Peter Burness

Peter is a Senior Historian and the Memorial’s longest serving employee. He joined in 1973 as a curator, and was involved in the development of collections and exhibitions for more than 30 years before joining the Military History Section. He has worked on numerous permanent, temporary, and travelling exhibitions. He has also visited important battlefields, and since 1994 has led the Memorial’s annual tours to the Western Front.

Peter is a long-serving member of the Armed Services working group of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and has contributed over 20 entries to the dictionary.He has written books and exhibition catalogues as well as reviews and feature articles for journals and newspapers, including Capital magazine, The Canberra Times, The Age, and Army newspaper.

Selected books and monographs

1918 Villers-Bretonneux to Le Hamel, Canberra, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 2008.

1918 Amiens to the Hindenburg Line, Canberra, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 2008

1917 Bapaume and Bullecourt, Canberra, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 2007

1916 Fromelles and the Somme, Canberra, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 2006

With Peter Stanley, A guide to the battlefields and memorials of the Boer War. Canberra, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 1999

The Nek, the tragic charge of the Light Horse at Gallipoli, Sydney, Kangaroo Press, 1995

Selected articles and other publications

“The Victoria Cross in Australia”, Wartime, 46, 2009

“Heilly, a front-line village”, Wartime, 45, 2009

“The last to fall”, Wartime, 44, 2008

“Breaking the Hindenburg line”, Wartime, 43, 2008

“ANZAC Day at Villers-Bretonneux 1918”, Wartime, 42, 2008

“The desert campaign”, Wartime, 41, 2008

“Australia’s worst experience in war”, Wartime, 39, 2007

“No regrets”, Wartime, 38, 2007

“The Battle of Bardia”, Wartime,  37, 2007

“1916, a terrible year”, Wartime, 36, 2006

“Men of Pozières”, Wartime, 34, 2006

“8 August 1918, a battle won”, Wartime, 33, 2006

“Inspirational bravery”, Wartime, 32, 2005

“Dawn of the legend”, Wartime, 30, 2005

“The ANZAC yarn”, Wartime, 29, 2005

“The seasons of battle”, Wartime, 28, 2004

“A chateau in France”, Wartime, 27, 2004

“The big guns”, Wartime, 26, 2004

“A casualty of change”, Wartime, 26, 2004

“Striking by night”, 24, Wartime, 2003

“The broken chain”, 23, Wartime, 2003

“Pozières hell”, Wartime, 22, 2003

“Murder at Sutton Veny”, Wartime, 21, 2003

“In the event of my death”, Wartime, 19, 2002

“The battles for Bullecourt”, Wartime, 18, 2002

“Hatton’s ringers”, Wartime, 12, 2000

“Uniforms” in Oxford Companion to Australian Military History, Melbourne, 1998

“Boer War” in Oxford Companion to Australian History, Melbourne, 1998

“Sergeant Robert’s diary”, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 13, 1988

 “The Australian Horse – a cavalry squadron in the South African War”, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 6, 1985

“The men of the Sudan contingent”, Despatch, Vol.19 11, 1984

“NSW infantry uniforms 1854–1903”, Journal of the Australian War Memorial, 3, 1983

“The forgotten war in North Russia”, Defence Force Journal, 22, 1980

Catalogues and conference papers

Australian in the Great War – four short films from special exhibitions, DVD, Canberra, 2008

“The Australian Light Horse”, essay in Lawrence of Arabia and the Light Horse, exhibition catalogue, Canberra, 2007

To Flanders fields 1917, exhibition catalogue, Canberra, 2007

Advancing to victory, exhibition catalogue, Canberra, 2007

ANZACS in France, 1916, exhibition catalogue, Canberra, 2006

“Tommy Cornstalk – a soldier’s impressions of the war”, Chief of Army and
Australian War Memorial Military History Conference, published in The Boer War, Army, Nation and Empire [papers], 1999

Dawn of the Legend, exhibition catalogue, Canberra, 1995

Australia’s Colonial Forces – a sketch, Australian War Memorial History Conference, 1982

Selected exhibitions

for Australian War Memorial:

Forging the Nation; Master of the Battlefield; Two men, two wars; Dawn of the Legend; Fifty Australians; ANZACS in France, 1916; Striking by night; To Flanders fields; Advancing to victory and Over the front.

for National Museum of Australia:

Ned Kelly – fact and fiction, 2006