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Published by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Canberra.
Written by Curriculum Development and Education Consulting, ACT
The Remembering Them smart phone and tablet application provides a geocoded list of memorials, museums, war graves and other Australian sites that commemorate our wartime history. Developed by Big Sky Publishing, this cross-platform Android and Apple iOS application is sponsored by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs with support from the Australian Army History Unit. Remembering Them will be available to the public free of charge from iTunes and Google Play in 2015.
This booklet of educational activities is designed to encourage students to engage with sites that commemorate Australia’s wartime history in their local area and launch into further research to broaden their historical knowledge and skills. These activities are also available for free download from the Anzac Portal - Education and Community Awareness for the Anzac Centenary at www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au
Australian Curriculum Links
Most activities within this booklet are aligned to the Australian Curriculum: History for Year 9 and 10. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the activities to suit their own purposes for use with other levels and curriculum areas including the primary grades. Each of the six activities is discrete, allowing teachers to select and use specific activities or parts of activities.
Year 2 History
The Past in the Present
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (ACHHK044)
The importance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual significance; for example, a community building, a landmark, a war memorial (ACHHK045)
Year 3 History
Community and Remembrance
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
ONE important example of change and ONE important example of continuity over time in the local community, region or state/territory; for example, in relation to the areas of transport, work, education, natural and built environments, entertainment, daily life (ACHHK061)
Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia and the importance of symbols and emblems (ACHHK063)
The commemoration of World War I, including debates about the nature and significance of the Anzac legend (ACDSEH097)
Depth Study 1: World War II
Depth Study 2: The globalising world
HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING:
The experiences of Australians during World War II (ACDSEH108)
The impact of World War II, with particular emphasis on the Australian home front, including the changing roles of women and use of wartime government controls (ACDSEH109)
The significance of World War II to Australia’s international relationships in the twentieth century, with particular reference to the United Nations, Britain, the USA and Asia (ACDSEH110)
The impact of at least ONE world event or development and its significance for Australia, such as the Vietnam War and Indochinese refugees (ACDSEH146)
At the time of the First World War, modern Turkey did not exist. Britain’s declaration of war was against the Ottoman Empire, which had been in existence since the 1300s. Although the Ottoman military was ethnically diverse it was commonplace to call all Ottoman soldiers Turkish soldiers, a practice that this work will follow. If viewing these education activities on the Remembering Them App please be advised that in order to access all components download the PDF or RTF using the download links.
This resource encourages students to explore and interpret a range of historical sources. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs cannot be assumed to agree with or endorse any content or opinions expressed in websites or other publications quoted or referred to in this document.
Australian War Memorial, www.awm.gov.au
Department of Defence, http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb
Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Gallipoli and the Anzacs, www.anzacsite.gov.au
Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Australia and the Vietnam War, http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au
National Museum of Australia, www.nma.gov.au
Shrine of Remembrance, www.shrine.org.au
Overview of activities
This educational resource has six discrete sets of inquiry questions with activities and sources, relating to key themes of the commemoration and understanding of Australia’s wartime history.
a memorial in their local community. Students design their own war memorial using their
understanding of war symbols and emblems.
ACTIVITY 3: Researching a name on a war memorial
Students examine the many online resources that can be used to research Australian servicemen and servicewomen. Students investigate a name from a war memorial and develop a profile of their service using primary and secondary sources.
ACTIVITY 4: Creating a wartime heritage trail
Students identify and select commemorative sites in their local community to develop a heritage walking trail.
ACTIVITY 5: Analysing a wartime heritage exhibition on the Vietnam War
Students analyse nine sources that could be used in an exhibition about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War to explore the factors that can influence how an audience interprets an exhibition.
ACTIVITY 6: Sharing stories of Australia’s wartime history
Students are encouraged to share stories of Australia’s wartime history using different modes of communication. A research template is provided as a guide.
ACTIVITY 1: Conserving wartime heritage Evidence of Australia’s wartime history can be found in homes and communities across Australia. It comes in the forms of national memorials, local parks and statues, or personal medals and letters. The significance of these objects will vary for different people.
Look at the following images.
Australian Service Nurses Memorial, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory. Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Honour Board from Guildford State School, Western Australia. AWM H17654
War Widows’ Guild badge, c 1951.
Who might each of these objects be significant for?
What purpose do you think each serves?
How important do you think it is to conserve each of these objects?
Who should take responsibility for the conservation of each of these?
Conservation of our wartime heritage has national, local and personal benefits.
Read the following case studies to see short examples of conservation in action.
1. An Unmarked Grave
Private Daniel Hodgekiss, an Aboriginal man from South Australia, enlisted during the First World War and served at Villers-Bretonneux where his bravery was recognised by the official war historian, Charles Bean. Daniel returned to Australia in 1919, permanently disabled by a war injury. He lived an isolated life and was buried in an unmarked grave in Mildura when he died of his war wounds in 1924. Nearly a century later, the grave was found by local researcher Lisa Cooper, who worked with the Mildura RSL to organise a headstone in recognition of Dan’s service. This headstone was unveiled at a commemorative service in 2012.
‘Honour at last’, Sunraysia Daily, 17 April 2012.
2. Reg’s Wartime Memorabilia
After Reg died, his son Gavin found a suitcase labeled ‘Dad’s Warstuff’. It contained letters, photographs and medals from his service in the Second World War. After reading several letters, and realising they may be of interest to others, Gavin reversed his initial decision to dispose of most of the memorabilia. Following discussions with family members, Gavin had his father’s documents and photos copied and put into an album with explanatory notes. He presented the originals, along with his father’s medals, to a local group who had started a collection of war memorabilia related to the district. The group has since received funding from local government to make the local memorial hall suitable for displaying its growing collection.
Now focus on evidence of Australia’s wartime experiences that can be found in your home or community. Reflect on the following questions to gauge your current perspectives.
Do you know where your nearest war memorial is located? Do you know who or what it commemorates? Would it concern you if it was not there? Why or why not?
Complete an audit of the objects relating to wartime heritage in your community. For each object, record the location, condition and provide a brief description.
If you have wartime memorabilia at home that you would like to conserve, information about caring for it can be found at:
The Australian War Memorial:
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs: Memories and Memorabilia
www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au Can you identify war memorials or artefacts in your community which need conserving? Contact your local council or for further information visit:
The Office of Australian War Graves (search using the link below):
DVA Saluting Their Service grants may also be available to assist with conserving wartime heritage
ACTIVITY 2: Exploring a war memorial Compare and contrast these two memorials; they were constructed in the same decade and commemorate aspects of the same war. One is Turkish the other is Australian.
What do war memorials have in common? In what ways do they differ? What is the purpose of a war memorial?
Cobbers, Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Victoria. (SI005129)
Image courtesy of Shrine of Remembrance
The Corporal Seyit Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey. Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Reflect on these two memorials and consider what makes a memorial an effective form of commemoration for you.
Explore a local memorial
Wherever you are in Australia, be it a small town or a large city, it is likely that at least one war memorial can be found. Memorials come in a variety of forms including statues, obelisks, park benches and honour boards. What are the features of your local memorials? The following questions can be used to explore war memorials.
Who does it commemorate?
Some war memorials commemorate individuals who have served; others commemorate particular conflicts or the role played by a specific group. Some war memorials name only those who died and others commemorate all who served. To investigate the individuals named on a memorial use Activity 3: Researching a name on a war memorial.
When and why was it constructed?
Many Australian war memorials were built after the First World War, which was Australia’s most costly conflict. In some cases these memorials have had commemorative plaques relating to later conflicts added. While memorials often display information about when they were erected, research is sometimes necessary. The Trove (www.trove.nla.gov.au) database provides online access to historical newspapers, and may reveal interesting details when researching a local war memorial. Local sources, including the RSL, local council, library or historical society may also be useful.
What is the significance of the design?
While there is great variety between war memorials, there are also many common design features, including lone soldiers, plinths, obelisks and arches. Many have been constructed from local materials, but some incorporate imported materials, such as Italian marble. Symbols commonly found on memorials include wreaths, urns, flames, angels, crosses, flags and clocks.
What community significance does it have?
Much thought was given to the location of war memorials within communities. Generally a central location was chosen, but other factors included outlook and surrounds. As communities have grown, once central memorials have sometimes become more isolated. Historical newspapers and images, found on Trove, can reveal the significance that a memorial has had to a community over time. Its significance today can be gauged by its upkeep and role during commemorative events.
Use the following questions to explore a war memorial in your community.
Who and/or what does this war memorial commemorate?
Who was responsible for erecting this war memorial?
When was it created?
Is the location of the war memorial significant?
What is it constructed from? Do the materials have local significance?
What design features or symbols are used? Why?
Does the design reflect the era in which it was created and if so how?
What message about war or peace does the memorial convey?
What can you infer about the community’s wartime experiences?
Is there evidence that the memorial is significant to the community today?
Community or class activity:
Is there a wartime experience that you would like to commemorate in your community? Reflecting on your knowledge of memorials, create a design for a new memorial and explain its symbolism.
ACTIVITY 3: Researching a name on a war memorial Numerous online databases are freely available to provide information about Australian servicemen and servicewomen, including those listed on local war memorials. The records available vary across time and conflicts.
In this activity you will examine the First World War experiences of one soldier to explore the many online resources that can be used to research Australian servicemen and servicewomen.
Colonel William Weston Hearne, DSO
This is an image of Colonel Hearne who served in the First World War: www.awm.gov.au/collection/H19434
Hearne embarked for overseas service from Melbourne on 19 October 1914. Details can be found on the embarkation roll. (Note that his middle name ‘Weston’ has been incorrectly spelt as ‘Deston’):
www.awm.gov.au/people/roll-search/nominal_rolls/first_world_war_embarkation Hearne’s service records, which include his attestation (or enlistment) papers, as well as his service, casualty and inventory of effects form, indicate that he served as a medical officer in Gallipoli, France and Belgium:
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/scripts/Imagine.asp?B=4749955&I=1&SE=1 Along with other members of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Hearne trained in Egypt in 1915, as recorded in this image:
www.awm.gov.au/collection/C01629 During the war, Hearne received many honours and awards including a Distinguished Service Order and was mentioned in dispatches:
www.awm.gov.au/people/roll-search/honours_and_awards His death in Belgium was reported in Australian newspapers:
http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/15776119 and http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/75014582
As listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Hearne is buried in The Huts Cemetery:
www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/156317/HEARNE,%20WILLIAM%20WESTON Hearne is commemorated on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial:
Researching Australian servicemen and servicewomen
You can do your own research on Australian servicemen and servicewomen using the following databases. Be advised that you will have access to more information about those who served in the First World War than other conflicts. You may be able to find additional information through local historical societies or veterans’ associations. The form on page 17 may help to guide your research.
Australian War Memorial (AWM) Roll of Honour
www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour The Roll of Honour database records members of the Australian armed forces who have died serving Australia.
Honours and Awards
www.awm.gov.au/research/people/honours_and_awards The Honours and Awards database provides details of the honours and awards received by Australians while on active service with Australian forces.
These records contain details of approximately 23,000 names of Australian prisoners of war and missing personnel from operations in the Far East and South West Pacific Islands during the Second World War, as known at 30 June 1944.
The Boer War – Nominal Roll
This AWM database includes details of personnel in Australian units during the Boer War 1899-1902.
The First World War – Nominal Roll
This AWM database contains the service details of around 324,000 personnel who served with the AIF during the First World War.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) The Second World War – Nominal Roll
www.ww2roll.gov.au This database includes details of the more than one million people who served in the Australian Forces or the Merchant Navy during the Second World War.
The Korean War – Nominal Roll
www.koreanroll.gov.au This database includes details of the men and women of the Defence Forces who served in Korea or in the waters off Korea between 17 June 1950 and 19 April 1956. Certificates of war service can be printed.
The Vietnam War – Nominal Roll www.vietnamroll.gov.au This database includes details of the men and women of the Australian Defence Force who served in Vietnam or in the waters off Vietnam between 23 May 1962 and 29 April 1975. It includes commemorative details for each of the war dead. A certificate of war service can be printed.
The Gulf War – Nominal Roll
www.dva.gov.au/commems_oawg/nominal_rolls/gulf/Pages/index.aspx This Preliminary Gulf War Nominal Roll, prepared by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs in Canberra, lists Australian Defence Force personnel involved in that conflict. It includes all personnel involved in the hostilities and associated operations in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to September 1991.
National Archives of Australia (NAA ) Record search: www.naa.gov.au
The NAA collection includes personnel files for members of the defence forces. These generally include attestation papers, service and casualty forms and military correspondence. Photographs and discharge notices are sometimes included.
The Discovering Anzacs website includes the service records of Australians who served in the First World War. It will replace the Mapping our Anzacs website - http://mappingouranzacs.naa.gov.au/default.aspx.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Register:www.cwgc.org This site includes details of cemeteries and the Commonwealth war dead, so that graves or names on memorials can be located.
National Library of Australia: Trove Newspapers:http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper The Trove database, located on the National Library of Australia website, provides online access to historical Australian newspapers.
Images:http://trove.nla.gov.au/picture The Trove database also provides online access to historical photographs.
Select a name from a war memorial and complete the following form to guide your research. It may not be possible to complete all sections of the form.
Service branch (Army, Navy, Air Force or other )
Place of birth
Occupation at enlistment
Age at enlistment
Date and place of enlistment
Were they wounded in action?
Were they interned as a prisoner of war?
Did they survive the conflict? If not, what was the cause of death and where were they buried?
If they survived, when did they return to Australia?
Are there photographs available?
Are they mentioned in newspaper articles?
Is there other correspondence available?
Community or class activity:
Research servicemen and servicewomen from your community memorials and create a display at your school, local library or historical society.
ACTIVITY 4: Creating a wartime heritage trail There is evidence of Australia’s wartime experiences in communities across the nation. Many people are interested in learning from war memorials and military artefacts to understand more about these parts of Australian history. A wartime heritage trail is a great way of helping them to do this.
The first stage in developing a trail is to identify the local sites. Conducting an audit of memorials and wartime artefacts in your community will ensure that all sites are considered for inclusion. When identifying war memorials, remember the many forms they can take, including statues, halls, honour boards and park benches. Artefacts could include weaponry, bunkers, army bases and airstrips. Information to help you locate sites may be available on the Remembering Them App, State Memorial Registers, historical societies, veterans’ organisations and local councils.
When deciding which sites to include in your trail, there are several factors to consider:
How many sites will be included and will there be a focus or theme for the walking trail?
How will people progress along the trail? If it is a walking trail you will need to consider the distances between sites.
How easily accessible are the sites? For example, access to a school honour board may be restricted because of its location within the school and the opening hours of the school. Similarly, a wartime bunker may be located on a steep and isolated hill.
How significant is the site?
How much information is known about the site?
Mapping your trail
A map is essential to guide people between sites on a trail. Options include adapting a commercial map, drawing your own or creating a digital version. All sites should be marked, and the time and distance between sites should be indicated. It is useful to include a scale.
Describing the sites
An image and short description should be provided for each site. Providing interesting site information will enhance your trail. As an example, look at this description of the Ainslie Primary School Memorial from the Remembering Them App.
Ainslie Primary School Memorial
Memorial is a statuette of a soldier in battle gear.
There is a time capsule inside the pedestal, behind the plaque. It was put there in 1939 and is said to include a list of old boys who went to the First World War and a piece of flag which may be Turkish from Gallipoli.
“WHEN OCCASION COMES FOR WORD OR DEED WE WILL REMEMBER THEM” PRESENTED TO THE AINSLIE PUBLIC SCHOOL BY MEMBERS OF THE NORTH CANBERRA SUB-BRANCH, RETURNED SAILORS AND SOLIDIERS IMPERIAL LEAGUE OF AUSTRALIA 25TH APRIL (ANZAC DAY) 1939
Donaldson Street Foyer of Ainslie Primary School Braddon, ACT
While descriptions will vary, depending on the site, the following research questions will help you develop your descriptions.
Where is it located?
What is it?
Why was it created?
When was it created?
Who created it?
Is there any other interesting information?
Sharing your trail
Many people from your community and beyond may be interested in exploring your trail. Consider promoting your trail through local schools, libraries, community groups and the tourist information office. You may also like to make it available online.
Community or class activity:
Have you found evidence of your community’s wartime experiences that is not on the Remembering Them App? Use the ‘About’ tab on the home screen of the App and email a brief description, full address details and a photograph to ensure your community’s wartime sites are properly recorded.
Activity 5: Analysing a wartime heritage exhibition on the Vietnam War Exhibitions relating to Australia’s wartime heritage can often be found in museums and public spaces, such as RSL clubs, local councils and community halls. While exhibitions aim to inform the public about an event or topic, it is important to remember that they always reflect the perspective of the creator(s).
This activity explores factors that can influence how an audience interprets an exhibition. Begin by looking at the nine sources below that could be used in an exhibition about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
Anti Vietnam War poster, c.1971. AWM ARTV03076
Photograph of Australian gunners of 105th Field Battery using a 105mm Pack Howitzer against a Viet Cong target, c. 1965. AWM SHA/65/0012/VN
Letter from the National Service Registration Office to Steven Blake. Image courtesy of Steve Blake http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au
Distinguished Flying Cross (on left) awarded to Flight Lieutenant R J Thompson, RAAF on 9 October 1969. Despite being badly wounded, ‘Tommy’ had displayed great courage and devotion to duty when taking off from a forward airstrip under heavy mortar fire. AWM REL27489.001
Photograph of Vietnamese civilians moving through Cholon in the aftermath of the Tet Offensive, 1968. AWM P04900.012
Extract of letter from Warrant Officer George Logan to his father, 1970. AWM PR89/229
Part of a model showing a typical section of the Cu Chi tunnel system, which was used by the Viet Cong during the war. AWM P01293.013
Shell splinter from the Long Tan battlefield, Vietnam. AWM REL33201
Wheel from the fishing vessel ‘Hong Hai’, which arrived in Darwin carrying 38 Vietnamese refugees in 1978.
National Museum of Australia 1985.0047.0001.002
Imagine that five of these items have been selected for a small exhibition.
The creator has chosen to use sources A, C, E, H and I.
What message about Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War might be conveyed with this selection?
The style and words used in exhibition text can influence the way people interpret an object or image. Look at the following two captions, which are both about Source I.
Example 1: After the war, many civilians tried to leave Vietnam. This is the wheel from the ‘Hong Hai’ — a fishing boat used to transport 38 Vietnamese refugees to Australia in 1978. The boat took 51 days to travel the 6000km to Darwin. By 1982, approximately 54,000 Vietnamese refugees had arrived in Australia by boat or plane.
Example 2: After years of suffering in a war-ravaged country, thousands of desperate Vietnamese citizens fled their homeland. In 1978, one group of 38 crowded onto the ‘Hong Hai’, a small fishing boat, and left under the cover of darkness. For 51 days they negotiated dangerous conditions, including the threat of pirates and rough seas. Despite the hardship
of their journey, they arrived in Darwin at a time when many Australians were vocally opposed to accepting refugees from Vietnam. This is the wheel from the ‘Hong Hai’.
How do these captions differ?
Which caption do you think is more effective? Why?
What is another perspective that could be conveyed in a caption about this object?
Choose a different source from the collection and write your own contrasting captions.
Exhibition creators make decisions about how the items they select will be displayed; this could reflect a chronological order, their perceived significance, their size or their aesthetic appeal. These factors affect how an audience responds to an exhibition.
Using the five items you selected earlier, decide where you will place each one in the display case below. Explain your decisions.
Apply some of the knowledge explored in this activity to design and create your own exhibition about the wartime heritage of your own community. Display and promote this at your school or local library.
Activity 6: Sharing stories of Australia's wartime history
Memorials, artefacts and memorabilia related to war can be found in every community. While individuals may know the stories behind some of these items, it is valuable to share these stories within families, communities and the nation.
Look at the following three objects. Can you guess what story they tell?
Department of Defence, 20091028adf8251931_055 Photographer Captain Stuart Wood
AWM Memorial Box item Document D6
Without knowing the story behind these objects, they may be of limited interest.
Now read the information below.
Story for Source A
This miniature next of kin plaque commemorates the service of Captain Robert Forrest Hughes, who served with 1 Field Ambulance in the Australian Army Medical Corps in the First World War. Robert was working in the Advanced Dressing Station at Bull Trench in France on 11 December 1916 when he was badly wounded by an exploding shell. He was moved to the Casualty Clearing Station at Heilly, where he died that night. His brother Geoffrey was also serving in France at the time; he had travelled to Heilly that same day and was able to see his brother in the hours before he died. Geoffrey reflected:
I had no idea when I left the squadron of his actual whereabouts and merely took the chance of visiting 1st Division Headquarters at Heilly in the hope of finding out where his unit was so that I might be able to visit him later, not having seen him since I left Australia in March 1916. It was a most amazing thing that knowing nothing of his whereabouts or of the fact that he had been wounded I should actually arrive in the village where he was dying. Story for Source B
Sarbi, a black Labrador-cross, was an Explosive Detection Dog (EDD) working with the Australian Special Forces. In 2008, she was working as an EDD in Afghanistan when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded close to her unit during a battle with the Taliban. Sarbi’s trainer was wounded in the battle, and during the gunfire that followed Sarbi became separated from the Australian soldiers. Her trainer returned to the scene of the battle after being released from hospital, and he searched for Sarbi for 10 days without success. Fourteen months later, a US soldier saw Sarbi with an Afghan man in an isolated area. He contacted the Australians, who arranged for her to be flown to the Australian base at Tarin Kowt. Sarbi returned to Australia and has been reunited with her trainer.
Story for Source C
This postcard was received by the family of John ‘Tom’ Gilbert Morris during his time as a Second World War prisoner of war. Tom served in the Headquarters of the 22nd Brigade, 8th Australian Division and was captured by the Japanese when Singapore fell in February 1942. He was not allowed to write very much and most of this postcard was pre-printed by the Imperial Japanese Army before being sent via the Red Cross. Tom was held as a prisoner of the Japanese for three and a half years in Malaya, Singapore, Thailand and Burma before being liberated in August 1945. A teacher by profession he became a long term volunteer research assistant at the Australian War Memorial.
How does knowing the story about an item change your level of interest?
Contribute a story to a website such as Discovering Anzacs http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/ or the Victorian Anzac Centenary site http://anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au/get-involved/share-story/
Donate personal items to local or national museums, including the Australian War memorial www.awm.gov.au/collection/donations/
Write articles for local papers or magazines; and
Collate stories in a publication and make it available to local historical societies, veterans’ organisations and libraries.
Community or class activity:
Visit the ‘Great War Memories project’ on the Anzac Portal - Education and Community Awareness for the Anzac Centenary at www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au to see how historians have shared wartime stories about people and objects. If you would like to research stories about objects to share with others, you could use the following template. To research the story of a service man or woman, the form in Activity 3: Researching a name on a war memorial may be useful.
Template – Sharing stories of Australia’s wartime history
Image and caption
Person associated with the object (If applicable):