Memorabilia marks WWI contribution
A treasure trove of World War I memorabilia will be on display at the Sandstone Library on Saturday for the official opening of the Goldfields To Battlefields: Brothers In Arms exhibition.
The exhibition, which is open until November next year, will display a range of artefacts donated by the families of local soldiers who served in the Great War.
It is one of 32 exhibitions across the State comprising the Lotterywest-funded Remembering Them project, which tells the local stories of rural, remote and regional WA communities and commemorates their wartime contributions.
Medals, badges and good luck charms will be displayed, along with other collectors’ items including a gift box containing cigarettes and chocolate that was given by Princess Mary to all soldiers serving in the Imperial Forces in 1914.
Also on display will be a “Dead Man’s Penny” — a round memorial plaque sent to the next of kin of soldiers who died in the war.
Project co-ordinator and former Sandstone resident Margie Lundy said the exhibition was not a celebration of the war, but a commemoration of those who served and the impact felt by the Sandstone community.
Ms Lundy said there would be a special display telling the story of three Sandstone brothers who enlisted.
“They were the Johnstone brothers, one of whom was killed in action, one of whom spent most of his war years in a prisoner of war camp, and one of whom fought for all the years he was enlisted and then returned,” Ms Lundy said. “We managed to track down relatives in Northampton and we’re really pleased to be welcoming the Johnstone family to the opening.” This Saturday’s opening is at 5pm. The exhibition is open to the public but attendees are asked to RSVP by emailing reception @sandstone.wa.gov.au or calling Margie Lundy on 0429 030 618.
War medals and badges, which belonged to William Edward de Courcy Lefroy, will be on display at Sandstone Library from Saturday.
This Princess Mary Gift Fund Box will also be on display in the exhibition.