1915 - 2013


Australian War Memorial

From the trenches to POW camps, selected artefacts which convey conditions of war from the past 100 years. 

The Australian official war correspondent Charles Bean helped create The Dinkum Oil, an early example of the trench newspapers that appeared during the First World War.

The Dinkum Oil today offers a glimpse of life on Gallipoli, revealing not only the concerns and experiences of the men but also their spirit and humour.

Members of the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion outside their billets
Ypres, 1917
Queen Victoria's chocolate gift tin
In 1900 Queen Victoria conceived the idea of sending a personal New Year’s gift to British soldiers serving in the Boer War in South Africa. This was later extended to include colonial troops and members of the naval brigade.
Blind man in Belsen

Australian army nurse Sister Betty Jeffrey survived the sinking of the Vyner Brooke on 12 February 1942 only to become a Japanese prisoner of war. Jeffrey recorded her experiences in various camps, including Palembang on Sumatra, in notebooks and on scraps of paper.

Men of B Troop, 14 Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery, pull a 25-pounder gun through dense jungle near Uberi, on the Kokoda Trail in the Owen Stanley Range in September 1942. They are being assisted by the 2/1st Australian Pioneer Battalion.

Troops from the 2/27th Battalion as they reached an outpost in Itiki
October 1942
Night patrols (Around Maliana) 

Night and day draws on the photographic archive the artists collected while they were embedded in Iraq, and their observation of the Welcome Home parade. Each panel is a complete work with a dominant image whose centre is partially concealed by a series of small pictures.

This emotionally charged painting is positioned at the heart of the Afghanistan Gallery. The pose was chosen by the subject, Captain S, and reflects an experience he had while serving in the Helmand province. Taking cover behind a low mud-brick wall, he once spent 18 hours under constant fire from insurgents. A fellow soldier had been hit in the leg, and Captain S called in support from an Apache gunship to allow the medevac helicopter to evacuate the wounded soldier.

Australian War Memorial
Credits: Story

Curator: Robyn Van Dyk - Head, Research Centre

Credits: All media
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