Step back in time and learn a little about the history of Australia's war efforts in World War 1. Fascinating artefacts, uniforms and medals, soldier's accounts and letters, artillery and weaponry, movies, paintings and photos and 13 detailed dioramas are all on display at the War Memorial's newest permanent exhibition.
The dioramas were a particular favourite of mine as they depict so beautifully the scenes of war. As a nice touch, there are overhead speakers playing the sounds one might expect to hear in a battle scene.
A diorama of the battle field - Photo by Stefanie Flowers
Occupying the entire west wing of the Memorial, the exhibition was opened December 1st, 2014, in time to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the ANZACS, 25th April 2015. This really is a brilliant exhibition and covers the entire war in a chronological order. New additions to the gallery include a 4.5" Howitzer canon and personal and military items found at the Pheasant's Wood excavations conducted in 2010.
Canon in the Great War Gallery - Picture by Stefanie Flowers
There are stunning medals on display, as well as hauntingly beautiful photos of young men headed to war. There are also some gorgeous photos of men laughing and enjoying themselves, which are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Left:- Photo of a young soldier Right:- Photo of a medal. Photo by Stefanie Flowers
Following the ceremony, I decided to have lunch at Poppy's Cafe. Like most tourist places, Poppy isn't the cheapest but I thought it reasonably priced given its location. It has a lovely atmosphere, a wide selection of yummy food, interesting architecture and there is seating both inside and outside with a view of the Memorial.
There is also a moving ceremony of the Last Post at 4.55pm. Starting with the Australian National Anthem, this is followed by a piper playing the Last Lament. During the time, visitors can lay wreaths at the Pool of Reflection while the Roll of Honour in the Cloisters lists the names of the over 102,000 soldiers who gave their lives. A story of one of these brave souls is told before the Ode is recited, finishing with the sounding of the Last Post. Australia's Federation Guard also participates in the ceremony twice a month, on the first and third Wednesdays and this includes a vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier in the Hall of Memory.
Soldiers ceremony at Australian War Memorial - Photo by Stefanie Flowers