Film: 5821

War + Military | 1970 | Sound | B/W + Colour

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Synopsis:

A film based on the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, looking at various aspects of Australian military history from the First World War to the Vietnam War 1970's

There are scenes of the exhibits, paintings and dioramas in the AWM, black and white stills, black and white footage, re-enactments, and contemporary interviews of war identities. Of particular interest are the early heavy artillery and tanks from World War One, an Australian Furphy water tank, early Navy catapult-launched biplanes, and Sir Edward (Weary) Dunlop on release from prisoner of war camp.

A young woman walks up the steps of the war memorial and across to the stone plinth with the worlds "The Name Liveth Forever More". View of Australian War Memorial with timbered hill in the background. The girl is at the top of the steps with the old Parliament House well in the background and a vista of Canberra, she wears a red checked shirt with white jeans, a red belt and carries a re shoulder bag, very typical mid 70's. Close detail of war memorial architecture. Close up of girls face. Australian white and blue ensign flying in wind. Girls face as she looks up at the flags.

Gallipoli and the Middle East - WW1.
The young woman enters the Australian War Memorial. Inside, the girl along with other museum visitors walks past a museum official, and they all pause at the portrait of the instigator of the memorial and the official Australian Government historian C (Charles) E W Bean. Black and white footage of fluttering Union Jack. Close up of vary old typewriter from the early twentieth century being used by uniformed ANZAC. Memorial plaque in Australian War Memorial (AWM) to Ernest Bailey. Soldiers souvenirs of the Middle East donated to the AWM including an ancient stone carving with eastern writing on a stone tablet. Another plaque taken as a souvenir from the Dardanelles by ANZACS with writing, from 440 BC. The girl walks past a Gallipoli ANZAC landing boat which is exhibited at the AWM. She traces the bullet holes in the side of the boat with her finger. Close up of girls face. She traces the bullets holes again. A black and white photo of an ANZAC landing boat being lowered into the water from a troop ship, showing officers and men in slouch hats. A World War One anti-German propaganda poster. A series of propaganda posters using a mother and child, various sporting activities and others to encourage men to enlist in the Australian Imperial Force - AIF. A newspaper cutting of April 28 1915 reporting the Allied attack on the Dardanelles. A map of Turkey with the various key locations. There is a topographical relief map of the Peninsula. Anzac Cove is shown in relief.

Black and white footage of the landing at Anzac Cove. Naval guns are pounding the shore. The ships guns are seen blazing. Two Turks are firing from the land. A machine gun is manned by three Turkish soldiers. There is a long shot of fighting in the distance. The old film shows Anzac Cove with supplies all stacked up in rows and rising foothills in the background. There is closer view of the boxed supplies, some tents and army personnel standing about. The site at a later stage with constructed jetties and is by now very established landing point.

A colour close-up of the various small figures of soldiers in the Gallipoli campaign diorama in the AWM. There is a sequence of sections of oil paintings from the AWM showing men in battle. Re-enactment of a woman in 1915 dress holding hand-written letter from Colonel John Monash to his wife, double exposed with a bronze bust of Monash, as the narrator reads contents of the letter. There is a close-up of the figures in the diorama of the Gallipoli campaign, and the locations of various battles. Close up of the diorama. A battered bugle exhibited in the memorial. Close up coloured footage (re-enactment) of a string pulling a rifle trigger. The firing end of a rifle lies on a sandbag. A dripping billycan apparatus demonstrates the ingenious ploys employed to disguise the ANZAC's retreat from Gallipoli. An exhibit in the AWM of a worked biscuit tin that were used as memorial crosses for the dead at Gallipoli. A makeshift cross used to denote a soldiers grave and exhibited at the AWM.

Black and white footage of a member of the medical corps tending to the wounded. Another Medical Corp member helps a wounded soldier who is smoking to lie down. Wounded soldiers, some walking and some on stretchers disembarking from a ship. Colour film of visitors, including the girl, at the AWM, looking at the Magdhaba 1916 exhibit. Sections of oil paintings in the AWM showing the battle at Magdhaba. Black and white footage of the Australian Light Horse in exercises. A close up of figures in the AWM diorama. A section of an oil painting. Black and white footage of the AIF Camel Corps. Horses pull the supply carts in the Camel Corps. The AWM diorama of the taking of Magdhaba.

The Western Front
An oil painting section shows the ANZAC's in France. The diorama shows battles on the Western Front. There is a black and white photo of injured soldiers. Diorama again. There is black and white footage of troops "going over the top". The troops supposedly advancing. A shot of soldiers climbing out of a deep and reinforced trench, with officer in foreground giving orders. Scene of soldiers advancing over no-man's land. (It is very possible that this footage is not genuine.) Section of AWM oil painting of the battle of the Somme. A metal plaque commemorating the 1st Australian Division at Pozieres, and a wooden handmade cross painted with the inscription to all who had died. Diorama of Australian soldiers at Pozieres. Black and white footage of a devastated village of Pozieres , with lone soldier picking his way amongst the debris. Footage of soldiers battling the deep mud in France. An exhibit in the AWM of a letter detailing the horror of the war is overlaid over more scenes of the soldiers battling the mud. Men trying to move a horse-drawn artillery gun stuck in the mud. Silhouettes of officers at a tent, and smoke from a fire, soldiers on horseback riding by. Silhouette of riders moving along the sky line, and the reflection of the sky in huge puddles in the mud in the foreground. Soldiers dig a trench , while others in the trench look out with ready rifles.

Diggers play cards in the trench, and enjoying themselves. Australian larrikin soldiers standing around a Big Bertha-type gun, there is snow on patches of the ground and trees in the background. An ANZAC soldier fools about with the gun, climbing into the firing end of the huge gun, another soldier pretends to push him in, others stand about laughing. There are ANZACs climbing all over a biplane, fooling about, and others turn the plane in the opposite direction, which could be evidence of the perceived lack of disipline in Australian troops. A large group of ANZACs play a gambling game, played with two pennies, called two-up. There are big field guns with webbing camouflage which are being loaded by soldiers and firing. A flat field explodes as the shells land. A larger heavy field gun recoils as it is fired. Troops with rifles ready run over bare land in attack. Very early tanks in two sizes crawl over an incline. Unusual early heavy artillery with wheels which appear to run on train tracks fires towards bare trees. There is barbed wire and explosions occur. A soldier aims a machine and fires and another one is feeding in its string of bullets. With bayonets fixed, soldiers charge past the camera. A machine gunner is firing. A large field gun on wheels recoils as it is fired. There is an explosion of soil amidst barbed wire. A tank progresses down the hill towards the enemy. ANZACs run with their packs and spades over flat ground. The same scene is seen from a different angle. Small artillery is firing, shells are being put in, and there are shells stacked on the ground. A scene of a war-devastated area, with remnants of trees, but with a repaired road, on which two horses pulling a round Furphy water tank, and accompanied by six soldiers, and another two sit on the ground beside the road. Three soldiers carry buckets and ammunition boxes down a very sloppy mud-covered but sealed road in war-devastated part of France.

Second World War - The Australian Navy
A painting at the AWM of HMAS Sydney. Two sections of the painting as it engages in a sea battle. AWM exhibit of a life buoy from the R C Tespero. A portrait of a sailor at the AWM, the girl looks at it. Close up of the portrait of Vice-Admiral Sir John Collins. Close up of girls face. Girl looks at bonze of a sailor, there is an elderly man in the background of the AWM looking as well. Vice-Admiral Collins stands in front of his portrait. He narrates the story of the sinking of an Italian battleship and black and white footage with a number of sequences is shown of a naval battle, beginning with a silhouette of five ships at sea. A captain and sailor are looking out to sea. There are three ships in a row, the middle one is signalling with a flashing light. A ships guns are in the foreground, a destroyer is in the distance, and there is land in the far distance.

A sailor looks through binoculars. Another seaman is flashing a signal. An Australian sailor is looking into binoculars in full sunlight and leans and speaks into a voice carrier. The bell on a ship is ringing. Under decks sailors are rushing to battle stations. The ships naval guns are turning. More seaman are seen rushing to battle stations. A officer below deck sets his sights. The ship slices through the water. Detail of the battle from the AWM oil painting. There is a sequence of details from the painting of the battle. A sequence of black and white footage of a naval battle culminates as a ship is badly hit and then the upturned bow sinks into the sea. A ships guns are rising. The guns fire. A naval officer on the bridge uses binoculars. Under deck, a sailor turns a wheel. A dial with two hands like a clock shows the ships speeds in revolutions per minute and its direction. The propeller of a single engine-plane is turning. N B A view of an early naval aircraft, before the development of the aircraft carrier, with its tangential extension, from which an aeroplane is catapult-launched. Black and white picture of the second HMAS Sydney with its crew lined up along its decks before it was sunk during World War Two.

People in the Australian War Memorial. The girl looks at a photo of HMAS Sydney. Detail of an exhibit in the AWM, a lifeboat from the sunk HMAS Sydney. Black and white footage of the periscope only of a submerged submarine. A submariner is looking in a periscope. There is a close-up of a red cross on a hospital ship. A torpedo coming through the water towards a ship. The explosion of a ship as the torpedo hits home. Sailors are in a lifeboat, surrounded by flotsam, and one survivor is in the water wearing a lifejacket and cling to flotsam. The only survivor of the hospital ship HMAS Centaur, Sr. Ellen Sand ? or possibly Sr. Ellen Savage, is in a hospital bed and being interviewed following her ordeal. A black and white photo shows her at the time. Sr. Ellen Sand ( or Sr. Ellen Savage ) is shown at the AWM looking at pictures. There is a sequence of the model of HMAS hospital ship Centaur on display at in the AWM. A map of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland of the Australian navy ships locations where they were hit or sunk. Close up of the AWM oil portrait of Sr. Ellen Sand.

North Africa and the Middle East - Second world War
Black and white footage shows a signpost in French, "Frontiere Libano Syrienne". The Australian 7th Division in Syria, soldiers climb up a rocky hill with rifles ready. Firing artillery is covered in netting camouflage Sequence of diggers and artillery firing. Diggers unload casualties down the gangplank of a ship. Two diggers are sleeping then waking in Syria in the open on the ground, they are fully dressed in summer uniform, shorts, rolled up sleeves, long socks, and with their boots on. A single soldier, sleeping under rocky outcrop in the heat of the day, has flies on his face, so he covers his face with a piece of towel. Three diggers, shirtless and in a sandbag dugout, one is smoking are preparing their food, which involves opening a can, and sharing the contents into individual oblong tin food containers with handles. There is a sequence of soldiers, shirtless and in the desert, firing artillery. An AWM portrait shows the "typical" digger in the bright desert sun. Black and white footage of Lieutenant Roden Cutler VC kissing a lady during wartime. Girl in AWM is looking at paintings and there is an older man in the background doing the same. There is a close up of this man and it is Sir Roden Cutler, latterly Governor of New South Wales, and we hear his narration of the 7th's Division campaign in Syria. Sequence of Sir Roden Cutler looking at various oil paintings of the Syria Campaign. Close up of exhibits, a white cross with the words "Unidentified Australian Soldier". A dramatic and tragic black and white photo of a young Australian soldier's body in a fox hole in Syria. Roden Cutler's face once again.

The sign "Tobruk 1941" heads the campaign display at the AWM. A group of three senior school girls looking at the panorama of Tobruk, Lybia. Sequence of three diggers with rifles ready climbing out of a fox hole. Three diggers run from a foxhole to artillery guns covered in camouflage netting. Soldiers are winding field guns upwards. The artillery is fired. Montgomery in North Africa with two soldiers, one wears a slouch hat, and they are looking at a map. There is a close up of a slouch hat exhibited at the AWM. Heavy artillery is fired in the desert. Artillery shells explode in the desert. Light artillery is loaded and fired. Two soldiers lie on the ground in the desert shooting with machine guns, the second soldier removes the spent cartridge. There is an aerial view of German planes with swastikas flying over the desert. Several soldiers are on the ground manning anti-aircraft guns.

The Bombing of Darwin
The girl at the AWM. Black and white footage of a squadron of planes flying high overhead, with anti-aircraft shells exploding around. There are two lots of footage of Darwin being bombed in the distance. Close-ups of oil paintings in the AWM. Black and white footage shows what looks to be burning fuel depots. Painting of anti-aircraft gun and soldiers. Shirtless soldiers with identification tags around their necks looking up at the sky through binoculars. Two oil paintings of the bombing in Darwin. Black and white footage of soldiers shovelling sand on fire following the bombings. Bombed two storey structure, possibly soldiers barracks, being cleared by soldiers.

Japanese Midget Submarines in Sydney Harbour
The sight through a periscope of a submarine. Periscope seen above the sea surface. Sydney Heads at night. A sailor closing the inner compartment door of a submarine. Explosions in the sea at night. The HMAS Capable, an old ferry lies half submerged in Sydney Harbour after it was damaged by a Japanese midget submarine. Flotsam from the torpedo attack floats in Sydney Harbour with a jetty and other craft in the background. A midget sub. that was sunk is being hoisted into the air. The Japanese midget submarine from another angle as it is moved overhead across the wharf by crane. A black and white photo in the AWM of a midget submarine that is half blown up, being inspected by the girl. Children play on the Japanese midget submarine which is exhibited at the AWM in the grounds. There is a nice front view of the AWM in autumn.

RAAF - First and Second World War
The girl is looking at "G for George", a Lancaster bomber exhibited in the AWM. She narrates the story of "G for George", the bomber which made the most bombing missions during the war as black and white footage of a plane is shown in a sequence of shots, beginning with it taxiing and taking off. "G for George" in the memorial and the girl and an elderly man inspect the exhibit together. The Commander of the RAAF, Air Marshall Sir Richard Williams tells his story. There is an oil portrait of him when he was flying in the First World War. Black and white footage show anti-aircraft guns in Belgium. A bi-plane is flying during World War I. A colour portrait of pilot Ross Smith in the AWM. Black and white footage of a biplane taking off in WWI. There is a sequence of a dog fight between two biplanes. A section of a painting in the AWM.

Black and white footage shows a group of monoplanes taking off in the Second World War. Squadron Leader standing before a huge map with a pointer (supposedly at Brimbrook, Lincolnshire) briefing RAAF pilots. There is a close-up of a good-looking Australian pilot. Aircrews listen to a briefing with a blackboard with conditions and navigation information on the side wall. The leader continues his briefing. The mess officer uses a pointer to show details on a map. Aircrew run to an aircraft. A ground crew member helps a pilot who is wearing a parachute into a single engine fighter monoplane, most likely a spitfire. A member of ground support assists with a pilots seat belt. Another pilot gets into his plane. He is then helped with his seat belt. The single propeller of a spitfire spins. Another pilot is helped into his aircraft by a member of ground crew. The propeller spins, ground crew are nearby and we see another spitfire to the rear and airfield buildings in the background. A spitfire pilot wears leather head gear and goggles. The aircrew of a bomber, possiby a Lancaster, descending from the rear of a van, in full flying gear, and there is a bomber in the background. They move from the van to the bomber. Several aircrew climb into t he bomber. There is a close up of pilots and aircrew in the briefing room. Two young aircrew listen in the briefing room.

The War in the Pacific.
A two-storey wooden building with palm trees around it burns. A view of a bombed city, possibly Singapore. The "Daily Mail" newspaper newsstand with "Singapore Falls." Japanese soldiers march beside burning houses. Native buildings (possibly Borneo) made of straw burn as Japanese soldiers march away in single file. Light artillery fire in the jungle. A very young Australian soldier loads a light battery gun, and fires it from his dugout, with another soldier nearby. There is a digger in the jungle looking through binoculars. An overlay of a map of New Guinea, New Britain and Cape York, northern Australia. Small artillery is loaded and fired. A native islander looks on. Artillery gunners are loading and firing. A digger looks through binoculars, a machine gun fires and a light field guns fired and loaded. Australian diggers creep through the grasses while others are in foxholes. Light artillery is being loaded and fired. There is a sequence of shots of diggers fighting in the jungle. This footage is overland with a picture of Sir William Slim and the narrator quotes him. There is a light tank in the jungle. Soldiers walk single file through the rain forest, carrying their ammunition. A soldier crawls through the jungle on his hands and knees. A tank moves along a ridge. The panorama at the AWM of the Australians fighting in the Pacific arena in close-up. There are exhibits of Japanese souvenirs including Japanese money, swords and guns. Jock Milne's notebook is displayed and the panorama is shown as the narrator reads his final entries before Jock Milne dies. A digger throws a grenade over a ridge in the jungle. Soldiers with rifles ready step over the jungle undergrowth. The view from the front window of a tank as it crashes through the jungle foliage. Diggers walk in single file through the palms and jungle foliage. Australian soldiers crawl through the scrub, they back up and explosion is seen in the jungle a little way ahead. A screaming Japanese soldier charges with his bayonet fixed. A dead Australian soldier half hanging out of hole in the side of a hill is being tended by two others. Three diggers help a wounded man out of a tank. Hands turn over the pages of a AWM exhibit, Jock Milne's note book, and there are several shots of his last scrawled entries before he died. A funeral service is held in the jungle for dead soldiers. There are several shots of soldiers standing around the graves in their waterproof capes, as a chaplain reads from a book in the burial service. The famous footage (of photographer Damien Parer?) of a blinded soldier wearing a head bandage and smoking being helped to cross a jungle stream by another digger, with native people carrying supplies for the Australian Army ( on the Kokoda Track in New Guinea ). Interior of a huge Australian POW wood and straw house, possibly Borneo or Death Railway also known as the Thai Burma Railway of Bridge over the River Kwai fame, packed with emaciated prisoners of war. There is a close up of three very thin POW's playing cards. A very young Sir Edward Dunlop also known as Weary Dunlop is very emaciated he served in the hospitals of the Thai Burma Railway so maybe the footage is actually that theatre.

Korea
Sign on door "Commanding Officer 77 D Orderly Room". An airman's' wooden hut with bombers in the background on the airfield tarmac, and behind, Korean mountains, with air crew in very thick padded clothing in cold Korea. Airmen flock about the huts steps as mess officer passes out mail. On top of a large tree-covered hill there is an explosion. The airfield tarmac has bombers and mustangs and an RAAF mustang taxis. The mustang taxis and takes off. The diorama of Korea at the AWM is shown.

Vietnam
The HMAS Sydney ships bell at the AWM is shown in close-up along with models of the first Sydney and the second Sydney. The third Sydney, an aircraft carrier, is shown in a section of a painting in the AWM. Black and white footage of the third Sydney is shown, beginning with the ships name. Tanks are loaded from the wharf for the Vietnam war, there are a few 1960's cars and a bus in the background. An army officer watches tanks being loaded at Garden Island or at Woolloomoolloo, with Sydney high rises in the background. An armoured personnel carrier is loaded onto the Sydney. The man directs the loading. A high shot of the deck of HMAS Sydney with vehicles bound for Vietnam. A diorama of a battle in a Vietnamese village in the AWM.

Soldiers kick of the lid of an Viet Cong tunnel. A line of helicopters fly in. There is a close up of AWM paintings of different actions in Vietnam. Black and white footage of Australians jumping out of landing helicopters. Soldiers run from landed helicopters. Diggers in single file walk through long grass, towards the jungle. A young digger talks into a field telephone. A young soldier wipes sweat from his face. A low shots shows the heavy boots the soldiers wear as they troop by. Australian soldiers walking in single file away from the camera. A single file of troops climbing into a truck. A Viet Cong flag and other "souvenired" items are exhibited in the AWM. A man in the AWM looks at exhibits. Warrant Officer Dave Munday looks at exhibits. Vietnamese leather sandals. Small field gun. The battalion scarf of a Viet Cong soldier with his regiment embroidered on one corner and his initials in the other. Munday's face in close-up as he recounts his Vietnam experience. Footage of soldiers in the field queuing for food at a field kitchen. A member of the catering staff puts a can of drink and a piece of fruit into a queuing soldiers pockets. A sequence of soldiers eating, relaxing, reading magazines, newspapers, novels and letters, writing letters, sleeping and lying under canvas shade shelters.

An old-fashioned typewriter is typed by a soldier in W W I uniform. This is superimposed by some of the 102,000 names on the walls of the AWM of those who fought in the wars. High view of the Central Hall in the AWM. Dave Munday puts on his army hat and salutes. Sir Roden Cutler stands to attention. Sir Richard Williams stares into the camera. Sir John Collins stands to attention. A high view from the top of the main hall of the AWM shows the people standing in the hall. Dave Munday salutes and the young girl stands to attention to his rear. A long view of the AWM. A moving shot of the side wall of the interior courtyard of the AWM. People stand around the Reflection Pool of the courtyard of the AWM. There is a long high view of the AWM.


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