Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

Written by Mr James Donaldson (Museum Manager and Curator, R.D. Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland) and Dr Brit Asmussen (Senior Curator, Cultures and Histories, Queensland Museum). Queensland Museum and The RD Milns Antiquities Museum, The University of Queensland, are collaborating on a research partnership to learn more about the antiquities collecting activities of Australian WW1 personnel. Learn more about how this research project is … Continue reading Objects of War: The First World War Antiquities project

War Brides

By Carmen Burton, Assistant Curator, Queensland Stories, Queensland Museum Women’s experiences of war are an important part of the ANZAC Day commemorations and traditions. Their stories reshape how we might understand the experience of living through conflict. This year for ANZAC Day, we are honouring and acknowledging the contribution of the young women who were married during these periods of history by sharing a 1940s … Continue reading War Brides

Hinkler’s Avro Baby

By Jennifer High, Senior Curator of Transport and Energy On 11 April 1921, Bert Hinkler flew non-stop from Sydney to Bundaberg, Queensland, in his Avro Baby aircraft, G-EACQ. The flight was a new distance record in Australia, with the 1287 km journey completed in 8 hours and 40 minutes. One hundred years later, Hinkler’s Avro Baby is part of Queensland Museum’s collection and on display … Continue reading Hinkler’s Avro Baby

Queensland Remembers – Badges 1914-1918

When you think about war and its aftermath, it’s unlikely that badges will spring to mind. Yet in the Queensland Museum’s Anzac Legacy Gallery over a hundred badges and commemorative ribbons are on display. As former Social History Curator Tracy Ryan wrote about in her recent paper “Forgotten Organisations from the First World War”, the humble badge stands as one form of reminder of the … Continue reading Queensland Remembers – Badges 1914-1918

Remembering on Remembrance Day

Every year on Remembrance Day, and indeed Anzac Day, The Workshops Rail Museum hosts a service at the Ipswich Railway Workshop War Memorial. This year we are preparing to mark the day in a different way. We are privileged to have the War Memorial established by workers of the North Ipswich Railway Workshops on our grounds at The Workshops Rail Museum. It stand as a … Continue reading Remembering on Remembrance Day

NOT those wagons, we’re British!

The newly federated Australia took steps towards meeting its defence needs in the early years of the twentieth century.  In 1911 The Government founded the Royal Australia Navy and establishing the small arms factory at Lithgow, and factories in Melbourne to produce saddlery and uniforms. Lord Kitchener, head of the British Army, visited in 1909 and suggested that Australia have an army 80,000, mostly made … Continue reading NOT those wagons, we’re British!

What didn’t make it into “Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War”

While researching for my paper Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War for the Queensland Museum Memoir volume 11, I found a large amount of material that, due to space constraints, I was unable to include. Therefore, I thought writing a blog might be a good opportunity to publish these unused images and documents. The paper investigates the … Continue reading What didn’t make it into “Duty, Debt and Picket Lines: the Queensland Railway Department during the First World War”

Remembering Queensland Mobilised

The mobilisation of the people of Australia and their possessions means that the country will be turned into one vast war machine. Every person whether civilian or soldier will be a cog in that machine… Women and children according to their individual capabilities, have a place in the wartime economy… ‘Mobilisation’, Queensland Times Ipswich, 14 March 1942. A pair of pilot’s goggles sit quietly on … Continue reading Remembering Queensland Mobilised

Victory in the Pacific

by Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator – History, Industry and Technology, Queensland Museum   The 75th anniversary of victory in the Pacific is a moment to look back at World War II and consider the impacts of the war in Queensland. Felt across the country and the world, the Second World War nevertheless came right to the door of Queensland Museum. Today it is 75 … Continue reading Victory in the Pacific

Len and Gladys: They wouldn’t take the likes of you

by Judith Hickson, Curator – Queensland Stories, Queensland Museum He was Australia’s first and only Aboriginal fighter pilot during World War II. She was a driver for the United States Army in Townsville. Drawn together by fate, Len Waters and Gladys Saunders also found common ground in their shared cultural and wartime experiences. Their marriage, after a whirlwind courtship of two weeks, spanned 46 years … Continue reading Len and Gladys: They wouldn’t take the likes of you

On this day: Queensland Prisoners secret radio revealed

On the 12 November 1945, the day after Remembrance Day, an article appeared in the Telegraph highlighting a fine example of Australian ingenuity. Remembrance Day is celebrated on the day World War I ended but commemorates all those who died in war. An estimated four million people died during the World War II Japanese occupation of Indonesia, including 30,000 European civilians. The secret radio Two … Continue reading On this day: Queensland Prisoners secret radio revealed

Foundations of Remembrance in Ipswich

In 1920, General Sir William Birdwood, warmly known as the ‘Soul of Anzac’ or the ‘Digger-in-Chief’, toured Australia to meet and present medals to soldiers who had served in World War I. An Englishmen who could relate to and appreciate the Australian character, Birdwood was greatly admired by the Diggers he commanded in Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Birdwood arrived in Ipswich on Tuesday, … Continue reading Foundations of Remembrance in Ipswich

Queenslanders Band Together

As Queensland celebrates its 160th birthday this year, we’re shining the spotlight on a time throughout history where Queenslanders banded together, the First World War.  Each year Queensland Day on 6 June marks the official separation from New South Wales as an independent colony. One of the most significant historical events to rock Queensland was the First World War in 1914. Today we look at … Continue reading Queenslanders Band Together

A Man From Glamorganvale

Mephisto, the world’s only remaining German First World War tank is without doubt a unique and fascinating object. Visitors come from across the world to see it, and many words have been written about it. It is also a treasured object to many Queenslanders who remember it out the front of the old Museum on Gregory Terrace, or lurking menacingly in the Dinosaur Garden of … Continue reading A Man From Glamorganvale

Stories in living colour

By Dr Geraldine Mate, Principal Curator, History, Industry and Technology, Queensland Museum When I was asked to say a few words at the opening of the new Anzac Legacy Gallery, I thought “yes, that would be great”…then they said three to four minutes and I thought that would be impossible. I could talk for an hour, but how could I fit so many incredible stories … Continue reading Stories in living colour

War Savings – Balancing the books of battle

Written by Judith Hickson , Social History Curator, Queensland Museum

The Cultures and Histories Program at the Queensland Museum frequently receives donations that, while seemingly ordinary, provide unexpected opportunities to uncover forgotten pieces of our history and at the same time offer us the chance to re-examine these from a recent and (hopefully) more enlightened perspective.

Continue reading “War Savings – Balancing the books of battle”

They Also Served

Remembering the men and animals of The First World War

Written by Jeff Powell for Cobb+Co Museum

Around 332,000 soldiers left Australia for the battlefields of the First World War, and they took 60,000 horses with them. Another 70,000 horses were sent away to other allied armies. In total, ‘British Forces’ which included Australia, used well over one million horses and mules in the First World War. (War Office 1922:396-397) Continue reading “They Also Served”