History SA/Veterans SA’s travelling exhibition Bravest of the Brave, which tells the moving stories of the 8 South Australians awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War, has now arrived at its third venue. State Member for Schubert, Ivan Venning kindly transported the touring display to Two Wells RSL this week from Crystal Brook RSL where it has been displayed since early September. Community History Officer and curator of the exhibition, Pauline Cockrill helped set up the exhibition with Two Wells RSL secretary John Allen.
Affectionately known as BOB, the exhibition consists of 7 doubled sided pop up banners and 4 wooden crates which double up as plinths to display the framed citations and replica medals belonging to the 8 men.
The RSL Club rooms are on the Main Street of Two Wells. The display is there until 7 November and can be viewed on Wednesdays from 10 – 2 pm or by arrangement (call John on 0411 894 245). The club rooms are also open for meals on Fridays from noon until late when the information panel on the son of Two Wells, James Park Woods will be available to view.
James Park Woods was born in Two Wells in 1886, the son of a local blacksmith and grandson of Irish migrants who came to Australia and settled in Two Wells from Armagh in 1838. When a small boy, his mother died in childbirth aged just 40. She is buried in Two Wells Cemetery. ‘Jimmy’ Woods tried to enlist when WWI broke out but was rejected by the army because he was too short. He was accepted later as height restrictions were dropped. He was awarded his Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Le Verguier, north west of St Quentin on the Western Front on 18 September 1918. Unfortunately his father never knew of his son’s award for he had died the previous year.
The first of many projects that are being prepared worldwide to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2014, Bravest of the Brave is available from History SA free of charge to travel to schools, RSL clubs, museums, libraries, aged care facilities, community centres etc. There is also a schools resources kit. In the first instance it is being offered to locations from where the 8 men were local heroes.
The display will be going to Coventry Library in Stirling in November and after that is booked up to travel to a variety of venues in South Australia throughout most of 2013 and even 2014. Enquiries regarding the exhibition’s availability should be made on 08 8203 9888.
More photographs of the exhibition at Two Wells and at other venues including its launch by the Hon Jack Snelling MP in April 2012 can be seen here