From the LMG collection: First World War memorabilia
Hurstville Museum & Gallery commemorates the ANZAC centenary in 2015 with an exhibition showcasing the First World War experiences of men and women of the St George area and how
we remember them today.
Personal stories come to life through soldiers' diary and letter extracts, and are also told through photographs and objects. Many of the objects on display are family treasures preciously kept for generations and generously loaned to the Museum & Gallery for this exhibition.
Also included in the display are First World War related objects from the Hurstville City Library Museum & Gallery collection. Here is a selection:
‘Lest We Forget memorial’ honour rolls
One highlight from the LMG collection are the pictorial honour rolls portraying over 200 photographs of soldiers who had an association with the Hurstville area. Honour rolls were one of the first memorials erected in the local community to register and honour the volunteers who signed up for military service.
In 1918, an effort was made to obtain a photo of every soldier who enlisted from Hurstville for inclusion in an honour roll. The public was called on for assistance in local newspapers to provide a photo of enlisted family members. The completed photographic honour rolls became known as the ‘Lest We Forget’ memorial and were initially installed in the vestibule of Hurstville Council Chambers in 1921.
Postcards to the front
The pictured postcards were sent to George Herbert Baker while he was serving at war. The young accountant was mainly stationed in England and Egypt. The postcards are written by his father, David Baker. The Bakers lived on Forest Road, Hurstville. Through these postcards George would receive the latest news from home, as well as news of how friends and relatives at war were doing. The postcard images often depicted scenery of Hurstville and might have brought home a little closer for George. The postcards, among other memorabilia, were donated to the LMG by Barry Roffey in 2014.
‘The Peace of 1919’ medalets
To commemorate the end of the First World War, these medals were issued by the Defence Department to every child in Australia aged up to fourteen years, and up to sixteen years if the parents were in the armed forces.
A bible’s journey
This pocket bible belonged to Private Henry Mayer of Mortdale, born in England, who enlisted in July 1915. Bibles like this one were presented to New South Wales servicemen by Friends of the New South Wales Auxiliary of the British and Foreign Bible Society. Henry was killed in action on 20 July 1916 in France. Somehow, his pocket bible made it back to relatives in Stockport, England. About 90 years later, the bible was found by a Stockport resident, who sent the bible to Hurstville Museum & Gallery for safe keeping. Following this, some of Henry Mayer’s relatives living in Sydney were traced down. In 2010, Henry’s bible was taken back to his gravesite in France to mark the 94th anniversary of the First World War Battle of Fromelles.
Knitting for the soldiers
South Hurstville schoolgirl Jean Emma Gordon is pictured here knitting socks for Australian soldiers in 1916. Australia-wide, local organisations, schools, church groups, knitting circles and individuals got together to knit and sew socks, towels and vests to provide comforts to Australian troops. Warm clothes were especially needed at the Western Front during winter, where temperatures would often drop below zero degrees.
This photograph is available from our Local Studies Photograph catalogue.
Do you want to find out what else is on display?
Come and visit our exhibition Remembering them:People of St George & the First World War
on show until 31 May 2015.
Follow our Commemorating WW1 and Anzac Day Pinterest board.
JOIN US FOR THE OFFICIAL OPENING AT HURSTVILLE MUSEUM & GALLERY
Sunday 15 February 2015, 2.00pm for a 2.30pm start
RSVP by 9 February 2015: http://www.trybooking.com/GQOB