On this day: a truce is called

This image, taken on the 24th of May, 1915, shows Australian and Turkish troops collecting the dead after a nine-hour truce was called at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

After an attack from the Turks five days earlier that left more than 3000 dead, the stench became so strong both sides agreed to remove the bodies.

The fighting in Turkey came to be commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac Day on the 25th of April each year.

Anzac_truce_24_May_1915 Scene in no man's land at Anzac during the truce of 24 May 1915, organised to bury the Turkish dead from the attack of 19 May, in which an estimated 3,000 men wer

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On this day: the death of a soldier

Light_horse_walersAustralian Imperial Force prior to their departure from Australia in November 1914. right is Trooper William Harry Rankin Woods, 1st Light Horse Regiment, who died of w

Trooper William Harry Rankin

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The Australian Imperial Force, the Australian Army’s expeditionary force in the First World War, was formed in August of 1914. The mounted Australian Light Horse made up part of this force.

This photograph was taken in November, 1914. The troops – both lighthorsemen – would soon leave Australia to fight.

Trooper William Harry Rankin is pictured on the right. He would go on to fight at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire, where he was killed on the 15th of May, 1915.

Rankin, from the New South Wales town of Mudgee, was thirty-nine at the time of his death.

On this day: the release of Bombardier

Bombardier_movieThe American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with cri

The American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces’ bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with critics, but a success with viewers.

The film was actually conceived in 1940, more than a year before the United States entered the Second World War. The storyline evolved after America was drawn into the conflict at the halfway point, and the script was changed to include Japanese bombing scenes after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On this day: the bombing of Nagoya Castle

Burning_Nagoya_CastleBurning Nagoya Castle 14th May 1945 Allied Air Raid Second World War

Nagoya Castle in Japan was destroyed by Allied bombing on the 14th of May, 1945. The city had been under attack from air raids since April of 1942, and the castle was targeted as it was being used as a Japanese military command post as well as the administrative headquarters for the local prisoner of war camp.

The castle was considered a national treasure. Reconstruction began in the 1950s.

On this day: an Air Display in London

LONDON_DEFENDED_Torchlight_and_Searchlight_spectacleLondon Defended Torchlight and Searchlight spectacle, The Stadium Wembley May 9 to June 1, 1925. Red Arrows.

The British Empire Exhibition ran at Wembley Park in London over 1924 and 1925, showcasing Britain’s might to any world leaders who thought to overpower them.

One of the displays was an air display simulating battle-like conditions, and featuring No. 32 Squadron in a show titled “London Defended”. The display was first shown on the 9th of May, 1925 and continued until the 1st of June. Part of the show involved blank ammunition being fired into the arena.

This display was a precursor to today’s Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force’s aerial display team that was founded in the 1960s and today still performs.

Anzac Day

Military_cross_and_othersMilitary cross and bar, 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, 1939-45 War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45 (L-R) - Australian War Mem

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Today is Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand’s major day to recognise the military. Australia’s national service takes place at the War Memorial here in Canberra, and we often go to visit the museum afterwards (my father is a veteran).

Of course, this year is a significant one, as it is a hundred years since the First World War ended.

This year is also significant in Australia, as in Canberra and a number of other cities women veterans will be marching together. Why? Because in recent years they have been suffering abuse from strangers who accuse them of wearing their father’s medals – apparently many people still refuse to believe women can serve!

 

Anzac Day in 1937

This image is from the Queensland, Australia town of Canungra on the 25th of April, 1937. People lay wreaths at the Honour Board at the School of Arts on Anzac Day, the day to commemorate Australia’s and New Zealand’s fallen soldiers.

The hall in the picture burnt down during the Second World War.

Honour Board at the School of Arts Hall, Canungra, 1937. Wreaths laid aon Anzac Day 25th April 1937. Inscription on back of photograph reads Dad, Dave Day built this hall. Hall burnt dow