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News – At the Centre

Australian prize for French students

This year’s Anzac Day commemorative activities in Villers-Bretonneux will again include presentation of the Sadlier-Stokes Memorial Scholarship, which symbolises the historical bonds...

By Sarah Kleven, April 21 2018

News – History

Anzac biscuits

For more than a century, Anzac Biscuits have been associated with the First World War and the national day remembering the Australian...

By Sarah Kleven, April 18 2018

News – At the Centre

Sounds of the Sir John Monash Centre

Sound effects have been used extensively throughout the Centre to create a compelling sense of reality within scenes.

By Sarah Kleven, April 16 2018

News – Travel

Dig deeper into the history of Flanders Fields

Australians travelling to Belgium in the last year of the Anzac Centenary (2018) have an unprecedented opportunity to participate in an archaeological...

By Sarah Kleven, April 14 2018

News – History

The Battle of Hazebrouck

“The Germans were already shelling the village, and it was pitiful to see the old French men and women, who had evidently...

By Sarah Kleven, April 12 2018

News – History

Centenary of repatriation: It began with a homecoming

One hundred years ago Australia established the Repatriation Department to undertake the massive task of ‘restoring men to health’ after the First...

By Sarah Kleven, April 8 2018

News – History

Recollections from an Australian in France, 1938

In 1938, Lieutenant-Colonel Ross Jacob was invited to represent Australia’s returned servicemen and women at the unveiling of the Australian National Memorial...

By Sarah Kleven, April 7 2018

News – Travel

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Many people do not realise the magnitude of the Western Front battles until they see the rows and rows of headstones commemorating...

By Sarah Kleven, April 4 2018

News – At the Centre

Honouring their ancestors

Thousands of Australians will gather in Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day and many of them will be honouring an ancestor who served on...

By Sarah Kleven, April 2 2018

News – At the Centre

Opening of the Sir John Monash Centre

The Sir John Monash Centre will officially open on 24 April 2018, honouring more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western...

By Sarah Kleven, April 1 2018

News – History

‘Pompey’ Elliott: Man of Letters

Brigadier General Harold ‘Pompey’ Elliott wrote hundreds of candid letters to his wife Kate from 1914 to 1919 – and in all...

By Sarah Kleven, March 31 2018

News – History

Dernancourt: ‘A desperate defensive battle’

“The dead are lying thick out in front of the embankment and they’ll be thicker soon poor wretches. The Grim Reaper has...

By Sarah Kleven, March 28 2018

News – Travel

Amiens, Queensland, Australia

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Queensland, Australia there is a region that could be mistaken for the Somme.

By Sarah Kleven, March 24 2018

News – At the Centre

Australian timbers in chevron wall

Chevrons have been used by the military for centuries, symbolising rank, length of service or good conduct. For Australians on the Western...

By Sarah Kleven, March 21 2018

News – Travel

Art installation to remember the 600,000 killed in Belgium

Flanders Fields will soon be home to a new art installation comprised of 600,000 sculptures – one for each of the lives...

By Sarah Kleven, March 19 2018

News – History

Hero of Jacka's mob

At the 1916 Battle of Pozieres, Albert Jacka won the Military Cross for recapturing a section of trench, freeing a group of...

By Sarah Kleven, March 17 2018

News – At the Centre

The Vintage Aviator

Telling the story of the Australian Flying Corps led the Sir John Monash Centre’s project team to New Zealand where film director...

By Sarah Kleven, March 14 2018

News – Travel

Albert: A base for exploring the Somme

Albert is a great base for exploring the Somme. Thiepval, Pozières, the Lochnagar crater, the Ulster Tower and the Newfoundland Park are...

By Sarah Kleven, March 12 2018

News – History

Sportsmen take up the fight

Today’s sports coaches risk criticism if they equate sport with sacrifice in war, yet 100 years ago recruiting campaigns actively linked the...

By Sarah Kleven, March 10 2018

News – At the Centre

Music from 1938 features at opening

A musical score written for the dedication of the Australian National Memorial 80 years ago will be performed at the opening of...

By Sarah Kleven, March 7 2018

News – History

The German Spring Offensive - 'The Kaiser's Battle’

‘…the infantry attack on both British armies had gone through the outposts and into the main battle zone. The overextended Fifth Army...

By Sarah Kleven, March 5 2018

News – History

Wartime advancements now commonplace

War produced new circumstances and technology that was used in combat and then found other purposes in peacetime.

By Sarah Kleven, March 3 2018

News – History

The Lost Diggers of Vignacourt

A French couple who turned their attic into a photo studio during the First World War have provided Australians with a rich...

By Sarah Kleven, March 1 2018

News – History

Mad Harry led from the front

Australia’s most decorated soldier Harry Murray joined the AIF in 1914 as a private and ended the war a lieutenant-colonel commanding a...

By Sarah Kleven, February 28 2018

News – Travel

World Heritage listed belfries

Visit just about any town along the Western Front battlefields of the First World War and there will usually be an ornate...

By Sarah Kleven, February 26 2018

News – History

The importance of war memorials

Almost every community in Australia has a war memorial—a testament to the service, sacrifice and loss from a century of service.

By Sarah Kleven, February 24 2018

News – History

Tea, coffee and cocoa

‘We desire to acknowledge our debt to the Australian Comforts Fund. Their soup kitchen was the goal to which even the weariest...

By Sarah Kleven, February 21 2018

News – History

Writers at war

For all its horrors, the First World War captured the literary imagination, inspiring some of the 20th century’s greatest poetry and fiction.

By Sarah Kleven, February 19 2018

News – Travel

The most beautiful villages of northern France

France is renowned for its scenic villages and some of the most beautiful are in the north, near the Sir John Monash...

By Sarah Kleven, February 17 2018

News – History

Trench humour

Humour provided a safety valve for Australian soldiers confined to the trenches during the First World War.

By Sarah Kleven, February 14 2018

News – At the Centre

Sir John Monash Centre update

Work on the Sir John Monash Centre is progressing well, ready for the official opening in April 2018 and a busy year...

By Sarah Kleven, February 12 2018

News – History

Wartime entertainment

On the Western Front, soldiers had to stand in trenches for hours on end, ever vigilant for an attack, not allowed to...

By Sarah Kleven, February 10 2018

News – History

The Australian Flying Corps

Australia’s airmen played a crucial role on the Western Front, flying reconnaissance and observation missions, and destroying enemy aircraft.

By Sarah Kleven, February 7 2018

News – At the Centre

Hollywood comes to the Sir John Monash Centre

A key challenge in designing the Sir John Monash Centre was a rethinking of traditional museum and interpretative approaches to deliver a...

By Sarah Kleven, February 5 2018

News – History

Australian women on the Western Front

Official histories of women in the First World War tend to focus on overseas nursing and charitable activities on the home front,...

By Sarah Kleven, February 3 2018

News – History

Just ask: War historian discovers a personal past

This year, as Australia commemorates the centenary of the last significant battles on the Western Front and the Armistice of 1918, Australians...

By Sarah Kleven, February 1 2018

News – Travel

Château stays in France

A visit to France is not complete without a stay in a château. These palaces, grand mansions and former fortresses were built...

By jacqui, January 29 2018

News – History

The other Australia Day

Australia Day (26 January) is the official National Day of Australia, observed with public and family events, official community awards and citizenship...

By jacqui, January 25 2018

News – At the Centre

Glass sculpture captures darkness and light

As fabricators put the finishing touches on the Sir John Monash Centre, a glass artwork is making its way to France for...

By jacqui, January 24 2018

News – History

Wine in war: The origins of 'plonk'

On the Western Front, French cafés provided respite from the gruelling existence of trench warfare.

By jacqui, January 22 2018

News – Travel

Naours: Soldiers' subterranean records

One of the most fascinating places on the Western Front is Naours, where underground caves contain the largest known collection of First...

By jacqui, January 20 2018

News – Travel

Remembering the Anzacs of the Western Front

Over half the eligible male population of Australia enlisted during the First World War and of these some 295,000 served on the...

By Sarah Kleven, January 17 2018

News – History

Soldiers' diaries and photographs

Australian soldiers were discouraged from keeping personal records during the First World War, yet many disregarded official advice and their works now...

By jacqui, January 15 2018

News – Travel

Bon appétit!: A foodie’s guide to France

There are many reasons to visit France, one of the most popular being food!

By Sarah Kleven, January 13 2018

News – History

Australian ‘slanguage’ in the First World War

The First World War began more than 100 years ago, yet the language of the trenches is still used every day.

By Sarah Kleven, January 10 2018

News – History

Australia’s Indigenous soldiers

‘God … guard me safely through this strange country … and if he spares me to come back to the homeland, I...

By Sarah Kleven, January 8 2018

News – At the Centre

Interactive technology experience at the Sir John Monash Centre

A high-tech digital experience is being developed for the Sir John Monash Centre, providing visitors with an emotive journey from the moment...

By Sarah Kleven, January 6 2018

News – Travel

Villers-Bretonneux: A region of rich heritage

It has been said that the last witness in war is the ground itself. Today, in France, a unique and wealthy heritage...

By Sarah Kleven, January 3 2018

News – History

Looking back: Australia 100 years ago

As we enter a new year it is timely to reflect on life in Australia 100 years ago. What was occupying the...

By jacqui, January 1 2018

News – History

Billets: A touch of home life

Much of the history of the First World War focusses on the battles, but how did Australian soldiers spend the rest of...

By jacqui, December 30 2017

News – History

How children experienced the First World War

The First World War affected every part of Australian society. Nearly 417,000 men enlisted, while large numbers of women were recruited into...

By jacqui, December 27 2017

News – History

Christmas in the trenches

Christmas, considered by many to be a time of ‘peace and goodwill to all men’, prompted a truce on the Western Front,...

By jacqui, December 25 2017

News – History

Leave for the lucky

Australian soldiers serving on the Western Front were so far from home that some used their leave to venture to another homeland,...

By jacqui, December 22 2017

News – History

'No' to conscription

One-hundred years ago, campaigning over Australia’s second conscription referendum was at its bitter and divisive peak. As casualty lists on the Western Front...

By jacqui, December 20 2017

News – Travel

Christmas markets in France

Christmas is a magical time of year in France, when markets known as marché de Noël add a sense of tradition and...

By jacqui, December 18 2017

News – At the Centre

'Iron harvest' at construction site

More than 180 personal artefacts and relics and 230kg of unexploded ordnance from the First World War were uncovered during construction of...

By jacqui, December 15 2017

News – History

Who was Charles Bean?

Many of Australia’s historical accounts of the Western Front originate from the writings of the country’s Official War Correspondent Charles Bean.

By jacqui, December 1 2017

News – Travel

Battlefield bike tours

One of the most popular ways of experiencing the Australian Remembrance Trail is on a battlefield bicycle tour.

By jacqui, November 29 2017

News – Travel

Autumn: One of the best times to visit France

Autumn can be one of the best times to visit France. Schools go back for a new year, businesses resume operations, and...

By jacqui, November 29 2017

News – Travel

Travelling to France

More than a million Australians visit France every year. Their average stay is two weeks, starting with a spot of culture in Paris,...

By jacqui, November 20 2017

News – History

Tracing your First World War ancestors

Many Australians have an ancestor who fought and died on the Western Front. After all, 295,000 Australians served in this part of...

By jacqui, November 17 2017

News – At the Centre

Tapestry picture emerging

Australian weavers are creating a giant tapestry for the opening of the Sir John Monash Centre in France in April 2018.  

By jacqui, November 16 2017

News – History

Hill 60, Ypres: The peak of military mining

‘Gentlemen, we may not make history tomorrow, but we shall certainly change the geography.’

By jacqui, November 15 2017

News – History

Poppies for remembrance

Poppies have been synonymous with remembrance for more than a century.

By jacqui, November 11 2017

News – History

The Australian origins of a minute's silence

The custom of observing a minute’s silence on Remembrance Day is largely due to one Australian man, soldier and journalist Edward Honey.

By jacqui, November 8 2017

News – At the Centre

Bookings now open

Bookings are now open for the Sir John Monash Centre which is due to open at the Australian National Memorial, near Villers-Bretonneux...

By jacqui, November 1 2017

News – At the Centre

Aboriginal artwork commissioned for Centre

Two Aboriginal artists will draw on their traditional cultures to produce commissions for the Sir John Monash Centre in France.

By jacqui, November 1 2017

News – History

100 years since Passchendaele

October 2017 marked the centenary of the battles of Poelcappelle and Passchendaele when Allied soldiers continued their third offensive to secure the...

By jacqui, November 1 2017

News – History

Base Records Office: Conveying the news

Imagine creating more than 400,000 individual files, nearly 1.5 million letters, and 170,000 telegrams and cables.

By jacqui, November 1 2017

News – Travel

Battle of Polygon Wood Centenary Commemorations

More than a thousand guests attended the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium last month. View our photo...

By jacqui, November 1 2017

News – History

General Monash: Hot tucker on the front line

An army marches on its stomach and this belief contributed to Sir John Monash’s reputation as ‘a commander of genius’.

By jacqui, October 23 2017

News – History

Reflective Trail illuminates centenary of Polygon Wood

The Australian Government has created a solemn and thought-provoking experience for those attending this year’s dawn service for the centenary of Polygon...

By Chuck Anderson, September 14 2017

News – At the Centre

The origins of the Sir John Monash Centre

In April 2015, the concept for the new Sir John Monash Centre, sitting adjacent to the Australian National Memorial and the Villers-Bretonneux...

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Western Front – where a 'smartphone' was a pigeon

Communications entered a whole new era during the First World War, where new technology began complementing carrier pigeons, messenger dogs and other...

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Australian battles on the Western Front

Australians arrived in France in March 1916, and were soon manning a sector of the Western Front.  

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Villers-Bretonneux: ’France and Australia together forever…’

One small village in France will forever remember the sacrifice of the young Australians who saved them from German occupation and potential...

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Letters from home boost morale

Mail was an incredible morale booster for troops on the Western Front, and a critical lifeline to the world they left behind.

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Life in the trenches

Conditions in the trenches on the Western Front were both miserable and fraught with danger.

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Five facts about the First World War

While there is so much to learn about the First World War, here are five interesting facts to get you started:

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – Travel

Getting to the Sir John Monash Centre from Paris

The Sir John Monash Centre sits near the village of Villers-Bretonneux, just over 140 kilometres north-east of Paris. An easy day trip,...

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

The Third Battle of Ypres begins

After two weeks of shelling, the third battle of Ypres began on 31 July, 1917.

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – History

Australians on the Western Front

In March 1916, hundreds of thousands of young Australians found themselves in north-western France—on the Western Front, where they would soon go...

By DVA Author, July 18 2017

News – At the Centre

Be among the first to visit the Sir John Monash Centre

The Sir John Monash Centre will open to visitors in April 2018, after 27 months of construction.

By Chuck Anderson, July 5 2017

News – Travel

Amiens - Quintessential French treasure

The UNESCO World Heritage listed city of Amiens is less than a two-hour drive from Paris and only half an hour from...

By Chuck Anderson, July 5 2017

News – History

Sir John Monash: the man behind the centre

By the end of the First World War, Sir John Monash had earned a reputation as one of the most innovative commanders...

By Chuck Anderson, July 5 2017

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