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Flagship: The HMAS Australia in World War II

Australia's navy played a vastly important - yet often under-appreciated - role in the Second World War.

The cruiser HMAS Australia II patrolled the North Atlantic for German battleships, and fought in some of the greatest sea battles of all time in the Pacific. She was struck repeatedly by kamikaze attacks - and was even stunned by a scandalous onboard murder in 1942. 

The latest book by author and journalist Mike Carlton, Flagship: The Cruiser HMAS Australia II and the Pacific War on Japan, explores the rich history of this iconic cruiser. 

In our Q&A with Carlton, we delve into the Australia II's past and find out his recommended resources for researching naval history:

"Survivors are always best," says Mike Carlton. "It's such a privilege, and a delight, to talk to the men who were there, and their families. There are not many left now, but I was lucky to find some truly wonderful people keen for the story of their ships to be told."  
Read the full interview with Mike Carlton here.

Brought to you by our friends at Random House.
Handy hint: Northern Irish ancestors

Do you have ancestors from Northern Ireland, particularly County Londonderry? The Great Parchment Book was a major survey compiled in 1639 of a number of estates in Derry that were managed by the City of London. Up to 1,095 personal names from this precious resource - recently granted UNESCO Memory of the World status - are indexed online. Search for your Northern Irish ancestors here
On the blog: Revisiting the Mt Kembla disaster + why a US Civil War ship visited 1860s Melbourne 

Ninety-six men and boys were killed in the Mount Kembla mine disaster in NSW in 1902 - marking one of the largest losses of Australian life outside of war. Read the full story of this tragic disaster here.  

Plus, find out why a Confederate war ship visited 1860s-era Melbourne. An American officer onboard recorded the visit in a recently rediscovered journal, shedding new light on colonial Melbourne. 

Image courtesy State Library Victoria. 
Handy hint: Histories of Scottish families

If you have Scottish ancestry, have a look at almost 400 printed items relating to the histories of Scottish families that the National Library of Scotland uploaded earlier this year. You can download the texts or read online, and perform a keyword search for any surnames of interest. 

Psst... Read the latest issue yet?

Have you got your hands on the latest issue of Inside History? You'll discover:
  • 130+ new online family history resources
  • Photo-dating tips
  • Our unsung colonial artist
  • The mysterious, iconic footage filmed on the Somme
  • How to write your ancestor's life story
  • A traveller's guide to the Western Front battlefields, and much more
Read more or get your own copy here

Stay tuned for more news but until then, happy researching and reading!
From your friends at the Inside History Team

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