War ex­hi­bi­tion tells deeply per­sonal tales of loss and sac­ri­fice

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News -

LEARN­ING the sto­ries of ev­ery fam­ily that lived on Olive Street dur­ing World War I proved to Subiaco Mu­seum cu­ra­tor Erica Boyne that no-one es­caped the im­pact of war.

Mrs Boyne said Uni­ver­sity of WA PhD can­di­date Claire Greer’s re­search into what hap­pened to en­listed Olive Street res­i­dents was her favourite part of the ex­hi­bi­tion When the Great War Came to Subiaco.

“Ev­ery sin­gle per­son that walks into this ex­hi­bi­tion is a sis­ter, or a mum or dad, and they can re­late with th­ese fam­i­lies that we talk about,” she said.

“We know Subiaco lost 10 per cent of their pop­u­la­tion, but what im­pact did that re­ally have?

“This ex­hi­bi­tion is to bring it down to a com­mu­nity level so peo­ple can un­der­stand the im­pact of pa­tri­o­tism, loss and sac­ri­fice in a deeply per­sonal way.”

Of the well-known Subiaco sol­diers fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion, in­clud­ing Dis­tin­guished Con­duct Medal win­ner Charles Stokes and Vic­to­ria Cross re­cip­i­ent Clif­ford Sadlier, Mrs Boyne said her high­light was Bartholomew Stubbs.

“The ex­hi­bi­tion of­ten talks about the ex­treme pa­tri­o­tism in Subiaco which led to a lot of pres­sure for men to en­list, with white feath­ers end­ing up in peo­ple’s let­ter­boxes,” she said.

“But there was this un­spo­ken rule in Subiaco that if one man from the fam­ily en­listed, then they wouldn’t suf­fer the pres­sure.

“At 43 years old, Bartholomew was ini­tially too old, but when they in­creased the age he en­listed in­stead of his son-in-law, and ended up be­ing killed in Bel­gium.

“He sac­ri­ficed his younger gen­er­a­tion.

“We have his death penny here and an orig­i­nal copy of his obit­u­ary pub­lished in the news­pa­per.”

When the Great War Came to Subiaco is open Tues­day to Fri­day, 1pm to 4pm and Satur­day, noon to 4pm at the Subiaco Mu­seum on Rokeby Road.

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