Crawford House display features items from the home front

"REMEMBERING is important," said the assistant director of the Australian War Memorial, Tim Sullivan, at Alstonville last Saturday.

Mr Sullivan was at Crawford House Museum to officially open the latest First World War display titled "Cheering up the troops: 'twas more than knitting sox".

He was invited to officiate at the opening of the exhibition because the Australian War Memorial has loaned some items to the Alstonville Plateau Historical Society to display.

ON DISPLAY: Alstonville Plateau Historical Society president Ina Le Bas and Australian War Memorial’s Tim Sullivan with medals given to Alstonville troops who returned from the First World War.
ON DISPLAY: Alstonville Plateau Historical Society president Ina Le Bas and Australian War Memorial’s Tim Sullivan with medals given to Alstonville troops who returned from the First World War. Graham Broadhead

The exhibition, which runs through to June 4 as part of the commemorations this year of the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, focuses on the efforts on the home front to cheer up the troops.

It features the items placed in Red Cross "war chests" and sent to the troops.

And it was more than socks - although the gathering was told clean, dry socks were important to the Diggers in the trenches.

It tells the story of the fundraising effort at home, gifts which small communities gave to soldiers who volunteered for the war effort and the medals they received on their return.

The display also has original letters written from a Rous Mill mother to her son overseas, and postcards the troops sent home.

The exhibition was two years in the making.

Historical society member Jane Gardiner attended a conference in Canberra where the Australian War Memorial announced its focus for the centenary of the Gallipoli landings would be on the troops themselves.

The society then decided to "tell the story of those who stayed at home", Ms Gardiner said.

Crawford House Museum, 10 Wardell Rd, Alstonville, is open Fridays from 10am-4pm (closed Good Friday) and Sundays from 1-4pm.

 



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