On this day: an actor in the Air Force

Chips_RaffertyPilot Officer Goffage RAAF (better known as the Australian actor Chips Rafferty) reading the programme for a revue to be held at the RAAF Base at Gili Gili in the Milne Bay

Film star Chips Rafferty is seen here on the 14th of August, 1943, while he was a member of the Royal Australian Air Force.

Rafferty, born in New South Wales to an English father and Australian mother, rose to prominence in the 1940 war movie Forty Thousand Horsemen. Australia entered World War Two on the 3rd of September, 1939, and Rafferty joined the Air Force on the 29th of May, 1941 – the day after he married Ellen Jameson.

He was discharged  from service on the 13th of February, 1945. In the years after the war he was contracted to England’s Ealing Studios, where he found international fame.

Advertisements

On this day: the Australian Women’s Army Service was formed

AWASwithOwengunsAWAS with Owen guns. Members of the Australian Women’s Army Service being instructed in the use of the Owen gun at Belmont in Queensland.

Instructions in the use of the Owen gun. Belmont, Queensland. X

The Australian Women’s Army Service, created to release more men into forward positions in the military during the Second World War, was formed on the 13th of August, 1941.

AWAS_-_poster Australian Women's Army Service Recruitment poster

Recruitment Poster

Lae, New Guinea, 25 December 1945. The Right Honourable J.B. Chifley talking to Sergeant Pritchard, AWAS, the only woman interpreter of Japanese in the Australian Army.

Sergeant Pritchard (right), the only Japanese translator in the Australian Army. X

The AWAS was preceded by the Women’s Australian National Service in 1940, where women proved they were capable of performing traditionally male roles.

Awas_in_wa_1943Northam, West Australia. 1943-04-20. The Minister for the Australian Army, the Honourable F.M. Forde, inspecting personnel of the Australian Women's Army Service at the We

The Minister for the Australian Army, the Honourable F.M. Forde, with AWAS members in Western Australia in 1943.

24 026 women were enlisted over the course of the war, and several hundred served in New Guinea.

The AWAS was disbanded in 1947.

On this day: Nagasaki Destroyed

These aerial photographs show the Japanese city of Nagasaki before and after the American nuclear bomb attack on the 9th of August, 1945.

Amongst those in the city at the time of the bombing were thousands of conscripted Korean workers and hundreds of Western (Allied) prisoners of war. Not all of them survived.

Nagasaki_1945_-_Before_and_after_(adjusted) Nagasaki, Japan, before and after the atomic bombing of 9th August, 1945.

On this day: the Battle of Amiens

The iconic Battle of Amiens, later to be known as the opening chapter of the Hundred Days Offensive that ended the First World War, took place from the 8th to the 12th of August, 1918.

This painting, by Australian official war artist Will Longstaff, is titled 8th August, 1918. It shows a column of German prisoners of war heading in one direction, while horse-drawn artillery heads in the other.

The painting can be found in the collection of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

8th August, 1918 (oil-on-linen, 107 cm x 274 cm, 1918-1919) by Will Longstaff, Australian official war artist. Depicts a scene during the Battle of Amiens. The view is towards the west,

 

Ten Years

Today is the tenth anniversary of the Russian invasion of Georgia. Russia still occupies parts of the country, and landowners on the fake new borders report having more of their property stolen every day – it’s a slow motion invasion the world has completely forgotten about.

As with Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine, ethnic cleansing is taking place in occupied Georgia, and the Russians are destroying all evidence of local people’s culture and history. Historic buildings are being torn down. (A Crimean Tatar set himself on fire in protest the other day – on camera; nobody in the world reported it.)

Georgia was Putin’s test run for his invasion of Ukraine. Taking place just after Obama came to power, he learnt that world leaders wouldn’t act on Russian aggression.

Even though it’s not really needed for diplomatic purposes, Georgia maintains an embassy here in Canberra, to remind people in the South Pacific why they shouldn’t be doing trade with the Kremlin (Fiji and New Zealand, I’m looking at you!).

On this day: the British Empire declares war

Enlisting for World War I. Recruiting Officer (beside flag ) with volunteers and their relatives and friends. Babe Cooper (second from the left of recruiting officer.) Jerseyville, NSW A

The British Empire entered the First World War on the 4th of August, 1914, with a declaration of war on the German Empire.

This declaration drew Britain’s territories overseas into the conflict, including Australia.

This image is of a military recruitment station in the Australian village of Jerseyville, New South Wales. The Recruitment Officer (beside the flag), new recruits, and their families pose for a photograph, circa 1914.

100 Years Ago

4th August 1918: British soldiers in Ranchicourt, France hold a service to mark the fourth anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The British Army military band stands in the foreground.

Source

The_Allied_Armies_on_the_Western_Front,_1914-1918_Q262Commemoration service at the 1st Army Headquarters of the fourth anniversary of the war; Ranchicourt, 4th August 1918. Note the Brit