History

The Little Stowaway and Other Stories of Courage and Compassion

Vicki Bennett has made a career of telling the little-told Australian stories of WWI.Read more

Recognising Indigenous service

On May 31, wreaths will be laid at the Shrine of Remembrance to honour a group of people whose service and sacrifice is often overlooked in the telling of Australia’s military history. Read more

The Meaning of ANZAC

We all know the story of the brave Australian and New Zealand soldiers, who climbed into boats and rowed towards the foreign shore of Gallipoli, unaware of the battle they were about to face. As the sun begins to rise each year on April 25, tens of thousands of Australians gather at local RSLs and war memorials across the country to commemorate their legacy. But what is the true meaning of ANZAC Day and has it stood the test of time?Read more

Digger The Devoted War Dog

The remarkable service of Digger, a brown and white bulldog who devoted himself to Sergeant James Harold Martin during his three and a half years with the AIF during WWI, is a story of true mateship and the enduring ANZAC spirit.Read more

Do You Have Information About The Kyoomba Military Hospital

Do you have information, stories, memorabilia or photographs about the Kyoomba Military Hospital, its patients or its staff? Or do you know anyone connected to the hospital?Read more

In Search of a WWI Digger: Can You Help?

THE young geologist had found an Australian Imperial Force (AIF) group portrait, with a cross inked above a soldier in the photo – indicating the man who was his Australian great-grandfather. Sadly, no name was inscribed on the photo and Jean was left in the dark about his identity.Read more

75th Anniversary of a Decisive Sea Battle

On March 2, 1943, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the US Fifth Air Force attacked a Japanese convoy carrying troops to Lae, New Guinea. The Battle of the Bismarck Sea was disastrous for the Japanese, who suffered heavy losses during the three-day battle. Japan’s original war objective was to quickly gain ownership of territories that met its strategic needs and establish a defensible perimeter around them. At the southern edge of this territory were Java, New Guinea and New Britain.Read more

The Youngest Prisoners of War

Born in an internment camp in Hong Kong in 1942, 75-year-old Barbara Laidlaw has begun making sense of her unusual childhood and is searching for others who share her unique story.Read more

Beersheba: The Last Great Mounted Charge

October 31, 2017 marks the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba.Read more

75th Anniversary of the Battle Of Milne Bay

The battle is often described as the first major battle of the war in the Pacific in which Allied troops decisively defeated Japanese land forces. Although Japanese land forces had experienced local setbacks elsewhere in the Pacific earlier in the war, unlike at Milne Bay, these actions had not forced them to withdraw completely and abandon their strategic objective. Nor did they have such a profound impact upon the moral aspect of the war. Milne Bay showed the limits of Japanese capability to expand using relatively small forces in the face of increasingly larger Allied troop concentrations and command of the air. As a result of the battle, Allied morale was boosted and Milne Bay was developed into a major Allied base, which was used to mount subsequent operations in the region.Read more

Battle for Australia Day

Battle for Australia Day is a chance to pause and recognise the service and sacrifice of those who defended Australia when WWII came to our shores in 1942.Read more

Mephisto: A Significant Souvenir

The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, is currently home to an important piece of military history.Read more

70 Years of Keeping the Peace

For countries torn apart by war, the appearance of the United Nations' Blue Berets is a sign that the first tangible steps have been taken on the road to peace. Read more

Fathers of the ANZACs: Boer War Memorial Dedication

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove described Australians who served in the Boer War of 1899-1902 as “fathers of the ANZACS” when he dedicated the $4 million Boer War Memorial before 1300 people at ANZAC Parade in Canberra on May 31. Read more

Remembering Australians On The Western Front

Marcus Mahy makes a yearly pilgrimage to the battlefields and cemeteries of WWI to pay his respects.Read more

Remembering The Battle of Guadalcanal

The Battle of Guadalcanal was the first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan in WWII.Read more

Remembering Vietnam

Today we remember the courage of the Australians who fought in Vietnam, particularly those who returned home injured or ill and those who never returned home at all.Read more

"Oh You Beauties!" - The Battle of Magdhaba

The Battle of Magdhaba, on December 23rd, 1916, saw Australian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles attack entrenched Ottoman troops in the Sinai desert, around 30km from the Mediterranean coast. Read more

Remembering Sydney and Parramatta

In November 1941, two Australian war ships were lost on opposite sides of the world, with staggering loss of life. Seventy-five years on, and the loss of HMAS Sydney and HMAS Parramatta is still keenly felt, especially by the sailors’ descendants.Read more

Remembering the Coastwatchers Who Turned the Tide

WWII: An Australian Coastwatcher on the Solomon Island of Bougainville provided the first news of Japanese movements when he sent his message on May 2, 1942, that a large force of enemy ships was sailing south towards Tulagi. Read more

War Games & Sailors' Graves

This is the story of George McCredie and the sinking of HMAS Perth in Java waters. Read more

True Grit: 75 Years Since the Battle of the Kokoda Trail

July marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the battle of the Kokoda Trail in New Guinea. The Kokoda Campaign, which took place between July and November of 1942, was a brutal resistance of the Japanese advance to Port Moresby from the north of New Guinea. Read more

Kokoda: The 'Track' vs 'Trail' Debate

In recent years, many hours have been wasted and much ink has been spilt debating whether the foot route across the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea (PNG) should be called the “Kokoda Trail” or the “Kokoda Track”.Read more

The Men Who Saved Australia

July marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the battle of the Kokoda Trail. These are the stories of the men who fought to defend Australia from encroaching Japanese forces. Read more

Gallipoli through the Soldier's Lens

The unique status of Gallipoli in Australian history is supported by an Australian War Memorial collection of some 6,000 images. In the 2015 monograph “Gallipoli: Through the Soldier’s Lens,” senior curator of photographs Alison Wishart made the extraordinary revelation that 60 per cent of these photos would not exist if it weren’t for the fact that perhaps half of the Australian forces carried cameras in breach of Lord Kitchener’s 1915 edict prohibiting soldier photography.Read more

Pozières: 100 Years On

‘Impressed itself on the minds of the members of the 1st Division’ – that phrase suggests that there was something about what happened to Australian soldiers at Pozières in 1916 that would forever live vividly in their memories of the war. Read more

The Significance of Rosemary on ANZAC Day

This aromatic, perennial herb has become a symbol of Australia's commemorative day for a number of reasons. Native to the Mediterranean region, Rosemary has long been associated with the dead. Found all over the Gallipoli Peninsular, today it holds special significance for Australians. Read more

The Story of ANZAC Day

April 25, 1915 marks the day Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey which started the first major military action fought by the Australia and New Zealand services during World War One. The goal of the intervention was to clear a passage through the Dardanelles for the allied navies to access and capture Constantinople (now Istanbul) which was the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.Read more

The Bombing of Darwin: A Survivor's Story

Queensland veteran Basil Stahl was on the ground in Darwin when the Japanese attacked on 19 February 1942 during the first raid. Now living on the Sunshine Coast, the 94-year-old RSL member is preparing to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the military event.Read more

National Servicemen's Day

Australia has seen four periods of compulsory military service, when voluntary recruiting proved insufficient and the government used conscription to fill the Armed Forces. The most recent two schemes saw more than 280,000 ‘Nashos’ serve their nation between 1951-1959 and 1964-1972.Read more

Remembrance Day

After four years of bloodshed and bombardment, peace descended eerily on Europe’s Western Front at 11am on November 11, 1918. It was the moment the armistice came into effect – an agreement among Germany and the Allied Powers of France, Great Britain and the USA to end the First World War. Read more

Australia's Military History: Interactive Timeline

Australia's Military and RSL history on an interactive timelineRead more

Australia's Proud Military Heritage

Australia’s proud military heritage began with the arrival of three companies of marines with the first fleet. Our heritage, customs, traditions and discipline can be traced back to this time.Read more

The Battle of Long Tan: 50th Anniversary

Vietnam Veteran’s Day 2016 marks 50 years since Australians fought in the battle of Long Tan, our most costly single engagement for the Australian military during the Vietnam War. Read more

100 Years of Mateship

Looking back over the years, it is clear that the common bond of comradeship and mutual interest that the RSL was formed on had its simple origin in the close association of the men who were among the first to return from active service. Read more

The Women of Quorn

The story of Quorn is that of a town in the Flinders Ranges, situated on the railway running northward to Alice Springs, where troop trains were fed on a continuous basis for some five years. It was an epic achievement, still told locally with pride, and worthy of inclusion in the foremost annals of Australian civilian history.Read more