge passed away peacefully in hospital in the early hours of 10 January 2012. He is survived by his son, David, daughter, Rhonda, and granddaughter, Julia.

 

Get the most out of summer in the national capital with blockbuster exhibitions and family programs at

Canberra’s top attractions.

From 1 January to 1 February 2012 look for the Summer Bonus Card brochure at selected cultural institutions, Canberra Centre and the Canberra Visitor and Information Centre. 

Detach the card from the brochure, slip it into your wallet and enjoy bonus benefits wherever you go.

Simply present your card at each attraction for great rewards, such as two-for-one offers, free posters, recipe booklets and parking vouchers, and special offers  at the Canberra Centre,

while stocks last.

 

Australian War Memorial

Free recipe booklet        

The Australian War Memorial is a special place for all Australians.  Over summer come along with your family and friends to discover the stories of Australia’s wartime nurses, explore world famous galleries and take part in our free family programs. 

Present your card at the Memorial Shop to receive a free 48-page colour recipe booklet: Australia’s Wartime Kitchen. 

Canberra Centre Logo

 

 

 

 

Canberra Centre

Special offers from over 50 stores

Experience Canberra’s premier shopping attraction and cultural hub for fashion, dining and entertainment – Canberra Centre.

Located on Bunda Street, in the heart of the city, Myer and David Jones lead an outstanding collection of Australian and International fashion labels, along with a stunning range of specialty stores. Experience local and international cuisine at Canberra Centre’s North Quarter, where dining and entertainment culture thrive day and night with an array of award winning restaurants and Premium Class Dendy Cinemas.

Special Offer: Present your card at the Customer Service Lounge to join our VIP shoppers’ club and receive special offers from over 50 stores, plus all visitors residing outside a 100km radius will receive a bonus one day parking pass. Proof of residency is mandatory. One pass per person during the promotion period.

National Gallery of Australia

Free poster

Encounter paintings by great Italian artists in the stunning Renaissance exhibition and present your card at the Cloak Room to receive a Renaissance exhibition posters, free. 

Summer is your chance to see the Renaissance exhibition on display until 9 April 2012. The National Gallery of Australia shows seventy paintings by great Italian artists such as Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian. The exhibition highlights the amazing art of Early and High Renaissance Italy. These treasures from Bergamo will only be displayed in Canberra.  

National Library of Australia

Bookshop discounts

Present your card at the Book Shop for a 15% discount on current National Library exhibition catalogues: Handwritten and Library of Dreams.Bonus Handwritten poster. While stocks last.

Handwritten: ten centuries of manuscript treasures is an extraordinary exhibition featuring 100 unique manuscript treasures from the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library).

Spanning more than 1000 years of history, the exhibition includes exquisite illuminated manuscripts, rare letters, sketches and documents and priceless musical scores, each handwritten by major figures in literature, religion, science, exploration, philosophy and music. The exhibition is being shown only at the National Library of Australia so book your free ticket at nla.gov.au/exhibitions/handwritten. 

National Museum of Australia

Buy one tour, get one free

Learn more when you take a guided Museum tour showcasing Phar lap’s heart and the Holden Prototype. Tours are presented daily and last for one hour. Present this card to the Museum Information Desk, purchase one guided Museum tour and get another of equal value free.

The National Museum of Australia is a place where we can get to know the real, the treasured, the surprising and the inspirational objects from Australia's history - from a piece of ochre that was used to make Aboriginal art over 50,000 years ago, to Phar Lap's unusually large heart and the Holden Prototype No. 1.

The Museum is a place that celebrates our people and our culture of storytelling, where we come together to share stories of our unique and distinctive nation. Come and join the conversation. Be part of the story.

Note: Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Questacon 

Q Shop discounts

Present your card at the Q Shop to receive great discounts. Buy a 3D art bookmark for $2.50 (normally $6.95) and/or a Questacon solar-powered key ring for $2.50 (normally $5.95).

Limit of two items per customer.

Questacon’s brand new gallery Q Lab allows visitors to discover the fascination of scientific inquiry. Visitors can watch live science demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities with Questacon’s science communicators and visiting scientists.

With different hands-on activities every day, visitors to Q Lab can; make rocks float, use food dye with flowers to show capillary action, experiment with chemistry, see the microscopic world and extract DNA from peas.

My name is Romy Turner. I am a work experience student from Canberra Girls Grammar School at the Memorial for this week. As part of my work experience I had to research an item, a trench sign, from the Memorial's collection.

The trench sign ‘To Stinking Farm & Currie Ave’ was collected during the First World War by Lieutenant Colonel John Basil St. Vincent Welch, whilst he was serving as part of the 13thField Ambulance in Belgium. Welch arrived in Marseilles on 13 July 1916 as a member of the Australian Field Ambulance. He was appointed the commanding officer of the 13thField Ambulance and was stationed around the village of Messines, which would be the site of the Battle of Messines 11 months later. Stationed at Kandahar Farm, Welch assisted in this battle, tending to the wounded as they came back from the front and organising the transportation of the men further back the line to the field hospitals.

 As Stinking Farm and Currie Avenue were part of the British territory, English trench signs were used to identify the large network of trenches. They both played small parts in the Battle of Messines, which took place on 7 June 1917. The farm was 800 metres behind the British front line and acted as a holding station for reinforcements awaiting orders to proceed towards the frontier, whilst Currie Avenue was one of the many back line trenches that led to Stinking Farm and eventually the front line.

Welch served on the Western Front until September 1917 and had ample opportunity to collect this sign during his travels up and down the front line. In February 1918, when he left England to return home he brought his war mementos with him. John Basil St. Vincent Welch died on 21 May 1920 as a result of his war service. His name is listed on the Roll of Honour.

My name's Sean Limn, and I've been doing work experience at the War Memorial for the past week. One of my tasks whilst at the Memorial was to research a collection item, a piece of an old tent found at Gallipoli in 1919. The tent piece was found at Rest Gully, and is from a hospital tent left during the evacuation in December 1915. The tent was left behind as part of the ruse  to prevent the Turks from realising that an evacuation was taking place.

In July 1915, a temporary hospital was established in Rest Gully in response to a breakout of Cholera at Cape Helles. No outbreaks of the disease were reported at Anzac but the hospital remained to accommodate other ailments and conditions like diarrhoea. Initially Rest Gully was unsafe for tents to be erected, and it wasn't until much later in the campaign that tents were used there.

4th Field Ambulance at Rest Gully

The evacuation of Field Ambulances began on 11 December, when they left the peninsula, taking their "more valuable equipment" but leaving their tents standing, to make it look like the hospital was still there.

5th Field Ambulance tents at Rest Gully

At the time of the evacuation these tents were used by the 5th Field Ambulance, who were evacuated on 16 December to Mudros. By 1919 all that was left of the tents was a muddy, weathered piece of rope and canvas. It has a large eyelet incorporated into the rope, which would have presumably helped secure the tent to the ground.

While not much of the tent is left, it is still an interesting relic from the evacuation at Anzac, as it illustrates what had to be left behind.

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