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WW1: Love & Sorrow Exhibition at Melbourne Museum

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The experience of World War One and its aftermath
Eight per cent of Australia's entire population enlisted during World War 1. By the time peace was declared, over 60,000 Australians were dead and thousands more would soon die of war injuries, from a population of only five million people. WWI: Love & Sorrow explores the enormous impact of the war on Australian families.

WW1 Love Sorrow Melbourne Museum Exhibition War
WW1: Love & Sorrow Exhibition

The outbreak of war caused a huge wave of enthusiasm and excitement for many Australians as the war was a chance to establish the nation's identity. Men volunteered to fight as a sense of duty or the need for work. For others, it was a chance to travel with friends on a grand adventure. Many simply wanted to avoid being 'shirkers'.

WW1 Love Sorrow Melbourne Museum Exhibition War
WW1: Love & Sorrow Exhibition

A shared experience in towns and cities across Australia was the worry of having loved ones serving overseas. Newspapers were scored for announcements of deaths and injuries. The sight of a minister or telegraph messenger could fill a person with dread. Many of the objects in this exhibition relate to wartime in one street: Normanby Avenue, Caulfield, in South East Melbourne. It was in many ways a typical street, where almost everyone was touched by war.

WW1 Love Sorrow Melbourne Museum Exhibition War
WW1: Love & Sorrow Exhibition

Millions of letters were posted around the world during World War I as mail and telegrams were the only way most people kept in touch. Soldiers and others away fighting the war largely spared their families the harsh reality, writing instead about food, weather, landscapes and friends.

WW1 Love Sorrow Melbourne Museum Exhibition War
WW1: Love & Sorrow Exhibition

Survivors returned forever changed, and many never came home at all. We still feel the war's aftermath today, a century after it began. This exhibition includes over 300 objects and photographs, each of which tells a story of love and sorrow.

Visitors can download 'The Storyteller' app which gives you access to the personal stories of eight people who lived during World War 1. A mother awaiting the return of her son. Brothers from Tyers River fighting on the Western Front. A Jewish German soldier on the other side. As you make your way through the exhibition, the story unfolds on your smartphone . You can download the app to your own device before your visit, or borrow one from the ticketing desk when you arrive.

"Nearly everyone in Australia has in the war experienced some sense of loss – a son, a brother, some near relation or a close friend." Cecil Healy in Memoriam, John Andrew, about 1919.

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Why? To explore the impact of World War 1 on Australian families.
When: Daily 10:00 am - 17:00 pm
Phone: 13 11 02
Where: Melbourne Museum
Cost: Adults - Included with $12 museum entry. Free for children and concessions.
Your Comment
This is definitely on my to do list. Thanks.
by march (score: 1|42) 863 days ago
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