Sunday, September 2, 2012

Australian War Memorial

Perched at one end of Anzac parade is the Australian War Memorial. A significant, sombre place of remembrance for all.
On entry to the memorial you can’t help but be taken in  by the enormity of the Honor Roll. Thousands and thousands of names line not one, but two walls like this.

Visitors before us that have found loved ones on the roll have marked their names with a single poppy.

Falling out behind the children is ANZAC Parade, linking Capitol Hill, Parliament House and the War Memorial.


Lego Lover was quite enthralled by Simpson and his Donkey. A story we all know well. In fact he was interested and engaged the entire time we were at the memorial. A vast difference to my memories of being here on a school trip when I was just one year older than him.


There is so much to see here. So much history, that is all impressively presented. Many large scale dioramas line the walls, depicting scenes of war.

These visuals certainly helped the children to get a small feel of what things may have been like for our soldiers and nurses.


We caught a brief small group discussion, aimed more at children, about life during the war. Very informative and engaging and all of us certainly learned a great deal.

That small pack of food supplies the guide is holding contains ‘hard tack’ – the rock hard biscuit like substance that they grated and mixed with water and a small tin of meat, or at least something that resembles meat.

These food items had to last some 8 months, along with a cup of water a day.


The children were able to try on some of the uniforms, Lego Lover couldn’t believe how heavy this summer coat was, considering that the men would have been fighting whilst having to wear it.


The guide reminded us that we must never forget to include the hard working nurses that endured the same conditions as the men during these awful times.


The Aircraft Hall, while very dark, was also very impressive. No expense has been spared here in the memorial, that’s for certain.


Large screens playing short movies are scattered throughout the Aircraft Hall.


Along with the myriad of aircraft, large and small, Australian and International.


Discovery Zone, an entire zone dedicated to children. This is a fabulous addition to the memorial, it makes it come alive for them that’s for sure.

Once again showing scenes from various wars. The famous choppers from the Vietnam War. Sitting inside you would also think there you were there. With audio’s, voice overs and the large screen image playing in front, they are soaring over Vietnam.


The submarine certainly surprised me, definitely something I wasn’t expecting.


With sonars, wheels to spin, valves to open


and massive periscopes to look into, this was a great addition to Discovery Zone.


The Trenches, home to many soldiers, for weeks on end. This area houses large scale trenches for the children to immerse themselves in.


Rifles to shoot from, rats hidden within the trenches, more uniforms to try on and even a hideously gross example of ‘trench foot’ is on display here.


We spent two hours wandering the floors of the memorial. Without small children I think you could easily spend the best part of a day here.

We were all extremely impressed with the Memorial, it’s a testament to all Australians.
I’m very glad we included this in our list of things to do.
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Kez said...

Wow, the War Memorial is so much better than it was when I had to go there as a kid. I hated it then but it looks excellent now - they've certainly made it much more kid friendly!

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