Veterans Heritage Project
 
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Adjusting to life at the front and the hardships, sacrifices and horror of wartime realities are often difficult for civilians to imagine. These objects and stories provide an insight into daily life for servicemen and women across 20th century conflicts, reflecting shared and individual experiences of war.

 

Melbourne legacy

Violin



REGISTRATION No:

0023

DescriPtion:

This violin was played by Roy Arnel as a member of the AIF Concert Party in the Changi prisoner-of-war (POW) camp, Singapore, between 1942 and 1945. Fellow POWs scratched their names into the surface of the instrument including English author and cartoonist, Ronald Searle, Australian entertainer, Frank Rich, and Australian Author, Russell Braddon.

DATE:

27 Feb 2018

SIZE:

H21 x W27.5 x D13 cm



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ringwood RSL

trench art



REGISTRATION No:

00057

DescriPtion:

Trench Art refers to any object made from the by-products of warfare. Often crafted from debris and scrap metal, trench art can reveal the attitudes, behaviours, or kinds of material available to its maker. The handle of this letter opener was made from a discharged 303 bullet.

DATE:

1941

SIZE:

H17.2 x W1.5 cm



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ringwood RSL

Photograph



REGISTRATION No:

00189

DescriPtion:

During the Second World War, the British Home Guard was made up of over 1.5 million people, ineligible for military service. Despite resistance and little broad recognition, women were permitted involvement as the war progressed.

DATE:

c.1939 - 1945

SIZE:

Unknown.



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frankston RSL

oral history


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Interviewee:

Patrick McMahon

Interviewer:

Pat Overend

DESCRIPTION:

Patrick McMahon was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He began his military service in Rhodesia which was then under British rule and served in Africa, Ceylon, India and Burma. In this interview he reflects on trying to get into the air force.

Date:

1 Mar 2017

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ballarat ranger military museum

oral history


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Interviewee:

Bill Akell

Interviewer:

Danny Williams

DESCRIPTION:

Bill Akell was born in Boston, USA and arrived in Australia as an infant. He grew up in Townsville and joined the Citizens Military Force at age 17. He joined the regular army in 1964 and did two tours of duty in Vietnam and was present at the Battle of Long Tan.

Date:

1 Nov 2017

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combined tramways/east melbourne rsl

oral history


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Interviewee:

Gavan Ryan

Interviewer:

Ian Turnbull

DESCRIPTION:

Gavan Ryan recalls his reaction after hearing a nearby car bomb explode for the first time while serving in Afghanistan.

Date:

20 Sep 2017

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REGISTRATION No:

0023

DescriPtion:

Bugles occupy a special place in military history for both their function and symbolic value. Once used as a means of clear communication within units or on the battlefield, the call of the bugle represented phases of the day. Today, its sound is most closely associated with the end of war.

DATE:

Not known.

SIZE:

H21 x W27.5 x D13 cm



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wangaratta RSL

Princess Mary gift box



REGISTRATION No:

217

DescriPtion:

More than 400,000 of these gift boxes, embossed with the effigy of Princess Mary, were distributed to Commonwealth troops on Christmas Day, 1914. A gift from the Princess, they contained various items including sweets, tobacco and pencils. This box also holds a poem called Far Away by De Siva (1st Battalion), which was likely placed there for safekeeping by its original owner.

DATE:

1914

SIZE:

H8.5 x W13 cm



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frankston RSL

oral history


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Interviewee:

Kevin Hillier OAM

Interviewer:

Nicholas Solomon

DESCRIPTION:

Kevin Hillier is the president of Frankston RSL Sub-Branch. In this extract, he reflects on entering the services at just 15 years of age and being a young person in the Navy during the Vietnam War era.

Date:

1 Mar 2017

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ballarat ranger military museum

oral history


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Interviewee:

Kevin Grundell

Interviewer:

Unknown

DESCRIPTION:

Kevin Grundell enlisted for Compulsory National Service as an 18 year old during the Korean War. He trained at Puckapunyal for 3 months and then returned home, joining the Royal Australian Electrical Mechanical Engineers. In this interview he reflects on driving large army vehicles for the first time.

Date:

1 Nov 2017

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Lara RSL

JAPANESE Currency



REGISTRATION No:

0038

DescriPtion:

The Oceanian Pound was one of several types of Japanese invasion money issued by the Japanese Military Authority during World War II. It was used as a replacement for local currency and consisted of only four denominations.

DATE:

1942

SIZE:

H6.5x W13.5 cm



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frankston RSL

oral history


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Interviewee:

Milija Mitic

Interviewer:

Helen Overend

DESCRIPTION:

Milija Mitic was born in Serbia in 1919 and began working in a glass factory at the age of 13. Milija entered the Serbian National Service in 1940 just before war broke out and became a German prisoner of war in 1941. He arrived in Australia in 1950. In this interview he reflects on his time as a POW.

Date:

1 Mar 2017

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frankston rsl

oral history


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Interviewee:

Stanley Lovell

Interviewer:

Amanda Taylor

DESCRIPTION:

Stanley Lovell is a WWII Veteran who served in the Australian Special Wireless Group. The group’s role was to intercept enemy wireless transmission and to monitor Allied wireless transmissions. Now 94 years of age, he reflects on conscription and what it was like to be part of one of the AIF’s most secretive units. 

Date:

1 Mar 2017

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lara RSL

Siren



REGISTRATION No:

0023

TITLE:

Title Goes Here

DescriPtion:

This siren was used on a Military Police vehicle in Vietnam during the 1960s and 70s. The Royal Australian Corps of Military Police played a law enforcement role, policing within the armed forces in South Vietnan, particularly in the rest area of Vung Tau. 

DATE:

c.1960

SIZE:

H20 x W9.5 x D12 cm



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dandenong/cranbourne rsl

ASHTRAY



REGISTRATION No:

0513

DescriPtion:

Trench Art refers to any object made from the by-products of warfare. Often crafted from debris and scrap metal, trench art can reveal the attitudes, behaviours, or kinds of material available to its maker. This brass ashtray is linked to Craftsman R.R. Clarke from G.E. Section in Nui Dat, Vietnam.

DATE:

1970

SIZE:

Diameter: 14 cm



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DANDENONG/cranbourne RSL

Atebrin container



REGISTRATION No:

0518

DescriPtion:

This tin is representative of the experience of Australian service personnel serving in tropical areas throughout the 20th Century. Atebrin was an anti-malarial supplied to Australian forces for use in tropical areas in WWII and Vietnam.

DATE:

Unknown

SIZE:

H2 x W6 x D5 cm



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wonthaggi RSL

Oral history


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Interviewee:

Rod Gallagher

Interviewer:

Tony Hughes

DESCRIPTION:

In this excerpt, Rod Gallagher shares his personal experience of an "interesting Chinook flight" while serving with the Australian Army during the war in Vietnam.

Date:

19 Jul 2017

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wonthaggi RSL

oral history


 "Image showing quote by Vern Loeckenhoff. "I had a tough time getting through my apprenticeship. I'm not a Rhodes Scholar, but what I learnt, I learnt well."

Interviewee:

Vern Loeckenhoff

Interviewer:

Stephanie Hume

DESCRIPTION:

In this oral history excerpt, Vern Loeckenhoff shares his experience as a German immigrant growing up in a country town, and his eventual enlistment and service with the Australian Navy.

Date:

19 July 2017

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ringwood RSL

photograph



REGISTRATION No:

00143

DescriPtion:

This photograph belongs to a batch of images documenting one soldier's travels through Luxor, Karnak, Thebes, Giza and Palestine during the First World War.

DATE:

c.1914 - 1918

SIZE:

H13 x W8 cm



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