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Research Guides


Sound Recordings in the National Archives


6. Defence

The Commonwealth agencies presented here are all associated with Australia’s defence forces. The record series listed include historical recordings and sound recordings of training films and military exercises.

SOUND RECORDING OF A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE BY THE MINISTER OF MUNITIONS, THE HON. NORMAN MAKIN, 1941
Sydney
This is a recording of a Christmas message by the Minister of Munitions, the Hon. Norman Makin, to people working in Commonwealth munitions factories thanking them for the voluntary relinquishment of certain leave and rest privileges as part of the war effort. A disc recording was sent to each munitions factory in Australia.
Series: C96
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1941 Small Arms Factory, Lithgow (CA 626)
Sound recording of a Christmas message by the Minister of Munitions, the Hon. Norman Makin, 1941 C96, 1

Small Arms Factory, Lithgow

The Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, NSW opened in 1912. Levels of munitions production fluctuated, being higher during periods of war. By 1941 the munitions factory was in peak production and was controlled by the Department of Munitions.

INSTRUCTIONAL FILMS ACQUIRED BY THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY, 1945–
Sydney (part only sound material)
This series consists of mainly 16mm films produced in Australia for the Department of Defence, as well as films from the United States of America and the United Kingdom acquired by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) for use as instructional films. They were transferred to the RAN Film Library when no longer of use. Later transfers include video cassettes, slides and audio tapes.
Series: C571
Quantity: 242 metres
Recorded by: 1945–51 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales and Admiral Superintendent, Sydney (CA 4341); 1951–52 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales (CA 4342); 1952–59 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australian Area (CA 4343); 1959–70 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australia Area (CA 4344); 1970–76 Flag Officer Commanding, East Australia Area (CA 4345); 1976– Department of Defence, New South Wales (CA 3505)
The 200 Mile Moat, c1947–70 C571, 6910/NA/00/1204
Ready at Sea (ASW exercise with WESSEX helicopters), 1964 C571, L60150
Officer RAN (Join the RAN as officer cadets), 1969 C571, 6910/66/TSN/0042
SOUNDTRACKS OF TRAINING FILMS, 1950–
Sydney
This series consists of gramophone discs containing soundtracks of training films used by the Royal Australian Navy. The discs are 12" with standard groove recording. Each disc is controlled by the number of the film for which it is the soundtrack.
Series: C1475
Quantity: 0.36 metres
Recorded by: 1950–51 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales and Admiral Superintendent, Sydney (CA 4341); 1951–52 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales (CA 4342); 1952–59 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australian Area (CA 4343); 1959–70 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australia Area (CA 4344); 1970–76 Flag Officer Commanding, East Australia Area (CA 4345); 1976– Department of Defence, New South Wales (CA 3505)
Soundtrack for film 8 and film 9, first aid training film – bleeding, wounds (no date) C1475, L60711/0572/8 and 9
Soundtrack for film 16, first aid training film – fractures (no date) C1475, L60711/0572/16
GRAMOPHONE RECORDINGS (SOUNDTRACKS OF TRAINING FILMS), 1951–70
Sydney
This series includes material from 1950. It is a series comprising 10 discs, which contain soundtracks from films.
Series: SP1209/2
Quantity: 0.12 metres
Recorded by: 1951–52 Flag Officer-in-Charge, New South Wales (CA 4342); 1952–59 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australian Area (CA 4343); 1959–70 Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australia Area (CA 4344)

Women’s Royal Australian Army Corps

HISTORICAL AUDIO TAPES (ON) THE WOMEN'S ROYAL AUSTRALIAN ARMY CORPS (WRAAC), 1951–80
Canberra and Sydney
This series comprises audio tapes of historic speeches made to, or by, members of the Women's Royal Australian Army Corps (WRAAC). These tapes were collected by the WRAAC Corps Committee for the research and writing of the corp's history.
Series: A7483
Quantity: Canberra 0.36 metres and Sydney 0.45 metres
Recorded by: 1951–73 Department of the Army (CA 36); 1973–74 Army Office, Department of Defence (III) (CA 1568); 1974–80 Department of Defence (III) (CA 46)
Speech by Colonel Sybil H Irving (Honorary Colonel of the Corps) at the opening of the Kathleen Best Memorial Gates, WRAAC School, Mosman, NSW, 6 November 1959 A7483, 1
Christmas message from Colonel Sybil H Irving (Honorary Colonel of the Corps) and Colonel Kathleen BEST (Director, WRAAC), 1956 A7483, 3

Services Reconnaissance Department

NOTES AND TAPES COLLECTED AND COMPILED BY MR IVAN SOUTHALL (ON) OPERATIONS OF THE SERVICES RECONNAISSANCE DEPARTMENT, 1965–66
Canberra and Sydney
This series contains material dating from 1951. It consists of nine reel-to-reel tapes, three files and one alphabetical name index of personnel connected with operations of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) in World War II. The tapes are recordings made by Mr Southall concerning specific operations conducted. They were mainly dictated by Mr Southall from SRD operational files held at Heckfield. It is not known whether the original files exist, but it is considered unlikely.
Series: A10851
Quantity: Canberra 0.47 metres and Sydney 0.9 metres
Recorded by: 1965–66 Directorate of Military Intelligence (CA 3275)
Services Reconnaissance Department operations in Timor: operations 'Lizard', 'Sunlag', 'Lagarto', 'Cobra', 'Sundog', 'Starling' and 'Adder', c1965 A10851, 3
Services Reconnaissance Department operations in Borneo: operations 'Agas', 'Semut', 'Stallion', 'Toad' and 'Vulture', c1965 A10851, 5
Services Reconnaissance Department operations in New Guinea: operations 'Whiting', 'Scorpion', Moss Troops', 'Menzies', 'Perch', 'Reaper', 'Gold', 'Copper' and 'Falcon'; operations in Borneo: 'Python' and 'Agas', c1965 A10851, 7

Defence Research Centre, Salisbury

The Defence Research Centre, Salisbury, South Australia was created in 1978 as a result of the reorganisation of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in South Australia. Administrative responsibility for the Woomera Ranges passed from the Defence Research Centre to a new organisation called the Defence Support Centre, Woomera. Control of the use of the Woomera Ranges, however, remained with the Defence Research Centre, specifically with the Trials Resources Laboratory.

AUDIO CASSETTES CONTAINING JOINT PROJECT TRIALS INFORMATION – UNITED KINGDOM/AUSTRALIA JOINT PROJECT HISTORY COLLECTION, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1979–87
Sydney
This series comprises audio cassettes of information about specific United Kingdom–Australia joint project trials carried out at Salisbury and Woomera. This information was used as reference material for the joint project history publication, Fire across the Desert. The cassettes are audio tape recordings of soundtracks for films made in the 1940s and 1950s.
Series: D3715
Quantity: 0.09 metres
Recorded by: 1979–87 Defence Research Centre, Salisbury (CA 7564)
AUDIO CASSETTES OF INTERVIEWS WITH DEFENCE PERSONNEL – UK/AUSTRALIA JOINT PROJECT HISTORY COLLECTION, ALPHABETICAL SERIES, 1979–87
Sydney
This series consists of audio cassettes of interviews held by Mr Jim Frost, Principal Officer, Instrumentation Systems Group, with various Defence personnel, to collect material for the United Kingdom–Australia joint project history publication, Fire across the Desert (1947–80). The interviews were recorded for the express purposes of research for publication.
Series: D3716
Quantity: 0.54 metres
Recorded by: 1979–87 Defence Research Centre, Salisbury (CA 7564)

1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers, Australian Army

The origins of the Royal New South Wales Lancers date back to a proposal to form a volunteer cavalry troop at a meeting held at the Oxford Hotel, Sydney in October 1884. In January 1885, the corps was gazetted under the <em>Volunteer Force Regulation Act 1867</em> and was called the Sydney Light Horse Volunteers.

CENTENARY SOUND RECORDING, 1985–
Sydney
This recording was produced for sale by the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers to celebrate their centenary in 1985. This copy was donated to the National Archives by the Officer Commanding 'C' Squadron, Major John Howells. The cassette includes a history of the regiment prepared by Major Howells and Lieutenant-Colonel P Vernon, and a selection of tunes played by the regimental band.
Series: C1444
Quantity: 0.18 metres
Recorded by: 1985– 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers, Australian Army (CA 4141)

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